Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Final Essay #2 What is Feminism?

Feminism can be defined many different things to many different people. Its been called a man hating doctrine, the ideas of lesbians, and many other things. While taking the Introduction to Women’s Studies course, students were introduced to the many different definitions of feminism. This makes it difficult to come up with one single definition. However, through examining readings and class discussions, it is possible to develop a broad, overarching theme for feminism.
The first wave of feminists fought to ensure the voting rights of women. In the beginning, they did not consider race as an issue; the women that were the faces of the movement were middle-class, white women. In the movie Iron Jawed Angels, there is a scene where the women are discussing their march on the day that the president of the United States arrives. During their conversation a black woman enters and asks when they want her women to meet them for the march. She is told that they are to march in the very back, away from the white women. Today, this seems to defy the very things that feminists stand for, however, back then the white women only wanted to be equal to their white male counterparts.
The book, The F Word, gives a good overview of the second wave of feminism. This took place in the 60s, 70s, and 80s when women wanted more equality in the workforce, more access to sex education and birth control, and in general, to be more independent from their husbands. While there was still a lingering sentiment that felt that black women should work with black men on civil rights instead of feminist rights, this movement was more accepting of having black women involved and even embraced them. This way of embracing and broadening the mission of the feminist movement have made it easier for the third wave generation to bring about more change. The third wave is sometimes considered part of the second wave in that it is still pushing for equality in the workplace and reproductive rights. It also has a focus on sexual harassment and the rights of single mothers.
At the beginning of the semester, the first chapter in the book Feminism is for Everybody was assigned as well as discussing the class’s thoughts on what is said. The author gives her definition of feminism in the very first line: “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexual exploitation, and oppression (Bellhooks, 1).” She goes on to discuss the many different reasons that women are exploited: age, race, religion, etc. For this generation to see the end of sexual discrimination would be an amazing feat. Feminism is trying to promote sexual equality, but many wonder what that means exactly. The class decided that while this is a good beginning, it is not what they wanted to use as the complete definition.
One of the biggest issues discussed was that of reproductive rights. Many people brought their religious beliefs into the discussion, which while it is their right to believe the way they do, most felt that those beliefs should not forced upon others. It was a very good debate about whether women should be able to what they wish with their bodies (as long as it is within the range of what is legal). Bellhooks included a chapter about the argument of abortion and birth control that discusses the platforms for and against the idea. The said debate has made safe abortions expensive and hard for women of meager status to obtain. This has put the safety of women in jeopardy. Is feminism for abortions or just for the right for a woman to choose for herself and her body? It seems that a feminist can be for or against abortion as long as they appreciate that others have a different opinion on the matter.
For those who choose to have children, Opting Out by Lisa Belkin discusses the decisions of women who went to college but decided to have children instead of or before starting a career. It goes along with the third wave of feminism in that the women want the choice, however, they want to be treated like men who have children who are not penalized for becoming parents. They want to be able to have the job and the family. Unfortunately it is difficult for employers to hire women who they know will be missing work to take care of sick children and the like. This is something today’s feminists are up in arms about. They feel it is a type of oppression of women in the workplace and are working to have mothers treated better than they are. Another topic that is similar is that of gender roles. Feminists do not accept being placed into traditional gender roles. They want to be able to be themselves.
Today feminism covers many different areas. After looking at these different ideas, a good definition of what feminism would be this: feminism is the movement to ensure the racial and sexual equality of men and women every aspect of life. A person should be given the right to education his/her self in sex and birth control, as well as in a chosen trade. For each person to have equal rights in the workplace and in their public and private lives.
These ideals are ones that this author tries to ensure for herself and others. She has grown up in a household where each member of the family takes on every chore and helps each other as much as possible. She has never dated boys/men that try to keep her restrained to the ancient female roles. She will continue to push for and possibly become a lobbyist for the equal rights of all.

Works Cited
F Word (chapter 2) by Kristin Rowe
Feminism is for Everybody (chapters 1 and 5) by Bell hooks
Opt Out by Lisa Belkin
Movie: Iron Jawed Angels

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Final Essay #1 Inequality in the Workplace and Public Eye.

