Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Web Discovery #5

The idea of advertisement and the use of cultural stereotypes within these commercials has also been a hot topic. I had found a blog dedicated to advertisements, but I wanted to find more. As I perused the Internet for more information, I came across the National Organization for Women Foundation. ( Let me also point out that I never knew this existed.) This website contains all sorts of useful information for women. There were three specific topics that I looked at while on the site. The first relates to advertisements. This specific section is titled "Where Are the Women?Feminists Pick the Champs and Chumps of the Super Bowl Commercials" was very interesting. Those who picked the best and worst ranged from those having Md's to men. (Yes men.) If you check out this article, scroll down toward the bottom and you find the list of why each commercial was chosen in which category. The other two areas that were on this site include: "Economic Justice for Women" and "Love Your body."
The "Economic Justice for Women" section was dedicated to their summit. I enjoyed reading what the summit proposed and what exactly happened. "Love Your Body" is a section dedicated to the idea of figure in our world today. This section was extremely insightful as it related to how I felt about myself. I encourage anyone having any sort of dilemma with yourself, or if you help youth-aged girls to check out this spot. (I posted the link below.)
Overall, this website was amazing and I am so glad I found it. It provides a variety of topics and subjects that are can directly relate to women these days.

http://loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org/ & http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/communications/tv/ads/superbowl-2008-report.html

Reflection

I cannot believe that eight weeks of my life have flashed across my computer screen already. While the experience has been nothing but amazing and wonderful, it has been a hard process. As an introvert, blogging was difficult at first because I like to keep most of my opinions inside. (Mostly out of fear of what others will say.) Over the course of these last eight weeks, however, I have realized that voicing an opinion may be the only way an issue will change. Too many people around the world, I have noticed, have been silenced and since I have the opportunities and freedoms to do so, I will speak out.
My experience with blogging has benefited me in other ways as well. By reading the numerous materials and blogs, it seems that so much information is swirling about on feminism. Blogging is something that is crucial to feminism because it allows words to get out to those who may not otherwise have that ability to hear this information. Bloggers are people who express opinions, ideas, and connect in relationships that are important in our world.
Bloggers also have the ability, through this information, to create activism in a variety of areas. Whether cultural or political, bloggers create the space and time to discuss these issues and through this discussion, activism is created. In the area of gender and blogging, I believe that both genders will use blogs to influence others on their beliefs and create activism. Gender is important, yet blogging allows gender to remain anonymous unless the writer wants it to be known.
Web 2.0 allows a greater feminist future. Not only does it allow this information to be passed on to other generations, countries, and individuals, but to a new generation, focused on using web 2.0 to create an activist society. Feminists have a better future because of the web and because of blogging. We will soon see the reach of feminism in politics as well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Web Discovery #4


The idea of censorship is not such a new concept. However, as children we are taught that censorship cannot happen in the United States because of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech, press, and religion was guaranteed by the Founding Fathers so long ago. Why, then, do we still have issues with censorship today? The answer to this question is difficult, but one idea is that perhaps some people are afraid of what may happen if we are truly given the opportunity to express ourselves in anyway we want. Because of the reading discussed in my previous post, I decided to look into the issue of censorship a little more thoroughly. I found a website, entitled "Feminists For Free Expression," that discusses this issue. While not all of the information presented is what I believe, they did have some very interesting points. One of these points discusses the idea of material on the Internet that is degrading to women. The website addresses this as follows:
In 1994, one online provider closed a feminist discussion group because of the group's provocative ideas. The best protection for women's ideas and voices is complete constitutional protection of free speech. Historically, censorship in the name of "decency" has hurt women by restricting access to information about reproduction and sexuality. It has never reduced sexism and violence. Previous centuries have seen much more censorship than we have today and yet much more discrimination against women. The best counter to speech some women may find offensive is not restriction, but adding more women's voices to the mix.

