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Rachel

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[08 Jun 2010|03:28pm]
If I were to ask you whether or not you thought women still faced oppression in our society, what would your answer be?  For me, maybe three years ago, I likely would have said that women, while not completely caught up to their male counterparts, enjoy the same freedoms as men.  However, in recent years, my eyes have been opened to the harsh reality that women still hold second-class citizenship in America.  In 2004, women earned about 76.5% of what men earned, and even women who never married earned only 94.2%.  Economically, it's clear that the cards are stacked for the boys--a fact even misogynists cannot deny.  But what about culture?  What about the things we encounter and experience on a daily basis?  It's more prevalent than you may realize.

What always gets me is the commercials.  Some of you may be familiar with the "Killing Us Softly" video series by Jean Kilbourne (this series changed my life and I highly recommend it.  It's available on YouTube.).  This series shows how women are defined and objectified by advertising, and despite any claim that one can simply tune out advertising, the fact of the matter is you can't.  One is bombarded with ads everywhere you go, and as Kilbourne points out, ads don't just sell products, but ideals and norms.  Turn on your TV for ten or fifteen minutes, let it go to commercial and just watch the ads.  Any cleaning product, whether it's Mr. Clean or Palmolive dish soap has a woman as the "cleaner".  I like to think there are men out there who like to pick up after themselves and have their homes be clean--so why can't they be shown mopping a kitchen floor?   The one that's really got me in a tizzy lately is one for ITT tech's Paralegal Program.  You may have seen my rant on FB where I point out that the paralegals in the commercial are all women and the lawyers are all men.  Call it an accident if you want, but I'm not buying, and you shouldn't either.

What's really bothersome, though, is the objectification of women.  I can barely stomach watching any commercial for alcohol, beers in particular, as it almost never fails to present me with some soft-core image of a woman with breasts larger than my head who will supposedly manifest if you buy and drink said alcoholic beverage.  First of all, if any man has had this happen, please do let me know, as I'll be sure to withdraw this statement.  But secondly and more importantly, such ads feed the hypersexual attitude that says we are all sexual beings--and nothing else.  Given, this stereotype is being given to men as well, which is something men should not take lying down.  However, we see the real prevalence in the image of women, particularly in these commercials, which are targeted for a male audience.

Taking this idea of objectification further, Jean Kilbourne discusses the connection between how women are portrayed in media and violence against women, citing that the first step in abusing a woman is to make her into an object, or something sub-human.  Given, men choose to rape and to abuse, no one forces them, and they must be held accountable for their own actions, but the fact that one in four women will be victim to some kind of sexual assault is a tough pill to swallow and showing images of women as purely sexual, passive beings does the cause for protecting women no favors. 

It's important to note, as well, the extreme heterosexist imagery seen in media.  Gay men are always portrayed as effeminate, less-than-masculine, oversexed stereotypes, reflecting only one image of the gay community and an image not to be taken seriously, but rather to be parodied and disrespected.  Gay women, if represented at all, are either hypermasculine or "lipstick" lesbians who tend to be less "gay" and more ambiguous in regards to sexual orientation, as the image often plays into the straight male fantasy of girl-on-girl action.  The gay community has reason to be upset, as they clearly have not been given the respect they have requested and which is due. 

And one cannot discuss any feminist theory without mentioning the implications of race.  One is still more likely to see a caucasian on TV than a black, Asian, Mexican or any other minority race individual.  It's proof of the continued white dominance that exists in America--the kind of white dominance that even having a half-black president can't change.

Where am I going with this?  That is up to you.  My point is simply to get you thinking and to realize that these are not things you should be content with.  Issues like these affect us daily and shape entire generations.  What will you do to stop it?

6 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

It's time you heard from me... [24 Mar 2010|11:38am]
I try to avoid angry political rants here, but I have to say something regarding health care because it is near and dear to my heart. 

