Final Project:Demonstrating Strength

During this course, I gain more knowledge on topics like feminism and equally which is why I choose to rewatch the movie Wonder woman from 2017. In this movie, we see how wonder woman is considered a symbol of the woman’s movement. In the sense of how she travels around the world without having to follow the rules set by men. This aspect was often challenged during the movies due to how in regular movies female superheroes usually take a backseat to the male ones in movies, or their stories are only told on the small screen. Theirs is also the sexualization of female superheroes who are usually reduced to cliches and/or sex objects, with little effort made to humanize them and give them as much depth as their male counterparts. The most common example is how Black Widow was introduced into the Marvel movies as a “sexy” to Iron Man who latter near the end of the movie managed to showcased her own ability but before doing so she had to be nitrified has a model rather than a warrior.

In this case, wonder woman is the complete opposite of traditional female superheroes. Although Wonder Woman herself is seen as a beautiful goddess the movie still demonstrated the courageous and fearless attitude when it comes to situations she is always the center of attention which is something important to demonstrate in this movie. Mainly due to how It’s meaningful for women to see a woman capable of taking care of herself, and saving others. The most vivid example is when Diana bursts into meetings full of men, ignores when men tell her she can’t do something, likens a secretary job to slavery, and constantly saves her male companions. The more the movie goes on the more you see Diana grow into a leader and take action upon herself rather than rely on her male companions.

This behavior is challenged in the movie due to the social circumstances in Europe during world war 2 where most to all women did office jobs and weren’t seen as fighters. This turns into societal expectations about how women are supposed to behave, both during the turn of the century time frame of the movie and in the present day. Because she grew up on a secluded island among women, Wonder Woman doesn’t know what those expectations are and doesn’t care when she finds out. She also won’t apologize for being a woman. The movie champions and showcases her femininity and how strong she is. In fact, her power isn’t diminished by caring too much about her companions or her lover or even experiencing thought emotions while on the battlefield. Instead, her love and kindness strengthen her and makes her grow stronger which is how she managed to save the day.

The movie challenges the thought and behavior of people during the 40s, where gender roles were preset by society in the sense that most women didn’t have a voice nor much of a choice to choose what they wanted to do in their lives. In a time we’re men were portrayed as the heroes by fighting the evil in wars and women having to support them from afar. Wonder woman shows how strong and influential women can be. Altogether I enjoyed this movie due to how much of a breath of fresh air is was. Especially when it comes to challenging the status quo of what women can or can’t do.

To conclude, the movie Wonder Woman showcases how powerful women can be if they are allowed to demonstrate who they really are without seating roles and rules which would hinder their growth. Life Diana who was raised without any of those and when she encountered them she was able to challenge it head-on without hesitation because she knew what she was capable of doing. Due to that strength, she becomes an icon of power not only for some but for everybody.

Blog 5: Feminism is for all

No matter the civilization, men have always had to consistently keep an image of what a man should be. In most households, men are considered to be the jewel of the family this most mostly due to how society has dictated men’s role to be powerful and control. Therefore if some men didn’t portrait those characteristics they would be ridiculed and feel left behind. Due to those circumstances, many men had to force themselves into being strong rather than being something they wanted. Further doing the line leads them to be extremely unhappy with who they become.

In both Bell Hooks and Michael Kimmel’s texts, the power of patriarchy is displayed by demonstrating how scared men are to show any weakness when it comes to following a path who differs from being a man. Both texts show how being a “sissy” is being looked down upon by society and shamed for not being strong enough “be a man mentally” rather than express your emotions.

In Bell Hooks Understanding Patriarchy, the author talks about how “Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything…” She further this thought by explaining how boys are programmed from a young age to be more dominant and assertive rather than submissive. As an example, she shows the relationship with her older brother and how from the start, he was the one who “was allowed to play with marbles because he was a man” while she had to be a provider and supporter due to her being a woman. In this example Hooks showcases how both herself and brother are a victim of the patriarchal system, both gender suffered from not being able to show who they are due to predisposed gender roles. In Hooks’s case, the was put in her place by her father who told her “You’re just a little girl. When I tell you to do something, I mean for you to do it.” This sort of environment traumatized her and made her realize how the system was always against her. Which is the case for many people who challenge the male figure of a household.

