The Colosseum

where we call 'em like we see 'em


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The Dangers Of Victim Blaming

rape

I saw the above photo the other day and something in my mind simply clicked. Here was my train of thinking.

Some people try to justify the raping of women by saying that they were in short skirts and revealing tops so they were asking for sex. Last week we talked about how society views female beauty. In the previous scenario mentioned, people are giving more consideration to someones appearance than what they are saying. People are seeing a short skirt and taking that as a yes instead of listening to the person telling them, “No.”

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Twitter user ItsMothersWork, makes a good point about telling women that there are ways not to get raped, such as wearing more conservative clothes. In reality, the only way people can prevent rape is to not meet a rapist. NewsWithNipples writes, “if women WERE actually able to prevent sexual assault, there’d be no sexual assault. Ever.”

And it’s not just women who are raped. Men are also raped. Like the first photo is asking, are men and children being promiscuous before they are raped? No.

“..rape is not aggressive sexuality, it is sexualized aggression.”
— Audre Lorde; Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference

Consider the above quote. Rape is not someone being rough during sex. Rape is an attack on someone’s body. It is a cruel act done to someone against their will. It is not someone wanting to have sex, it is someone wanting to dominate. And we cannot blame the victim in this situation. The only person to blame is THE RAPIST.

We’ll leave it on this note: No one deserves to be raped. Ever. There is literally nothing a person could do to deserve rape. Not one single thing. Think of a quality or a situation in which you think someone would be deserving of being raped and then tell yourself that no one deserves to be raped EVER.

For more information about sexual assault you can refer to statistics released by Centres Against Sexual Assault and charts from AboutDateRape.

*****

Join us next time where we call out bad Halloween costumes.

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Cleaning up the ideas surrounding FEMALE BEAUTY

At first glance the Dove Beauty Campaign seems like a revolutionary viewpoint on beauty ideals. But a little scrubbing and the positive bubble surrounding the idea pops.

The Dove Beauty Campaign and other movements like it fall back on society’s idea that women need to have their looks validated in order to be confident humans.  It is perpetuating girls reliance on their physical appearance as a key value contributing to their self-esteem levels. We live in a world where almost half of all girls aged 3 to 6 worry about being fat. Children under the age of 12 are twice as likely to be hospitalized for an eating disorder than they were in 2005. Young girls are worrying about their appearance, even before puberty. Instead of telling girls that they are beautiful, we need campaigns that impress on girls and women that it doesn’t matter if they are beautiful or not.

“Fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.”

– Lisa Bloom in How To Talk To Little Girls for the Huffington Post

Lisa Bloom goes on to say that, “Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything.” Society needs to move away from the idea that women need to be beautiful to be worth something, especially because men are not held to the same grooming standards.

In conclusion, while I’m sure the intentions behind the Dove Beauty Campaign and others like it are well-meaning, movements such as that one simply are still stuck in the same cycle of women needing to look good in order to feel fulfilled. The Dove Beauty Campaign is relying on the fact that women need to be beautiful to be self confident or respected within society, when really they should be judged on the quality of their character. As one tumblr user put it, “I wish self-esteem campaigns would focus less on ‘everyone is beautiful’ and more on ‘who the fuck cares if you are beautiful or not.'” Other people such as another tumblr user agree, “If you are a woman, everything revolves around whether or not someone wants to fuck you. Instead of addressing ‘all bodies are beautiful’ how about, ‘it is not necessary to be universally fuckable’?”

If only the world was like Roald Dahl wrote it to be,

beauty

*****

Join us next time where we call out victim blaming.


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The Worst Type Of Race: Not Helping Other Oppressed People

Equality is a huge issue in all fields of study from science to art and problems with inequality can especially be seen in the media. Women and people of color are often disregarded over white men. What is worse is that to meet a “diversity quota” people often add either a woman or a person of color in order to feel like they are being fair and providing an accurate, positive representation of the world but do not feel the need to include both. In reality, they are not being fair. They are simply being lazy and keeping the power contained to the status quo, which gives white men representation and credit. White men become trusted sources as new anchors, directors, and leading characters because they are the only sources available. If women and people of color were better represented then they would have just as much air time as white men and be placed not only in subservient positions but featured. Women and people of color are just as deserving as white men to have their stories heard and it is only by working together instead of cutting people in the same situation down that both minorities can succeed in the media world. The advancement of women’s rights and civil rights should not be a race against each other.