Over the semester we have read several articles and book chapters related to the equality of men and women in the workplace and the world in general. It has been strongly emphasized that even in the world of third-wave feminism, women are not equal to men. Readings specifically related to the equality issue that I have found informing and interesting are Taking Sides, Opt Out, Fresh Lipstick, He’s a stud, She’s a slut, and the Beauty Myth. Taking Sides focuses on the arguments about the differences between men and women, while the others focus more on specific issues.
Taking Sides has two sides to it—hence the name—one side says that yes, men and women are different but these differences are not enough to make a difference; that these differences are strengths for each gender. The other side says that there are multiple psychological, emotional, and physical differences between the sexes. It argues that these differences are important enough to allow for men and women to be treated differently and given unequal duties in work and school. Over the years men have tried to find ways to keep women subservient, this article emphasized that men will find any way they can to do so even in the present time of supposed equality.
Equality in the workplace is still a big deal in America, specifically the equality of working parents. Opting Out is primarily about women who have gone to college to get a good education but have decided to have children instead of going into the workplace. While some of the women give reasoning along the lines of just wanting children in that time of their lives, others say that by having their children before they go into the workforce makes it easier to get a good job and be promoted. Women who haven’t had children are considered risky hires to some employers because if they have children they will most likely take maternity leave and have to take off for their children. They are not promoted as quickly when they have children and are sometimes “let go.” However, men are not penalized when they become fathers. This is blatant discrimination in the workplace; however, it is not considered as such by the law.
Going back to the first wave of feminism, women who were to be seen in public were supposed to dress a certain way. In Fresh Lipstick, it starts out by talking about how the women of the first wave would dress in “navy suits” or in “Jacky Kennedy-style.” It also talks of how the women were embarrassed by the way Betty Friedman, their first president, dressed. It was not considered “professional.” It goes on to talk about how women were concerned about looking “feminine” in everything they did. This concern was not so for men over the years. The only men who were ever required to look professional were those who worked at banks, in politics, or something of that status. These women were looked down upon if they did not dress in what was considered appropriate. They were not allowed to hold jobs, but still had to dress as though they did. It seems that the men just wanted their women to make them look good, like they had the “trophy wife.” A man could dress down, but women could not. This is still somewhat prevalent today. While women are now allowed to wear slacks and pantsuits, men can still dress down more in the workplace. Women must “look the part” to get the part while men are given the part more easily. Having inequality become so visible is a frightening concept for women striving to climb the career ladder.
Not only are men and women held to different standards in the way they dress, they are in their actions as well. In He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, the author examines the different ways the sexes are judged according to nearly identical actions. The two that stood out were over sex and leadership. In regards to sex, men can have premarital sex with multiple partners and it is considered a good thing. If it were known that a woman was doing the same thing, she would be called a slut or whore. Men can use sex to further themselves in some part of society, but that would lower a woman in the same circles. It is similar with leadership. A man who is in charge and strict is called the boss. A woman who does the same things to get the same results is called a bitch; however, if she does not push to get things done, she is not promoted to the top positions. It is a lose-lose situation. When women conduct themselves like their male peers, they are judged harshly. Unfortunately, to get to the top, women must sometimes deal with these judgments and act as if they are not affected.
The article The Beauty Myth seems fit to follow this with its study of how men and women are seen by the media today. The media’s portrayal of a near impossible body type for both men and women. This what is considered the ideal look and what is beautiful. Women are more harshly judged against this model then men. Employers hire those they think will best represent the company and that can end up being decided upon by how the person looks. It is considered bad PR to have someone who is not a representation of the what a company is trying to sell, so the better you look the more professional you look, which reflects better on the company. Unfortunately, what the media portrays is not the norm. Women are judged inferior to airbrushed, molded models and are treated as second class if they do not fit that mold. This is the most detrimental type of inequality to the female sex: the inequality of image. Making women fit a mold instead of admiring the individuality of each is demeaning.
The inequality between men and women in the workplace and public life has changed over the years. These articles discuss how it has changed, and how it affects today’s women. While the inequality may not be as noticeable to those who have not been introduced to the many types, it is just as widespread as it was before. This makes me wonder if men and women will ever be treated equally in the public eye. Will we always have to conform to the mold to be successful? This has caused me to strive to be treated as an equal in all that I do. I will hold my employers responsible and make sure I am not looked over just because I am a woman. We must all do this to help bring about change.

