Personal Space

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ckc21Cdblsc[/youtube]

By Matiara Huff

This slam poetry video featuring Reagan Meyers a great description of what it feels like when a women’s personal space is constantly being invaded.  It is degrading when someone ignores my existent and lazily reoccupy the space I am taking up. No one deserve to be force to feel small and insignificant. Try to be mindful of the people around you, consider how they might be feeling. Someone’s personal space should not be a tactic for negation or away to make yourself more comfortable. If you feel like your personal space is being invaded, speak up. You deserve to always be comfortable where ever you are.

Transwomen in Prison

Image courtesy of Flikr.

By Zaquoya Rogers

The Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” highlights many different female experiences that tend to occur in prisons across the globe. They portrayed the problems of women in prison within every race, sexual orientation and background. One that caused an increase in conversation was about trans women and how they were being treated within prison. Since, obviously, male and females are separated into different prisons, where do transwomen fit? People started asking what it means to be a women. Also, why are transwomen’s gender is being trivialized? Lindsay King-Miller states “A woman, no matter her background, should never be asked to prove she is a woman.”

Laverne Cox, a transwomen actor and speaker, played Sophia Burset in the popular series and accurately depicted the struggle and mistreatment of transwomen in prison. In prison, transwomen go through difficulty in consistently receiving necessary hormone medication. In Season One, Sophia’s medication had been reduced because it wasn’t deemed as necessary which caused her male characteristics like facial hair to return. This happens in prisons today and scars transwomen’s sense of self.  A transwomen inmate named Mary was placed in the male prison Boggo Road Gaol located in Australia. She was denied any access to hormones medication. She states, “It was like my identity was taken away from me. I look like a woman and I think if a transgender person is genuine and they are living as the opposite sex, then they should be housed in a female prison, even if you’re in a wing on your own.” Denial of one’s gender is abuse and is not fair.   

In Season Three, Sophia clashes with some of her fellow inmates and is brutally attacked by the same group. Instead of punishing the perpetrators, Sophia is the one sent to the SHU (Security Housing Units/Solitary Confinement) supposedly for her protection. In reality, this type of solution downgrades transwomen and serves as an injustice. Not only do transwomen experience abuse, discrimination and bullying when serving time but they cannot count on higher authority in prison to ensure their safety. They are turned against and devalued as human beings simply because of who they identify as. This is a problem that won’t change unless more conversations take place about these injustices. I think that a great majority of people still see being transgender as something unnatural. This is why transwomen are subjected to so much abuse. The more we speak on it and accept people for who they are and not who we want to see them as, the better it will get for transwomen.

 

It’s Not in My Head: The Hysterical Woman Stereotype

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Image courtesy of Google Images

 

By Zaquoya Rogers

Many people are convinced that women are not trusted to know when their body needs medical attention. Can you imagine that?  A woman named Kathy was experiencing abnormally heavy periods and consulted her doctor multiple times, only to be told her symptoms were “all in her head.” After demanding more advanced medical attention, she found out she had uterine fibroids. It is appalling that in 2016, women are not being taken seriously especially in health situations. This is what you call the hysterical woman stereotype.

It is the thought by some health practitioners that when women reporting symptoms of illness are suffering from an overactive imagination.  It paints women as less rational, less disciplined and less emotionally stable than men. These stereotypes can be very dangerous. If Kathy did not demand more medical attention, that would’ve caused serious complications. In order to put an end to the hysterical woman stereotype we must listen to our women and take them seriously.

No Men Beyond This Point

By: Matiara Huff

netflix_logo-svg

Image courtesy of Google.

I watched this mockumentary on Netflix without any knowledge of what I was getting into, and it was quite an adventure.

No Men Beyond This Point is about a world where men are going extinct, and women have become asexual and only give birth to girls. This story begins after a successful matriarchy has been established, and women have comfortably adjusted to life without men. There are still men, but they all live comfortably in nursing home-like camps. The youngest man at this point is in his thirties. Now I don’t want to tell the whole story.  But trust me, it is interesting a weird but I still recommend watching it.

