Final project: The 5th Wave

There were a lot of movies that could have been chosen, but I decided to choose one that is a bit different from the regular movies or documentaries that focus on one big issue. The 5th wave talks about a teenager girl, Cassie, who is trying her best to get to her little brother, Saam in the middle of an end of the world situation. I chose this film because among all of those great movies, in a way, I can relate to this movie, since the main character is a typical teenager like the rest of us.

The 5th wave is another film that talks about the end of the world but in a different way. With no messages or warnings, a mysterious object appears in the atmosphere and starts moving around the planet. No one knew what was on it or who they were so they called them “the others”. They start hitting the earth with waves. An electromagnetic pulse that killed all the power on the planet, an earthquake, a deadly flu where Cassie’s mom (a nurse) died helping other people. Short time later, the dad also dies. As the kids were supposed to go somewhere safe, they all went on a bus. Cassie went down to get something, however the bus started moving and she couldn’t catch it. We, afterwards, see how Cassie tries her absolute best to get to her brother. Knowing that the other’s next strike was to kill all the rest of the humans.

What attracted me in this movie is Cassie’s strength and perseverance. Despite everything that is happening, her number one priority is to get to where her brother is, alone, with no help nor knowledge on how to survive. She breaks many stereotypes about being a man is the stronger gender and is able to handle more dangerous things. She teaches herself how to shoot and how to survive. She never gave up and whenever she feels unmotivated she remembers her brother and why is she doing all that, which gives her power. Throughout her journey, she had very high hopes that she will be reunited with her brother.

We can also see how independent she is. After getting shot in the leg, she didn’t want the help of the guy that helped her recover, Evan and wanted to continue the walk on her own. However when he refused to let her go alone, she asked him to show her some tips and tricks to fight and defend herself. The way she wants to depend on herself and keep herself safe with no help really shows us how strong and courageous she is. And how women or girls don’t need a male character to take care of them or look over them as an easy and weak person. The way she changed, from a typical teenager to someone who is willing to fight whoever to keep on with her goal, is amazing. Throughout the whole movie she was focusing on only accomplishing her goal and she never doubted herself. 

Finally, I see that this movie has a lot of aspects that represents every teenage girl, even if we don’t see it from the outside, under the similar circumstances we will show a lot of courage and strength. It shows that we don’t need anyone else to complete our goals and by ourselves we can do so much more than we could ever imagine.

Blog 5: Masculinity is not always right.

After reading both of the articles, a lot came clearer to me. Masculinity is not exactly what I thought it was, in fact it is more, it has deeper meaning and is different from the one I knew. As a girl, masculinity meant for me, men having power and being in control.  But I realized it’s more of a mind manipulating, men have several rules they have to go by, otherwise they could be called “sissy”, “faggot”, etc. In the articles, Bell Hooks and Micheal Kimmel give us the real definition of what masculinity means. By their own experience and what they have lived, we can see that there is always another side of the story. Bell Hooks tells us about her childhood and how her father used to treat her. Micheal Kimmel on the other hand explains that it’s not easy to be a man in a world that expects a lot from men.

What if we have abolished this patriarchal mindset decades, if not centuries ago? What would be the difference when it comes to how men act in this modern society? It is becoming less and less obvious but in the past, the male characters, such as the father and brothers, are the dominant rulers of the family. According to Hooks: “my brother was taught that it was his role to be served; to provide; to be strong; to think, strategize, and plan”, while the women in the house are in charge of taking care of them and serving them. That was the mindset that ruled families for years. However it is wrong, patriarchy made young boys believe that they have to be hard, violent and fearless and to always hide feelings or emotions as it is a girly manner, while young women are taught to be soft, gentle and never use violence in any circumstances. However, if this mindset wasn’t around today, or if fathers wouldn’t force such ideas into their sons minds, men wouldn’t feel pressured about who’s the most dominant and manly out of everyone. Also, more and more men might even support the fact that showing emotions, feelings and your true skin isn’t such a feminine aspect when it is in fact for everybody.

Micheal S. Kimmel tells us about certain problems men face while growing. He explains how they are surrounded by difficult rules. And power is not something they choose but they have to apply it so they can be following masculinity in the right way, he says: “our imperfect analysis of our own situations leads us to believe that we need more power, rather than leading us to support feminists’ efforts to rearrange power relationships along more equitable lines”. Men have to be careful with everything they do so they don’t be called “sissy”, for example, the way they talk, the way they walk, even with the simpler thing like checking their fingernails, everything has to be perfect. As Kimmel says:“making sure that nothing even remotely feminine might show through”. Homophobia doesn’t mean they don’t like gays but more afraid of being called gay. And fear for them makes them ashamed, because of how they are not supposed to show any feelings, so fear is proving that they are not manly as they have to.

