Saturday, April 17, 2010

Object Lessons: Romance, Violation, and Female Adolescent Sexual Desire

Object Lessons: Romance, Violation, and Female Adolescent Sexual Desire

By: Deborah L. Tolman

In this reading Deborah interviews a 16 year old girl named Isabel who is considered "asexual" because she's white and middle class. Deborah picks Isabel from that background because females who are considered "asexual" are not in tuned with their sexuality.

While interviewing Isabel, Deborah decided to use a tool called: The Listening Guide which shows the difference between the researcher speaking and the researcher participant speaking. In the beginning of the interview, Isabel decides to compare herself to the character Celie from The Color Purple when she found herself. "And then all of a sudden one day, she sort of like broke the bonds just by, I mean broke um, this whole uh fear she had of herself, just by looking, she had like a mirror and she was just looking at her vagina, and just broke everything."

Throughout the reading it seemed as though whenever Isabel was asked a question she could not fully respond or give a truthful answer. For example when Deborah asked her if she felt sexy, she couldn't quite answer the question but answered by stating what she felt others thought of her. I feel like when she was asked what it feels like to be sexy that she was being kind of sarcastic a bit by her answer. "Oh, it's so wonderful. And sometimes, like once in awhile, on a really good day, when I'm in a very good mood, it happens in real life, where I just feel sexy and I know that everyone must be looking at me. "

I understood every point that Deborah was making in the reading but one thing that stood out to me tht I didn't quite understand was the point of being quiet. At the end of the reading in Deborah's conclusion she states that opening up when educating the girls about sexual health but not just teaching them the basic things but by also letting them know how our sexuality can make us more resilient and by helping them find their exotic voices so that they are "no longer dependable for bearing the responsibility to control boys' 'raging hormones' ".

I just feel as though not telling young females or teaching females more about sexuality and being more open is just going to continue to make society the same, by having males be more dominant in everything. For example, masturbation, how for females it is hardly seen because it isn't 'ladylike' or its 'dirty' but when it comes to males it is seen as a transition in puberty or even humorous. I feel like keeping certain information away from younger females does not help become in tune with their sexual side.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Glee...hmm words cannot express how I feel about the show but I must be honest, I had to watch it twice before I could even write this post.

The first time I watched it, I watched it just to watch it. As if I was at home by myself, surfing through the channels and found this interesting show. The beginning was a bit confusing with the introduction of the characters but as the show went on it got rather interesting. I really loved how Will wanted to take over the Glee club because it was something he loved, I hated how his wife wasn't supportive and how the principal and the cheerleading coach and football coach didn't believe in him except for the quiet, kind of weird teacher. As the show continues and Finn ditches his football team for the glee club, I can feel myself excited for joy because there he was trying to make a change by being a leader and not a follower, someone who actually wanted to go for what he believed in. And the ending of the show made me fall in love (as a viewer), from the great musical performance to Will coming back realizing that being a teacher and teaching Glee club was something he loved and I can honestly say I would have continued watching the show from there.

The second time watching it that's when I realized the stereotypes. From the lesbian girl not saying much, to the black girl being in the background with an amazing voice, has an southern accent and plays the role of a black, sassy woman. I felt as though the show tried to bring out all these kids from different parts of the high school and put them into once place where they can be all equal, that was one good thing I saw from watching this show but I still feel as though no matter what type of show it is, there will always be a "hot" young male and an attractive female given the lead roles.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hip Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization

Hip Hop, Mass Media and 21 Century Colonization was the topic of Dr Jared Bell's statement on Hip Hop and how he feels it is colonzied.

In this reading, some things I understood is how Bell perceived anything that is "popular" as a fraudulent. He goes on to say that Black America is colonized and Hip Hop keeps the people colonized and is a result of it. He goes on to give three points. The first point he made was that in the Black America, black people are held living in the projects. Secondly, black people are held to live in these conditions to show the country's source of cheap labor which leads to the third point being raw materials, specifically hip hop. In this situation there are often cases of violence and bad judgement towards women which is often portrayed in the music videos. "Understood properly we would note that corporations are themselves legal entities that give sanction and anonymity to those involved in the process of protecting the ruling elite. Therefore, their ability to sign (via contract), promote, disseminate, etc. the cultural expression of the colonized allows them to determine the direction or content in most popular hip-hop."

Bell goes on to say that today's media is more "pervasive, powerful and is capable of maintenace of colonialism than at any other time in world history". He also goes on to say that in a society where a culture is used a primary component and then becomes considered as a "pop culture" is fraudulent. He goes into saying that with the popularity of hip hop today it still has done nothing to improve Black America's wealth, health care, education or even imprisonment. "In fact, the popularity of hip-hop is used to deny these conditions or explain them as natural to the conditions of African America. It is not to the people that these conditions are natural but, instead, to the condition of being colonized."

Here are two videos on Hip Hop and America, there are other parts but here are some I found interesting.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coming of Age with the Internet

McMillian and Morrison: "Coming of Age with the Internet"

As I started reading this article, to be quite honest my mind went into its own world. I found the article to be a bit boring but after reading the article I do agree with the points made. Teenagers are using the internet for about everything. But yet they are not alone, I believe that the internet is something everyone is connected to and can be addicted to it. I myself am addicted to the internet, if I'm not looking up information for a class on wikipedia or on facebook or checking my email to keep in touch with friends or family, I am doing something on the internet. Although the internet has its negatives and positives, I feel as though there are more positives towards the internet. One positive it is a great way to keep in touch with others, like my father uses Facebook to keep in touch with his family in Africa and sends emails to keep in touch with his friends in the US. A negative is how the internet can influence the young teens, like my younger brother is addicted to the internet, uses it for educational information and personal interest. I feel as though the internet gives people the chance to be someone they're not. Have the chance to speak about a certain topic or what about something their passionate about, like starting a blog or writing fictional stories. In today's society, the internet has a bigger impact on people than it did when it first started.

