Final Project: The Foster’s

The Foster’s is a TV-show that shadows the lives of a lesbian couple, Stef and Lena who raise one biological son and four adopted children .Their names are Brandon, Marianna, Jesus, Callie, and Jude. The genre of this show is mostly family drama, but it focuses a lot on sexuality, racism, and the complexities of the foster care system. I decided to choose this show because it portrays a lot of LGBT themes which we discussed a lot during the semester.

Both parents in the show demonstrate how much women can be judged due to their sexuality . Stef who is one of the mother’s, portrays a lot of bravery with bold opinions even though she is a woman. She is also a police officer which changes a lot of things. Many people think women are not strong or are not meant to be a cop, but Stef shows that it is possible. Her wife who is also a black woman works as the school vice president for the kids’ school. Until the last season, she does not have the full title of being the principal but gets it due to her hard work. This shows that interracial women can have a high position. Both mother’s in this show portray well that being a same sex married couple does not affect your parenting skill. Both parents act as a dad and a mom. As the kids grow up in the show, we can see that their mom teaches them a lot about sexuality like sexual intercourse or being homosexual. They are open to many things and they raise their children perfectly even though they are from the same sexes.

Jude who is the youngest of the family acknowledges that he is gay. The thirteen years old built a relationship with one of his schoolmates, whose close bond became his first love. When they shared their first kiss, Jude felt confused as he was curious about his sexuality. I found that this part represented a character that is going through a struggle that many people deal with. Several people are scared to come out of their” closet “, but this show showed different because Jude did not hide his secret for a long time. When he did, he was not judged by any of his family members. This really showed that you should be happy with your sexuality because it defines you. Jude also deals with gender double standards meaning that during the last season he is judged by some of his online viewers because of the way he dresses and looks. He then tries to change his appearance but ends up going back to what he used to look like. This displayed that a lot of boys are often pressured to look “hot” and not “nerdy”. This social pressure showed that boys often get judged by not conforming to their “masculinity “. Jude’s character went through many different obstacles due to his sexuality, but he managed to be himself.

Callie is one of the daughters in the show. She is the definition of a tough woman. Throughout the show, she deals with many crimes and injustices which shapes her to want to be a justice fighter. During this course, we discussed how some portray women; being needy and sensitive. Callie is the opposite of that, she shows the people around her that she is independent and does not care about what others have to say. During the five seasons, Callie has always defended someone or tried to do something good for someone else. She never put herself first which brought her many problems. The character kept being strong even though she deals with various things. One thing that I liked a lot about her character is that she meets a boy who is transgender and still decides to date him. Many people are not open to date somebody who his transgender which Callie was totally not. This really showed that it is okay to be involved with someone who is trans. I also believe that it gave support to the transgender community and that it is a normal thing that you should not be ashamed of.

Honestly, I think that The Foster’s is the perfect show to portray many social problems like sexism, racism, the justice system, and mostly LGBT themes. In fact, many viewers are young teens and I believe that it can help a lot of them because it does not shy away from controversial issues. Every sibling in the show deals with something that a real teenager would deal with and I’m sure it has helped many teenagers.

Blog 5: Masculinity

Masculinity has always been around. Men have constantly been pressured to act a type of way. Masculinity also called “manhood” has always remained set with the characteristics of being strong and unemotional, but mostly superior to women.  Masculinity also defines the place of men in society, the one’s who are known to get judged if they don’t behave the way society expects them to be; though. Since forever, both genders have roles and expectations. For example, the boy is the one who   is not supposed to show any feelings and the girl can show as much as she wants because she’s the girl. This had brought a lot of inequality to both genders.

In “Masculinity as Homophobia “by Michael Kimmel, the author explains how homophobia is the basis of our social definition of “manhood”. He states that men are so scared to act “sissy” in public because if they do , they are a “ faggot” .They are scared to dress , act and talk a certain way, in fear that someone is going to think  that they are gay . I find that absurd that a man can’t act unmanly without being judged. This is a problem that occurs for most men that leads them to think they aren’t masculine enough. They are forced to hide a part of themselves to please the world. Kimmel mentions “our efforts to maintain a manly front cover for everything we do. What we wear. How we talk. How we walk. What we eat. Every mannerism, every movement contains a coded gender language.” Reading this, I never realized how men have so much expectations just like women and they are never talked about . Every gender should act the way they want, dress the way they want and what someone eats should not define their gender. It’s ridiculous!!!!The author really declares that the definition of masculinity should change and I think the same because so many guys hide the way they feel because of how society is going to react .