 In the end, I think I was mistaken in thinking that all men do is spread their control over everyone. They are actually hiding behind those masculinity rules they have been taught. And the chances for them to show the real them, are very little. Because to them, they prefer hiding than being judged. 

Blog 4 (02): Women’s international week

Between all the great events during the women’s international week, I decided to go to “sex, lies and evolution”. It was a spectacular experience, I learnt about a lot of new things that I didn’t know or thought about before. It opened my eyes to all of those stories that we have heard ever since childhood but never actually thought about deeply enough to know that maybe they are incorrect. Jacky Vallée, the speaker, mentioned a few of the general misconceptions that exist. He also said that what people have been claiming for too many years as “it is normal” or “it is human nature”, anthropology (a scientific field that studies humans) explains the opposite. I could tell that I was not the only one who was surprised by those facts and who left the auditorium and started questioning everything again.

We all know the answer to those questions; who first made fire, who hunted animals, who first created tools, it is “men”. What Jacky tried to debunk is that behind those stories, there are other answers. With the help of anthropology, there is proof that the answer might differ and it is not always men. Everyone knows men as the dominant gender and that is the “human nature”, but it isn’t. Tools, fire, etc, all these are just objects, how can anyone know who first made them. There is no evidence of such a thing than all those pictures in the internet about men creating them. Our mind is just set to think that it would be done by a man rather than hearing that it may have been a woman, because it is less exciting, which is sad.

Another bitter truth, the human evolution picture, the most known one is the ape that transforms to a man. It also shows how when we think about humans we directly think about men. And that is how from a random picture we get stories and call them “human nature”.

I now think differently about so many things, this event helped me realize that just because the majority believes in an ideology, that it is the truth. Anything can differ from someone’s point of view to another. And before following the bunch, we have to stop for a second and try to look at it from a different angle, so we can actually see the full story, the full truth about it.

Blog 4: Naomi Klein

With such a big issue like climate change and a lot of people and organizations trying to help and save the planet, there is a possibility to not notice certain people that are doing their best and trying hard in many ways to inform others about it too but are given less attention.

Out of many people, I chose Naomi Klein. She is an author, social activist, a filmmaker and she was born on the 8th of May 1970. I was hesitating with who to write about upon a lot of great women. However, while I was reading her work and what she did throughout the years, she caught my attention. I found that she is different from the others when it came to her writings and how she expresses herself and I noticed that she knows how to address the problem in a way that will catch your attention and make you take an action towards it. In other words, I can say I found her “inspirational”, I can relate more to what she says than others, her values and thoughts are more understandable and most importantly that what she says affect me more than other peoples.

Which made me realize in what way we can be alike, first of all she is a Canadian, she grew up in Montreal and went to Dawson college then left to continue in university of Toronto. Which makes her completely vulnerable to the problems that Canada is undergoing and her words are totally valid. Also the way she thinks, for example, for her to fix problems she thinks that you have to start by yourself and fix yourself before going and helping outside. She sees that climate change as a way to claim other issues in the world and if we really want to change something we can not depend on fundings or organization, we have to do it ourselves. 

In other terms, Naomi Klein, is a very successful writer who wrote many books that went internationally viral. One of the most important books that she had written is “This Changes Everything:Capitalism vs. the Climate” in 2014 and immediately was a New York Bestseller and the winner of the Hilary Weston Writers Trust Prize for Nonfiction in the same year (2014). Her last book “On Fire” was published in 2019, again talking about the climate change and her meeting with Greta Thunberg. Her books spoke her words and ideas and she hoped that people would hear her. And in her case, I can say, people liked and listened to her so she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for her activism on climate justice and she counts as one of the top influential thinkers.

Blog 3: How gender developed over the years.

Unlike what I thought, gender equality existed since the beginning, since indigenous people. Back then, power was distributed equally between men and women, each of them had their own different responsibilities and work to do that completed one another in the end. They were both appreciated and known for what they do, if anything, women were a bit more appreciated in their work than men. While reading the “Gender and culture diversity in the early contact period”, it surprised me a little how we can tell that there was not a lot of problems in that time, everyone was satisfied with what they have and gender problem did not exist and men did not mind for women to be in charge.

With that being said, when the European came, everything has changed. They did not like how women and men were given equal rights and decided to change that. In their time, men and women did not share power but men had it all. Men were in charge of all the tasks and everything had to go the way they wanted it to. I have to say that, what struck me the most was when they said that marriage was not based on a personal choice but it was a social institution. How can anyone spend their life with someone they do not love nor have feelings for. It is really hard to think how that went and harder to think that it still goes in some countries.

