Friday, January 21, 2011

Post Fifteen: Making Change Happen

The readings and conversations throughout this class has furthered my thoughts on oppression and my need to act for equality in a major way. As Alix Olsen's voice drives me in her clip called Women Before Me, "truth crushed to earth, will rise again", I will be sure to spread truth about equality and oppression to my friends and family, as well as to random people I meet on the street. I will live my life in a way that works towards equality, even if that means I have to start by just changing myself.  Olsen says, "to pull out my thumb and make friends with my voice", and I believe that is very true. I will speak out when I hear people being ignorant on race, sex, religion, and the many topics we have studied. I know it will not be greeted with open arms, but it will be the start of positive change.
                In the article by Jan Arminio, she mentions " All whites must wake up. This means acknowledging who we were as a group, questioning whether this is still part of who we are as individuals, and deciding who we want to become." I think that this is a very important point, as I myself am white, and I need to realize that I can't change that, no matter how my people may act or I have acted. I can change and work for positive equality, but I must first except who I am in society. In the future and starting now, I will work against oppression and no matter what I face, I will follow the words of Maya Angelou in her poem And Still I Rise, "You can shoot me with your words, you can cut me with your lives, you can kill me with your evilness, but just like life, I'll rise".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quick Blog 6: Ageism

My social sphere is diverse in that I spend a lot of time with my family. My family consists of all ages, except for the very young. My close group of friends is only my age, but I do wish I spent more time with youth and elderly people. When I worked at  therapeutic riding center, I made certain to work with the children, as I love spending time with youth. I think it's really fun and satisfying to take part in their learning, whether it be about horses or academics. I also really enjoy talking to elderly people, as they have so much to say and lives lived from before I was born. I think that the reason my close friend interactions are with people my age is because our society is segregated. I'm not sure why this is, but it is probably because of the way society separates generations with ideals and stereotypes. If, even now, I decide to hang out with the elderly or with youth, I know many people in society would wonder why I would do such a thing. It would be seen as not right in the eyes of many people.
                Young adults and middle-age adults are often privileged due to their age because that is the age in society that people are seen as in their prime. They are seen to be smart and the age where they are the best to do anything. This needs to change because no matter the age of the person, they are still smart, respectable people. Things need to be done to challenge the segregation in society, whether it be groups where all ages are invited to talk and share or game nights in town. Old people need to be respected, and they are in many cultures. I am not sure why the American culture does not carry that same respect. I think one major way that this respect can form is through conversations of the families as well as education on aging and the elderly.

Post Fourteen: Activism

I think that a good activist is someone who stands up for what they believe in, no matter the opposition they face. I feel like attributes for a positive change agent are people who have hope for change for the better, persistence for what they believe is right, and that they follow their ideas with actions and commitment. In the YouTube video, The 12 Keys of Spiritual Activism, a quote by Mother Theresa is mentioned which I think demonstrates a definite attribute to a good activist, "When you have a pro-peace rally, I will be there".  It says that she says this out of response for not going to an anti-war rally. I know that there are activists out there that blow up abortion clinics or people to prove a point, but I feel like good activists fight for what they believe in without violence.
                The activist that I admire the most is Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to affect the lives of so many people, even years later, in a non-violent positive way. As mentioned in the article Reflections on Liberation, by Suzanne Piarr, an important part of liberation politics are " learning non-violent skills of compromise and mediation in the sometimes difficult collective lives of family and community- in organizations, the workplace, and governing bodies". Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life following that idea and was able to create change and work for equality.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Post Thirteen: Ageism

I think that the root cause of ageism is what is said in the article by Butler, Ageism. He talks about "the underlying basis of ageism is the dread and fear of growing older, becoming ill and dependent, and approaching death." I think that this is one of the main factors to ageism in society in the United States today, the other being the idealization of the youth in media. Becoming old is seen as something bad and unwanted, even though it will happen to all of us. I do not think that I am an ageist, as I was raised to respect and understand my elders.  Just because someone is old and for example, cannot walk fast, does not mean they are less of a person in any way
                The video clip Once We Were Young gave a few examples as to why ageism is not talked about often in our society. It said that every week 30 older people commit suicide. I feel like society knows it carries these bias to the youth, but to face elders in accept aging would cause many people to feel guilt and distress they would rather avoid. I feel like the way elders are treated, especially in the US, makes it easy for people to put them out of sight and mind, only worrying about their own relatives if even that. I have a friend that works as a RN and she was astonished at how many elders are alone to face their health problems and troubles. It saddens me greatly that elders are not viewed as people like any of the public by much of society.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick Blog 5: Pornography

I checked out the website and really liked the message they stated on their first page. They gave the definitions of pornography and erotica, and stated how it is the violent, derogatory images they are so against. They said how erotica is different and carries different messages.  I agree with this, I think that pornography that is violent, sexist, etc. does contribute to the way men see women sexually.  I think that this type of pornography does contribute to problems with sexism and misogyny. When men and women are both brought up viewing types of videos where woman are completely degraded and hurt they may begin to believe that this is how they should act in their own relationships.
             I do not believe that all pornography is wrong, as there can be some that shows reasonable adult relations where both people are consenting and happy. I do believe that pornography should be limited to people who are mature, and limited in a way that there is no more violent, vicious pornography. I'm not sure how people could begin to do this, but I really think people should start to connect the way women are treated in many relationships and how women are treated in much of pornography.

Post Twelve: Ableism

The video Gimp got my heart racing, I was incredibly impressed with the dancers and their ability to convey such strong emotions throughout the piece. It shows that no matter what your human body may look like, or if you have a disability or not, you are the same inside. Every human has the same heart and emotion no matter if they walk different or talk different. It addresses the issues of ableism by showing how dance, something that supposedly is only for people without disability, is something that anyone can do. It goes in the face of anyone who ever told them they couldn't do it because they were "cripple". I think that performances like these can give hope to many people as well as educate many people about disability and the inequality many people with disabilities face.
                The article Gawking, Gaping, Staring, by Eli Clare, really showed first-hand inequality faced by someone with a disability. I really liked how Clare tied in how it's not just ableism, but other things as well that cause so much hate an inequality. I think that while going through these different sections  of the class we all need to remember that everyone faces these different types of oppression, many times all at once.  Our culture in the US seems to be built on these unequal, mean ideas. I am curious to learn about other cultures and how they deal with all these forms of oppression as well.