Works cited:
Fresh Lipstick by Linda Scott
He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut by Jessica Valenti
“Opt Out” by Lisa Belkin
“Taking Sides” by Kingsley Browne
The Beauty Myth “How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women” By Naomi Wolf

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blog #10

The group I chose is the Global Fund for Women. "The Global Fund makes grants to seed, strengthen and link women's rights groups based outside the United States working to address human rights issues that include:

* Ending Gender-Based Violence and Building Peace
* Ensuring Economic and Environmental Justice
* Advancing Health and Sexual and Reproductive Rights
* Expanding Civic and Political Participation
* Increasing Access to Education
* Fostering Social Change Philanthropy"
In 22 years, they have given over $71 million to 3,800 women's groups around the world to help give opportunities to women. They also have special funding "initiatives" that allow them to continue to support an organization for several years. Basically they're a group promoting women's rights around the world.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Support the Working Group on Girls

The Working Group on Girls(WGG) is a Non Governmental Organization is a United Nations committee dedicated to helping girls around the world of all ages and races-- "A special NGO...dedicated to the truth that all girls everywhere
have the right to develop to their full potential." Its mission is to promote "the rights of girls in all areas and stages of their lives, advancing the rights and status of girls and assisting them to develop their full potential as women."

The activities of the WGG support the following aims:
*Ensure that national governments implement, through policy statements, program development, and resource allocation the commitments to girls’ rights made through international agreements;
*Advocate for the ongoing inclusion and development of girls’ rights in the work of the United Nation systems and structures and in international agreements;
*Promote the active participation of girls as agents of change in their own lives, families, communities and societies.

A partial list of WGG members:
American Association for Health Education (AAHE), American Association of University Women, American Psychological Association, Children of the Earth, Christian Children’s Fund, The Citizens Foundation USA, Equaltiy Now, FEMVISION, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Franciscans International, Girls Scouts of the USA, SWAA Society for Women and Aids in Africa, Society for Public Health, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, UNICEF/USA, Women’s Federation for World Peace USA, World Alliance of YMCAs, World YWCA, World Information Transfer, World Movement of Mothers, Zonta International

As a woman born and raised in middle-class America, it is hard to imagine living without women's rights, civil rights, etc. However, this is the case in so many countries around the world, especially when it comes to young girls. For a girl to emerge as an empowered and successful woman (in these countries), she must be given an equal opportunity to do so--her rights must be protected. This organization is committed to the promotion and enforcement of such rights.

Visit their website at:

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Research Design:
When I first read the article “Taking Sides” by Steven Goldberg and the Endicott’s I took the side that men and women are more similar than different. I’ve grown up in a family where housework was shared by all, both parents worked, and gender roles were hardly a factor (occasionally, but not often). The few jobs I had while in high school, were female dominated—mostly because it was waitress-type positions—but the males that were there were good at what they did. After thinking about the article, I got to thinking about my current job. There is only one male that has the same title in the same department I do. Does he have an advantage over the female employees because he’s a male? Is he under less pressure from the managers? Does he relate better to the managers due to the idea that males work better in hierarchies?

With this in mind, I decided to talk to my only male co-worker and to follow him during a shift to see if he had an advantage or not.

Do you feel you have an advantage in our workplace because you are a male employee in a female dominated job? Explain.
I do feel I have an extreme advantage. Our customers are mostly girls, so I can flirt easily for better tips. I also have no shame so I flirt even when they are with their boyfriends.

