Saturday, August 8, 2009
Breazeale, Kenon. “In Spite of Women; Esquire Magazine and the Construction of the Male Consumer.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media 2003:230-242.
- Helped with the screenwriting.
- Actress( the "bimbo" w/ huge boobs
- helped with the dressing of the actors
Friday, July 24, 2009
Women & Gender Studies
Blog Assignment #2
What’s wrong with a smart and independent woman?
Advertisements targets today’s teens with what it means to be sexy. In the society we live in the definition of a sexy woman is someone who is not smart, depends on a man for everything, and is completely naked. These images portray women as silenced, caged up like animals, and controlled by a society of over powering men. In the following movie and articles “Killing Us Softly 3 Advertising images of women”, “The Unreal World” Jennifer L. Pozner, “Teen Mags: How to get a Guy, Drop 20 pounds, and Lose your Self-Esteem” Anastasia Higginbotham discuss the fabricated notion of what a typical woman should look and act like to work her way to the top. There have been some changes within the advertising industry but we have a long way to go.
Driving or walking you can see ads everywhere. Most of time we take a quick glimpse of the ads and move on with our lives and not looking into what the image is trying to sell. Especially in the hip-hop and R&B industry which clearly objectify women. Advertisers place these fabricated images of girls in the magazines and teach them how they can “Feel” beautiful. The movie “Killing Us Softly 3” by Jean Killbourne she discusses how women are “silenced” and are victims of violence and portray women to be “trapped and succumb to very rigid roles” (Killing Us Softly movie). In the collage you see a picture of multiple guys and one woman and you can infer what the consumers were trying to sell. These images give power to men and keep women dependent on men to raise their status to the top. If you ever notice after a female is feature in a video or a magazine like “King” for example that woman is praised for being half naked on the cover. This causes the attention that she was striving for to now focus on that woman. In addition to women being silenced they are also victims of violence in these images women are told to be “passive while men are shown as active” (killing us softly movie) in these images you see pictures of women portraying objects like the man sleeping with the woman who’s head was completely disabled and replaced with a car. With this image although it is also an example of silencing them because it’s almost as women do not exist, therefore their opinions are not important. Ads are starting to change, but we still have some time to go before men and women are equal when it comes to advertising.
In addition to silencing women and totally objectifying them, most girls look at the cover of most magazines and they try to immolate what they see. If there to fat, to skinny, or do not have the cup size that are displayed there are always tips on how to get the “perfect body”. In the article, “Teen Mags: How to get a Guy, Drop 20 pounds, and Lose your Self-Esteem” Anastasia Higginbotham she talks about the low self-esteem these girls develop because they do not have that perfect body to get the ideal “guy” that they want. According to Higginhotham, “Ugliness is next to nothingness and a girl with insufficient interest in boys is referred to as a “deserted island,” yet one who is too sexy is also in trouble” (Higginbotham 94). I agree with her because I hear a lot of women talk about how they are disgusted with women degrading themselves with the way they dress. They call these women a bad influence on teens, but the problem with this is the industry expose these women constantly with their messages but we seem to ignore the ads. For example, these ads humiliate women on a daily basis, but when Janet Jackson’s boob accidentally popped out during half-time the world had uproar as if something was wrong. They totally ignored the fact that women are half naked in videos and on your local bulletin. If we can speak up about one lousy boob that was out for five minutes then we can speak out about the images you see in my collage. Furthermore, Higginbotham goes on to say, “Girls are encouraged to love their bodies, no matter what they look like, by magazines with fashion spreads featuring only stick-thin, flawless faced white models in expensive outfits” (Higginbotham 95). I love this quote because the magazines as well as the music industry contradict themselves daily. If girls are taught to love their skin color, their weight, and their height, why the most dominating women are are the ones who sleep to get to the top, allow themselves to be photo shopped to look perfect, and are told to be sexy but not smart.
This brings me to my next issue no one likes a “Brainiac in a Bikini” as Jennifer Pozner states in her article “The Unreal World”. If you are too smart and you don’t depend on a man to do everything for you then you must be from another society. Women are afraid to step out and be powerful because they are afraid of how men would look at them. Most women after looking at the images in magazines desire the attention from men. The attention they are looking for is the wrong type of attention. Pozner states, Yet when women aren’t embarrassingly stupid, they’re condemned for being smart: Just before elimination medical student Elyse from UPN’s America’s next top model host Tyra Banks chided, “one thing with [your] intelligence is that it can intimidate people”(Pozner 97). Therefore, indicating this woman who desires to be a model to gain respect will never be respected by men because of her educational background. This raises the question of what is wrong with being sexy and independent. In hit song “miss independent” written and sung by Ne Yo he brought a whole new way of thinking and is starting this revolution of a woman being beautiful and smart. His lyrics consist of, “She don't expect nothing from no guy She plays agressive, but she still shy But you never know her softer side By lookin in her eyes No way she can do for herself Makes me wanna give her my world” (Miss Independent). This was the best song to come out because watching the video and listening to the lyrics made every woman feel like they can be smart and be sexy at the same time. In the Video he had the women dressed up as independent lawyers and it was an all girl work place. This is something you rarely see in the media.