In Michael Kimmel Masculinity as Homophobia, the author speaks on how men are afraid of not belonging in the patriarchal world. Kimmel focuses on men’s fear of being ridiculed for how they express themselves. He describes is as “The fear of being seen as a sissy dominates the cultural definitions of manhood.” This behavior can be seen from an early age when boys go to school and some are made fun of by the way they dress, act in front of other, emotional expressions and looking at your hands the wrong way. In consequence, this sort of attitude makes men bottle up their emotions and reduce the need to express themselves freely. In consequence, these social constructs don’t give power to men, they reduce men to feel powerless. Men cannot explore who they are, making it that most of them fall into the drowned pattern of a patriarchal society where they must have a job and provide without knowing what they are doing similar to mindless computer who are programmed to follow instructions without question.

To recap both points, Kimmel and Hook showcase how men are indoctrinated into the patriarchal society by being force to suppress their emotions and thought which oppose the latter. In result, most men life a uniformed of subject like sexism and feminism due to lack of familiarity in subject which attack patriarchy itself. But in recent times we have seen a change in mindset when it comes to male freedom of emotions, these days there is an increase in emotional awareness among the younger generation of boys. Most of them where raised in a way in which allows them to express themselves. The only way that men can redefine the meaning of masculinity is to break down old barrier such as not caring about issues like sexism and feminism, reducing the idea of expressing yourself is weak you should be a man a bottle your emotions up. If men allow other men to express emotions rather than belittle them then men would be able to redefine was masculinity should be.

Blog: 4 Sex, Lies, and Evolution: Debunking the “Human Nature” Backlash to Feminism

Between all the conferences held during the week, I decided to go to the Sex, Lies, and Evolution: Debunking the “Human Nature” Backlash to Feminism. Between all other conferences, this one caught my eye mostly due to the common misconception which I had no idea existed. The speaker Jacky Vallée, made a great powerpoint presentation showcasing a few misconceptions which some took me by surprise.

In this event, the presenter talked in detail about the current backlash the feminist movement is receiving for wanting to challenge the status quo when it comes to gender roles and the claims for human nature. During the presentation, the speaker debunked most of the previously thought ideologies about gender roles. During the conference, the most common misconception showcased was that men lead all the major cultural advances, hunting, toolmaking, and fire. There was also a lack of women being represented, one example that was given was how most images about evolution showcase male evolution and there was a lack of images of women and other gender roles. Contrary to former believe early humans were scavengers making the idea of men doing all the hunting and women staying back a misconception. Another misconception was how technological innovation were created by men which displayed them as being smarter than women, there was also the thought of women weren’t able to make tools due to them being a child-bearer but the truth is mostly the opposite. Most of the conference displayed how ill-informed most of us are about our past.

Out of this conference, this thing that took me most by surprise is how little representation there is about women in things like painting and drawing. Most of them were full of male portrait and male activities. The consequence of not representing women in drawing made is so that they are not able to have a place in history. Making them seem as if they didn’t contribute to human evolution which is completely false.

Blog 3.5: Makoma Lekalakala

Makoma Lekalakala

Makoma Lekalakala is a South African activist who is the director of the Johannesburg branch of Earthlife Africa, she was awarded the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize for the African region for their work on using the courts to stop a Russian-South African nuclear deal in 2017.Lekalakala is no stranger to standing up to those in power. The activist grew up in Soweto under apartheid and joined the liberation struggle as a young woman. In 2008, she turned her attention to environmental justice. The NGO’s work has never been more urgent. The effects of climate change are increasingly being felt across the world and, according to a huge UN report last year, there are only 12 years left to avoid a catastrophe.Lekalakala therefore advocates on widespread issues in South Africa, from pollution to water scarcity. The achievement for which she is best known, however, was stopping the construction of eight to ten nuclear power stations in 2017.

Nuclear energy has been promoted as green energy, but the negative environmental impacts of the nuclear industry are substantial. For every pound of enriched uranium that goes into a nuclear reactor, more than 25,000 pounds of radioactive waste are produced in the mining and processing of uranium. Used reactor fuel remains extremely hot for hundreds of years and radioactive for thousands of years. Since South Africa currently has one nuclear power station, a deal would have been a dream for countries like the US and Russia due to their high dependency over nuclear power. South Africa is also known for being a dumping ground for nuclear waste according to an article written in Goldmanproze: Countries have been burying nuclear waste in the Namaqualand desert since the 80s. This sort of event is what prompted South Africa to make a deal with Russia to create 10 nuclear power stations throughout the country. In consequence, the nuclear waste dumped around the country would have affected various biomes for example raising the temperature of marine ecosystems. Other consequences include seismic activity similar to the one that occurred in Japan’s plant in 2011. Thanks to Makoma Lekalakala advice and consultations during the process of agreement, the South African high court decided to pull out of the contract due to how “unlawful” and “unconstitutional” the idea was.

