Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Epilogue to Gender

We all are gendered beings, but I have never thought about our genders as much as I have this semester. I have found myself noticing gender stereotypes while watching movies or hanging out with friends. I've noticed a lot about media in today's society. It makes me scared to raise children in this world someday. It makes me wonder why so many celebrates let their media get out of hand. They disrespect women, and often themselves. I wonder if those celebrates even realize what is going on or if they think the money is worth the corruption. A lot of people think they can't change the world, but I believe if everyone was to become educated and more aware about gender communication things would change. If everyone knew what was happening today in our society, I believe things would slowly start to change. Women just might have more respect for themselves if other people treated them right. Issues of violence, rape, sex slavery, and media corruption need to be recognized. This is a hard society to grow up as a gendered being. It is confusing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Word Rape

1 out of 3 women on college campuses report one or more unwanted sexual interactions with the opposite sex. Those girls weren't all attacked in a shady ally way or by a man hiding behind a tree. As a matter of fact most of them weren't. Most victims are raped by friends or dates. But what is "rape" now a days? Rape isn't as clear cut as it might seem. If you are dating or even married, can it still be considered rape if it unwanted? I wonder why rape often seems like a light-hearted subject? People often joke about rape or scream it when it's unneeded. I see rape as a very serious subject. I think that changed when my good friends were effected by it though. Most everyone knows someone that has been raped. If we all stopped and really thought what that meant, I believe things would be different. The word rape would be used with more care.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Media's Effects on Gender

After watching Dreamworld in class, I was shocked at what I was seeing. I'm a lady, and I was appalled to see other ladies acting so explicate. I was wondering what was going through the guys minds. I think a lot of the time, people think that media doesn't effect or influence them when it actually does. Men do often get away with objectifying women, but isn't that what they've learned from media? Thinking about media gave me a different view on men. I am a very trusting young lady and I've got myself into some not so good situations with men. I just never understood what the guys problems were. I can control myself, so I didn't understand why they couldn't.

After getting to know more about a young man I was seeing, I found out he had been addicted to pornography. Everything made a little more sense to me though. He was often aggressive and insensitive. He had been brainwashed by the media to treat women as his objects. I hated that something he viewed in magazines and online had changed how he treated people. I never knew what was going on in his head or if he was comparing me to other women. I finally broke things off with him. If you don't think media can impact you, you are wrong. Media is a powerful tool.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Organizational Communication

So after watching the Office in class, it made me think about how I talk to individuals from other cultures. When we were talking about race in the workplace, it reminded me of an experience I had this summer. We had a incident at the resort I worked at where one lady got stabbed in the employee lounge for cheating on her boyfriend. Everyone involved in the incident were Hispanic workers. All the Hispanics we worked with were illegal immigrants.  Instead of working with the situation and figuring out what went wrong or even just calling the cops, my manger called the swat team. The swat team came that night and cleared out all the illegal immigrants. I was devastated that a lot of my friends I worked with were gone over night. We were understaffed the rest of the summer I worked there. I still wonder to this day if those individuals were a different race, what would have happened? Would things have been different? Would we still have the staff we did?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gendered Relationships

I love to look at relationships. I can sit and people watch couples all day and be entertained. Every relationship is different in the ways they communicate. It is interesting to see who wears "the pants" in a relationship. It seems to me that switched gender roles is becoming more common in relationships. It is becoming more acceptable for men to be more emotional and for women to take on more masculine roles. A lot of times, the women or wives do "wear the pants." It does seem though that women do talk and want to talk more about the relationship. While the masculine approach would be to let things be, the feminine approach is to talk and talk and talk about things even when they are going fine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gendered Education

School is a place of much more than just academics. It carries with it, social norms and situations. It really makes me wonder how seriously women's educations are being taken. Yeah things are getting more equal every decade, but where do we stand right now? There is a part in the reading that states, "In treating women as sexual objects, such actions tell women students that they are not taken seriously as members of an intellectual community." As soon as I read that, I was reminded of my 8th grade Health teacher.