I totally agree with the last sentence of this response. The mixture of voices, opinions, thoughts, and ideas is something I have repeatedly brought up on my blog. Perhaps if this statement was followed more precisely, censorship wouldn't have such an effect in the blogosphere.
The website is: http://www.ffeusa.org/

The Gendercator

While I have never heard of this film nor its content before reading an article called "The Gendercator or How I learned to stop worrying and Love the Blogosphere," it has brought up important issues for many in the GLBT community. I am not a part of this community myself, but I know many people who are. The film, in my belief, was censored by Frameline. Censorship happens whenever an idea, a work, or speech are not allowed to be publicized. It is an issue that has been around for many years, but one that needs to be overcome. This article points out that the director wanted to raise awareness and have people openly discuss issues. Many of the comments in the piece add either disgust or praise for the movie. It seems that the director reached her goal of discussion among the population in the GLBT community, as well as other places. While the film itself may be too graphic or unreal, it accomplished the goal of its director. I think that the relationships between the supposed community need to be mended in order for the true activism of the GLBT group to work. As in any situation on this planet, clear communication and objectives cannot be reached if a partnership and true community spirit are reached. This reading really made me see that even in a group, like GLBT, there is a separation in beliefs that I wouldn't have known about.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Craigs List murder (& web discovery #3)

A post by feministblogs.org, discusses the recent craigs list murder by Philip Markoff. In this post the writer discusses the contexts within the articles about the murder itself. It was very interesting to read about specific language used to describe the situation from craigs list itself. This quote was on the post itself, "Technology allows women to reach perfect strangers and market sex, massages, lap dances, and other 'erotic services.'" The author then went on to point out that this sentence, if rewritten to express the man's point of view, would have turned out like this: "Technology allows men to reach perfect strangers to buy sex, massages, lap dances, and other "erotic services." The mere fact that this type of sexist language was used to describe the situation is awful. Now the writer may have unintentionally phrased this sentence the way they did, but the subject is a man, is it not? Why, then, is the phraseology directed toward a woman and not the man? Reading other postings, this is not the first time, obviously that phraseology could have been better.
This site has a lot of interesting perspectives on many different topics that occur in the United States. It reminds me of feministing.com, in a way. Another post that caught my attention include one on Candace Parker, a WNBA player, who is pregnant. The posting, FEMALE ATHLETES: BE PRETTY, BUT NOT SEXY. OR PREGNANT, describes a situation where a female athlete who is pregnant is written about in a sexist sort of fashion. Her appearance, not her ability, is the topic of discussion.
Feminstblogs.org is quite interesting. It holds a lot of information as well. If you get a chance, check it out sometime.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Web Discovery #2

I don't know how many people are interested in commercials and the sexism aspect of them, I found a blog called Gods of Advertising. (Located on WorldPress.com) For so long I have hated commercials that portray women or races doing something stereotypical; that is something many people feel this particular gender or race does, but is not true. One particular post on this site discusses the sexist aspect of commercials. In it the commercial, by Carl's Jr., where Paris Hilton is eating a hamburger while washing a car is discussed. First of all, who in their right mind would be eating a hamburger while washing their car. (Sara Haskins actually has a video exactly about this topic too.) I know it is a part of the selling aspect; putting a beautiful women on a car, soaked, somehow is able to sell hamburgers. My point is why is it necessary to show such things and put women in a field that revolves around sex. I guess I'm just not as "hip" to the age as others. This blog, though, is quite interesting and discusses many aspects of advertising.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Important Blog

After reading the articles on Riverbend and her blog, I decided to do some research to inform myself even more on the plight of women in Iraq. I found an interesting blog space entitled, Vital Voices. It has pieces on different countries around the world on topics like: women, peace building, Hillary Clinton, HIV/AIDS, and many more. One of the posts I read was entitled, "Iraqi Women and Equal Rights." This piece discusses the possibility of more women in Iraq gaining political power. These women fight for the advancement of Iraqi women and are hoping that their positions will only increase the rights for all women in Iraq.
The main women in this piece is Ali Noori Talabani, a former member of the Iraqi Parliament. She states that the most difficult part is proving the usefulness of giving women rights and why old rules just won't do anymore. Talabani also states that the arduous part is overcoming the cultural, social, and religious characteristics of a women's place in society.
I did some more research on this subject and found an interesting article by the Multi-National Force, a portion of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "Iraqi Women Meet, Discuss Equal Rights" is about a conference that took place in Iraq on Sunday, March 22, 2009. This conference was dedicated to increasing political participation of women to 30 percent. The article discussed that the increase of participation in politics for women would ultimately help bring peace to the country and improve women's rights.
It seems that as time roles along, women in Iraq are striving and actually achieving a bigger voice in the political process. If the 30 percent increase can occur, perhaps Iraq will become a much safer environment for not only the women and children, but for all people.