Reaction on Reading Packets

This post is a reaction to the 3 packets of information that was given to my Women’s Colloquium class over numerous topics including rape, the lack of female artists in museums, sexism, women in the courtroom, and women getting into the education system and creating careers for themselves. So inevitably this reaction will cover a lot.

The readings started off talking about colonial women for the most part. How the wife, way back in the day, was more than content to stay home and help the family by making candles and spinning/weaving. This was their way of contributing while the man farmed or had a job in town. Women back then did not feel the need to have a job because they were still contributing to the profit of the family in their own way. And it makes sense, they did what they were good at, and still had a feeling of self worth. As the world has evolved and become much more industrial, the man takes giant strides, while it seems the woman is always two steps behind. While the man left for his job or career the woman was left behind with housework and possibly childcare. No longer having a feeling of self worth because (as most studies show) there is no recognition giving to the wife/mother of doing household duties. No pat on the back, it is expected of them to do these chores.

Now there was the very rare exception of a woman working as a doctor, architect, lawyer, and politician; but these poor women were depicted as “strange mutations” thank to the media back in the 50s and 60s. Just how rare? Here are some stats for 1960: 6% of doctors were women, lawyers 3%, and <1% of engineers. What about professors? Hell no, when women were going to a higher education they were always taught by men who said “you’re taking a mans spot here, but really you’re only filling a quota.” They never had female professors and the crazy thing was that they didn’t even question it! It baffles me that women once were thought about his way, and though about themselves this way!  Women were, and occasionally still viewed as the weaker sex, even though the college attendance is dominated by females now. An example of them being the weaker sex, is when employers would pay women less for the same job that a male was doing. One employer even asked a single business woman  “Do you have a family you have to support?” ‘No.’ “What about a mortgage?” “Not yet but I would like to buy a home soon.” “Well that’s why the man gets paid more!” I was appalled by this nonsense! What about a man who is not yet married and living alone as well! Same circumstances. What is sad to think is that we still have this sexist pay gap!

I hate what society has been forcing onto us since the beginning of time. That women are meant to be raised “pure” and are to be raised under their fathers rule until they are married and basically pawned off to their husbands care. That they are a piece of property, and there for only reproductive purposes.

Moving into the area of television, where it was clear women had only limited options is despicable. What’s even more depressing is that the roles women had back then portrayed them as either children (I Love Lucy) or a modern housewife with all the trimmings. Now don’t get me wrong Lucile Ball was a revolutionist when it came to women in comedy and producing her own shows, but she didn’t really portray her self as a powerful woman in the show. In the 970s we had a boom in household wives watching soap operas (information herehttp://soapcentral.com/soapcentral/news/2005/0509-historyofsoaps_01.php) and although those shows were based around some strong resilient women, they were mostly based around cat fights and love stories. As of late in the 2000s we have women fighting over companies and much more than just a man.

When I read about the flight attendants and about their “height and weight requirements” I was outraged. I could not believe that they were hiring girls on just their looks, and their marital status. They had to be single and plan on marrying within at least 3 or so years (preferably 18 months). Meaning these girls were never around long enough to realize how crappy their lack of benefits were, and they could never advance in position. They were eye candy, meant to be slim and appealing to the business men flying. This also meant that marriage was death to a woman’s job or career. Kaput! You’re done. This also meant that women wouldn’t get hired for other jobs regardless of better schooling than men in things other than just flight attending. Want to know how employers went about this? “Do you plan on getting married anytime soon?” -“Well eventually.” “Alright we’re going with the man, thanks for your time.” And the sexism wasn’t even seen as sexism! It was the norm! How obscure that life must have been.

Something that I read about in one of the excerpts was how a woman waiting to meet a business perspective in a bar was asked to leave. That it was a place for men and that she could not “solicit” there. Pretty much calling her a whore. It blew my mind! I could not image just chilling at a bar in a hotel, possibly waiting for someone, and then be accused of being a prostitute! I would be outraged, and so would that women. Its like comparing the following pictures:

I would be appalled!

Unfortunately I did not get much out of the Guerrilla Girls, aside from it being a great PR tactic for women artists. I liked the idea of it, and the point they were trying to prove. Along with the Riot Grrrl Manifesto, the lack of grammar, which I know is ironic for me considering how poor mine is, I found it was to hard to follow.

I found the 3rd wave portion to be a bit on the “bitchy” side, although I have been known to get pretty steamed up before on touchy issues as well.