Do you feel you can talk with the managers easier?
Yeah, they’re both guys so it’s easy to talk to them. They won’t think I’m attacking them if I complain and don’t see me as an emotional human being. Also seeing as how most of the employees at ******** are girls, I’m a guy they can talk to. We’re basically good friends.

Are the job requirements easier for you than for the girls?
Not really. We don’t have to stock heavy things and for things that are on high shelves we have a step ladder.

Do you think it would be easier for you to get a raise since you’re a guy?
Well, if corporate wouldn’t have frozen our raises then yes. Then again one person got a raise recently, so who knows.

So overall you have many advantages?

Do you feel that, even though you are very outnumbered, the environment makes it an equal opportunity job for men and women?
For the most part, yes, however, because of our clientele and the guy managers I think I have an advantage over the rest of you.

I followed my co-worker around for a shift at our coffee shop on a particularly busy day and realized how shamelessly he flirts with female customers and how easily he gets away with being a smartass with the managers. I try to flirt with male customers every shift, but usually they don’t seem to notice or don’t care. He walked away with nearly twenty dollars in tips that day; I’ve never done better than ten dollars (I usually work more shifts per week than he does too). One thing I did notice, however, is that when I talked with him after he had a private meeting with the managers, they shrugged off his complaints as easily as they do the rest of us (we all complain about the same one issue). He does get away with doing less work than the rest of us, but he could possibly make up for that in his high sales records. His advantage seems to be the greatest with the college demographic, which could be due to the fact that we work in a larger college town.

Overall, I think that because we work in a place that is overrun with female college-age customers and female employees, he holds a great advantage in tips and sales. The fact that our managers are males could just a coincidence but also give him an advantage, if not always most of the time. I think, however, more studies should be done to decide if men really have an advantage in this type of position (such as coffee shops). I wouldn’t know if other shops are male dominated or not.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Movie Review

I've actually watched quite a few movies lately, seeing as how I work at Hasting's it is easy to get my hands on a movie or two haha. Currently I am in the middle of watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (again) so I'll review and read gender in this movie.

In the Harry Potter movies, Harry is the hero. Typical gender stereotypes, other than this one, include: Snape (male) as the "maybe bad guy," Hermione as the "damsel in distress (at times) and the brainy one," Ron as the bumbling sidekick, Hagrid as the burly gamekeeper, Voldermort as the ulitimate bad guy, Umbridge as the evil woman seeking power and disregarding rules for her own agenda, and many many others. I never really noticed how gender was displayed in this movie until now. The advertisments portrayed these very roles, and if I remember correctly, at least one of the trailers shows Harry saving Hermione. I find it funny that in none of the Harry Potter movies Hermione is given as much credit as Harry and Ron for saving the day. She's the one who usually figures out the mystery, but that is all she really does. In this film, she fights the death eaters along side her male counterparts but isn't given as much film time in the scene. She also has to have help. There really aren't any characters who aren't straight. However, fans learned in the last year or so that Dumbledore is supposed to be gay, but his character seems to have no sexuality period to viewers. Only in the final book can anything be questioned and it is still very open to interpretation. This movie is definitely one that you shouldn't try to use this movie as one to show how gender is really represented in everyday life, just enjoy it for the imagination and creavitity in it.