In the reading “Understanding Patriarchy “by Bell Hooks, the author talks about the definition of patriarchy. Firstly, patriarchy is a word that some people still don’t even know its real definition.  Hooks defines it as a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything, especially females. Throughout the text, she gives many examples of situations that she lived through because of the concept of patriarchy. What struck me the most is when she was explaining that she wanted to play a game with her brother where marbles where involved. Her brother told her that it was a boy’s game, but she still insisted. This brought her to get beaten up by her father because she’s “just a little girl”. The fact that a young girl can’t play a game, as if it’s made only for one gender is something that shouldn’t even be intervened.  This was a traumatic event for her, but it also opened her eyes to see that violence and authority is how patriarchy was thought and still is.

The definition of masculinity should change as it brings social issues like racism, homophobia and sexism. Yes, we have always lived with these kinds of matters, but it is mostly because men don’t stand up and they yet ,hide how they feel. It’s okay to be emotional, it’s okay to be gay or to wear a pink shirt.  All of these things are okay and doesn’t define “manhood”. Unfortunately, we are in a “male dominating” society in which both genders have many expectations. If more men would have an open-minded mind, we would be in world with less sexism and maybe no homophobia!

Alexia Ighekpe

Bringing light to Disabled Women

On March 7, I attended “The Disabled Women’s Network: Bringing the Intersection of Gender and Disability to Light”. The speaker was Nelly Bassily. She is the director of DAWN (Disabled Women’s Network) This network focuses on girls and women with disabilities and their rights. Nelly also lives with anxiety, depression, chronic pain and post traumatic symptoms which is why it is important for her to show a light on people who deal with disabilities.

She first started by asking the audience “what first comes in your mind when you hear the word disabled?” At first, the audience did not have much to say, then one guy answered “wheelchair”. When thinking of disability, many think about someone in a wheelchair. The speaker discussed on how a lot of people have ONE image on disabled people. They think “oh this person probably can’t walk”. Nobody ever looks at the mental part of a disability, the physical side is always looked at. Most of the times, mental disabilities don’t even show. This is why we only have one image in our head when we think of disability. The speaker then asked another question “What do you guys feel when you see someone disabled?”. Most students said that they think of someone who needs support from someone else. As the discussion was going on, I started to understand that even I, myself should not have   pity for someone when their disabled. It isn’t right and they don’t always need that extra support just because their disabled.The audience wasn’t as active than I would have thought. It wasn’t a full audience and the same answers were getting repeated, but I still enjoyed the event.

The key message from Nelly was really that women and kids always portrayed in a certain way because they have a disability. Our society has to be aware that these kinds of discrimination are terrible because they give a different image of what is it having a disability.  The event changed my perspective on disabled people and I feel that every student should go to these kind of events to know more about the subject.

Blog 4 : Isra Hirsi

Who would have ever thought that the younger generation would have a bigger voice than the older one? With everything going on with climate change, many are affected by it and want a big change. Many youths are involved in the fight to prove that climate change is a real thing. Isra Hirsi is one of them .

Isra was born February 22 2003 , which now makes her 17 years old .She is a climate and racial justice advocate. She co- founded the U.S Youth Climate Change strike . This is a global movement for climate change. This young lady is from a somalian background that is religious just like her .Her mother has been a politician since 2019, she served as the V.S representative for Minnesota where her daughter Isra grew up. Isra is still in high school, but has her mind set on being a change maker.

 Since a young age, she already had a good idea about the bad and injustice that was happening, such as innocent black men getting killed by white officers. When she was in middle school, she was focused on the Black Lives Matter movement. At the age of 12, she protested for a 24 years old black man who got shot by police officers. 

In March 2019, she coordinated the organization of hundreds of student-led strikes across the United- States for climate change.

Her passion for climate change came when she was in her freshman year. She joined an environmental club where she started her climate activism.

Many people do not take her seriously because of her age, the color of her skin, and her religion. Despite the fact that she’s a young Muslim black girl with a politician as a mother she is still her own person and wants to be defined by her actions and not her mother’s. She knows people don’t take her seriously because she’s considered to be “just a 17 years old girl” who doesn’t know much. In fact, she talks with so much knowledge that you don’t even think she’s 17. When Isra speaks in front of an audience, she has the voice of a leader and so much confidence to be a figurehead.

Her hard work to make a change has made her win a Brower Youth Award last year. These awards are given to environmental and social justice leaders under the age of 23. I believe that her strong and unbothered personality deserved that award.  

I chose her to be my inspirational woman because of how much she desires to be a change maker . I love that she knows people of her color have more difficulty making it and it doesn’t matter for her . She is desired to be someone who is going to make a change and I really admire that because not a lot of people are as motivated and courageous like her.

Alexia Ighekpe


Article on Isra Hirsi

Blog 3 : Gender Roles Back Then

In every culture, their is a “role” for every gender. For example, in the old days, men were in charge of working and they would never be home because they were in charge of “taking care” of the family financially. On the other hand, women had to stay home all day, cook, clean and take care of the children.