I found a lot of the information on rape astounding. It really made me think about it, with all my “human sexuality” classes I’m taking it made me think about what is classified as rape even more. I have also gotten in discussions before with many people about what is considered rape. But honestly I think that I don’t support everything they had to say about rape. I know this is a very touchy subject, so I will try to not be coarse about it. But honestly, I don’t think you can put all the blame on a guy. Like in the instances where the information said “a woman can say no even after some fooling around has begun.” I don’t know how I feel about that. Purely because, let’s face it, everyone fools around after drinking, everyone can feel like it was a mistake the next morning, but only a woman can say after the regret that is was rape? Bull sh*t. You can’t blame a man for reading the situation wrong. If you started fooling around and decided half way through that you didn’t want to continue sex, and hardly voice your opinion on it, that to me isn’t rape. I do believe if you push him away and say “no” sternly then yeah it would be. Although rape is a very serious accusation, I feel as though some women don’t treat it that way. It can sometimes be who mislead who? Who regretted what? And that can turn into something that could ruin one of the participants life.  And what about men getting raped? IT doesn’t happen as often but it does. Men raping men and women raping men. But those men hardly ever step forward. It breaks my heart that things like this happens in this world and no thing can seem to fix this. Their was talk of teaching boys in school, in sexual education programs, that rape is bad, and is a crime. That could help yes, but that’s only one generation out there. What about the generation that has already learned they like to rape others? I read in one study of a university, that if it wasn’t breaking a law/wasn’t a crime 60% of men would rape a woman. That is way to high of a statistic for me to ever feel comfortable around college guys.

Rape has been around since the dawn of time. How do we “beat” it out of society when it’s been engrained in their DNA. What I also found incredibly interesting was the fact that our bed time stories are based around rape. Like Little Red Ridding Hood; that was about rape?!? SAY WHAT? How had I not realized that yet in my adult life? It is so clear to me now. I was blind before. And it is always a man coming into save the damsel in distress. It is a retired story line, it has been used for as long as their has been stories to be told. A women gets into trouble and a man must save her, and sometimes save her from another man. It’s disgusting to think about.  But you find another wolf in an old Grimm story with males as the leads and they can save themselves! The 3 little pigs is the example I am using right now. Over all it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, when I wish what I was tasting was bacon. It makes me think about any powerful woman in those old stories. They are the evil ones, the antagonists for the helpless protagonists. The old cannibalistic witch in Hansel and Gretel, the spiteful stepmother of Cinderella, the mother of Snow White, and those are just a few. Why must we have the powerful women be the evil monsters?

Although some of the examples given in the reading are very disturbing and those women deserve the rights that every woman deserves. Domestic does not mean safe just because you have your husband there to save you. Wives can be raped by their husbands as well too. I believe society needs to change, that seems improbable.

That is all I care bare to say on this subject.

~Jacki K

The war against women’s bodies.

As the weeks have increasingly gone by, with different outcomes coming and going to what seems every other day, we women, have been butting heads continuously for our rights for birth control and choice against a world that is driven by conservative men and the church. After reading this –> http://www.alternet.org/story/154197/4_states_where_right-wingers_are_promoting_shocking_measures_to_keep_women_barefoot_and_pregnant?page=entire

and this http://mediamatters.org/blog/201202080001 along with this http://www.thenation.com/article/165978/obama-stands-bishops-finally I can not but find myself enraged. I am so frustrated with people acting as though they are allowed to tell me what I can and cannot do with me body. I mean hello! I’m not telling you what to do with yours! How about some dignified self respect for yourself and leave other people to make their own choices after knowing that all the consequences can be.

That first link up there talks about 4 different states, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma all fighting the useless fight of ironically enough abolition abortion. Try saying that 10 times fast. They are trying to pass things like the “Personhood act” where after the egg has been joined by a sperm and thus becomes an embryo, they have the same rights as any person. Which leads me to think this: If a teenager has the same rights as any person, why are they being persecuted differently if they send out “sexts” to another person. Did you know that if a person under the age 18 send out a dirty picture or receives one of another under the age of 18 it is qualified as owning or distributing child pornography? For example if a 16 year old is in a relationship with another 16 year old, and with all those hormones that they have, begin to dirty text one another, and send nude/seminude photos of themselves to the other, they could both be charged and have some jail time? Lets say they both consent and the only way someone finds out about these photos is a parent goes snooping on their phone and find them. They decide to sue the other party. How in the world do these kids not get their own freedom of speech, when embryo’s who are not even capable of having their own coherent thoughts about ANYTHING, gets more rights then an already developed person in the world? What I am trying to say is that makes no sense!