In chapter 7 of F-Word, it covers many aspects of marriage. Two things really caught my attention: an assumption that heterosexual marrriage may begin to resemble homosexual couples and the divorce rate lowering in the recent years.
I was somewhat confused when the said assumption came up. When looking at male couples, the one who makes less in the workforce is usually the one who stays home. In heterosexual couples, if one stays home, it is the one who would make less. In history and currently that is more often than not the female. Pay disparity is still a problem in our society. I see it more as homosexual couples taking on the roles in heterosexual couples, not the other way around. It doesn't make sense to me to say that if less successful person stays home it is not at all from the old gender roles. I see it as if one of the males stays home, he isn't successful and should do the housework like a woman.
The divorce statistics were somewhat mindblowing. We are told that we have more of a chance of getting a divorce than those before us, however, as evidence in this reading suggests that isn't completely true. Couples married in the 1980s have more of a chance of getting a divorce than we do. Its somewhat ironic to me. We realize that divorces are becoming more common, so we wait until we are sure we have found the one we are meant to be with so as to lessen the chances of divorce. Smart kids haha.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This advertisement for Jose Cuervo really caught my eye in several ways. First the phrase "Pursue your daydreams" which infers that you need tequila to do so, particularly Jose Cuervo tequila. While that isn't specifically gender related, if you look at the woman and man being depicted it shows two very attractive people, that one would think anyone would want to be with. It dipicts the female in barely a bikini and being held by the man. In a way, male domination is very prevelant, he has her in a way that makes it difficult for her to get lose. his carrying her also shows her as the weaker of the two and in need of his support (possibly finanicially and emotionally). She is his property and a typ eof sex object in that she is nearly naked. "Vive Cuervo," live cuervo, states that living the dream or your daydreams is, for women, being supported by men and being their sex objects. For men, its having that beautiful woman who you can dominate.

I believe that everyone, both men and women, should be educated about the types of birth control available. It is a personal decision and should not be decided upon by the government or anyone other than the individual. While I'm still torn on abortion, again, I do not think it is an issue for the government to deal with. Regulations are the only way government should be involved to ensure the health and safety of the women receiving abortions.
Body image is a huge issue among women and girls. The media portrays tall slender women as beautiful and bigger women as ugly. There seems to be no in between. While we joke about bras being invented by men, not too long ago bras were thought of as a sign of oppression. Many women have a hard time thinking of themselves as attractive because of the air-brushed perfection of models. This is getting ridiculous in the fact that now doctors are telling slightly overweight females that they are fat and need to go on diets. Yes, this is happening, I had a doctor tell me that. I know I'm not tiny, but I'm not fat. No longer are doctors taking into account BMI's, just weight. Its abosolutely ridculous.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Sing Along Time! *snicker*

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I'll try to explain these song by song, but who knows how far I'll get.

"Stealing Cinderella"
Fathers are supposed to cherish their daughters. Their daughters are their Cinderella. They are special, daddy's little girl, and not just any one will be good enough for them. This is ideally how daughters are seen by their fathers, however, it is not always the case. I know from personal experience.
"High Maintenance Woman"
In this song, the woman is a stay-at-home wife who is used to the high life. She only wants a man who can give her everything she wants. This is how some men see women, as gold-diggers. While there are those who fit this stereotype perfectly, most do not.
"Stupid Girls"
This song is about the stereotypical sorority girl, the girl who is rich, pretty, and preppy. It asks "where have the smart people gone?" This song appeals to those who don't want to be seen as an airhead, "blonde," or not ambitious. However, this is usually just an image portrayed, they use it to get where they want to be. Take Jessica Simpson, for example, she capitalizes on her "blondeness" to make money.
Is about women finding themselves sexy and in demand. It exudes self-confidence, with an underlying of being almost conceited. It can be taken too far, this song pushes that limit. Self-confidence is sexy but by being so blatant about it, women are seen as high maintenance.
["Show Stopper" played when I added it but doesn't now :-( ]
"A Cause des Garcons"
A song by French artist Yelle. It basically says that everything women do, whether it is getting their hair done or dressing up, is for men. It goes on to say that this is caused by the magazines we read. (Translation:, Video:
Basically this is about a girl expressing her sexuality. It is expected of girls to want boys. While there is nothing wrong with wanting the opposite sex, it is not the only option now. This song is somewhat stereotypical of how boys expect girls to be about wanting them, when in fact many of us are not as up front about it.
"I Kissed A Girl"
While this song is about a drunk girl kissing another girl, which is supposedly every male's fantasy, it speaks about the other types of sexuality. It also speaks openly about being casual and not serious about someone in particular. It was very controversial when it first hit the airwaves, and still causes a stir.
While the song in itself doesn't really speak about gender, it is by an artist named Kelly. The sex and gender of this artist is somewhat questionable. I've tried to find out, but found nothing to point either way.
"I'm take a lot of pride in what I am"
This song speaks of men being proud.
"Here I go again"
A very popular song by White Snake. It is about being a man who continuously leaves girls to be on his own. It makes women out to be expendable and just objects subjected to the whims of men.
"The fightin' side of me"
Merle Haggard wrote this song about how people disrespecting his government/country are basically pissing him off. He speaks of his pride in his country and insinuating that real men are proud of their country and defend it against those that dare to speak lowly of it.
"Good Ol' Boy"
Waylon Jennings wrote this song about men "just being boys," getting in trouble, and running from the law. In a way, he is saying that real men take risks and don't bow to authority.
"Sexual Thing"
Ah, Poison. Making women out to be sex objects only. The song itself is good in my opinion, but if I really listen to the message it doesn't take into account any other aspects of women; they are only sex objects.
Woot! Meredith Brooks! This song is on here solely for the fact that it describes me almost perfectly. I can be anything any given day. I can be sexual, innocent, a bitch, or your dream. This is how I think all females should be: versatile.