It was interesting, because I think that it accurately portrays the way that the world would react if this were to actually happen. In the beginning one women gets pregnant and gives birth without having sex and the whole world blows her off by calling her a liar and slut-shaming her. Then as time passes more and more women are getting pregnant without having sex and the amount of female births is rising. Men continue to not believe literally millions of women, until they notice the drop in male births and they begin to look into it. Then by the time that they begin a full investigation most men are too old or just physical unable to participate, and the matriarchy begins. It almost seems possible and has some feminist values as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUwZ5Yo3Urg

Young Black and Educated

By: Korrien Hopkins

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Black women are doctors believe it or not.  They are lawyers, politicians, students, educators. But the question is why people are unaware of this?

According to Addicting Info, “From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate’s degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master’s and doctor’s degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10. Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10. For example, among U.S. residents, Black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to Black students.”

Despite these statistics black women are consistently not given credit for their achievements. This week Dr. Tamika Cross, who is an OBGYN in Houston, posted on Facebook that last weekend while aboard a Delta flight she was rejected her offer to help a sick patient. Dr. Cross was then questioned whether she was really a doctor. Another doctor on board was allowed to help. Of course, this doctor was an older Caucasian male. While Dr. Cross is a young African American female.

Dr. Cross’ experience highlights a major problem we have in our society. This is one of both racism and sexism. There is the saying, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” This is what makes it even more important that black female doctors don’t remain under represented in society for the sake of upcoming generations. We tell our black children they can be anything they want to be: an engineer, a scientist, a surgeon and a doctor. The image of Black female doctors are even being presented to children on television.  Doc McStuffins is a show that has taken Disney by storm. It features an African American girl who although isn’t really a licensed she operates on her toy to her them get better. Both boys and girls of all races watch this show. This is teaching them diversity, race and gender equality. It is teaching the future generations. However, with mainstream America saying everyone has equal opportunity and, post-Obama, racism does not exist. We than read about what happened to Dr. Cross and it makes you question what it’s all about. It is important for other races and opposite genders to recognize inequality.

 

Sexism in the Service Industry

By Thea Voutiritsas

The food service industry is a petri dish for sexual harassment. I’ve been working in restaurants since I was sixteen, and I have never experienced such open sexism and harassment in any other workplace. Five years and four restaurants later, here is what I’ve learned:

  • Being a female server is hard. I commend all the ladies out there with a thick enough skin to handle it. Customers have called me sweetheart, girlie, and told me to smile more. People have touched my arms, shoulders and waist to get my attention. I walk into work every day knowing at least one person is going to make me uncomfortable.
  • The ratio of male-to-female employees in the kitchen is dreadful. Less than 20 percent of chefs in American restaurants are women, while more than 70 percent of servers are. Women receive little protection from harassment, even in popular chain restaurants large enough to have an HR department.
  • The turnover rate is insane. Restaurants are notorious for hiring and firing staff on the regular. I’ve visited restaurants just two years after working there and been greeted by an entirely new staff. The truth is, very few people working in the service industry see it as their final destination. Most of the staff members have other jobs, or are in college, or both. When workers don’t plan on being there long, what incentive do they have to create a positive work environment?

All of these conditions, combined with the high-stress nature of a restaurant create a culture that accepts and normalizes sexism and harassment. Restaurant culture is a beast of its own. Insults and inequity are deeply embedded in the culture, and are so heavily laced with sarcasm and humor that I didn’t even realize how desensitized I was. So people ask, “Why not just quit?” Strangely, I still like my job. I stay hopeful that things will get better. I see staff members also stand up for and support each other every day where the system falls short. If I quit, I’d never see or make the changes that I’m asking for.

 

EverydayFeminism.com

EverydayFeminism.com

EverydayFeminism.com

Catcalling is Not Cool

Source: Google images through Creative Commons

Source: Google images through Creative Commons

By Matiara Huff

Recently, I watched the video “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman.” In the video, the woman receives over 100 catcalls. Since its release, a lot of controversy has been raised over whether catcalling is a big deal or not, and it’s become apparent that many people don’t understand some of the real effects of catcalling.

