Monthly Archives: December 2012

B Party!

When most people picture the words “Barbie ” and “Party” together, they usually are thinking of something like this:

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However, a new party has begun. A political party.

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That’s right! Thanks to The White House Project, young girls are being taught that women aren’t just pretty faces. We’re Presidential material and we can stand on our own. Literally. While Barbie is still in permanent tiptoes and ready for heels, the shoes that come with this doll are made for walking! Well… standing. Not only that, they’re having Barbie run under “The B Party,” putting her in a third party race! Thinking outside the box… I like it!

The project focuses on the potential of women aged 21-35, but they know from whence that potential comes. Teaching the females of our generation that a presidency is in their grasp is mind blowing and world changing. The younger they learn, the better they become. Mattel, for the first time I can say… “I salute you.”

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The Wrap-Up

My original plan for this blog was to highlight children’s media and how society treats youth. I strayed from that plan a few times, but with good reason. There is so much to learn out there about how the media affects our lives and it was so interesting! As a society, we consume so much media that I was able to implement things I learned in this class every day.

The feedback from my friends has been pretty mixed. My last post is just an example of the kind of things that I’m starting to notice. Sometimes someone will say something to me that seems incredibly racist/sexist and I’ll think to myself, “Are these people just becoming horrible or has this been going on all my life and I’m just waking up to it?”

This class has been really enlightening and it’s astounding how much I have learned. I hope that it becomes part of the Baccalaureate core because everyone should take this class. Seriously.

I think I’ll continue this blog after the class is over to highlight things that I notice in the media.

This picture that I found on the internet is pretty much how my conversations with my friends go after this class.

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Month of no shaving… every month.

I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw someone’s post that caught me off guard. A young man posted, “It’s sad when a woman in my checkout line has more of a mustache than I do.”

A couple of other people joined me in informing him that his thinking was terribly misogynistic, to which he replied, “What? I’m not the bad guy here. I’m the one that has to look at her.”

Because, yes, he believes that’s the fault lies entirely with the woman in his checkout line and not with his view of perfection that he is forcing on her.

His sister commented soon after and deplored his attitude. He replied that “If you were to grow a mustache, I wouldn’t be seen in public with you.”

Because it’s so terrible when mammals like humans grow hair. (sarcasm)

I was disgusted and posted this link to an article that really opened my eyes to how others live. 2012_9$largeimg226_Sep_2012_153458447

A Sikh woman was photographed in her school’s library with a full beard and the picture was posted on the internet. When she found out about the post, she simply replied that it was a good opportunity for others to see how she believed. Everyone responded so well that it seemed like something out of an after-school special.

When Kaur learned of the posting through a friend, she addressed the poster with grace. “I’m not embarrassed or even humiliated by the attention (negative and positive) that this picture is getting because it’s who I am,” she responded.

“I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being and (we) must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will,” said Kaur. Sikhs are forbidden from cutting their hair as one of five tenets of their faith.

The original poster of the photo later apologized on Reddit, and said that he had met with Kaur, who had grown up in his hometown. “Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you’re making fun of. It was an incredibly rude, judgmental, and ignorant thing to post,” he said.

“Balpreet, I’m sorry for being a closed minded individual. You are a much better person than I am. Sikhs, I’m sorry for insulting your culture and way of life,” he said.

When the Facebook acquaintance saw my link to this story, he became defensive and said, “So, what? Women are getting all hairy now? Is that the new thing? You’re attacking me because I don’t want girls to have facial hair?”

In my opinion, this was a learned response perpetuated by encouragement from his peers who would ordinarily accept such a post and guffaw right along with him. Our outrage threw him off his game and caused a glitch in his “Dreamworld”.

As interesting a case study as he would make, unfriend.

“Are we nothin’?” “NO!”

Newsies

As I get back to my original theme of children’s media, I would like to talk about their rights. In class, when we talk about racist and sexist media aimed at children, we usually end up saying things like, “How can they show these things to kids?” and “That’s why they have parents to monitor them.”

This is under the assumption that children do not have rights beyond the Universal Human Rights that should be afforded to everyone. The right to life, liberty, security and the like.

I had assumed that kids really didn’t have many right beyond that but I was wrong. In a couple of cases, minors have even been authorized to represent themselves in court when separating from their parents.

In 1899, the only time people wanted to hear from children was when they were selling papers on the street. But even those kids knew when they were being jilted and held a newsies strike that halted news production all over New England. They got their raise in pay because they worked together to defeat the paper conglomerates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer.

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Some minors have proven in this way that they are competent enough to deserve the rights of adults. Not the right to drink or smoke, but to hold their own council and decide their own fate. For what it’s worth, I think that a couple of minors in some large scale production meetings would bring a fresh outlook on how media treats women, minorities… and children.

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