Saturday, November 26, 2011

Talking Points #11: Fricke verses Lynch 1980 court case

Fricke verses Lynch (1980, Rhode Island)

Paul Guilbert was a high school junior who lived in Rhode Island and attended Cumberland High School. He was homosexual and he requested permission from the principal to attend the school dance and bring a male date. The principal, Richard Lynch denied his request. His reasoning for refusing Guilbert to bring a male date was that he feared it would cause "disruption at the dance and possibly lead to physical harm to Guilbert." Because Paul Guilbert couldn't bring a male date, he just didn't attend the dance. However, the next year Aaron Fricke who was also a homosexual student at the same school and at friend of Guilbert, asked the principal for permission to bring a same-sex date to the school dance. And once again the request was denied out of fear of physical harm to Fricke and his date. Then Fricke immediately filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, that way he would be allowed to attend the dance. The judge ruled in a manner that if the reason why the principal denied the request was because he was fearful of the students safety that he could have provided appropiate security to help monitor and therefore avoid such conflicts.
This is the letter the principal wrote to Aaron Fricke:
"Dear Aaron:
This is to confirm our conversation of Friday, April 11, 1980, during which I denied your request to attend the Senior Reception on May 30, 1980 at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts, accompanied by a male escort.
I am denying your request for the following reasons:
1. The real and present threat of physical harm to you, your male escort and to others;
2. The adverse effect among your classmates, other students, the School and the Town of Cumberland, which is certain to follow approval of such a request for overt homosexual interaction (male or female) at a class function;
3. Since the dance is being held out of state and this is a function of the students of Cumberland High School, the School Department is powerless to insure protection in Sutton, Massachusetts. That protection would be required of property as well as persons and would expose all concerned to liability for harm which might occur;
4. It is long standing school policy that no unescorted student, male or female, is permitted to attend. To enforce this rule, a student must identify his or her escort before the committee will sell the ticket.
I suspect that other objections will be raised by your fellow students, the Cumberland School Department, Parents and other citizens, which will heighten the potential for harm.
Should you wish to appeal my decision, you may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Robert G. Condon. You will be entitled to a hearing before him or his designee. If you are not satisfied with his decision, you may appeal to the Cumberland School Committee. You are entitled to be represented by counsel, to examine and cross examine witnesses and to present witnesses on your own behalf. Further procedural details may be obtained from the Superintendent's office.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. I am sending a copy of this letter to your parents in the event they wish to be heard.
Sincerely, Richard B. Lynch Principal"

Wikipedia states, "The Court found the free speech claim to be dispositive, and therefore ruled that it was 'unnecessary' to deal at length with Fricke's free association and equal-protection arguments. But in a footnote, the judge left the door open to equal-protection arguments by noting that 'the school had afforded disparate treatment to a certain class of students' by setting up different policies for those who wished to bring same-sex partners to the dance. Such a policy, the Court said, could be 'profitably analyzed under the  Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Fourteenth Amendment Summary:

"State and federal citizenship for all persons regardless of race both born or naturalized in the United States was reaffirmed. No state would be allowed to abridge the "privileges and immunities" of citizens. No person was allowed to be deprived of life, liberty,or property without 'due process of law. No person could be denied 'equal protection of the laws.' Over time, numerous lawsuits have arisen that have referenced the 14th amendment. The fact that the amendment uses the word state in the Privileges and Immunities clause along with interpretation of the Due Process Clause has meant that state as well as federal power is subject to the Bill of Rights. Further, the courts have interpretated the word 'person' to include corporations. Therefore, they too are protected by 'due process' along with being granted 'equal protection.'"

The case was one of the first successful cases that went to court that involved LGBT issues in young people. And it is visited frequently when more cases that involve similiar issues are brought to the court room. And after this case more schools in the United States are more frequently allowing same-sex couples to attend dances and proms, but acceptance is still a major issue, but luckily some of these young people have the courage to fight for the justice they deserve.

Here is an example of another case similar to the one of Fricke verses Lynch. You can read about it here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talking Points #10: Wagle, "Abstinence-Only" QUOTES.

"Imagine a driver's education course in which teachers show students grisly photos of traffic accidents but never tell them to stop at red lights or buckle their seat belts, and you've got a pretty good idea of what abstinence-only sex education is like."

"Abstinence-only programs try to scare and shame teens, teaching only the negative consequences of sexuality without telling young people what they can do to stay safe and healthy."

"Californians mandate HIV/AIDS education in our schools and require that all sexuality education is comprehensive and medically accurate . . . Our teen pregnancy rate has fallen by 40% over the last ten years-the largest decrease in any state except Alaska."

"Proponents of abstinence-only sex education believe that knowledge can be dangerous. Ignorance, however, can be fatal."