On to the Readings
I totally agree that the feminist movements have been segregated within the ranks by class and sexual orientation. It makes the movement weaker to have factionsworking against each other. It does no good to fight for the rights of only certain women, there will still be women being discriminated against. Why should only one section get more rights? Isn't the idea equality? Why is it that only some women are worthy of those rights? That in itself is the bastard child of the patriarchal culture. You are only strengthening that by denying rights to other women. Go for it all, or none at all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Courses for Me

At the moment, I am unsure what my career will be. With a major in Political Science with at least a minor in Women's Studies, I've been told there are many things I can do. The ideas I've had have covered a wide range of things: women's outreach, UN Human Rights' Council, politician, and so many other things. Basically I want to help better the lives of others. I've realized OU offers a wide range of courses through the women's studies department that could be of some use: Gender, Power and Leadership in Politics and Administration, Women Creating Social Change, Women and World Politics, Contemporary Feminist Thought, Women and the Law (which I have already taken), Women in the Military (which I have also taken). The titles of these pretty much tell you how they would assist me. I really would like to take all of the courses available, however, because I find the the histortic and contemporary issues so enthralling.

I think some people would say I want to help others because I am a female and it is supposedly my nature. While I do believe it is partly a maternal instinct (I've always been very motherly, ask any of my close friends. They say its cute), I really just want to better the world. Not because I'm a woman, but because I am a human being. Gender comes into play in any profession, whether you realize it or not. I'm not sure how it will play a role in mine, all I know is that I will come into contact with many different people and each will have a different gender identity.

I have mostly worked in the food industry up to this point. I worked at Simple Simon's Pizza for several years, Red Lobster, and now I work at the cafe/coffeeshop at Hastings. The only job I've had that wasn't was as a Resident Assistant (RA) at NSU. I was first hired at Simple Simon's to work the front, looking back I think they only hired girls to work the front (they underwent an owner change later, and I worked wherever I wanted), but soon I was doing the manager's duties (without the same pay, of course). I was a hostess at Red Lobster, which sounds like a typical job for a female, but I was trained with a guy for the same job. We ended up working together a lot. He was the only male that was strictly a host/busser (we had one or two that would take a shift if needed, but weren't hired to do it), however, so I'm sure they had to do it for some sort of quota. At NSU, I lived on an all girls floor, in an all girls wing. They hired different numbers of each sex based on how many floors they had of each. There was a guy who was an RA on a girls floor, but he was gay so he posed no "threat" to the girls. They were very open to different life styles, the assistant housing direct was a lesbian and there may have been a few bisexual students working there but I can't be certain. Now, Hastings is probably the most laidback place I've worked in regard to gender. Again, my position is what you would think would be a typical female position, but the cafe manager and one other worker are males (we don't have many positions at all, which is why only one regular employee). I only know for sure of one homosexual employee, for sure, at Hastings, but this is mostly due to the fact that I really don't care about a person's orientation, just about the person themself.