What I found the most courageous about Makoma Lekalakala is how she managed go against high position people and managed to provide better solutions and alternatives to providing more electricity to the country than most politicians in the high court who only managed to see the easy and money route rather than the cleaner direction.

References:

https://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/makoma-lekalakala-liz-mcdaid/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43869060

Blog 3: Indigenous Matriarchal Roles

Contrary to europeans culture, the indigenous culture wasn’t patriarchal but matriarchal, in indigenous culture there was no such thing as gender. Both genders were equally important to sustain a balance in native America society. Indigenous culture rested in being matriarchal which allowed both genders to have an active role in their society. The two went hunting and shared an important role in the tribe. In other ways, the text mentions how men could take a decision without consulting their wife’s beforehand. Making so that they are included when it comes to having a choice in important matter instead of being brushed away in like in European culture where men lead, and women followed without being able to say anything. In other aspects European women were seen as unfit to lead which is why there was a lack a woman in power at that time.

What stood out to me the most from reading this text was how important women are in indigenous culture which is something unthinkable in Europeans culture. Where you were raided to believe that men are responsible for everything and that they must all they can to provide. While the women were more of a stay at home and prepare what the men bought. This way of thinking is why for a long-time woman were seen as the housewife and the men the provider. If Europeans had adapted the first nations way of thinking, then maybe today we would see should a cap when it comes to men and women.  

European culture is still very dominate in modern society, but due to improvement and new ideologies like equal right, more and more women have a voice and important powerful roles in society. The more the time passes from the colonialist mindset the more opportunity and changes appear for women to be placed as equal to men.

Blog 2: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

Generally, people who identify as pro-choice believe that everyone has the basic human right to decide when and whether to have children. When you say you’re pro-choice you’re telling people that you believe it’s ok for them to have the right to choose to abort the child as an option for an unplanned pregnancy although you wouldn’t choose abortion for yourself. The majority of people who are pro-choice believe that the are no babies being killed during this procedure which tends to occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Contrarly to pro-choice, some people do not believe in giving pregnant women a option. Those who oppose abortion often call themselves pro-life. However, the only life many of them are concerned with is the life of the fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus. They are much less concerned about the life of women who have unintended pregnancies or the welfare of children after they’re born. They believe that every child should be born without taking into consideration the opinion of the bearer. The majority of pro-life arguments consist of believing that people are aborting fully formed children.

No woman should be forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy. People are forced into late-term abortions because of the delays imposed on them by the pro-life crowd. A big majority of the time, making abortions illegal does little to no effect on reducing abortions it only makes them deadlier, with over 68000 female deaths per year and over 5,000,000 women permanently disabled annually due to back-alley abortions(2009, Haddad).

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Sources:

   Haddad, L. B., & Nour, N. M. (2009). Unsafe abortion: unnecessary maternal mortality. Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology2(2), 122–126.

  Retrieved from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/#idm140110136695136title

Blog 1: Feminism

First off, from their point of view, both Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks agree that feminism is a movement which tends to be seen has anti-men and promote hating men. From Bell Hooks point of view, she promotes her ideas in a more passive way when taking about how feminists are viewed and portrayed by the media. While Jessica Valenti show a more antagonistic approach of how the media sees feminist as evil ugly women. From her point of view the media try to take the light of the issue and divert the attention to how feminist look. Saying that, both authors do agree that men don’t necessarily see feminism for what it is, they rather have taken their opinion from a “third party source” like the media who constantly make fun of the idea. For both these authors, feminism is the future, it’s an idea which should have come to fruition a long time ago. But due to mens fear of losing power, the subject as become a topic which isn’t being taken seriously anymore.  For them becoming a feminist would mean to end the current structure which only allows one ground of individual to profit off the other.

Secondly, from my perspective, a feminist is somebody who believes that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It’s essentially the theory of having political and economic equal no matter the gender. But lately feminism has become a unpopular word due to the negative connotations attack to it. For example, being anti-men. Therefore, most people see being a feminist as being a negative person. The definition I had of what is a feminist hasn’t change after reading the essays because although the reading provides more details about the subject, the core message didn’t change. Which is why I think that idea of feminism needs the be revamped and give a new look to what feminism is without the old negative stereotypes.   

In Bell Hooks essay, the section where she speaks about male privilege mainly due to patriarchy really made me think about how evident her point is. It very true that most men benefit from the established regime and do have what she called a passive role when it comes to supporting patriarchy. Finally, the research I did for both authors didn’t change my perspective on their article because from Bell hooks point, we can see that the tries spread her message with a more educative tone and Jessica Valensti tries to showcase her opinions with a more antagonistic approach.