I remember a teacher I had in middle school... Mr. Baylor. He had an awful reputation amongst the girls in our school. Every 8th grader in our school had to take Health class from Mr. Baylor. He was one of the only teachers that taught in a trailer off the back of our middle school. Our school had grown so much we ran out of classrooms. I wonder now if the other teachers just didn't want to deal with him either. My 7th grade year a student caught him watching porn and nothing happened. My year of Health class, we caught him watching porn again... still no one did anything. Looking back now, it is awful to think that this man was teaching all these 13 and 14 year old kids about their own bodies. My 9th grade year, he got his laptop taken away. And by the time I was in 10th grade, Mr. Baylor flow off the handle.

One day during class, he was trying to quiet the class and got upset. He yelled at all his female students, "You sluts are going nowhere in your lives. You are all just a bunch of whores!" Some of the young girls in his class were appalled and left the room. The next day Mr. Baylor was on "mental leave" and never came back. I wonder to this day why it took so long for the school to get rid of this man. I don't know what was happening behind closed doors, but I believe that no one should objectify women. I especially don't agree when they are teaching sex ed to young girls and boys.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Becoming Gendered

Becoming Gendered has been one of my favorite chapters to read and discuss. The stories in the text are what honestly teach me the most too. Everyone is raised differently and that really has an impact on how you view your own gender and the gender of your peers. I've heard a lot of boys say, "yeah, I grew up in a household of all girls." Those boys tend to have more feminine characteristics and understand women's issues better. Everyone is taught differently. Where some parents would take away cooking sets from their little boys, some parents would sit down and play with their son.

Parents have an extreme impact on their children and their genders, but their parents had an impact on them and so on. Not all boys are going to be good at sports or girls good cooks. We all have our own skills and passions and I don't believe those should be forced according to gender. The story that Eric tells in the text was interesting to me. He states that, "Being a man has been about winning. Winning T-ball and than baseball." I feel like boys are being pushed to always compete to gain their worth while if a girl was to lose it's a different story. Girls I feel are often patted on the back and told it's okay, while boys have a harsher punishment for not winning.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Comedians and Gender

So upon realizing I hadn't written my blog this week, I was watching one of my favorite comedians, Bo Burnham. He was doing a sketch called "Men and Women" so it was perfect to write on. As he poked fun at women's rights and how naturally men are better... I was laughing, but why? He also made fun of men, but as a man himself, it seemed as he backed off. He is a pretty offensive , but I find that a lot comedians and movies these days are. In this act he says, "Women can fake orgasms, but men can fake love." This at first shocked me, but thought about how sad that really is. Yeah women may fake sometimes, but so do men to get what they want. All genders, male or female, lie to get what they want sometimes. It's great to hear the audience in the background of his acts because there is often a mixture of responses. You hear the claps and laughs, but you also will hear "ohhhh" of maybe offense or even embarrassment for the comedian. I think it's funny at how much we poke fun at our own genders. I think it is such a common thing to make fun of, because everyone can relate to gender somehow. Sometimes it can be offensive, but I find it interesting in a setting where you know there is offensive comedian it is expected. 

I'll post the link to Bo's clip about men and women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMrgd_iQlbA

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nonverbal

Nonverbal is one of my favorite fields of study. There is so much that goes into nonverbal communication. Well reading about "supplement verbal communication" it reminded me of myself. My friends say that I can never be serious or frown while talking. It doesn't really matter the words I'm saying, because my nonverbal come across as my bubbly happy self. This makes it really hard for me to play games that require bluffing.

This weekend I was joking around with my friend Brian by saying, "well, I don't like you anyways," but I couldn't do it with a straight face. My laughing indicated that I wasn't serious. Words are overlooked more than I thought. You can point right and say left and most likely the person will go right. We play very close attention to nonverbals. Nonverbals aren't only actions though, it can be anything from the clothes you wear to distance you stand from someone. You subconsciously or continuously make choices everyday about how you will be portrayed by people around you. If you choose to wear a tight fitting dress over baggy sweats, you are seen in a different light. If you stand inches away from a man and brush against his arm, you might be saying something else. It amazes me how much we say by saying nothing at all.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Verbal

As I looked at "Parallel Language" it made me wonder why feminine words seem more negative. I'd much rather be seen as a wizard than a witch any day. While a lady that that is unmarried might be seen as a spinster or old maid, a man is still a bachelor. Growing up, I remember asking my grandma about her husband. She didn't have the best marriage to say the least. I feel like many women today would easily divorce their alcoholic husbands, but she didn't. She always brings up..."I was worried that I'd be an old maid if I didn't marry him." It makes me so sad, that such an angel of a lady felt like she had to settle, so she wasn't seen as a "failure." 