The first quote and the second quote are relevant to the text because in most sexual education classes they inform students about all of these STDs and how everybody's going to get pregnant, but it's rare to find a sexual education class where they explain that sex obviously does lead to pregnancy but there are so many ways to protect yourself. Just like there are way too many sexually transmitted diseases but there are ways to protect yourself from that too. Informing kids about the methods of protection while they are still kids is the only way to prevent it. They have to reach the children about methods of protection BEFORE they are sexually active, that way they have the knowledge and the power to protect themselves.

I've heard of some people who have ended up getting pregnant while they were teenagers just because they were too embarrassed to buy condoms. Just like I've heard of some people who have went without prenatal care for a few months just because they didn't want to have to admit that they were actually carrying a baby. There are ways to prevent these things without just focusing on the negative.

The third quote is so important because in the state of California they have been teaching the children HIV/AIDS education and they have been giving them beneficial information about human sexuality that way they aren't just telling them all of the bad things such as teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, instead, they are embracing the fact that having knowledge about each person's individual body and sexuality, they are able to protect themselves. If the state of California can reduce their teen pregnancy rate by 40% within ten years then it is definitely possible, but there needs to be more programs more readily available for other children in other states.

The last quote really meant a lot because the sexual education programs within schools withhold useful knowledge of diseases and pregnancy to try to "protect" the kids, but in all reality, all they are doing is making it worse because they are not giving the kids the proper tools to protect themselves in a sexual world that is not always safe.
The fact that some sexual education programs tell information that is based on lies baffles me! It is stated in the essay that some programs have been telling kids that exposure to sweat and/or tears is exposing yourself to HIV/AIDS, or touching the genitals of the opposite sex can result in pregnancy, or that the majority of women who have abortions end up becoming sterile, or that condoms fail to protect against HIV. All of those are false, and that needs to be brought to the young people of today's attention, because there are ways to prevent diseases and protect yourself, and obviously that way works because California is seeing significant improvements.

This essay reminds me a lot of Bristol Palin. She preaches abstinence but yet she had her own son when she was a teenager. This proves that abstinence is not a useful tool against sex. Teaching kids to be abstinent is extremely unrealistic. And on top of that, it's not the only way to prevent having a baby as a teenager.

Here is the public service announcement advocating for abstinence... (Her own son is in the commericial.)

Even though Bristol Palin keeps "flip-flopping" between being for abstinence or for being realistic and wanting teenagers to be educated, the point is that abstinence isn't very effective because many teenagers who are raised to be abstinent, such as Bristol Palin, are sexually active before marriage but they lie about it to their parents. However, if the children are raised to have the knowledge to prevent STDs and teen pregnancy they will have the power to stay protected. Abstinence is ignorance, and it kind of reminds me of "The Master's Tools will never Dismantle the Master's house" because you can't fight oppression (sometimes teenagers who are parents are more likely to be uneducated, more likely to be on some type of assistance) by using the Master's Tools (which is just ignorance: teaching the children tools that are just untrue, such as that you can get pregnant by having somebody touch your genitals.) Building a foundation on sexual education that is based on lies will keep people oppressed if the real information, the truth, is not available to them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Body image

Very interesting article about body image!

We are all more obsessed with our appearance than we like to admit. But this is not an indication of 'vanity'. Vanity means conceit, excessive pride in one's appearance. Concern about appearance is quite normal and understandable. Attractive people have distinct advantages in our society. Studies show:
  • Attractive children are more popular, both with classmates and teachers. Teachers give higher evaluations to the work of attractive children and have higher expectations of them (which has been shown to improve performance).
  • Attractive applicants have a better chance of getting jobs, and of receiving higher salaries. (one US study found that taller men earned around $600 per inch more than shorter executives.)
  • In court, attractive people are found guilty less often. When found guilty, they receive less severe sentences.
  • The 'bias for beauty' operates in almost all social situations – all experiments show we react more favourably to physically attractive people.
  • We also believe in the 'what is beautiful is good' stereotype – an irrational but deep-seated belief that physically attractive people possess other desirable characteristics such as intelligence, competence, social skills, confidence – even moral virtue. (The good fairy/princess is always beautiful; the wicked stepmother is always ugly)
It is not surprising that physical attractiveness is of overwhelming importance to us.
Concern with appearance is not just an aberration of Modern Western culture. Every period of history has had its own standards of what is and is not beautiful, and every contemporary society has its own distinctive concept of the ideal physical attributes. In the 19th Century being beautiful meant wearing a corset – causing breathing and digestive problems. Now we try to diet and exercise ourselves into the fashionable shape – often with even more serious consequences.
But although we resemble our ancestors and other cultures in our concern about appearance, there is a difference in degree of concern. Advances in technology and in particular the rise of the mass media has caused normal concerns about how we look to become obsessions.
How? 3 reasons:
  • Thanks to the media, we have become accustomed to extremely rigid and uniform standards of beauty.
  • TV, billboards, magazines etc mean that we see 'beautiful people' all the time, more often than members of our own family, making exceptional good looks seem real, normal and attainable.
  • Standards of beauty have in fact become harder and harder to attain, particularly for women. The current media ideal of thinness for women is achievable by less than 5% of the female population.
Even very attractive people may not be looking in the mirror out of 'vanity', but out of insecurity. We forget that there are disadvantages to being attractive: attractive people are under much greater pressure to maintain their appearance. Also, studies show that attractive people don't benefit from the 'bias for beauty' in terms of self-esteem. They often don't trust praise of their work or talents, believing positive evaluations to be influenced by their appearance.