We need more men like him and more women like Michelle Obama to show young girls beauty is what you make of it. If we had more advertising companies showing how beauty women are with whatever features they were blessed with it would limit to violence in men. It would give girls the confidence to be themselves. After Ne Yo’s ablum was released year of the gentlemen more guys started to realize that they desire independent women because Ne Yo captivated the audience with the video and the lyrics. It was sexy, smart, and it showed women in a differently way then we’ve ever seen before.
Anastasia Higginbotham.“Teen Mags: How to get a Guy, Drop 20 pounds, and lose your self esteem
Sut Jhally.Killing us Softly 3.Media Education Foundation,1999.
Jennifer L. Pozner. “The Unreal World” (96-99)
Other list of websites:
http://images.nymag.com/daily/fashion/090209_details.jpg http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&um=1&sa=1&q=women+being+objectified&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq =
Friday, July 17, 2009
Keshia Nicole Owens
Blog post assignment 1
The evolution of Hegemony: The good, The Bad, and The Ugly
When most people think of a nerd they think of smart, unattractive, and white. Most people think this way because there were few shows that depicted African Americans as intelligent. Media has come a long way, but still have some things that should be ironed out. During the 90’s there were shows like “Family Matters”, and the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” as well as many others that broke the barriers of the stereotypical “white nerd”. In the media, people who are book smart are perceived to have “gay” tendencies because of their appearance and their desire for education as well as there “feminine aspects”.
To begin with, Steve Urkel is a young African American who is in love with science just as much as he is in love with Laura who in his eyes in the most beautiful woman on this earth. To fit into the societies definition of Masculine a man must be strong athletic and have some knowledge. Urkel struggles with winning Laura’s heart without transforming into his suave clone Stefan. Stefan is the idealistic man of what it means to be masculine. Masculinity in this world is the guy who looks overly attractive and macho enough to not fit the definition of what it means to be “queer”. Not only is the media portraying what it means to be a woman, it is also taking on the idea of oppression in a whole new way. In the article, “Patriarchy, The system an it, Not a He, a Them, or an Us” by Allan Johnson looks at how the “system” (92) is Controlling us. What he is trying to convey in his aricle is that patriarchy doesn’t mean the oppression and dominance of men it can go both way:
To have power over and to be prepared to use it are defined culturally as good and desirable (and characteristically “masculine”), and lack such power or to be reluctant to use it is seen as weak if not contemptible (characteristically “feminine”) (Johnson).
To Laura is oppressive towards Urkel because of her preference in a “normal” guy. As Urkel transform into Stefan she becomes attractive to him because of his looks and he is not as clumsy as Urkel. Therefore, the producer of Family Matters only proves Johnsons theory that society or better yet the “system” has designed male and female roles, by using Urkel to jokingly humiliate females, “we’re involved in patriarchy and its consequences because we occupy social positions in it, which is all it takes” (Johnson). Thus we as a society partake in patriarchy, male and female. To say that patriarchy just involves men would be an underlying statement.
In addition, Urkels character not only put down women, his role as a male is also questionable in the sitcom. In the article, “portraying Difference” by Newman he explores the language of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Newman talks alot about the language that is used to describe people and the authentic images that are created to separate the male and female gender, "Media images of males and females have a strong influence on children's perceptions and behaviors" (Newman). Therefore, any child watching this show would automatcially place them selves into the characters shows. A young male watching the show would want to identify himself with "mr. cool" also known as stefan because of his masculine ways. A young female watching this show would related to Laura becasue of her pretty attributes and because she is a cheerleader. A gay male watching this show would be confused because Laura and Urkel both display societies mixed up definition of what it means to be a woman. In addition, this fabricated chracterisic of men being macho is often misleading in the media. According to Newman, "textbooks still primarily portray males as aggressive, argumentative, and competive" (newman). In fact in one of the episodes Mr. Cool starts to argue with Laura and the producers show that as a sign of aggression and Laura tend to like it. On the other hand, a young woman watching the show will get false information on how a man should treat her.
To conclude, The good part about Family matters is it shows a whole other side of patriarchy. The ugly part is the producers should have made it clear that no woman wants a man that is entirely macho and can't think. The bad part about this show is Urkel is played by the same chracter to me that is a contradiction of masculinity.
Newman, David M.. Identities and Inequalities. 1. McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print.
Johnson, Allan G.. It's Not Just about Gender. 1. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997. Print.