PROJECT IN PROGRESS
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT:
Don’t you ever wonder what your life looks like through someone else’s eyes? Everyone’s life runs on a different track, no one is the same. Some people struggle while others live lavishly. There are always people judging you at every turn. Judgement can come in the forms of disgust or envy. Live life to the fullest of your ability with whatever hand you are dealt.
LIST OF IDEAS:
#1 Sociological Idea: Double-Standard
“Sexually active men are positively reinforced by being referred to as “studs,” whereas women who are sexually active or report enjoying sex are derogatorily labeled as “sluts”…” (Boswell and Spade 2010:290)
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: The Career advice you probably didn’t get
• You’re doing everything right at work, taking all the right advice, but you’re just not moving up. Why? Susan Colantuono shares a simple, surprising piece of advice you might not have heard before quite so plainly. This talk, while aimed at an audience of women, has universal takeaways — for men and women, new grads and midcareer workers.
• “Women represent 50% of middle management and professional positions, but the percentages of women at the top of organizations do not represent even one-third of that number.”
• “Why so few women leaders?”
• “Why are so many women mired in the middle…What must be done to take them to the top…?”
• “I had two protégés- a man and a woman. I helped the woman build confidence and the man learn the business…I didn’t realize I was treating them differently.”-Global Company Executive
• “We have mindsets about women and men, about careers and leadership, and these unexamined mindsets won’t close the gender gap at the top.”
#2 Sociological Idea: Doing Gender
When we interact with other people, we are encouraged and, to some extent (eventually), feel compelled to ‘act like a man’ or ‘act like a woman.’
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: Is anatomy destiny?
• Alice Dreger works with people at the edge of anatomy, such as conjoined twins and intersexed people. In her observation, it’s often a fuzzy line between male and female, among other anatomical distinctions. Which brings up a huge question: Why do we let our anatomy determine our fate?
• Sex is complicated!!!
• “Our system has been based typically on the idea that a particular kind of anatomy comes with a particular identity. So we have the concept that what it means to be a woman is to have the female identity. What it means to be a black person is allegedly to have an African anatomy in terms of your history. And so we have this terribly simplistic idea and when we are faced with a body that actually presents us with something quite different it startles us in terms of those categorizations. So we have very romantic ideas in our culture about individualism.”
• People who have different body types that challenge social norms:
1. Conjoined twins: two people with one body
2. Dwarfism: people that are much shorter than typical
3. Intersex (a typical sex): people who don’t have the standard male or female body types (comes in a lot of different forms):
Androgen Sensitivity Syndrome- lots of levels of testosterone but no reaction from the body. The body develops more on the female typical path. The child looks and is a girl. As a teenager she realizes she doesn’t get her period so some tests are performed and she finds out that instead of having ovaries and a uterus she in turn has testes inside.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia- 19-year-old boy; born a boy, raised a boy and even had a girlfriend and having sex as normal. Started having medical issues (menstruating on the inside) that lead to the discovery of finding out he was female in the inside with ovaries and a uterus.
#3 Sociological Idea: Sexual Harassment (gender violence)
“unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” (Hoynes and Croteau 2013:313)
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: Violence against women- it’s a men’s issue…
• Domestic violence and sexual abuse are often called “women’s issues.” But in this bold, blunt talk, Jackson Katz points out that these are intrinsically men’s issues — and shows how these violent behaviors are tied to definitions of manhood. A clarion call for us all — women and men — to call out unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change.
• Gender violence issues:
1. Sexual assault
2. Domestic violence
3. Relationship abuse
4. Sexual Harassment
5. Sexual abuse of children
• “We as a society believe that gender violence is: “Women’s issues that some good men help out with. But I have a problem with that frame and I don’t accept it. I don’t see these as women’s issues that some good men help out with. In fact, I’m going to argue that these are men’s issues first and foremost. Also, there are women’s issues.”
• “Victim blaming is pervasive in this realm. Which is to say blaming the person whom something was done rather than the person who did it. And we say things like why do these women go out with these men? Why are they attracted to these men? Why do they keep going back? What was she wearing at the party? What a stupid thing to do…Why was she drinking with those guys in that hotel room?”
• “Our cognitive structure is set up to blame the victim.”
• “What’s going on with men, not what’s wrong with women?”
• “A lot of women who have been trying to speak out about these issues, today, yesterday, and for years and years often get shouted down for their efforts. They get called nasty name like male basher, man hater, and the disgusting and offensive “feminazi”. This is all about kill the messenger. It’s because the women who are standing up and out for themselves and for other women as well as for men and boys. It’s a statement to them to sit down and shut up. Keep the covert system in place because we don’t like it when people rock the boat. We don’t like when people challenge our power.”
