My Blog

#11

Posted on: May 8, 2009

“I’d cop more pink polos and pop those collars.”

               

This line is from a verse in the song “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West. Here Kanye states how he is concerned with his appearance and enjoys wearing polos and pink ones as well. He also takes the time to pop the collar which shows how much he is concerned with his appearance. Not only is he concerned with how he looks, he takes the time to mention the desired color of the polo he wishes to “cop.” Pink is not a normal color in which men usually desire to wear; sometimes it is even seen as a metro or homosexual characteristic. Kanye shoots these accusations down with other lyrics to the song.

This form of expressing oneself is through nonverbal artifacts. Kanye’s pink polo is an artifact that defies the stereotypical color associated with men. “Gendered artifacts help communicate what society believes males and females are like and how they should behave” (Gamble & Gamble, 103). Beginning at a young age pink is associated with girls; therefore Kanye wanting to wear pink is a perfect example of the breaking the stereotype set at a young age.

Gamble, T. K., Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.     

West, K. & Davies, I. (2007). Can’t Tell Me Nothing [West, K.] Graduation [CD]. GOOD Music, Island Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella.

#12

Posted on: May 8, 2009

                This clip is the music video “Crazy” by Aerosmith. This music video stares Alicia Silverstein and Liv Tyler as sex objects. Everything from showing Silverstein’s underwear when sneaking out of school to the two girls dancing on a pole is actions that have sexual references. Tyler and Silverstein are seen throughout the music video flirting, wearing skimpy clothes, and stripping were all ways in which they used their sexuality to get what they wanted.

                The use of Tyler and Silverstein as sex objects in music videos follows the stereotypes of music videos. According to Gamble & Gamble, “music videos are more apt to promote sexism, and communicate a misogynistic message by commonly depicting women outside the workplace, as background decorations, sex objects or slaves, the targets of male gazes and desires, or as victims of violence” (p. 370). This music video uses the idea of women as sex symbols and women as the targets of male gazes. Though this type of usage of women in music videos is disturbing, it sets stereotypes of what we believe is acceptable.

Fairbairn, B., (Producer). (1994). Crazy [Music Video] United States: Geffen.

Gamble, T. K., Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

#13

Posted on: May 8, 2009

feelings

                The chart of “how are you feeling today?” expresses all the faces one can exhibit. Every face has a different emotion and is a different way of expressing ourselves. One’s facials are examples of their nonverbal way of expressing emotion. Some sample facial expressions include one being happy and smiling and one being enraged and raising eyebrows and showing some teeth, like a dog would.

                Facial expressions are one cue one uses to express their feelings. “The face is the primary channel we use to communicate our own emotions and to analyze the inner feelings of others” (Gamble & Gamble, 96). Though this chart is cartoon-like it is beneficial when looking to decipher what expression and feeling one is trying to share. Knowing that people can read one’s face and what they are feeling, facial expressions are the hardest nonverbal cue to cover up.

Gamble, T. K., Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

#14

Posted on: May 8, 2009

http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/Content/Articles/Issues/General/123/2008-Statistics–Gender%20Equity-in-High-School-and-College-Athletics-Most-Recent-Participation–Budge.aspx

           This website shares some startling and not so startling statistics about males and females in high school and college sports. I was not surprised about the statistics of the increase in participation of women in high school and college sports, since the beginning of Title IX. Some of the upsetting statistics shared are ones that deal with college spending in women’s athletics. For example, women’s athletics only receive “36% of sports operating dollars, which is $1.55 billion less than male college athletes” (par. 4).

                “Title IX prohibits schools that receive tax dollars from discriminating on the basis of sex when it comes to either academics or athletics” (Gamble & Gamble, 248). Even though high school and colleges cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, there is still an imparity of spending on women’s college athletics. I acknowledge the fact that men’s sports tend to bring in more money to the school, therefore making a valid point as to why to spend more money on that particular event, the schools should still not have that great of a difference.

2008 statistics- gender equity in high school and college athletics: most recent participation and budget statistics* (n.d.) Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/Content/Articles/Issues/General/123/2008-Statistics–Gender%20Equity-in-High-School-and-College-Athletics-Most-Recent-Participation–Budge.aspx

Gamble, T. K., Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

#15

Posted on: May 8, 2009

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)       

  The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women.  It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States.  Each suburban wife struggled with it alone.  As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night – she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question – “Is this all?”

       Experts told them how to catch a man and keep him, . . . how to buy a dishwasher, bake bread, . . . how to dress, look, and act more feminine and make marriage more exciting.  They learned that truly feminine women do not want careers, higher education, political rights – the independence and the opportunities that the old-fashioned feminists fought for. 

      By the end of the 1950’s, the average marriage age of women in America dropped to 20, and was still dropping, into the teens.  Fourteen million girls were engaged by 17.  The proportion of women attending college in comparison with men dropped from 47% in 1920 to 35% in 1958.  A century earlier, women had fought for higher education; now girls went to college to marry.       By the end of the fifties, the United States birthrate was overtaking India’s.  Where once they had two children, now they had four, five, six.  Women who had once wanted careers were now making careers out of having babies.