Being a bachelor seems to have a sense of youth and freedom still. Women are always talked about as the "old ball and chain." It seems to me that, as women we don't really feel accomplished until we trick a nice man into marring us. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to trick someone into that. I want him to want to marry me. The comment in the reading by Brian made me think about taking on my future husband's name. I never really thought about that. I always assumed I would take my husband's last name. As a little girl when I had a crush...okay still to this day, when I have a crush, I put your first name with their last to see if it flows nicely.

One day in my interpersonal communication class my professor asked us to shout out names for men and women that might be seen as promiscuous. The class was a little hesitant at first, but then the words started to flow. Slut, whore, prostitute, trick, bitch, easy, man whore, player or stud. Words for men who were sexually active, were almost seen as encouraged or funny, while the words for women are negative and degrading.Words make all the difference. Does this mean there is a double standard with gender language?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Men's Movements

As I read about male gender movements, I thought it was very interesting the first line of the chapter saying, "Historically, American men have been less involved than women in gender movements." With that I really wondered, why that was. I wondered if women's movements have just been more in the media, louder, and on a larger scale. They talked about men being feminist and how that is often looked down upon. I think that women feminists are more focused on, due to the fact that they are women. I wonder if being a male feminist, you lose some credibility by not being "true to your sex." I wonder if this is the reason more male feminists aren't being shown in the media and even in history.

When the text mentioned fraternities, it really caught my attention, because the majority of my friends are in fraternities. One time I found myself, the only girl at their house as they all started to talk about girls they had been with. They went around the table and told the best boobs they had seen. As they rated the "top ten tites" they had seen it made me laugh, but slightly uncomfortable. I wondered what they said about me when I wasn't there. If I was to tell them the best dicks I'd seen, it would be seen as inappropriate and tacky. If was to do that, I'd be afraid of being seen as a girl that "gets around." They joked about when men leave a girl's house in the morning it's called the stride of pride, but when women do, it's the walk of shame. I'm not saying these boys are disrespectful to women or even in the wrong, but I just find it interesting how other guys are encouraged within a group setting. I wondered if in a smaller group or one on one they would say the same things.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Women's Movements

While talking about the waves of women's moments one section interested me. The "bra burnings" didn't happen? A reporter over heard plans to burn bras in protest and took that to national news. The news often hears what they want to hear. We don't talk about starving children everyday, but celebrities are all over the news. Why? The news gives us what "we want to hear" or at least what they think we want to hear. What does this mean for feminists? I wonder if a lot the the negative light on feminism comes from the news. Is it that they focus on only lesbians or extremists, or is it all they see?

I see women's movements as a constant uneven fight. Star said something in class that I really liked. She was talking about while some women wanted the right to vote, other women just wanted to be seen as human. It's always an unfair balance. All cultures are at different levels. In high school a common joke was, "Hey wanna hear a joke?" "Women's rights." I can see how some may view women's rights as a joke, but look how far we have come. If everyone laughed at the idea of voting or being working women, we'd be no where. It is a continuous battle. It seems odd though that women can run for president, but birth control isn't covered by health insurance? It think it's funny that big matters seem to be equal, but some trivial ideas are still unsolved. It seems as every generation of women see oppression in their lives, but every generation is different. While our mothers fought for a job, we fight for equal pay. Each wave of moment changed with the generation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gender Development

Theories, theories, theories... What is gender, really? Theories on gender hold even an influence on how we view ourselves as men and women. Is gender biological, interpersonal, cultural, or a mix of all of those? The idea that gender is a completely separate thing from sex was a hard concept for me to grasp. At first I thought of gender as the difference between X and Y chromosomes, but it's more than that. Since the time we were just little girls and boys, we were being taught what to do and say. Daughters naturally connect better with their mothers. To this day I call my mother at least 3 or 4 times a week. She knows what is going on in my life whereas my father doesn't know much of anything in my life. My parents are still together, me and my dad love each other, but I'm more likely to talk to my mom about boys I crush on or girls that drive me crazy. I remember about two years ago, I had a pretty serious boyfriend that was always around my house. When I went to college, we stayed together, but long distance wasn't the best for our relationship. A few months later we broke it off and my mom was the first to know. About two months after we broke up I was talking about how weird not having Joe around was. My dad turned to me and said, "You guys broke up?" It blew my mind that he didn't know after two months that we weren't together anymore. What seemed like such a huge deal in my life, my dad had no idea.