Please stop getting upset about everyone having health care.  Because you have no fucking clue what you're talking about.  It's really easy for those who can afford to be insured to crash city hall meetings and rant and rave about having public health care, but until you've been there--until you've understood what it's like to be sick, know you're sick, feel yourself getting sicker and yet not be able to get medical care, then you need to shut your ugly mouth.  Millions of people--fucking millions of people--Americans, in WESTERN SOCIETY, do not have access to health care and drive themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt because they had to choose between debt and death.  What these Republican morons don't understand, or rather don't choose to tell you, is that it is exactly these people who drive up the cost of health care.  Don't get me wrong, I do not blame these people.  We would all do the same thing to save our lives or the lives of our children.  But the fact of the matter is, these people can't afford to pay off their debt to hospitals and doctors, and so they go to court, file for bankruptcy and have the debt wiped off the record.  This is only natural.  How the hell can a working class mother of two pay a 40,000 dollar hospital bill?  She can't--so she does what she needs to to survive.  This means, however, that the hospitals don't get their money, which means they're in the hole, which means they have to drive up the cost of everything, meaning that insurances have to charge you up the ass for something as innocuous as a cottonball.

The fact of the matter is, these Republicans who talk until they're blue in the face about the sanctity of life and how every embryo is sacred have no respect at all for the life of a human being after they have exited the womb.  Sanctity of life?  Let us go to the fucking doctor when we're sick!  That way we won't die of something totally curable.

Alex Belz, I don't know if you're reading this, but I know that your mother died senselessly because we did not have something in place to help her.  We have a chance now of saving people like your mom who have no health care and who need help. 

For God's sake, this is America, look at all the shit we can do and have done.  We're a powerhouse of planet with amazing opportunities.  This is monumental.  And for those of you who bitch and moan about this amazing advance in our society, well, fuck you
2 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

[03 Feb 2010|04:54pm]
It's definitely been forever since I've updated, but that's mostly because I lack motivation do so. My anxiety is basically non existent and I've been feeling on top of the world lately.

I got my acceptance letter from MSU on Monday. In July, I will start my Master's program there and I couldn't be happier! School and internship are going swimmingly and my relationship is also very good. I cannot complain.

I think the only reason I finally decided to update is because I am sitting in an extremely boring social policy class right now and there is nothing better to do.

I am thankful for what I have. :-)
1 thought| So, any thoughts?

[03 Jul 2009|08:26pm]
I've announced it via twitter and facebook, but the dear old friend that is my livejournal must not be neglected:

I am engaged!  Dave proposed and I happily accepted.

If the last entry had you stumped--engagement was the thing I was talking about.  But I feel good about it and we're taking things nice and slow.
3 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

[11 Feb 2009|08:40am]
[ mood | meh ]

I dislike the new job already, after three hours of training, it already sucks.  I got burned by a heat lamp and by the end I was exhausted.  Good news is, I interviewed for a volunteer position at the women's aid shelter.  A friend of mine got a job there through her volunteering.  I'm hoping the same opportunity will open up for me.  The supervisor there said it might. 

I'm not a food service person, really.  Retail has always been a better setting for me, but there just are no retail jobs right now.  People can't afford shit--with the exception of coney dogs and greasy french fries.  That's where I come in.

You know, I look back at old entries and think, "man, I complained a lot".  Well, in a couple years, I'll look back at this and think the same thing.


And they watched her working,
oiling the machines
She was hoping to earn an audition,
hoping to earn a superhero cape.

2 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

Dude Looks Like a Lady--Not Really [04 Jan 2009|12:52am]
I find the way you rest your eyes,
as you lie fettered to the night,
makes me lose my inhibition
and my readiness for flight.
And when you wake I pray you find,
in every facet of the day,
the same joy I found in watching you,
in knowing my heart might never stray.
So, any thoughts?

[30 Dec 2008|04:40pm]
I have some kind of illness.  It's pretty bad, but I'm not going to the doctor just yet.

At least this didn't happen during school.
So, any thoughts?

[27 Dec 2008|09:46pm]
Did you ever suddenly realize that you no longer know someone?

That people actually do change?

That you can't control any of it?

Yeah, I'm there.
2 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

Merry Christmas [25 Dec 2008|12:49am]
Merry Christmas, Everyone!

So far, it's been pretty good.
So, any thoughts?