Women should get the right to make their own decisions, and doctors should not be refraining medical advice to them either. One of those states up there were going to try to pass a law saying that a doctor can refrain from telling the patient that if already pregnant there may be some complications. Complications that could even lead to death. How is that fair to a life that is already in existence and has made relationships with family and friends? THAT BLOWS MY MIND.

And then there’s the church. Dear church, stay the fuck out of my business. That’s what I have to say about that. Why does it matter if my company will cover birth control, so I’m not squirting out babies ever other damn 9 months? So wait, wait, you can sit there and tell me that the insurance company can pay for VIAGRA, a drug that helps old men with erectile dysfunction, whom under the correct circumstances, by the act of god, should no longer be having sex; but when a young, vital women wants and can have sex, but is not ready to bring a child into the world yet, and is making a conscious effort to make sure that doesn’t happen, that, well insurance companies can’t cover that huh? Oh is it maybe because those old priests of yours can sit there and have an erection whenever they see a young, pure boy and can ruin the rest of their lives, is that why Viagra can be covered? Oh I see, it’s because you are a bunch of raging hypocrites. I get it now.

Personally I think we should keep fighting the good fight for our rights to our bodies. If I am not ready to bring a child into this contradictory world then you have to give me at least one, if you are so damn against me ripping a “person” out of my uterus, then you better as HELL, let my insurance company pay for the UNGODLY expensive birth control so I don’t have to do that. Any idea how much my name brand costs church/conservatives? It costs me 30 bucks a month and that’s just co-pay, if the insurance didn’t cover it, it would be around 80 bucks a pop.

You, the reader, may wonder why I am so adamant about birth control. Well I will tell you why, I have been taking birth control since the age of 12. “Wow” you must say; “whoreing around that early eh?” Actually no. I was 11 when I began my period and was not menstruating at all, let alone correctly. I would bleed 3 weeks straight to never actually have the egg follow through. It was a nightmarish year for me, and I thought something was wrong with me. Turns out since I was so athletic, yes even as an eleven year old, I had not an ounce of fat on me, and was not going through the normal stages of puberty because I was so lean. I then went to a gynecologist and so began my long, difficult, confusing war with birth control. Figuring out the right dose, when to take it in the day, and of course the battle between generic and name brand. So to you out there thinking, OH IT’S JUST SO PEOPLE CAN HAVE A CRAZY ASS AMOUNT OF UNPRODUCTIVE NONBABYMAKING SEX. You are quite simply, wrong. This was a medication that put me on the right track of menstruation, and it should be covered by insurance companies should it not? It was something that made me get better. So think about that. That’s all I’m saying.

 

~Jacki K

A reaction to the “Declaration of Sentiments”

A long time ago, centuries even, in 1848 sixty eight women and 32 men signed a declaration of sentiments. This declaration was not unlike the one our founding fathers of America signed in 1776. But unlike that declaration, we women are still struggling for equality. The declaration signed in 1848, nearly a century later, was one for freedom and independence but not for a country but for women of all kinds to be free of their slavery to men. To not be the property of their husbands or fathers, to be their own identity, claim their own property, have a voice, be a part of government, and have the same code of morals as men.

To read what women had suffered through so much only 150 years ago is depressing, especially when it comes to the fact that we have come a long way, but not long enough. Women hold hardly any standard in the area of the government, and are scrutinized that much more when running for candidacy. As though the fact that they can give birth to another human being is a reason enough that they “couldn’t handle the job.” If anything shouldn’t the ability to bare life be a pro upon why they could lead a country or state or providence? No man on earth can do what a woman can but any women on earth could do what a man does.

One of the excerpts I found most influential was the following: “Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” This touched me so deeply with the current controversy on the birth control debates going on. To me I read it as, if your government is keeping you from living a happy and prosperous life, then you must stand up and do something about it, it is acceptable to fight for your right, and I find that Birth Control covered by insurance companies is plenty under the line of fulfillment. I don’t see what the big deal is, and I definitely think that we should try and get this bill passed, I am woman, I have my rights like any other human being, and I am the only one who should be in control of when I want to reproduce.

Equality for Women, sexual empowerment

Journal entry: “Where Are We Now?” in terms of equality for women.                                                                                        1/24/2012

To begin this journal entry I would just like to start off by stating where women were in the past in terms of equality. After about 10 minutes of researching and plugging words into Google like “achievements for women equality,”  “women’s equality achievements throughout the decades,” “women’s equality in the 90s,” and failing on finding what I wanted. A simple representation of where women have been throughout the years was all I was asking for. Finally, I figure I’d try “timeline of women’s equality” and boom, second link. Exactly what I was looking for. It depressed me to find this so hard to even come by with my first few attempts. But nowindepent women in the 90s to the my decade representation.

the 90s- For the first time in history married women can be taxed individually and not alongside of their husbands happens, thus making them more independent. Rape in marriage is made a crime. And a new law is passed stating that both women and men can take a 13 week absence to care for children under the age of 5.

