Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 11: Becoming a Feminist

For the first part of class we talked about feminism and abortion. We started off the class with watching Dreamworlds3, a documentary film on music videos. We watched parts on how women are portrayed in music videos and how famous women become trapped in this pornographic image. In music videos, women are seen merely as objects of desire for the viewing male. The camera pans the woman's body, women touch themselves in a sexual manner, women seem to like being watched, and they try to call a man's attention. These women in music videos are seen as objects and not as human beings. Music videos, of all music genres, objectify women and this has become a norm. People like, Sut Jhally, the writer, editor, and narrator of Dreamworlds3 is trying to stop this from becoming normal.
My class notes

Famous women have become trapped in this pornographic image. They come up with new ways to represent their image and the only thing that seems to be acceptable of women in this industry is to present themselves sexually. Beyonce came out with a female empowerment song with the lyrics, "Who runs the world? Girls!" While she was singing these lyrics she was wearing a revealing outfit and dancing between men's legs. Do you see the contradiction? And some stars like Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera start out as innocent or appealing to younger fans, and in order to "grow up" in the industry become sexualized. The Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera we know today sexualize and objectify themselves in their music videos.

After the documentary, we had a guest speaker, Doctor Susan Schewel, speak to us about abortion. We first watched a film on abortion and people who are for it and against it. The people who support legalizing abortion are known as Pro-Choice, while the people opposing it are known as Pro-Life. The video was very interesting and informative. Most of the people who were Pro-Life in the video were men, young people, and religious, particularly Christian. The people who were Pro-Choice were typically women and people who had been involved with abortions. Statistics claim that one in three women will have an abortion by the time they are forty-five years old, and that not legalizing abortion does not decrease abortion rates. It seems that both sides, particularly the Pro-Life side, do not seem to understand each others views. I say this because at one point in the video a Pro-Life male was asked, "Why do you think a woman would want to have an abortion?" Stumbling, he said, " Um...well, I don't know. I am not a woman [chuckles]. But, um, I have never thought about that."

My class notes
For the second part of class, we watched another part of Dreamworlds3 which explored men's roles in music videos and their portrayal of control. Men in music videos try to control women and do not handle rejection well. And example is "Eat You Alive" by Limp Bizkit where he kidnapped the girl who rejected him, and Justin Timberlake stalking his ex girlfriend in "Cry Me a River." Masculinity is seen as having power and control over a passive female in these music videos. Being constantly bombarded with these images can lead to verbal and physical violence in real life. Such as cat calls thrown at women, or the sexual assault case at the Puerto Rican Pride Parade in NY in the year 2000, and the case at Mardi Gras in 2001. Women were stripped and sexually assaulted. People are aghast and outspoken when things like this happen, but do not say much when the same thing happens in a music video. Music videos do not only objectify women, but are violent and disrespectful towards women. Demeaning things are said towards women, drinks are thrown on women, they are pushed, spanked, and put in cages. The objectification of women takes away the woman's humanity justifying whatever is done to them.

There is abuse happening in other cultures that aren't exposed to this music culture, but media does play a big part. Statistics show that over one million women are stalked by their intimate partners, one in five college females will experience rape or attempted rape, one in six females are sexually assaulted, and every two and a half minutes a woman has been raped. These statistics are effected by the fact that not many rape victims are open about their experiences.

Afterwards, we talked more in length about rape and assault and played a Jeopardy game related to this topic. Then we watched the film "Miss Representation." The film explored the media and how it has portrayed women in society. Women have become depressed at younger and younger ages because they are made to feel as if they must reach a certain standard of beauty to get the approval of men. In films portraying "strong" women, they are always boss's who gave up the idea of love and family in order to be successful. Throughout the movie they are brought down a peg by their employee(s), i.e. "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Proposal." This is not a recurring theme with men in film. Also, movies are all about men and their lives. Movies that focus on a woman's life is called a "chick flick," and even those movies focus on men or getting a man. This is a male obsessed society, even though females make up 51% of our country. The film was justification and more proof of what we have learned today.

Today was very enriching and I enjoyed it a lot. I was glad our class was exposed to this information. I wish that people I know from my school could have taken today's class, because I feel what we learned was very relevant to young people of today.

No comments:

Post a Comment