After years, women decided to do something about this inequality and wanted to adjust it like how it was with indigenous people. After years of not being listened to and being ignored, they finally have what they wanted. We can not say it is everywhere around the world but a lot of countries started to give women their rights and equal power. So even after being under the control of men for too long, they are finally free now. And once again, in some parts in the world there is no gender problem.

Blog # 2: Puberty Shame

We all know and talk about how one of the worst things that can happen to a woman is slut-shaming. However, if we go back a little, it turns out, this is not the first time a woman will feel shame. Boys and girls pass through changes in their life that we call now “puberty”. Boys start to have deeper voices, their bodies grow more mature, they start to have a mustache and soon enough a beard. All a boy can think about is that “he is starting to become a man” and suddenly gain a lot of confidence in himself. On the other hand, girls start to have bigger breasts, their bodies start to shape more, they start to have their period and that is one of the first times a woman feels ashamed. Their confidence fades away and they feel ashamed about their body transformation.

We can see, in a woman’s journey, she has to go through a lot of shame. And the first one is “puberty shame”. Along with all the transition and development in their bodies, there comes an enormous humiliation. It happens around the age of 14, girls start to lose confidence, which can have a lot of negative effects on them. The absence of confidence can inhibit risk-taking, perseverance and certainly reaching their full potential. CLAIRE SHIPMAN, KATTY KAY and JILLELLYN RILEY ‘The Atlantic’ covers had a survey for their latest book and made it with the help of Ypulse. The girls surveyed were asked to rate their confidence on a scale of 0 to 10, and from the ages of 8 to 14, the average of girls’ responses fell from approximately 8.5 to 6, a drop-off of 30 percent.

It is really shocking how puberty hits differently for a male compared to a female. Boys start fooling around acting like men and describing themselves as strong and fearless however girls start questioning themselves ‘am I pretty enough?’, ‘am I smart enough?’, ‘will people accept and love me for who I truly am?” and many more things that induce shame about what is happening to them.

In my perspective, puberty is what defines a girl, a woman. It is the beauty of their transformation, it is what makes them who they have become. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed, on the contrary they have to embrace it. 

In conclusion, not a lot of people know exactly how it feels to be a teenage girl and all the transformations that happen to them physically and mentally. It is one of the most important phases in a woman’s life. She most likely experiences a lot during this period of time, unfortunately, shame takes a big part. Not many people talk about “puberty shame” which makes it unknown. But it is certainly an important topic to discuss, and that is why I chose to do some research and write about it.


-The 4 Times A Woman Is Mostly Likely To Experience Shame In Her Life

-How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence

-puberty for girls is difficult enough without added shame

Blog 1: The definition of feminism can differ from someone to another.

Feminism is a strong word, that could mean a lot of different things. People often use it without knowing exactly what it’s supposed to mean. Here, Jessica Valenti and Bell Hooks gave us some definitions from their own point of view and how they see feminism. Their definitions could be seen similar in a certain way, which is how they agree that a woman should be treated better and with respect no matter what gender or race she is. What might seem different in their definitions is that Valenti sees feminism as a person movement and she talks more about what a woman can do to make a movement towards her goal. On the other hand, for Hooks, she sees feminism more as a group movement, we are all in this together, and if we want to see a difference we should all act on it together.

Feminism is important to these authors because it’s all what they believe in and hold into. They made it clear that it is feminism that gave their lives a purpose. So they had to let everyone sees what they see in feminism and how it effected them.

My idea of feminism didn’t change that much after reading the essays. Their explanations of it, assured me that I was on the right track. And for me, feminism is what should women learn from day one, they should learn how to self-respect, self-love and self-care. Because in the end, no one would help you more than you.

Although I know it’s true, it still shocked me how one word can have a big influence on someone’s life. Ugly. As Valenti said: “ugly stays with you. It’s powerful, and that’s why stereotype is so perfect”, using one word, women can be brought down and start thinking that there’s something wrong with them. Unfortunately, this word blinds them and doesn’t let them see how perfect they are without doing anything. We all know how words can effect and hurt people yet we still use them to shut people down. Every women is perfect in her own way, she just has to see it herself.

After doing a bit of research about the authors, I can tell that each one of them is writing the definition from the time she is living in. Since there’s a big difference in their age, each one is expressing feminism the way she thinks it’s right in her own time with her own knowledge and experiences. In the end, both of them did a great job explaining feminism.

~ Carol Soliman.