The story about the girl that wanted to play football really caught my attention. The coach had a valid point that girls' bodies are different than boys, but everyone is a little different. I think it would have only been fair to give her a try-out just like all the other boys. I've known boys that I know I could win in a fight. The saying, "You throw like a girl" isn't fair when some girls could throw you across the room.

Ever since we were kids, media has taught us about gender. Girls wear dresses, cook and clean. Men go to work and bring home the bacon. Boys like girls, and girls like boys. It's embedded in our minds. Gender is who we are, it's who we have become.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Study of Gender

Over the last five years gender education has been more widely expected and studied, but why? Why did it take so long for people and our culture to realize that gender communication study was important? The 1st book was only written in 2006, merely six years ago. This field of study can teach us so much about people by learning about masculine and feminine communication and cultural views. Survey's can only say so much though because everyone is different.

I didn't realize how much gray area there is within gender studies. I honestly hadn't even thought about the different between sex and gender. Sex is a whole lot less complicated though, but sex can only say weather biologically you're a girl or a boy. I was curious to see what other people had to say about gender though. Depending on the context, characteristics vary from sex and social roles. Sexologist John Money  introduced the distinction between biological sex and gender as a social role in 1955. Gender isn't based on weather you are a boy or a girl, it is based on social context. Gender is something that is learned. Society stresses gender stereotypes. How we are "suppose" to dress, speck, act are all learned.

But gender is changing. Transgendered and transsexual individuals are more excepted now than 15 years ago, but that doesn't mean we are perfect. Things are always changing. If we never challenged social views, where would our society be now? Even within cultures, things are always changing and being challenged. You can't simply clump all men or all women together...we fight back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Introduction

I'm a young, white, heterosexual female studying Speech Communication at Utah State University. I'd like to think that in a world of computer drones controlling the schools, workplaces, and community that I'm more than just that though. I am Caitlyn Lewis, a charismatic carefree young lady that hails from the bustling metropolis known as Idaho Falls, Idaho. I have my own beliefs, values and options and so does every other human that crosses our path in the halls or on the road. I believe strongly in learning everyone's "story." Everyone, men and women alike have their own stories that shape what they believe and why. Without the "story" how can we know where people form their own ideas and beliefs? But if we take that to a larger scale, what is your genders story? Not all women can cook a nine course meal while watching 5 kids but not to mention all while wearing red high heels. But in that same mind frame, not all men love to play football and eat giant stakes with the guys. While the duration of my Gender & Communication course, I will let you into my mind through my eyes.

I believe that as members of a society with many gender differences, we wear blinders. Ignorance is bliss when dealing with issues that seem to have no simple solution. As a child it was a never ending argument with my parents to "do this or go there." My argument always went to me saying, "But David can do it." I never understood why my other brother was able to go and do as he pleased but I was stuck at home on Friday nights. My parents argument always ended in, "We trust you, but we don't trust everyone else out there." As a young girl, I was taught to fear the world while my brother was learning from the world.

With the thought of diversity, the difference of blacks and whites often come to mind but men and women are the most diverse within all cultures. Being aware of gender and communication is a very important start to changing even the way we think and thus the way we will someday teach our children to think. The majority of individuals need to open their minds to change. Not all men with soft hands are bad workers, or women the cooking and cleaning type. You are not your parents or grandparents. You have the right to believe what you want in life and understanding gender if the first step. Before reading this introduction I would be worried to say I'm a feminist, but this showed me that it's not a bad thing. Now I would say, yes I'm a feminist against oppression.

It seems as if gender studies often focus on women though, so I'm glad to read that this book talks about both male and female genders. As much as women are focused on, men don't always get the best rep either. I don't know how many times I've heard guys say, "I apologize for my gender." Change needs to happen within our community and being open is step number one, followed by knowledge.