“You Don’t Need an MA in Gender Studies to Know That Race Matters to Feminism” was written by Chitra Nagarajan and Lola Okolosie in the October of 2012 for the guardian.co.uk. The article begins by mentioning Lena Dunham, writer of the show Girls, which follows four white girls on their adventures around New York City. She was accused of being racist for her disregard of other cultures, both on and off her show.For background information and support I also used the article “A Girl’s Writer’s Ironic Racism And Other ‘White People Problems’” by Max Read for Gawker.com to find some examples of Dunham’s actions.

The Guardian article mentions, “The most sustained critique of feminism has always been that it is a white, middle-class movement.” The question arises, why are issues only being discussed by white women? One answer is that people of color were not allowed access to media outlets to be able to discuss them. Their opinions were simply not considered. People involved in the media did not break down stereotypes but would consider the opinions of the people who fit within their already accepted intellectual social values. They also have their audience to think about. They did not believe they would be successful if the people they are trying to appeal to and sell things to did not like or relate to the characters in their media. To this, I would say, consider Tyler Perry, who benefits off of the African American community supporting his productions when he noticed a lack of shows directed at them.

An issue that arises is whether or not every single show or movie should be challenging the norms. Some people believe that producers, writers, and directors are not trying and do not care when they do not include women or people of color in their media. The support for including people of color is that it would be completely realistic for modern media. There are people of color in every field of work. Dunham’s show,Girls, which has characters struggling in a popular city, has become relatable for a lot of young adults but only has white characters.A Gawker writer, Cord Jefferson writes,

“The thing that sucks aboutGirls and Seinfeld and Sex and the City and every other TV show like them isn’t that they don’t include strong characters focusing on the problems facing blacks and Latinos in America today. The thing that sucks about those shows is that millions of black people look at them and can relate on so many levels to Hannah Horvath and Charlotte York and George Costanza, and yet those characters never look like us. The guys begging for money look like us. The mad black chicks telling white ladies to stay away from their families look like us. Always a gangster, never a rich kid whose parents are both college professors. After a while, the disparity between our affinity for these shows and their lack of affinity towards us puts reality into stark relief: When we look at Lena Dunham and Jerry Seinfeld, we see people with whom we have a lot in common. When they look at us, they see strangers.”

I believe the last line especially is the main contributing issue. Dunham said she did not think she could write a character played by a person of color going through her problems.Dunham justifies her lack of diversity by saying that she wanted characters that she could relate to. What she came up with are four white girls as her main characters. This is extremely dangerous from a racial acceptance standpoint because it is perpetuating the idea that people of color and white people are different and cannot relate to each other, which is ridiculous. If a white girl can live in New York City of all places so can a black girl. She can get a job at a magazine just like a white girl. Dunham not believing that a black girl could go through the same situation as her is offensive and ridiculous because Dunham believes she is going through “white girl problems” instead of “universal girl problems.”

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(a promotional photo from Dunham’s show, Girls)

The term “white people problems” and “first world problems” have become buzz phrases that have a racist connotation because it implies that the problems, which are usually simple and not inconvenient, do not relate to people of color, which is yet another break between different races, but this time a social and self-constructed one that is completely unnecessary. The purpose it serves is for those privileged people to revel in their actions and feel their worth. They feel like they deserve to have such problems talked about but acknowledge that there are worse things in the world so they seem like they are but the problem is they are so caught up in their petty problems that they aren’t spending their time worrying about the bigger picture issues. It is a balance between time consuming and not serious. The problems are not a big deal but people stop and pay attention to them, making them feel like they deserve to spend time on the self-proclaimed problem.

Dunham’s writing staff is no better unfortunately than Dunham in my opinion. One of her writers, Lesley Arfin, tweeted, “What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME.” I sincerely hope that Arfin was kidding around because that tweet is a joke. Arfin is saying that a movie about a black women’s needed to include some form of upper class white woman in order for her to enjoy in. What she is saying is that black women do not deserve to be the focus of her time and her thoughts and her compassion for two hours when there could be something that focuses on her exact position instead of the position of someone else. Arfin is not even attempting to be compassionate and instead comes off as arrogant, self-centered, and rude.