Images and reactions: what we see and how we feel about it

What people see and how they react to their reflection in a mirror will vary according to: species, sex, age, ethnic group, sexual orientation, mood, eating disorders, what they've been watching on TV, what magazines they read, whether they're married or single, what kind of childhood they had, whether they take part in sports, what phase of the menstrual cycle they're in, whether they are pregnant, where they've been shopping – and even what they had for lunch.


If you were a dog or a cat or a horse you wouldn't realise that the image was a reflection of yourself. Most animals in this situation think that they are face to face with another member of their species.
The exception is the great apes – chimps, gorillas and orang-utans are capable of recognising themselves in the mirror – and of course the Naked Apes: us.
What's interesting is what the other apes do when presented with a mirror: they use mirrors to groom themselves, pick food out of their teeth and make faces at themselves for entertainment – i.e. more or less the same reactions as us Naked Apes.


All research to date on body image shows that women are much more critical of their appearance than men – much less likely to admire what they see in the mirror. Up to 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection, and more than half may see a distorted image.
Men looking in the mirror are more likely to be either pleased with what they see or indifferent. Research shows that men generally have a much more positive body-image than women – if anything, they may tend to over-estimate their attractiveness. Some men looking in the mirror may literally not see the flaws in their appearance.
Why are women so much more self-critical than men? Because women are judged on their appearance more than men, and standards of female beauty are considerably higher and more inflexible. Women are continually bombarded with images of the 'ideal' face and figure – what Naomi Woolf calls 'The Official Body'. Constant exposure to idealised images of female beauty on TV, magazines and billboards makes exceptional good looks seem normal and anything short of perfection seem abnormal and ugly. It has been estimated that young women now see more images of outstandingly beautiful women in one day than our mothers saw throughout their entire adolescence.
Also, most women are trying to achieve the impossible: standards of female beauty have in fact become progressively more unrealistic during the 20th century. In 1917, the physically perfect woman was about 5ft 4in tall and weighed nearly 10 stone. Even 25 years ago, top models and beauty queens weighed only 8% less than the average woman, now they weigh 23% less. The current media ideal for women is achievable by less than 5% of the female population – and that's just in terms of weight and size. If you want the ideal shape, face etc., it's probably more like 1%.


Children: Female dissatisfaction with appearance – poor body-image – begins at a very early age. Human infants begin to recognise themselves in mirrors at about two years old. Female humans begin to dislike what they see only a few years later. The latest surveys show very young girls are going on diets because they think they are fat and unattractive. In one American survey, 81% of ten-year-old girls had already dieted at least once. A recent Swedish study found that 25% of 7 year old girls had dieted to lose weight – they were already suffering from 'body-image distortion', estimating themselves to be larger than they really were. Similar studies in Japan have found that 41% of elementary school girls (some as young as 6) thought they were too fat. Even normal-weight and underweight girls want to lose weight.
Boys were found to be significantly less critical of their appearance: in one study, normal-weight girls expressed considerably more worries about their looks than obese boys.
Adolescents: Boys do go through a short phase of relative dissatisfaction with their appearance in early adolescence, but the physical changes associated with puberty soon bring them closer to the masculine ideal – i.e. they get taller, broader in the shoulders, more muscular etc.
For girls, however, puberty only makes things worse. The normal physical changes – increase in weight and body fat, particularly on the hips and thighs, take them further from the cultural ideal of unnatural slimness. A Harvard University study showed that up to two thirds of underweight 12-year-old girls considered themselves to be too fat. By 13, at least 50% of girls are significantly unhappy about their appearance. By 14, focused, specific dissatisfactions have intensified, particularly concerning hips and thighs. By 17, only 3 out of 10 girls have not been on a diet – up to 8 out of 10 will be unhappy with what they see in the mirror.
Adults: Among women over 18 looking at themselves in the mirror, research indicates that at least 80% are unhappy with what they see. Many will not even be seeing an accurate reflection. Most of us have heard that anorexics see themselves as larger than they really are, but some recent research indicates that this kind of distorted body-image is by no means confined to those suffering from eating disorders – in some studies up to 80% of women over-estimated their size. Increasing numbers of normal, attractive women, with no weight problems or clinical psychological disorders, look at themselves in the mirror and see ugliness and fat.
Research confirms what most of us already know: that the main focus of dissatisfaction for most women looking in the mirror is the size and shape of their bodies, particularly their hips, waists and thighs.
In the most recent research, there is some evidence of an increase in body-dissatisfaction among males. As well as some early-adolescent boys, men undergoing the so-called 'male menopause' or mid-life crisis – i.e. men between the ages of about 45 and 55 – are most likely to be dissatisfied with their appearance.
When men are dissatisfied, the main focuses of concern are height, stomachs, chests and hair loss. We may see them surreptitiously drawing in their stomachs and walking 'taller' as they pass the mirror.