[14 Dec 2008|12:52am]
[ mood | cranky ]

So, I've basically been "laid off" from Party City until they receive more hours from corporate.  Hopefully they will when it gets closer to Christmas.  I hate that I might not be able to work this Christmas season.  My parents want me to go find anther job, but who's gonna hire someone for 3 weeks?  What a mess.  I will look, more or less to appease them, but let's be real: the economy sucks and the likelihood of me finding something is practically nil. 

I'm watching SNL right now.  Kanye West CANNOT sing.

I'm so glad the semester is over.  Now, if they'd just hurry up and post the grades...

Whateverrr....



So, any thoughts?

[08 Dec 2008|03:36pm]
So keep your coffee table art
If you won't have my stoic heart.
Like on all those new TV shows;
The character that's last to know.
Double entendre won't flatter me,
A radio star or your bedroom key.
So keep your thoughts on love and art
if you won't have my stoic heart.
So, any thoughts?

[07 Dec 2008|01:52pm]
I want to send out Christmas cards...
So, any thoughts?

[02 Dec 2008|11:02pm]
So I've decided to go home for the funeral tomorrow.  I tied up all my loose ends and made it so I could get away for 24 hours to see family and friends during a sad time.  It's important.  Hell, I don't even have that much more work to do.  This finals season isn't nearly as bad as I thought.  An eight page paper is really the hardest part, and that's not even that hard.

I'm happy that I'll get to see Sarah.  It's really hard never seeing your best friend.  I get so frustrated because I know that I'm a person who is hard to really "understand".  Sarah is one of few who does understand me and I hate this only seeing each other once a year thing.  It effing blows.

Here's hoping that the weather isn't too bad and that I get there and back safely.

Peeeeace out.
So, any thoughts?

[24 Nov 2008|05:47pm]
Love me famous
Make the times
like fight and flight
which undermines
the raw emotion
in you I see--
that ghostly encounter
you knew was me.

I want to be that lampshade girl
who shines not on her own.
Veiling the brightness of my source;
too bright to view alone.
I have not taste, nor intellect,
to illuminate my world,
but rather than live in a dark, dark place
I'll be that lampshade girl.


Nothing like a little Monday night snow poetry.
4 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

Holy Crap [21 Nov 2008|08:33pm]
[ mood | stressed ]

To Do:
-Three homework assignments for Soc 200 due Monday
-Read an entire German short story
-Write a German essay (due Wed)
-Write a cross cultural interview response, 5-7pages
-Write a report on county commissioner meeting, 3-5 pages
-Start research for Humanistic/Person-centered theory paper

That, is my weekend.

I feel sick.  I think it's stress.

I don't get a Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

But I am watching Wall-E.

So, any thoughts?

[13 Nov 2008|09:42pm]
I cannot bring myself to do that German reading right now.  Reading five pages in German is like reading twenty in English--and then I still only understand 75% of it.  How is it that I have stuck with this language so long?  Good God.  Please just let this semester end already.  I'm so sick of school right now...

Also, this semester has gone by without me having a job.  NOT good.  How the hell am I supposed to buy people shit for Christmas?  And it's not like I just can't buy people stuff because they buy stuff for me.  Gah!

On a side note, I have low self-esteem.  I am a weird girl and I know I'm a weird girl, but if it wasn't for my constant need to compare myself to others I know I'd be happy just like I am. 

How refreshingly high school of me.  *sigh*
2 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

[12 Nov 2008|11:39am]
The semester ends in less than a month, and it's official: I am freaking out.
So, any thoughts?

Update [10 Nov 2008|02:37pm]
Yeah, it's been a really long time since I updated.  I have some venting to do that I can't do on facebook because there are just too many people on it.

