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.