Based on the reading “Gender and Cultural diversity in the Early Contact Period”, we can see that when the Europeans arrived in North America, they had a whole different view on genders compared to the Aboriginals. For Aboriginals, men and women were equal. They could all do the same tasks, and nobody had more power then the opposite gender. Indigenous groups were characterized by cooperation, consultation, and sexual division of labor. This meant that everyone had to support each other to get to their goals, like getting food for the village. They also had given tasks to both men and women so nobody would be stuck doing nothing. Work was always divided between sex in these cultures, but it was never unequal. Both of their tasks were important for the survival of the groups. I also noticed that they had “sex- gender systems” that today we call “two- spirits”. This meant that aboriginals believed in having both genders in their body. This really shows that they saw themselves equal to one another. No gender had more power, it was just everyone being at the same level, no matter the sex.They valued gender and the Europeans should have done the same.

 The Europeans had different views of gender compared to the Aboriginals. Men were considered more stronger than women, which should have not been the case because women can do the same things as men.  Although, women were still important in their society. They played a role in the development of education, social services and medical infrastructures. They mainly played a role of how many people perceived women: being a housewife.

This mentality of women being housewives never left our society. Today, it still seems normal and okay for a lady to stay home all day and take care of the children while the husband works. This way of perceiving gender roles should have never existed in the past as it still follows us .

 The thing that struck me the most in the European culture was that marriage was not based on a matter of a personal romantic choice but as a social institution promoted by the state. The wife and the children had to obey to the husband no matter what.   This then followed in the Indigenous culture . The fact that they did not believe in marriage being something romantic is crazy because many people would get married .I believe this is why today some people just don’t value marriage anymore .

Alexia I

Blog 2 : Abortion for Women

We all know that abortion is a sensitive subject to discuss. Some people are against the act and some would do it without hesitation. It is often a debate because many people reject the act . For them , the act of ending a pregnancy is inhuman even if rape occurred.A young lady that decides to have sex with a boy needs to accept her consequences and go through the whole pregnancy because aborting is killing . On the opposite , these people think about the women getting rape and having to deal with a baby or just it being an accident. Abortion is not a criminal act in Canada like in other countries.As it is a right that every women have ,it is also a very controversial political issue in our country . Although , some think that just because it is easy to be accessed .

Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1998, which hasn’t been that long . Even today , some politicians still try to remove this legal right that women should be able to do .  Our health care system failed to give women the easy access to abortion . If you don’t live outside of big urban centers like Toronto , Montreal and Vancouver , accessing the procedure can be really hard. In Canada , abortion services are insured in all provinces but some provinces have placed limits on funding it .  For example ,  Ontario does not fund abortions at every clinic .This should not be the case . Everyone that takes the decision of wanting to get an abortion , should not struggle to get it .

In conclusion, abortion   is a right that every women should  be able to do if they want to because it is their choice , as well as their body . No law should ever ban abortion or make it harder to access . Abortion should be easy to get for every women .It is a problem in our society that keeps being judged because  so many are against it.

***I’m not judging people who are pro-life”****


Kaposy,C . ” Improving abortion access In Canada”.Journal Article – research.Retrieved from : 

Cummins , C. “Decades later , abortions in Canada are still hard to get”. Policy Opinions.2019 .Retrieved from

Blog 1 : Defining Feminism

In my opinion , I think for both of them it is necessary to promote feminist because many people think one way towards feminists .They all have that same perception that feminists are ugly and about hating men .For Jessica Valenti, she finds that we should not have one vision towards feminists . She focuses more on  equality towards both genders . For Bell , she defines feminism as being a movement to end sexist oppression. She basically is explaining that we should end stereotypes towards women . Both authors have the same perception towards feminism but their definitions are a bit different .

Their definitions is similar because they believe that people have their own definition of feminist .They explain how the world sees feminism as being anti-men, hairy ugly girls .Hook’s shows how some people see feminism being an ideology for protest only . For these two authors , feminist is important because it is something they believe in and want people all around the world to promote it and stop seeing it as a a atrocious ideology towards men.

 I would describe a feminist as being someone who stands for the rights of both genders .Someone that has an ideology of what being a women is and how it is important to be equal to the opposite sex . Although , now that I read what the two authors have to say about feminist , I know more and I know it is not only about the  equality of both genders .

In the text of Valenti , she says how “all women are feminist  by the virtue of having ovaries” It really made me think because it’s true.Us women,have it much harder for men ,everything we do that isn’t seem as “appropriate “ for example not shaving your body can be considered dirty for a lady.As for men, it is totally normal if they grow hair on their bodies .It made me think because girls are always more judged compared to boys.

I did some research on both authors , and I was really interested by Bell Hooks . She is a black feminist that studied African-American Studies which examined the varied perceptions of black women who are writers and their development of feminist identities . I found that very interesting that she studies women in her culture . Being a black women is already hard , and I love the fact that she embraces it.

By Alexia Ighekpe