When people of color are included in modern media they are not introduced as equals. The people of color who are onGirls are nannies, homeless, and blue color workers because that is what some people think of. They also don’t last for more than one episode. These positions are degrading and useless because their personalities are not allowed to be fleshed out so people can relate to them. The same happens for women too as they play secretaries, assistants, and shop keepings but not the doctors, lawyers, or business owners.

           Some people believe that Dunham is being attacked because she is “a tattooed, tits-out 25-year-old woman in a very cool position of cultural power” so people are trying to tear him down, as Vice writer, Kate Carraway, commented. Carraway continued, “If she were anyone else, making any other show—any other show!—we wouldn’t be inside of a misogynistic—secretly jeally girl-on-girl misogyny; rage-jeally guy-on-girl misogyny—and overcritical maelstrom intent on punishing Lena, if not Lena the person then Lena the Idea (that’s her rap name) (racist!).” Carraway believes that both women and people of color are attempting to be shot down here.I do not support the idea the Dunham should not be called out on her show because in order to succeed women and people of color need to work together as minorities in the media but what they support has to be great. There is a lot of content written by white men and some of it is terrible and some of it is great. White men are allowed to make mistakes because they have such a large portion of representatives in the media participating in creating content. If one thing a white man produces is bad, there will be a good thing to counter it. Women and people are not afforded the same breathing room because there are so few of them taking part in the media. Carraway is also the same author who wrote, ““Calling Girls racist is a problem for everybody because Girls is racist insofar as everything on TV is racist, and insofar as everyone is racist” which I find insipid and preposterous. If something is racist then it should be called out. If everything is racist then everything should be called out. That is the only way that social norms change. Something is not okay just because it is like everything else.

           Then there are the critics who are justifying the anger of white men by pointing out that white men have been in power for so long that when new generations of white men want the same expansive, minority blocking power and those pesky women and people of color stand in their way they get mad. An essay published in The New York Times comments,

“For women, things are looking up. The same can be said for minorities. However, because resources are limited, gains for women and minorities necessarily equal losses for white males. From the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s and onward, young men- and white young men in particular- have increasingly been asked to yield what they’d believed was securely theirs. Can you image being in the shoes of one who feels his power slipping away? Who feels himself becoming unnecessary?”

This essay was written after the Sandy Hook shooting, attempting to discuss the motivation for the toxic situation which led a white man to kill elementary school children. I find this position to be outrageous and unreasonable. The author, Christy Wampole, who is an assistant professor of French at Princeton University, is forgetting that that is how women and people of color feel every day being repressed and not represented.

           The media world is important because it sets and reflects a social norm upon society. This can be seen in patterns of social awareness such as the gay rights movement. For example, as the United States population begins to approve of gay marriage, more and more gay people are seen in the media world: on talk shows, on popular week night features, in movies. The gay rights movement is not the only one where a minority is struggling for equality. Women and people of color have also been fighting for air time and accurate representation. In a media world where seventeen percent of game characters are women but nineteen are nonhuman, women and people of color need to work together and not against each other to fight for every spot. The only people who are benefitting from the strife are white men who are not affected either way and continue to dominate the media world. Women and people of color should not fall into the same habits the white men have of stereotyping minorities and not including them. Women and people of color should be understanding to a fellow cause and work together to both succeed.

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For more information consider reading the sources:

Carraway, Kate. “Girls Is Racist; Everything Is Racist; Everything Is the Worst; Girls Is Still the Best.” VICE. Vice, 09 May 2012. Web. 07 May 2013.

Jefferson, Cord. “Hipster Racism Runoff And The Search for The Black Costanza.”GAWKER. Gawker, 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 07 May 2013.

Mitchell, Claudia A., and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, eds.Girl Culture. Vol. 1. Westpoint, Connecticut: Greenwood Group, 2007. Print.

Nagarajan, Chitra, and Lola Okolosie. “You Don’t Need an MA in Gender Studies to Know That

Race Matters to Feminism.”The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 May 2013.

Read, Max. “A Girls Writer’s Ironic Racism And Other ‘White People Problems'”GAWKER. Gawker, 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 07 May 2013.

Wampole, Christy. “Guns and the Decline of the Young Man.”NYT. The New York Times, 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 07 May 2013.


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Why Do Women Vote Against Their Social Interests?