I agree that feminist education and discussion has moved from a public podium to one almost exclusively academic. We need to reeducate the masses about what feminism is really about, that is not just a bunch of lesbian, man-haters who want to force themselves above men in society. We are women who want true equality, not equality in a man's world, equality in the world of people both men and women. We shouldn't force ourselves to adapt to a world that was shaped for men to best adapt to, we should reshape the world so that it embraces every gender. This the message we need to be teaching to new generations and to old ones.
(Don't have F Word yet).

Iron Jawed Angels

First off I would like to say that this movie has become one of my top 10 movies. Its hard to really envision these women doing everything they did to help further women, and this movie really helps to give an image to what we have been reading about since junior high. The parade was a very powerful scene that gave me chills. The women were so brave to go through with it knowing they wouldn't have police protection. My heart went out to Inez when she gave her life for the cause; not telling anyone she was sick was very noble of her, even if it was very foolish. One thing about it I wasn't too impressed with was that in many of the scenes, the props and wardrobe seemed too modern for the early 1900s. It took away from it a little. Having modern music, however, was a nice twist and probably helped some viewers relate to the movie more.

The chapter that really spoke to me was chapter 11. It made sense when it said that until we end sexism, we will not end domestic violence. The majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men, it is a show of male power and domination. Until we do away with the belief that men are superior to women, we will continue to have this type of behavior.


I interviewed my mother. She was aware of the feminist movement, but she said she wasn't too involved. Before I was born, she went to some meetings where the topic was "women's lib" but she didn't do much with it because she was given a hard time by her male friends. After going to the meetings, she agreed with it but didn't have much support from her friends. She describes herself as a pacifist and wishes she had been more involved. When she was growing up, she remembers that she had a few friends that she thought could have been gay/lesbian but growing up in Oklahoma people didn't "come out of the closet." She really never heard of feminists being called lesbian man-haters, she was shocked when I suggested it. She did know a man in Houston who died from AIDS, who ended up being gay. It was weird at that time for him to die of AIDS because it was not a common occurance, at least not a known occurance.

In the McIntosh article, I found it interesting that the author compared "white privilege" to "male privilege." However, she didn't elaborate on it, which bothered me. I understand that she is saying that as a Caucasian, she doesn't have to worry about any of the things we take for granted, but I'm not sure how that ties into sexism. I realize that in 1989 women didn't have the opportunities that we do now, but she didn't really tie it in well at all.
(I don't have F-Word yet).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back Pain Diagnosis---Pars Defect

So I went to my doctor appointment yesterday, only to be extremely disappointed. After 3 hours of poking and bending, 6 x-rays in 6 different positions, and lots of sitting around I was told I have a "pars defect" in the lumbar region of my spine (I have a fracture in one of the bones in my spine, not the vertebra itself, but the part that sticks out). This is a degenerative disease in your spine that is caused by hyper extension over time (can be caused by gymnastics and cheerleading, both of which I have done). This causes your vertebra to grind together at times. When I asked what could be done to fix the pain, he went into a long speech about how surgery would be a temporary fix (but the degeneration would start to occur above where my spine would be fused). He gave me exercises to strengthen my abdominal muscles/stretch my back muscles that could possibly ease my pain but not take it away. He prescribed physical therapy to help me learn to do the exercises correctly. After that he told me that taking pain medicine would not help much, but anti-inflammatory medicine would (however, gave me no prescription for any. Does he really think ibuprofen helps back pain???). He basically told me not to come back unless the pain got worse or it started shooting down my legs again (which actually all his poking and whatnot made it do that again).