German.  The German language.  It's been a part of my life since eighth grade.  We've been together through good times and bad, through thick and thin, and through nearly every semester of college.  I love German.  My ability to speak it is part of my identity and I take great pride in that.  It's also my minor, and I'm always getting weird looks from people because I'm studying Social Work and German, but I don't care.  It's my money and I'll study what I damn well please.  This semester, I have a rather infamous German teacher, Dr. Jones.  He's very smart and you can definitely learn a lot from him, assuming he likes you and assuming that you're immune to heartless sarcasm and smart-ass remarks.  I haven't really minded Dr. Jones too much all semester because I've stayed on his good side and done well in his class (kind of).  Friday, however, he made a condescending comment about me to another student and it just rubbed me the wrong way, as it should have.  I guess now that it's getting to the end of the semester, I'm a little tired of his attitude.  Can't I just come to class and learn without being made to feel like an idiot?  I'm not an idiot.  The only reason he knows more German is because he has a PhD in it and because he's been doing this longer than I've been alive--that does not make him smarter.  It just makes him older and more in debt than me.  Whatever.  I was supposed to have a class with him next semester because in order to minor, you have to finish all the language classes and take two cultural classes.  He teaches German cultural history, but I don't think I can deal with him for another semester, especially when everyone I know who is in his class says it is as hard as all get out.  No thanks--I'm getting toward the end of my college career and I do not feel like dedicating that kind of time to pointless shit I will never use.  I like the language--not the bullshit. Instead, I'm going to take German for business.  I know, I know, it has nothing to do with anything I'm studying, but it's with a teacher I love who likes me a lot and who will give me an A for hard work--not perfection.  I want to graduate with a high GPA.  So, screw you, Dr. Jones and your pretentious attitude.  I have better things to do with my time than sit in your class and wish I was somewhere else.

On another note, having to do with German, I have been offered an opportunity to study abroad for a year in Germany.  It's a fully scholarship and if I would be willing to become a double major, I could pretty much win the scholarship guaranteed.  Sounds like a great opportunity right?  Well, it is.  The application is due Friday, everyone is telling me to do it, but I don't think I'm going to.  I don't think it's what I want, despite what I thought initially when I found out about it.  It's a whole year and you don't even stay with a host family.  You're by yourself at a German university with classes all in German.  You don't choose where you get to go--the federation chooses for you.  I don't know, I just don't think it's what I want.  What good is a great opportunity if it's not what you want?  I'll let someone else have it.  Someone who really wants it.  I think I would like to graduate from CMU and go on to grad school as planned.  Call me crazy--and maybe I am.  Years ago, I vowed to do only what I wanted and not what other people wanted me to do.  That's exactly what I'm doing now.  I will likely never use German after college, which is sad, but I just don't think I want to spend a year abroad.  I don't know that opportunities like that are right for me.  We'll see.

Other than the above, life is actually very good.  It's getting cold and soon it will be Thanksgiving.  I look forward to the much needed time off.  I hope you all are well.

Later.
2 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

[03 Jul 2008|02:52pm]
Haven't updated in awhile, and there's not much new other than my recently accrued illness.  Yes, I have a sinus infection in July.  Yuck.

Work is more of the same.

I'm looking forward to getting back to school.  I was looking at my schedule a while back and realized that some of my classes actually sound kind of fun.  I bought stuff for my apartment and have taken care of all financial aid.  I'm basically set.  In another six weeks or so, I'll quit work and move back up to Mt. Pleasant for another year at CMU.  I love college.  I really, really do.

Things that still need doing:

-Go to the waterpark
-Go to the zoo
-Have wisdom teeth out (it's in the works)
-Get my scraggly hair cut

...ohhh, and call Sarah Drews.
So, any thoughts?

[18 Jun 2008|11:15pm]
So, work sucks.  No, this is not an epiphany of any sort.  I spent today (and must spend the next three days) price ticketing every single item in the Party America store of Madison Heights.  Whether you knew this or not, Party City (my company) is now one with Party America.  We're still two separate stores and all that, but we're all related.  Anywho, Party America of Madison Heights had a customer who complained about an incorrectly priced item, and she felt the need to call the Bureau of Weights and Measure.  The Bureau came in, did an audit, and said that every item needs to be priced.  So, one or two people from every store in the district spent today and will spend the next two days pricing that entire store.  Let me just tell you that it is a total nightmare and I cannot wait to return to my store and my regular job.  Ugggghh!

Also, Sarah Drews is apparently lonesome.  Miss ya babe!
2 thoughts| So, any thoughts?

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