Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
She reminded me, "Yeah, you told me, 'I'll take your dogs but you can keep all the kids in your car.'"
I suddenly remembered how normally when playing I would put my husband in a back seat and my dog would sit up front with me. As my cousin said, "She wouldn't just put the husband behind her, she'd put him waaay at the back of the car.'"
After thinking about these stories, I realized that I really have always been a feminist, even as a little girl. That's not to say that feminism is about hating men or children, but I think independence and non-conformity are both values I've always held.
This class gave me the opportunity to connect my experiences as a little girl to the feminism I celebrate today.
Like I said at the beginning of this semester, I had reservations about taking this class. I already had a busy schedule and the drive to Cocoa was not all that enticing. On top of that, girls' issues never really intrigued me. But looking back at my decision, I'm really glad I made the choice I did.
I didn't have the best time growing up and I tend to block out bad memories. But taking this class gave me a safe space in which I could revisit my childhood and teen years from a feminist lens.
I've enjoyed every women's studies course I've taken. I love being able to sit around a circle and, essentially, have a consciousness-raising session. But I think Girls' Studies is unique in its own right, for many reasons. On the one hand, it's such a new class and I think we're especially lucky to have it offered at UCF. But it also is unique in the way that it is so focused on one topic, and its one topic to which we can all relate. I loved sharing stories about grrrlhood. It's interesting to see how our unique experiences have influenced each of us, how we've all changed since those elementary/middle/even high school experiences, and how ultimately those experiences brought us to the same point in life.
Even though I learned more about my friends and became closer to them, I also learned about myself. I've been able to see how my own experiences have shaped me and I think that's made me a stronger feminist.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
First of all, I don’t like the fact that Hannah is thin, blond, very flashy with her wardrobe, and that she wears a lot of makeup. So many people worship Hannah, but Miley, on the other hand, who is plain in her clothing, and has brown hair, is barely noticed. What does this tell young girls?
I also do not like how the Disney Company produces so many Hannah Montana products. Parents would have to struggle financially just to afford all other the CDs, DVDs, clothes, and everything else imaginable that Disney put out for them to buy. Instead of making things, like friendship bracelets, or spending time swapping clothes with friends like I did as a child, girls now are told to shop, shop, shop! And to make matters worse, all of the products are pink, purple, covered in glitter, or gold.
Girls need an alternative to Hannah Montana. Lilly is a step in the right direction with her love of skateboarding, and not to ‘girlie’ actions, but Hannah openly criticized Lilly for being different, including in this episode. Is this really the best thing for young girls to watch?
Hannah tries to make Lilly more 'girlie' in order to impress a boy...
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
…design, produce, create, modify, or otherwise bring into being an artifact that makes a point about relationships between texts and technologies. […] The object must include new media tools, connect in some way to class readings and discussions, demonstrate relationships between texts and technology, and be thought-provoking. (Bowdon)
Lessig, Lawrence. Free Culture. New York: The Penguin Press, 2004.
O'Gorman, Marcel. E-Crit Digital Media Critical Theory and The Humanities. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.
Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy. New York: Methuen & Co., 1982.
McLuhan, Marshall. The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. New York: Bantam Books, 1967.
Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: The Free Press, 1997.
Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
Rabinow, Paul, Ed. The Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984.
I'm grateful for late night sleepover conversations when my middle school friends and I talked about taboo topics, but it would have understood myself and been so much more confident if I had been able to talk about sexuality openly. I really appreciate the research that contributors to our texts did on girls' perceptions of sexuality in media and in their lives. Also, discussing the sexual stereotypes that are placed on girls has been really useful to me. From my experience growing up, most of the time I felt that I belonged to one category of girl: the good girl. The reputation followed me, so I either upheld it or every now and then fought to break it down.
For me, doing theatre was an important place where I could step outside of the stereotype that I lived, and be a person who was proud and loud about sexuality. From our readings and online assignments, it seems like a lot of girls find the internet as a place where they can explore who they are and who they want to be and discuss with other girls.
I notice that I still find my self stepping in and out of the good girl stereotype in my head. When I begin to discuss sexuality with people I knew growing up, I catch myself thinking, is it OK for me (a good girl) to be talking about this? I have to remind myself that I'm a woman and I'm allowed to have a sexuality. So I guess I'm still internalizing lessons I picked up from this class. A girl doesn't need to become a woman to claim her right to sexual independence. Our society's rules for girls behavior are harmful, and I would like us to all have the opportunity to learn to ignore them. Also, I'm sad that this class is over.
So looking back on this past semester, I really didn’t realize how much that I have learned until I sit down to think about it. Throughout Girls Studies, I have subtly gained knowledge that I can carry and pass on to everyone in my life. Thinking all the way to the beginning, I remember looking at a video on advertising and how over sexualized womyn are portrayed in the media, and how young girls see this and think this is how they are supposed to be. This class allowed me to reflect on my own childhood and think back on things that I thought or did because I saw them in magazines or on TV and I wanted to be beautiful like those womyn. And still today, it is difficult just how it was in middle and high school to see these “perfect” womyn constantly thrown in your face, and realizing that you don’t look like them, and most likely never will. But now I do have Feminism, and now I realize that people are airbrushed, and that a very low percentage of womyn actually do have the bodies that are shown. Before this class I never really thought about younger girls to be honest. I never thought about the giant impact that the media does play on a young girl’s outlook on life and herself. Now that I recognize this it really frustrates me because anorexia, bulimia, and drug use of grrrls and womyn could completely get eliminated if we weren’t exposed to the pressure at young ages of trying to look perfect, and be this feminine being that is so closely linked to Barbie.
This class has allowed me to fully evaluate our society and the principles that are installed in our minds throughout our childhood that move onto our adulthood. Again, it is so aggravating because you see it everywhere you go. Whether you’re watching TV or looking at your own family structure. What we are taught in the very beginning of our lives never leaves us. We might not remember learning how little grrrls or boys are supposed to act, but we will most likely follow suit and not even know why. That is what this class has really opened my eyes to. I know society is screwed up and it has helped to screw up many people, but to look back and analyze when this all came about is sickening, because we had our lives planned out before we even came out of the womb. The minute “you’re having a grrrl” was announced minds were made up on how to raise this child and the kind of life she will have.
So yes, Womyn Studies is of course awesome, but Grrrls Studies gets down to the core root and brings you back to how you used to think, and why you did things the way you did. This class was remarkable, and I definitely advise everyone to take it. I had so much fun, and I know everyone else did as well! :)
I am so glad that I got to be in this class at the begginning and got to know all the intelligent and just plain awesome grrrls. Before and after every class I have gotten to look back at grrrlhood and those car rides and discussions have also been one some of the greatest parts. Exploring websites like gurl.com and taking quizzes about how much i really know about feminism or STDs made me go back in time but also see how things have developed to educate grrls about difficult topics but in a comfortable and fun atmosphere. Also with my service learning and interacting with young girls I was able to see first hand at what grrrls are learning and dealing with in society. The whole combination of face to face discussion, to activism and blogging made this an experience more than just a class. I know I sound sentimental, but I wish all my classes were this close and genuinely interesting like ours. I cannot wait for more courses like this and to continue the bond of being the guinea pigs of Grrrls Studies at UCF <3