Here's a video from the Tyra Banks Show an episode called: I'm Addicted to the Internet

Monday, February 15, 2010

Girls Negotiating Adolescence by Raby

"The problem of adolescence for teenagers is that they must demonstrate maturity and responsibility if they are to move out of this stigmatized status, and yet because adolescence is conceived as a time of irresponsibility and lack of maturity, they are given few opportunities
to demonstrate these qualities which are essential for their admission as adults."

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence was an informational reading based on an experiment that Raby did to show the difference of teenagers/adolescence by interviewing grandmothers and granddaughters that are related. She found her research by using the following topics: the storm, becoming, at-risk, social problem and pleasurable consumption.

"The Storm" was described as when teens are going towards experimentation and risk taking. The metaphor used for the storm was "wild wind or turbulent water as ways to understand
adolescence can be found in early and current academic works on adolescence". Raby used this section to describe when teenagers go through puberty, hormonal changes and growth.

"Becoming" is described as self discovery or identity formation. In this section, Raby uses quotes from the teen girls to state their opinion on the identity of teens. From the four quotes given, I liked how Vienna stated her opinion,"they assume that all teenagers rebel just because this is the age when we start to become our own person. Like 12, 13 you really start thinking about things for yourself and not necessarily doing everything that your parents do, you know? Becoming more independent."

"At-Risk" was the section that went through the concern of drugs and alcohol, depression, eating disorders and so on. Raby shows in this section that teens are at risk because they try so hard to be like what is "in". And with that, they inquire stress and pressure from others for trying to be someone they're not.

"Social Problem" is discussed as teens being a problem for their parents and the society. "The ‘social problem’ approach is linked to other discourses of adolescence that frame teens as independent risk takers going through the same changes that teenagers always did, but in a more dangerous environment than in the past."

And finally, "Pleasurable Consumption" defines how teens are exposed to media, high fashion, entertainment, etc. Raby goes into how teens are courted as the "high-consumer group" because of everything they happen to see that is targeting their age group.

From reading the whole passage, the quotes by the teenage girls and grandmothers, in this society teenagers are seen as "aliens". I say this because after reading Raby and reading the quotes from the girls, it shows that all teens are judged based on certain characteristics that adults or the world see but sadly enough not all teens are rebellious or rude or sex-craved. But because that is what is seen majority of the time from some teenagers, that's how teens are identified. Out of the whole reading, the quote first posted stood out to me because in my eyes I feel that is so true. Teenagers have to act older than they are, more mature and more responsible in order to not be categorized as the "normal teen".

Towards the end of the reading I enjoyed the quote by Vienna because I feel as though in some way society may be contradicting themselves because they expect teenagers to act mature and responsible and "act their own age" but when they do, their considered rebellious because they want to be their own person. "I mean I think a lot of kids sort of rebel because society expects us to. And I mean I think that a lot of the time … just sort of being our own people is interpreted as rebelling against our parents and I think it’s just, I mean they assume that all teenagers rebel just because this is the age when we start to become our own person."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Media Literacy

According to Wikipedia, Media Literacy is defined as the process of analyzing, evaluating and creating messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres and forms. With my headphones in my ear listening to the latest tunes and texting at the same time and surfing the net while I'm suppose to be doing my work, I realized I myself am a victim of media literacy. Not only does media literacy affect teens but people all over the world. I'm affected by which music is in to listen to, which cell phone is the most popular and best to have and constantly checking other websites to find out celeb gossip or something interesting. Media Literacy affects everyone but at the end of the day, it targets the youth the most. As I googled "media literacy" I found two youtube videos of teenage females who were attacking the media for telling them what they should look like and how they should act towards one another and it made me feel good because there were actually teenage girls who saw how the media targeted them and did not like it. But yet there are other teenage girls out there who don't think the same and feel it is right to follow what magazines, television and celebrities do or say.

Lastly the last video that I post on here, I feel made the most effect on Media Literacy. It shows who and what children idolize and what they follow and I felt that this video is such a powerful one because it labels the truth. From celeb photos to magazine ads.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us by Linda Christensen

Unlearning the Myths that Binds Us by Linda Christensen is something every parent or adult that lives with a child should read. Linda Christensen goes in depth of the "secret education". One quote that stuck out to me in the very beginning of the reading was: "When we read children's books, we aren't just reading cute little stories, we are discovering the tools with which a young society is manipulated." After finishing the Christensen reading all I could think of is my little cousins and my niece whom every time I'm with them I often just change the channel to cartoons to keep them quiet, not realizing that the cartoons are having an effect on their lives. When I was younger watching cartoons was my hobby. In school I was always anxious to go home because as soon as I did, I would watch cartoons. So after reading Christensen and seeing all the cartoons I watched when I was younger be interpreted, my eyes opened and I began to realize certain points and be like oh my, that was my favorite scene or that was my favorite character, I remember just watching certain cartoon shows because it was is at school or that was what everyone was watching and I didn't want to feel left out. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was one of my favorite cartoon movies and after reading Christensen it reminded me of a scene from the movie which was Valiant being introduced to Jessica Rabbit. And after watching it recently it just baffled me to see how older men were going crazy for this cartoon female because of her body shape. But then I thought, she's suppose to be a rabbit but yet has no rabbit like features but her husband Roger does.

So my question to everyone is: What do you do if you see a relative watching a cartoon that is negative, sexist, or racist? How can you stop a child from watching a cartoon show that he/she has began to love so much?

My 16 year old brother to this day still watches cartoon shows that are negative in many ways but yet I know it would be difficult for me to stop him from watching because in his eyes its just "entertainment" when it is something completely different.