While I'm supposed to trust that a spinal doctor is an intelligent person, I don't trust this man's recommendations. I have good reason to. When I first found out I had a spinal problem, I was told it was probably spondylolysis. I told him this, but he dismissed it and said after looking at my x-rays I don't have it. When I looked up pars defect, everything I found said the two go hand-in-hand. Wouldn't a good spinal doctor know that? An ER doctor (in Tahlequah, no less) sure knew what he was looking at. Second, I have a rib that likes to be dislocated. Said rib has been giving me problems lately and is sometimes so painful that I can't breathe. I mentioned this to him. His response? He'd never heard of ribs getting dislocated. Um.... hello?!?! Anything that has a joint or is attached to something else with cartilage can be dislocated. You don't have to be a doctor to know that. So now I'm in double pain because he's not the brightest. Third, he told me I'm very overweight for my height. Now I'm not going to argue that I may be somewhat overweight at the moment due to being sick, so therefore inactive, the last few months, but very overweight??? Come on now. He said the majority of my weight is in my upper body and therefore putting pressure on my spine. My question there is, did he even look at how I'm shaped? Most of my weight is in my butt and legs, you don't even have to take a good look at me to see that one.

This guy was not very observant and seemed to not know what he was talking about. While he was right about the pars defect diagnosis, he was way off base about other things (spondylolysis, anyone?). I'm getting a second opinion as soon as I can find a spinal doctor with a good reputation in the metro area.

I just thought I would give an update to those who have known what has been going on and wanted to stay in the loop. Thanks for all the support, I love you guys!

Friday, January 30, 2009

As stated in my previous post, I'm a Political Science major. It just comes naturally to me. I may not come off as a very politically charged person, but get me on the right topic and you've just hit a mine field! So, my Politics of Western Europe class today took a turn into the mine field.

We were discussing a quote by Robert Kagan, author of Paradise and Power. I don't remember the quote but it was along the lines of saying that the United States has a strong military and will use it, and Europe doesn't have a strong military because it knows the United States will be there to protect it no matter what. Now I don't know how we got off on the tangent that set me off, but basically we were talking why the United States believes it needs a strong military and what the rest of the world thinks about it. I ended up pissing off the majority of the class with one simple observation that anyone who lives outside the United States could easily see the argument for, if not completely agree with me.

Basically I said that the United States has become such a military power that the way we push our weight around with other countries has made us a threat in the eyes of some people. Said people then get pissed and either attack or threaten to attack us. In which case we, in turn, use our military power to try to eliminate the threat, which makes us look even more like a bully.

I didn't word it near this well because I had too many things going through my head at the time, but that was the jest of it. I wasn't saying we're a horrible country, just that some of the threats we have encountered could very easily be a product of our overzealous use of military force.

Apparently some of my classmates just cannot see that the United States can do any wrong. Eh, maybe I'm being too cynical. Too judgemental, even.

Either way, it was fun watching so many people's reactions.

Friday, January 23, 2009

So This is Me!

Ok, we're supposed to introduce ourselves in this blog so lemme tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Allie Ogle, I go by Miss Allie, AllieCat, Girly, Baby Girl, and many other nicknames. I'm a junior at OU majoring in Political Science and minoring in Women's Studies (which is why I'm taking this class). This is my second semester at OU, I transferred from NSU in tahlequah. I'm very blunt and open, which sometimes is too much for some people to handle. If I ever cross the line with you, just let me know and I'll watch myself. I love animals. I have 2 fancy rats, a hamster, 2 cats, and a dog. I would have more if I could afford it, haha. I'm very proud of my "Heinz 57" heritage: Irish, French, German, Bohemian, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Scottish. If you want to talk, I'm always up to it (I like to talk, if you can't tell already). I'm currently dating a man named Matt. We met at church camp years ago and were re-introdued my freshmen year at NSU. One of my favorite things about him is that he treats me as an equal while still being very protective if someone messes with me, my friends, or my family. We're both members of Greek organizations here at OU; he's in Phi Kappa Psi, and I'm in Alpha Gamma Delta. We're a strange pair at first glance, but if you really look you can tell we compliment each other very well.

So I guess I have to post my 5 questions now.
1. Why do Reublicans think Sarah Palin is a good example of a feminist?
2. Why do some women think feminists are a threat to them?
3. Why is it so hard for men to except women as equals in the workplace when they claim women are their equals in all other aspects of everyday life?
4. Why do women let the government tell them what they can and can't do with their bodies?
5. And finally, why do some women not want to be considered equals to men (or why do they think it is ok to be treated inferior to men)?

So there is my introduction. Enjoy! lol