First and foremost, everyone needs to understand that catcalling is not a compliment. It is rude, disrespectful, and sometimes scary. In the video, countless men yell things at this woman, and all she is doing is walking. It is very clear that a lot of men cannot read body language, because throughout this entire video there is not a second when this women looks like she wants to be acknowledged. Another factor that people fail to notice is some of the things they are saying to her as they try to force her to smile by calling her “baby,” “girl,” “beautiful,” “mami,” “sweetie,” and “darling”. None of these are her name, and none of these are appropriate for the setting.

This video only showed the lighter side of catcalling, there are definitely worst instances. Very few women enjoy these interactions with these random men. This behavior can make women feel threatened. You can see this in the video when one strange man follows the woman for four minutes straight. Being bombarded with unwanted advances is something that can be overwhelming.

Men need to realize it is not a compliment to make unwanted advances. Women should not have to deal with advances from strange men while they are simply making their morning commute. For more perspectives on this issue, check out the Daily Show’s videos.

What’s your favorite position?

Picture from Google Search through Creative Commons

Picture from Google Search through Creative Commons

by Maritza Gordillo

In this interesting article from the website Elite Daily, it explains how the famous Lauren Conrad was asked during a radio interview what her favorite position was and in turn responded with a 3 letter word, “CEO.” Her response was so empowering because she did not let herself be demeaned as a woman by answering such a question that only perceives woman as objects. Yet she responded in a way that, in my opinion, left the person who asked pretty embarrassed. Conrad challenged the stereotypes of what a woman should act like and be.

 

Pens for Her

By Maritza Gordillo

As I was browsing through upworthy.com, I came across a video from Ellen DeGeneres. I love her show because it is humorous, but I especially love her sarcasm when it came to standing up for women as she talks about the new product the company BIC came out with; Pens for Her. She criticizes the fact that this company wanted her to promote a product that is totally sexist; c’mon, Ellen is a feminist! The product describes that these pens are made to fit a woman’s hand and they come in woman colors like pink and purple and because of this they are more expensive (even double the price). Watch the video and laugh at this absurd, sexist product, but more importantly share it with others to bring consciousness of how ridiculous our society has become.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCyw3prIWhc[/youtube]

Student Assistant Recognizes Privilege

By Morgan Paul

I grew up in a white middle-class family. My father was in the carpenters union and my mother was a community director. It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I realized my privileges, and reading “White Privilege” by Peggy McIntosh helped me to recognize a few more that I’d like to discuss.

“7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race” (pg.79).

  • This is a harsh reality because the only time we talk about other races is a brief discussion on how we ran the Native-Americans out and then slavery. In the twelve years we spend in public school we never look at when happened before America was colonized or the history of those who we enslaved. We’re so concerned with “white” history that it seems like before us or without us nothing happened.

“15. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group” (pg.80).

  • This is a privilege I haven’t thought much about. When I hear people ask things like “What do your people eat?” as if every Mexican eats the same meal, I can’t imagine someone asking me “What do white people eat?” Uhmm… food?

“17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider” (pg.80).

  • This is important because people often assume racism is only against African-Americans but seem to justify racism against other races. If someone of Middle-Eastern dissent has a complaint about our government, they’re a terrorist. If someone of Chinese dissent has a complaint about our government, they’re a communist. But if some “white” guy has a complaint, then woo-hoo where’s the press?
Not all "flesh" color is the same! Image from Creative Commons.

Not all “flesh” color is the same!
Image from Creative Commons.

“26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in ‘flesh’ color and have them more or less match my skin” (pg.80).

  • This is possibly the most obvious item and yet one of the easiest to ignore. For those of us who always found the perfect match we’ve never had to think about our skin being the default “flesh” color. But those with dark skin aren’t given many options and are now being told to lighten their skin.

I’d love to go through and discuss all of the privileges but I’ve already typed too much! Feel free to share any privileges you’ve recognized and be looking for more through your daily life.