       “If I have only one life, let me live it as a blonde,” a larger-than-life-sized picture of a pretty, vacuous woman proclaimed from newspaper, magazine, and drugstore ads.  And across America, three out of every ten women dyed their hair blonde.  Department-store buyers reported that American women, since 1939, had become three and four sizes smaller.  “Women are out to fit the clothes, instead of vice-versa,” one buyer said.

       Interior decorators were designing kitchens with mosaic murals and original paintings, for kitchens were once again the center of women’s lives.  Many women no longer left their homes, except to shop, chauffeur their children, or attend a social engagement with their husbands.  Girls were growing up in America without ever having jobs outside the home.  Fewer and fewer women were entering professional work.  Girls would not study physics: it was “unfeminine.”  A girl refused a science fellowship at Johns Hopkins to take a job in a real-estate office.  All she wanted, she said, was what every other American girl wanted – to get married, have four children and live in a nice house in a nice suburb.

       On an April morning in 1959, I heard a mother of four, having coffee with four other mothers in a suburban development fifteen miles from New York, say in a tone of quiet desperation, “the problem.”  And the others knew, without words, that she was not talking about a problem with her husband, or her children, or her home.  Suddenly they realized they all shared the same problem, the problem that has no name.  They began, hesitantly, to talk about it.  Later, after they had picked up their children at nursery school and taken them home to nap, two of the women cried, in sheer relief, just to know they were not alone.

                This excerpt is from Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.” In the midst of the second wave of feminism Friedan’s book was published and expressed the infamous “problem.” The problem was not written out, but after reading the passage, the audience was fully aware of “the problem.” The problem was that of women feeling was this life that was already set out for one.  For example, the household chores women were meant to do, what products to buy, what age to marry, and a career of child rearing.

                Betty Friedman’s book was a prime example of the lifestyles of women from the second wave of feminism. Her acknowledgement of the problem and “defining it as a political issue, women began to rebel” (Gamble & Gamble, 407). The issues the second wave of feminism dealt with include unequal salaries and the powerlessness of women. This document depicts some examples of these types of issues occurring.

 

Friedman, B. (1963). The feminine mystique. New York: Dell Pub.

 

Gamble, T. K., Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. New York: Houghton Miffilin Company.

Gender is apparent in everyone’s lives in so many ways.  Everything we say, do, wear, see, touch, etcetera are all ways in which we are affected by gender. From the moment we wake up in the morning, gender is playing a role in our lives. For example, since I am a girl, the color pink is apparent in my room. This can be justified through many reasons including social learning theory, reflected appraisal theory, gender identity and cognitive development theory. The word stereotype was used over and over throughout my web portfolio. I feel as though these theory and practices are actions that help to create reinforce such learned and perceived stereotypes. Throughout history though, these stereotypes are being continually broken and altered. A perfect example of ways in which these stereotypes are being monumentally defied is through all the feminist movements. Each movement provided change and development to breaking not only women stereotypes, but also minorities, homosexuals and children.

Throughout my web portfolio I also noticed a general trend not only to development, but towards acceptance. Due to the fact that all the artifacts can be accessed online it proves that the media is an outlet in which the defying of gendered stereotypes can be expressed. This expression leads towards acceptance. If we see these rules or stereotypes being broken more often then it will eventually lead to the disappearance of such boundaries we are accustomed to following. Though this thought is very utopian, who knows where it will lead us.

As people change, so will communication. Therefore, development will always be a reoccurring theme. This ideal will prove to be another factor in the idea of acceptance and what is considered masculine and feminine. Along with change of communication, our perceptions will change, which will affect once again the idea of acceptance. What we perceive to be appropriate or inappropriate will continually change and develop. Back in the 1960s no one would have ever thought of having a female president or vice president. But with time, along with our perceptions and acceptance changing, this thought can and probably will become a reality. If we keep this thought and the mindset of accepting change, gender, and society will development by leaps and bounds.

Gender is a factor in everyone’s lives. Some are out to break the stereotypes and others are out to fit accordingly to the stereotypes. With the hope of change and develop, what will be eventually be considered masculine and feminine?

#16

Posted on: May 8, 2009

“The shoes on my feet
I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing
I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’
‘Cause I depend on me
If I wanted the watch you’re wearin’
I’ll buy it
The house I live in
I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving
I’ve bought it
I depend on me
(I depend on me)

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin’ money
Throw your hands up at me
All the mommas who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me”

 

                These lyrics are from Destiny’s Child’s song “Independent Women.” This song, which was the theme song for the Charlie’s Angels Movie depicts the life of an independent woman. They talks about how she supports herself and can buy all her own stuff. Typically when a woman is wearing a diamond ring, it’s a sign of her dependence on her husband, but here they talk about getting “the rock” for themselves. They state several times throughout the chorus how they “depend on me,” signifying their independence.

                This song provides another way of women defying language and their sex role stereotypes. “Men are portrayed as independent and serious” (Gamble & Gamble, 63). It is clear that the message in this song, is that these three women are independent and don’t need males to take care of them. “Men are defined and described by activities and accomplishments” (Gamble & Gamble, 63). The women describe their accomplishments of being able to make money to support them and to buy the things men usually buy women, for example, a diamond ring.

Gamble, T. K., Gamble, M. W. (2003). The gender communication connection. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.     

Knowles, B., Barnes, S., Olivier, J.C., & Rooney, C. (2000). Independent Women [Destiny’s Child] Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack [CD]. Columbia.