THIRD WAVE OF FEMINISM- 1980s-Today main focus FIXING THE BACKLASH AND MAKING SEXUALITY EMPOWERMENT AMONG OTHER THINGS.

the 80s-Women can apply for loan or credit in their own names. Bars and pubs are no longer able to discriminate women and turn away their service. The Equal Pay Amendment is passed allowing women to be paid equally to men, another act passes letting women retire at the same age as men.

the 70s- contraceptives become available, women can no longer be fired for being pregnant, and the National Abortion Campaign is formed

SECOND WAVE OF FEMINISM- 1960s-1970s main focus BREAKING THE TRADITIONAL VIEWS/ROLES OF WOMEN.

the 60s- women are allowed to keep half of any “allowance” husband gives her, this is the Married Women’s Property Act. First female Minster of State. Contraceptive pill becomes available through Family Planning Clinics, and women strike at a ford company for equal pay

the 50s- Rape is defined “incest, girl under 16, no consent, drugs, anal sex, and impersonation.” women teachers and civil service workers should receive equal pay in Britain.

the 40s and 30s- National service Act passed, women 20-43 can be called for “war work” exceptions to only pregnant women. free access to health care for women (use to be only insured men).

the 20s- women can inherit property equally as men do. Grounds for divorce become equal. Women can vote!

the TEENS- rally for women’s right to vote, women over age 30 able to vote in Britain.

the 1900s- women fighting for right to vote, National Federation of Women Workers is established, can be elected mayor!

First Wave Feminism-1848-1920 Main Focus- RIGHT TO VOTE

That is as far back as I am willing to go for this journal entry. Anyways, to know how far we as women have came, I had to take a look back and see where we have already been. And my commentary on where we’ve been is well, damn! I had no idea that some of these issues were not being resolved until just recently. Looking back and finding out that the definition of rape wasn’t even declared until the 50s! It blows my mind to think how slow the movement of women’s equality has been moving! To think that if only I was born in a different decade and be living a completely different life puts me into a shock!

But to the point. Where are women and their equality rights now? Personally to my own belief I think women need to earn respect and have the sexuality at the same time. Too many often times in just even a single day I see a woman being scrutinized for being sexy, or being used as an object to sell merchandise or any item at all. I am so torn by the subject. I enjoy seeing people, men and women who are sexually proud, people who are not afraid to only talk about sex but who are also fine with their bodies and inner sexuality that they can use  to their advantage.

I realize now that it is the happiness that is brought out of being sexy, of getting something in return that makes a person sexually empowered. NOT for the attention that being sexy brings, but for the enjoyment that an individual is given from it. Women do not need to be out on display in music videos being degraded by rappers and such but I am alright with using your sexuality in a magazine shoot or in advertisement. I feel as though for me that would be sexually empowering, not for the attention but for the fact that I am open enough with my sexuality to be put on display. I know when its said like that it sounds like I just want attention, but in all reality, I get a rush with things like that, with knowing that by a mere picture I’m giving another individual satisfaction, that they find me attractive enough that they would be content with just looking at me. Or even if i were a model and trying to sell a product or an idea, and if my body, face and sexuality can help sell that, I would get satisfaction from it, not because of the attention, but because my appearance is what they are looking for and I can portray that image for them. That would give me tons of sexual enjoyment, empowerment, and happiness. And it would not be just for the attention, or because of daddy issues.

So again, Where are women now?  I believe they need to learn what sexual empowerment is before they can ask for it, and that the women who do know what that is, should not be looked down upon for it. Women who show their sexiness and do so for themselves and the riches they get for it, if they are smart, funny, witty, talented, and beautiful, why can’t they use their sexuality to their advantage? Why is it looked down upon? This is where I think the future of women needs to progress too. To accepting women for all that they are and that they have sexual needs, wants, desires, and urges just as much as a man does, and with the public being okay with that.

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism

http://womensissues.about.com/od/secondwavefeminis/Second_Wave_Feminism_1960s1970s_Womens_Lib.htm

http://womensissues.about.com/od/firstwavefeminism/First_Wave_Feminism_18481920.htm

http://www.mmu.ac.uk/humanresources/equalities/doc/gender-equality-timeline.pdf