• “We need more men who have the courage and strength to start standing up and saying some of this stuff. Standing with women and not against them. We live in the world together.”
#4 Sociological Idea: Rape Culture
“is a set of values and beliefs that provide an environment conducive to rape…” (Boswell and Spade 2010:289)
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: The reporting system that sexual assault survivors want
• We don’t have to live in a world where 99 percent of rapists get away with it, says TED Fellow Jessica Ladd. With Callisto, a new platform for college students to confidentially report sexual assault, Ladd is helping survivors get the support and justice they deserve while respecting their privacy concerns. “We can create a world where there’s a real deterrent to violating the rights of another human being,” she says.
• (Scenario)- Hannah is excited to be going to college. One night she heads to campus party, where she sees a guy she has a crush on, Mike. The next day Hannah wakes up with a pounding headache. She can only remember the night in flashes. But she does remember throwing up in the hall outside of Mike’s room. She also remembers staring at the wall silently while he was inside of he, wanting it to stop. Then shakily stumbled home. She doesn’t feel good about what happened but thinks maybe this is just what sex in college is like. After graduation she learns that she was 1 in 5 women that Mike did the same exact thing to.
• “1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men will be sexually assaulted at some point during their college career in the United States.”
• “Less than 10% will ever report their assault to their school or the police. And those that do on average wait 11 months to make the report.”
• “90% of sexual assaults are committed by repeat offenders. Only 6% of assaults reported to the police and with the assailant spending a single day in prison. Meaning there is a 99% chance that they will get away with it.”
• MAKING A CHANGE: “We started by talking to college survivors and what they wished they had in college is pretty simple. They wanted a website. One they could use at the time and place that felt safest to them. With clearly written information about the reporting options. With the ability to electronically report their assault rather than having the first step to go into and talk to someone who may or may not believe them. With the option to create a secure time stamp document of what happened to them. Preserving evidence even if they don’t want to report yet. And lastly and perhaps most critically with the ability to report their assault only if someone else reported the same assailant. You see knowing you weren’t the only one changes everything. It changes the way you frame your own experience. It changes the way you think about your perpetrator. It means that if you do come forward you will have someone else’s back and they will have yours.”
• “We could prevent 59% of sexual assaults just by stopping repeat perpetrators early on.”
#5 Sociological Idea: Homophobia
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: The danger of hiding who you are
• Morgana Bailey has been hiding her true self for 16 years. In a brave talk, she utters four words that might not seem like a big deal to some, but to her have been paralyzing. Why speak up? Because she’s realized that her silence has personal, professional and societal consequences. In front of an audience of her co-workers, she reflects on what it means to fear the judgment of others, and how it makes us judge ourselves.
• “She didn’t care if she was perceived as weird or different (at a young age). But that same year she was in London, studying abroad, she realized something about herself that actually was somewhat unique. And that changed everything for her. She became the opposite of who she thought she once was. She stayed in her room instead of socializing. She stopped engaging in clubs and leadership activities. She didn’t want to stand out in a crowd anymore. But she realizes now that the moment she realized something was different about herself was the exact same moment that she began conforming and hiding.”
• Q: What had she been hiding for sixteen years?
A: She is a “lesbian”! She states, “I’ve struggled to say those words because I didn’t want to be defined by them. I just want to be known as Morgana. Uniquely Morgana. But, not my lesbian friend, Morgana. Or my gay co-worker, Morgana. Just Morgana! I was paralyzed by my fear of not being accepted. The biggest obstacles that I will ever have to overcome are my own fears and insecurities.”
• “Hiding is a progressive habit. Once you start hiding it becomes harder and harder to step forward and speak out.”
• “A 2013 deloitte study found that a surprisingly large number of people hide aspects of their identity. Of all the employees they surveyed 61% report changing an aspect of their behavior or of their appearance in order to fit in at work. Of all the gay, lesbian and bisexual employees 83% admitted to changing some aspect of themselves so they would not appear at work too gay.”
• “The affects of personal stress and social stigmas are a deadly combination. A study found that gays in anti-gay communities have higher rates of heart disease, violence and suicide.”
#6 Sociological Idea: Gender Hostage Acceptance
A person’s acceptance into a group depends on their conformity with a number of rules and standards. It is typical of modern cultures to reject someone who is to some degree ‘gender queer’ or gender nonconforming.
