Sunday, December 16, 2012

What are little boys made of?

"One group, epitomized by therapist Micheal Gurian suggests that boys are both doing worse than ever, and doing worse than girls thanks to feminists' effort. Gurian argues that as feminists have changed the rules, they've made boys the problem. By minimizing the importance of basic biological differences, and establishing girls' standards as ones that all children must follow, feminists have wrecked boyhood."

I can hardly agree with the statement that feminists have wrecked boyhood. Boys are doing "worse than ever" and "worse than girls" (whatever that means) due to the environment they are being raised in, which is predominantly violent. What standards have girls set?  Besides being biologically different and being raised with the attitude that violence is avoidable instead of encouraged, there are no differences between boys and girls, especially at that age. The "standards" the girls carry shouldn't be just for girls. It should be for all children, boys and girls alike. To be polite, sharing, caring, problem solving when you have arguments with friends rather than violent should be the standard for all kids. Sorry if it was overwhelming to take in because girls were the ones teaching it. Boyhood is supposed to fun, not violent.

The belief that violence is manly is not carried out on any chromosome, not soldered in the wiring of the left or right hemisphere, not juiced by testosterone....Boys learn it. Violence, Gilligian writes, "has far more to do with the cultural construction of manhood than it does with the hormonal substrates of biology. 
The idea that being a man comes with violence, power and privilege is becoming worse and more powerful. I'm surrounded by men and women who so easily say "Stop being a little bitch", "Be a man" "Stop your crying". Or even worse, my step dad saying to his grandson "You're not going to be a pussy, you're going to be a man". When is this culture going to learn that violence isn't going to help any gender or sex, race or class? Being violent doesn't make you a man, just as feminism doesn't ruin a boys childhood.

"That's all the more necessary, because there really is a boy crisis in America - not the crisis of inverted proportions  that claims boys are the new victims of a feminist-run agenda run amok. The real boy crisis usually goes by another name. We call it "teen violence", "youth violence", "gang violence", "violence in the schools". Let's face facts: Men and boys are responsible for 85% of all violent crimes in this country, and their victims are overwhelmingly male as well. From an early age, boys learn that violence is not only an acceptable form of conflict resolution, but one that is admired." 

I believe if we stop calling "youth violence" youth violence and start calling it boy violence, we may be able to point out a lot of abscuities to people who don't study the growing violence within males, all teens, boys and adult men. How do we learn to stop teaching our young boys that violence is not the answer? Or how to solve a problem without having it break out into a fight? Do we have all of them read books that are written about the masculinity of men with a feminists point of view? How do you take charge of a movement that big?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reflection of Class

When I walked into class on day 1, I thought I already had an advantage over most of the students in the class. I assumed that no one there was going to be a sex positive new wave feminist and my best friend was exactly that already so I already knew everything. I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I couldn't even answer the first question on the questioner given to us. I believe I stated that feminism is an act of women empowerment, or has to do with issues pertaining to women. After going through this class, I know that that is obviously not all. I took away and learned about intersectionality, how class has such a powerful clutch on how you are seen and "graded" among other people. I learned about the dangers of masculinity if we don't change how we are raising our boys. I learned about race, and how even in 2012, we're still so racist, and one of the scariest things I've learned is how much the media has an effect on youth (and others). After taking this class, I've realized what I would like to do in the future, and how I would like to help and act as an ally, so I guess I am coming back next semester and I plan on taking away and learning more from my next classes. 

Event #1 Dirty Deeds with Dee

Although this was a small group, it made us all comfortable with each other, especially since we all almost new each other. It was a group of about 7 or 8 with all participants except for two from our class. Deirdre claimed she didn't have much planned but was able to talk for about and hour and a half. We discussed safe sex techniques, consent, how to give better oral sex, which lubes and toys were the best to use. We also talked about different types of sex and how to bring up a conversation to your partner if you want to try something new or if you're uncomfortable with something that's going on currently. We all had so much fun, that we ended up staying  for a a while after to continue discussing. She also gave all women smartballs, which  do your keagel exercises for you! It was a great time. It's great to create a safe space where people of all different class, race, sexuality and gender identity can talk and discuss sex on the same level. It's important to teach about sex positivity because its one thing that defines new wave feminism from the 1st wave feminism. In order to be practicing sex positivity then we need to be participating in it as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

People Like Us and Center for Working Class Studies

I loved these two websites! Center for Working class studies was a really great site, very informative, and I loved how it was done through a University. However, while it was very informative, it would seem like a boring website to someone who wasn't interested in the subject. People like us however was interactive and informative and taught people something whether they realized it or not. I played the almost all of the games, with my favorite being decorating your own living room. You had choices of wall decor, rugs, furniture, tv size, and its not like it cost anything to put in your living room, you just had to decide what you liked best. Every time you would click on a different object, each character would comment on your choice. You had one character was of a very low class, one comes from a upper class, another working middle class and so on.

So when I decorated my living room, it made me appear as though I was from a lower class because I chose what I liked. Which could be because I grew up in a lower middle, upper lower class family. What I was used to and liked was seen as a lower class to someone that came from a higher class. I realized that the first time I played the game, I was paying too close attention to what the characters were commenting about my picks rather than what I actually liked. And, you had to choose a dog!!!! Which apparently also says a lot about your class status. When I clicked on the pit bull, the character who was from the lowest class commented on it saying that only the criminal element would have one of those. Very interesting. When you finish the game, you can see the break down, and I had a few choices were marked as new money, old money, working class, middle middle class and with my choice to go with the pit bull was deemed as trailer park. Who would of thought? This brings it to be a feminist issue, because anything that involves class, race, or equality has to do with feminism. Feminism is about making equal opportunities available to people of all color, gender, sex, class, etc and class is a defining factor in what opportunities become available. Even small things, like shoes, or your furniture or your rug choice say a lot about your class and how people perceive you and that becomes part of your identity.