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After struggling for decades, American women finally gained the right to vote in 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. America was founded on the basis of freedoms: religious, political, and social and believes in liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness but in 2012 American is still a male dominated society. Carol Hanisch in her essay “The Personal is Political” says that women’s lack of rights is a political problem because the gender is being oppressed by the government. Using the Global Gender Gap Index, the World Economic Forum ranks America twenty-second regarding women’s equality behind even third world countries such as Africa and dropping from being seventeen in 2011 because female participation in American politics has decreased in 2012.

Women in politics

According to the World Economic Forum, “The United States currently ranks at No. 55 in political empowerment, No. 33 in health and survival rates, No. 8 in economic participation and opportunity, and No. 1 in educational attainment for women.” For example, women earn seventy-seven cent on every dollar men make. Specific social interests pertaining to women that can be voted on include pay wages, job equality, abortion, and contraceptives, which are often belittled by politicians as “soft” issues. America in obviously unbalanced when it comes to gender equality but some women choose not to vote for equal social rights.

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Research yields that women vote against equalization of their social rights for three reasons that fulfill the psychological stages of the individual, group, and society. The justifications are the following: disassociation with their social group, prioritizing other issues over social rights, and the way America’s political institution is set up.

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America’s political campaigns and institutions can be confusing which can lead to women accidently voting against their own social rights due to ignorance. Brown Professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences Steven Sloman and assistant professor of marketing at the University of Colorado Philip M. Fernbach write in their piece I’m Right! (For Some Reason), “The challenge in an election season that largely takes place in the form of 30-second advertisements and fire-up-the-base rallies is that rarely is anybody — candidate or voter — asked to explain his or her positions. We typically feel that we understand how complex systems work even when our true understanding is superficial.” The main problem, as outlined by Dr. David Runciman in his BBC essay “Why Do People Vote against Their Own Interests?” is people simply do not understand how laws will affect them. As a result of this they often vote for something that might harm them or against one that will benefit them. As described above, they are easily manipulated into voting a specific way.

Women are also not heavily involved in other political aspects such as holding office but the number is rising.

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Women vote against their social interests because they have been taught to not value them. To battle this negative mindset, their belief in finding political equality important needs to be validated. To engage women to vote for their civil rights women will have to combat the issues surrounding why they do not vote for their social rights. They will have to embrace being women, feel empowered to demand what is equal to what men have, and become better educated about America’s voting systems so as to not be fooled. Hopefully women can unite, vote for fair social changes, and, if they so will it, be awarded political equality regarding civil liberties in America.

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The Thicke of It: Sexist Reporting About The VMAs