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: The myth of the gay agenda
• In a funny talk with an urgent message, LZ Granderson points out the absurdity in the idea that there’s a “gay lifestyle,” much less a “gay agenda.” What’s actually on his agenda? Being a good partner — and being a good parent.
• “There’s nothing I need from anyone except for love and respect, and anyone who can’t give me those two things has no place in my life.”
• “When I finally got to a place in my life where I came out and accepted who I was, and was really quite happy, to tell you the truth, I was happily gay and I guess that’s supposed to be right because gay means happy too. “
• “In fact, I heard that there was a lot of hate and a lot of anger and a lot of frustration and a lot of fear about who I was and the gay lifestyle.”
• “Now, I’m sitting here trying to figure out “the gay lifestyle,” “the gay lifestyle,” and I keep hearing this word over and over and over again: lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle. I’ve even heard politicians say that the gay lifestyle is a greater threat to civilization than terrorism. That’s when I got scared. Because I’m thinking, if I’m gay and I’m doing something that’s going to destroy civilization, I need to figure out what this stuff is, and I need to stop doing it right now.”
• “Did you know in the states where there’s no shading that you can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered? Not based upon the quality of your work, how long you’ve been there, if you stink, just if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. All of which flies in the face of the gay agenda, also known as the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, this little amendment right here”:
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
#7 Sociological Idea: Spiral of Silence
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: The danger of silence
• “We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don’t,” says poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice.
• Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a 1968 speech where he reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement, states, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
• “Every day, all around us, we see the consequences of silence manifest themselves in the form of discrimination, violence, genocide and war.”
• 4 core principles:
1. Read Critically
2. Write Consciously
3. Speak Clearly
4. Tell Your Truth
• “I figured the most valuable thing I could sacrifice was my own voice,
but it was like I hadn’t realized that I had given that up a long time ago.
I spent so much of my life telling people the things they wanted to hear instead of the things they needed to,
told myself I wasn’t meant to be anyone’s conscience because I still had to figure out being my own,
so sometimes I just wouldn’t say anything,
appeasing ignorance with my silence,
unaware that validation doesn’t need words to endorse its existence.
Christian was beat up for being gay,
I put my hands in my pocket and walked with my head down as if I didn’t even notice.
I couldn’t use my locker for weeks because the bolt on the lock reminded me of the one I had put on my lips
when the homeless man on the corner looked at me with eyes up merely searching for an affirmation that he was worth seeing.
I was more concerned with touching the screen on my Apple than actually feeding him one.
When the woman at the fundraising gala said “I’m so proud of you.
It must be so hard teaching those poor, unintelligent kids,” I bit my lip, because apparently we needed her money more than my students needed their dignity.”
• “Silence is the residue of fear.”
#8 Sociological Idea: Domination
“the power to set the terms under which other groups and classes must operate, not total control.” (Domhoff 2010:374)
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: A call to men
• At TEDWomen, Tony Porter makes a call to men everywhere: Don’t “act like a man.” Telling powerful stories from his own life, he shows how this mentality, drummed into so many men and boys, can lead men to disrespect, mistreat and abuse women and each other. His solution: Break free of the “man box.”
• “Growing up as a boy, we were taught that men had to be tough, had to be strong, had to be courageous, dominating — no pain, no emotions, with the exception of anger — and definitely no fear; that men are in charge, which means women are not; that men lead, and you should just follow and do what we say; that men are superior; women are inferior; that men are strong; women are weak; that women are of less value, property of men, and objects, particularly sexual objects.”
• “I can remember speaking to a 12-year-old boy, a football player, and I asked him, I said, “How would you feel if, in front of all the players, your coach told you you were playing like a girl?” Now I expected him to say something like, I’d be sad; I’d be mad; I’d be angry, or something like that. No, the boy said to me — the boy said to me, “It would destroy me.” And I said to myself, “God, if it would destroy him to be called a girl, what are we then teaching him about girls?”
• “See collectively, we as men are taught to have less value in women, to view them as property and the objects of men. We see that as an equation that equals violence against women.”
#9 Sociological Idea: Cultural Thought Mold
• Culture communicates a version of the world to those that undergo it through which it exercises control over their beliefs and perceptions
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: What my religion really says about women
• Strong faith is a core part of Alaa Murabit’s identity — but when she moved from Canada to Libya as a young woman, she was surprised how the tenets of Islam were used to severely limit women’s rights, independence and ability to lead. She wondered: Was this really religious doctrine? With humor, passion and a refreshingly rebellious spirt, she shares how she found examples of female leaders across the history of her faith — and how she speaks up for women using verses from the Koran
• “So at the Murabit School of International Affairs, we go very heavy on the debate, and rule number one is do your research, so that’s what I did, and it surprised me how easy it was to find women in my faith who were leaders, who were innovative, who were strong — politically, economically, even militarily. Khadija financed the Islamic movement in its infancy. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her. So why weren’t we learning about her? Why weren’t we learning about these women? Why were women being relegated to positions which predated the teachings of our faith? And why, if we are equal in the eyes of God, are we not equal in the eyes of men?”