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“We don’t need to talk to our daughters about Miley Cyrus, we need to talk to our sons about Robin Thicke.”
Jackson Katz speaking at the Claremont McKenna College Athenaeum on September 30, 2013
MTV’s Video Music Awards typically target young adults who are fans of the music genre of Justin Timberlake, Drake, and Lady Gaga. The 2013 version of the MTV VMAs, however, reached a broader audience when Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke went viral. Cyrus, dressed in a bikini, grinded with giant teddy bears and twerked on Thicke, while singing two songs- her song “We Can’t Stop” and Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines.” It was the most talked about event of the evening. Her performance spawned an army of critical articles from outlets as small as local news to as respected as the New York Times. With 360,000 tweets about the performance, it was the most tweeted about event ever. Unfortuently, most of those tweets were derogatory marks directed at not the 35-year-old Thicke but the 20-year-old Cyrus. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Cyrus summed up the problem,
“[Cyrus] said that she was concerned about the critism around her and not the person on the receiving end of the twerk. ‘No one is talking about the man behind the ass. It was a lot of ‘Miley tw erks on Robin Thicke,’ but never, ‘Robin Thicke grinds up on Miley.’ They’re only talking about the one that bent over. So obviously there’s a double standard'” (Stedman).
Cyrus is known for being a child performer. Her most notable role was the titular character on the Disney show, Hannah Montana. It’s hard for people to reconcile that little girl with a new young adult they saw on stage at the Video Music Awards. There are many reasons why Cyrus is critiqued, mainly her outfit, her music, and her dancing at the Video Music Awards. Her attire of a skin colored bikini has been called “distasteful” (Malec). Her lyrics included the phrase, “dancing with molly,” a drug reference that upsets many parents. And dance, she did. People described her movements grinding with teddy bears and twerking with Thicke as “disgusting” and “really, really disturbing” (Monde). The LA Times commented, “Cyrus left jaws on the floor (though not in a good way)” (Day).
In Cyrus’ defense, the VMAs are known for more cultural performances than high class. Performers are often dressed in little clothing or strange outfits. For example, in 2010 Lady Gaga wore an outfit made completely of raw meat. Rihanna is 2008 wore tight black leather. In 2007 Britney Spears wore a sparky black bikini and was critiqued for being out of shape. The media did not focus on her outfit but the fact that she was not sexy. The underlying problem here is that society is not comfortable with women sexualizing themselves but is okay with sexualizing women. When Cyrus took control of her body and decided to move in sexual ways while wearing a childish outfit, she was making a comment on how society sexualizes young women. The performance should have made viewers uncomfortable because it was pointing out how sick society’s actions truely are.
But what no one seems to be talking about is Robin Thicke at least not in a negative light. Just puruse the titles of various articles to see the difference in treatment between the 20-year-old and the 36-year-old man. “Childhoos ruining,” Mashable calls Cyrus’ performance only, as if Thicke took no part in the show (Colbert). TMZ, a corporation serious about gossip, chose to describe Cyrus’ actions as “molesting” Thicke but fail to mention any of the grinding that was done to Cyrus by Thicke (Staff).
There are valid reasons for Miley Cyrus to be criticized. The problem is that there is a difference in how Cyrus and Thicke are being discussed in the media, the biggest point being that Thicke is barely mentioned at all. One of the only articles to be found online that features of mentions Thicke specifically was written by Jon Caramanica of the New York Times. Caramanica wrote, “[…] allow Ms. Cyrus to sing part of his song while applying various of her body parts to various ones of Mr. Thicke’s. Mr. Thicke, no matter how ludicrous a suit he may choose to wear, will be helpless to overcome her” (Caramanica). The article focused on how Thicke was trying to make his way in the world of music when Cyrus forced herself on him.
The reasons why Thicke deserves to be criticized as much as or more than Cyrus are numerous. Thicke has been in the business for a lot longer than Cyrus; thus he should know better than to participate in a stunt like this. Thicke is married yet no one is condemning him for actual sexual towards a woman who is not his wife, in public and on national television. Thicke was not a helpless victim in this situation. As an adult man, he had the ability to simply walk away from whatever Cyrus was doing on stage. Perhaps most ironically, the Parents Television Council attacked MTV for “marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials” and yet fails to mention or criticize the parent that was dancing on Cyrus (Day). Thicke has a three-year-old son named Julian and Cyrus is on the same age away from Julian as she is from the older Thicke, yet no one has told Thicke to act like a parent.
Should it really be a surprize that the media is not critiszing the man who sings a song with the lyrics, “I know you want it / Can’t let it get past me / Talk about getting blasted” with a music video that literally has topless women walking around? Before the Video Music Awards and before Cyrus sang a duet with him, Thicke was getting away with being sexual when he set a song about “blurred lines” of sexual consent to a catchy tune. Thicke had an advantage over Cyrus because these actions had already been approved by the media. While the only controversial line in Cyrus’ song was the mention of “ecstasy,” Thicke’s entire song imposes male desire on women. It is unsurprising that he was not labled as the cause of the MTV scandal when nothing he did leading up to the Video Music Awards hindered his career. The media needs to stop demonizing women while letting their male counterparts get away with the same actions unscathed. A young, 20-year-old woman unfairly took the brunt of the media heat for an incident that took two to tango. Or should I say, two to twerk.


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Fashion Forward or Culturally Contrary?

“How unfortunate is it that my parents had to literally force me to wear beautiful parts of my culture because I was afraid of being ostracized, but Selena Gomez can take aspects of the clothing I grew up with and make money off of them? How unfortunate is it that South Asian immigrants and South Asian Americans are Otherized every single day for the way they look, talk, and dress, but Urban Outfitters continues to commodify and make a profit off the sale of bindis – as made popular by American pop stars?[..] My bindi is not a way for you to present yourself as being friendly to South Asian culture while exotifying it. My bindi is from my mother, put in my drawer because it is another mark of my internalized Otherness, on top of my brown skin. My bindi is tainted by Western celebrities trying to be “cultural” or “bohemian” or “tribal.” My bindi is not just a piece of plastic, my bindi is not for sale, and my bindi is not for you.”

— Anisha Ahuja (Source: Selena Gomez, What Are You Doing?)

selena gomez bindi

Using cultural props as a fashion statement without acknowledging the history and pain that go along with the traditional garb is disrespectful because it is minimizing the struggle that the culture went through and using the clothing but leaving the people in the dark. For example, the Indian bindi, as discussed above. Society wants to use an Indian tradition as a fashion trend but then they refuse to acknowledge actual Indian people such as Miss American 2013 Nina Davuluri. Nina Davuluri was insulted by numerous sources as not being American or deserving on winning because of her background.

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Another popular example is traditional Native American clothing. Stores such as Forever 21. On Columbus Day, Forever 21 had a sale on what they refer to as “tribal” clothing. As PolicyMic puts it, “Forever 21 had a sale to commemorate Columbus Day, as many other stores do. However, Forever 21 thought it would be a good idea to capitalize on Columbus Day by selling “Native American” themed items. Basically, Forever 21 commemorated the genocide of Native Americans by selling cheap, stereotypical goods that appropriate.” Forever 21 doubled down on their offensive actions.

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Another shocking clothing decision was made by Urban Outfitters. The Week described the situation, “Urban Outfitters put itself in the bad graces of Jewish groups in April 2012, after selling a T-shirt with a six-pointed star badge that, to some eyes, looks eerily like the Star of David patch Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, leading up to and during the Holocaust.”

african queen

And finally, there is the practice of “black face” in magazines and on models where non-African American people are painted so they appear to be another race. The above photo is a white model in French magazine who was painted to appear black in an “African” themed spread instead of the magazine using a model who was actually black.

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(photo source)

On a personal level, I joined a sorority recently and one of the results of accepting a bid to Greek life is the ability to wear the Greek letters that represent your organization. This seems to be something that American society respects so why can’t fashion and clothing companies respect race and foreign cultures?

At the bottom of it, the question on my mind is why are people representing a culture that is not theirs to represent? This confuses me, especially when there are people available to represent their own culture. Seeing available representatives but choosing to go with the white model to portray a culture that is not theirs is saying to the representative that, while society thinks their clothing is cool, the people behind the culture are not as great as white people. Yeouch. What a message to convey to people: I’ll take the fashion but not the person.


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History versus Herstory: How Gender Contributes To Story Details

During my Diversity class last week the male students were asked which words they associated with their gender. The answer that struck me the most was “trailblazer.” It unsettled me to entertain the idea that my world had been constructed by men. If the tools I use on a daily basis; my favorite books, movies, and television shows; and my role models throughout history were all men what does that mean for my future as a woman?  Because this concept of men creating my environment struck such a wrong note within me, I was led to question the validity of that statement, if only for my own sanity. I came to realize that the reason it seems like men made most of the major contributions to society is because of a very solid public relations campaign run by a very determined media directer: society.

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Source: A Historical Analysis of Women’s Oppression

I was reminded of a quote that seems to summarize this situation fully, “History is written by the winners.” Throughout America’s history men have overshadowed women, not just in the job market but also in the media. If women are ever seem to be dominating men it is done as a joke, so the viewers know how absurd the idea of it actually happening seems to the media. Women have been brainwashed by the media throughout history to believe that, not only are they currently less useful than men, but that it has been that way throughout history. The average history textbook in public schools fails to mention many revolutionary women. There are many reasons why and the case of sexism can be seen in many ways such as pen names.  Women were forced to write under pen names because they would not be published if they revealed themselves to be women. The Bronte sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne wrote under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. The quality of something does not change when the gender of the person who is said to have wrote it does but they could not be published under a female name.

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Source: Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (Patrick Michels /TexasObserver.com)

But women are making history by standing up for themselves in the twenty-first century, quite literally in Texas Senator Wendy Davis’ case. She, and other women, are getting the recognition they deserve from society by breaking down barriers that American media throughout history has built up brick by brick every year. They are gaining the respect and the equal media attention that they deserve and fighting for their rights. The problem is that the media is still focusing more on the color of her shoes than the content of her speech. Once again, a woman’s appearance is getting more publicity than her thoughts.

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Source:  Peace Monger

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote in 1976 that, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” What’s true is that women in general barely graced the American history books, although not for lack of effort. So, let us stop allowing the media to be the public relations specialist for the men in society. Do not let history repeat itself ladies, because, if it does, it will just be a long line of white men lined up trying to sell us low self-esteem and make overs, and honestly, we have had enough of that to last a lifetime. In our heels and our sneakers and any which way, we can blaze new trails.