• “To me, it all came back to the lessons I had learned as a child. The decision maker, the person who gets to control the message, is sitting at the table, and unfortunately, in every single world faith, they are not women. Religious institutions are dominated by men and driven by male leadership, and they create policies in their likeness, and until we can change the system entirely, then we can’t realistically expect to have full economic and political participation of women. Our foundation is broken. My mom actually says, you can’t build a straight house on a crooked foundation.”
• “It only took a few weeks before the women that I had previously worked with were returning back to their previous roles, and most of them were driven by words of encouragement from religious and political leaders, most of whom cited religious scripture as their defense. It’s how they gained popular support for their opinions.”
• “So initially, I focused on the economic and political empowerment of women. I thought that would lead to cultural and social change. It turns out, it does a little, but not a lot. I decided to use their defense as my offense, and I began to cite and highlight Islamic scripture as well.”
• “In 2012 and 2013, my organization led the single largest and most widespread campaign in Libya. We entered homes and schools and universities, even mosques. We spoke to 50,000 people directly, and hundreds of thousands more through billboards and television commercials, radio commercials and posters.”
#10 Sociological Idea: Imposed Humility
In short, when one group is expected to be more humble and another is expected to be less humble, the former gets away with less while the latter gets away with more. (Borderlands/La Frontera, 2nd Ed. Anzaldua 40)
Related Aspect of the Phenomenon: Looking past limits
• Activist Caroline Casey tells the story of her extraordinary life, starting with a revelation. In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.
• “Can any of you remember what you wanted to be when you were 17? Do you know what I wanted to be? I wanted to be a biker chick. I wanted to race cars, and I wanted to be a cowgirl, and I wanted to be Mowgli from “The Jungle Book.” Because they were all about being free, the wind in your hair — just to be free. “
• “And on my seventeenth birthday, I accompanied my little sister in complete innocence, as I always had all my life — my visually impaired sister — to go to see an eye specialist. Because big sisters are always supposed to support their little sisters. And my little sister wanted to be a pilot — God help her. So I used to get my eyes tested just for fun. And on my seventeenth birthday, after my fake eye exam, the eye specialist just noticed it happened to be my birthday. And he said, “So what are you going to do to celebrate?” And I took that driving lesson, and I said, “I’m going to learn how to drive.” And then there was a silence — one of those awful silences when you know something’s wrong. And he turned to my mother, and he said, “You haven’t told her yet?” On my seventeenth birthday, as Janis Ian would best say, I learned the truth at 17. I am, and have been since birth, legally blind.”
• “The really strange part is that, at three and a half, just before I was going to school, my parents made a bizarre, unusual and incredibly brave decision. No special needs schools. No labels. No limitations. My ability and my potential. And they decided to tell me that I could see. So just like Johnny Cash’s Sue, a boy given a girl’s name, I would grow up and learn from experience how to be tough and how to survive, when they were no longer there to protect me, or just take it all away. But more significantly, they gave me the ability to believe, totally, to believe that I could.”
• “Be you.”
• “And I have learned, you know what, cars and motorbikes and elephants, that’s not freedom. Being absolutely true to yourself is freedom. And I never needed eyes to see — never. I simply needed vision and belief. And if you truly believe — and I mean believe from the bottom of your heart — you can make change happen. And we need to make it happen, because every single one of us — woman, man, gay, straight, disabled, perfect, normal, whatever — every one of us must be the very best of ourselves. I no longer want anybody to be invisible. We all have to be included. And stop with the labels, the limiting. Losing of labels, because we are not jam jars. We are extraordinary, different, wonderful people.”
HOW YOU MADE IT:
After reading the first couple of readings my mind came to the conclusion of how differently everyone views the world and the people in it. No one is dealt the same hand of cards. So, I had decided initially to do “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” But, my decision process changed. I decided on different facial expressions and a phrase that would put the faces together. “Don’t you ever wonder what your life looks like through someone else’s eyes?” Do you ever stop and wonder how people view you, how you view society, or how we are taught to view things from our upbringings?
ADVICE TO OTHERS:
Start as early as possible!!!