Ethnic group

There are some exceptions to these rules. Black and Asian women generally have a more positive body-image than Caucasian women, although this depends on the degree to which they have accepted the beauty standards of the dominant culture.
A study of Mexican immigrants in America found that those who had immigrated after the age of 17 were less affected by the prevailing super-thin ideal than those who were 16 or younger when they came to the US. In a Washington University study, Black women with high self-esteem and a strong sense of racial identity actually rated themselves more attractive than pictures of supposedly 'beautiful' white fashion models. In another study about 40% of moderately and severely overweight Black women rated their figures to be attractive or very attractive. Other research indicates that this may be because African-American women are more flexible in their concepts of beauty than their White counterparts, who express rigid ideals and greater dissatisfaction with their own body-shape.
In a study of British and Ugandan students' evaluation of body-shapes, the Ugandans rated an 'obese' female figure much more attractive than the British (they were also more tolerant of too-skinny males). Another British study showed that Asian-British women were more content with their body size than white British women, despite the fact that the Asians' ideal body size was as slim as that of the white women, suggesting that the Asian-British women were less concerned about matching the ideal than the white women.

Sexual orientation

Gay men are more likely than straight men to be unhappy with their reflection in the mirror. But lesbians are likely to be more satisfied with their mirror-image than straight women.
Recent studies show that homosexual men experience greater body-dissatisfaction than heterosexual men, while homosexual women have a more positive body-image than heterosexual women. This seems to be mainly due to the higher emphasis on appearance in gay male culture – although it is possible that stability of relationships (see below) may also be a factor.

TV & Magazines

People's reactions to their reflection in the mirror may depend on recent exposure to idealised images of physical attractiveness. Experiments have shown that people become significantly more dissatisfied with their own appearance after being shown TV ads featuring exceptionally slim and beautiful people. Control groups shown non-appearance-related ads do not change their rating of their own attractiveness.
Although many TV programmes feature attractive people, ads tend to use the most idealised images, so people who've been watching a lot of ITV and C4 are likely to feel less positive about their image in the mirror. Programmes such as 'Baywatch' are also likely to induce a sense of dissatisfaction.
The same applies to reading fashion magazines. Recent experiments have shown that exposure to magazine photographs of super-thin models produces depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity, body-dissatisfaction and increased endorsement of the thin-ideal stereotype. Magazines like Vogue and Elle are banned in many eating-disorder clinics, because of their known negative effect on patients' body-image.


Experiments have shown that when people are feeling low or in a bad mood, they experience greater body-dissatisfaction. Most studies have been on women, who also suffer body-image distortion, estimating their size larger, when feeling low.


Teasing factor: If you were teased about flaws in your appearance (particularly your size or weight) as a child or teenager, your body image may have become permanently disturbed.
Touch-deprivation factor: People suffering from extreme body-image disturbance report a lack of holding and hugging as children.

Married or single

Generally, people in stable, long-term relationships (not necessarily marriage – see note on lesbians above) have a more positive body-image than singles. This applies to all ages, although an American study of adolescent 'dating-behaviour' showed that teenagers who 'date' in groups have a significantly better body-image than those go out alone with their boyfriend or girlfriend.


Several studies have indicated that pregnant women have a more positive body-image than non-pregnant women – although their 'ideal' body shape remains in line with the ultra-thin cultural ideal, their concerns about failing to match this ideal are reduced during pregnancy.


Anorexics and bulimics suffer from greater body-dissatisfaction and greater body-image disturbance than other women: these women are even more likely to be unhappy with their reflection in the mirror, and even more likely to see a distorted image.


In experiments, women with eating disorders judged their actual body size to have increased after consuming a bar of chocolate and a soft-drink. Eating-disordered women may see an even larger person in the mirror if they have just had a high-calorie lunch or snack.


Surveys show that women who have just been trying on clothes (particularly swimsuits) in communal changing rooms of high street stores will be experiencing a higher level of body-dissatisfaction and self-criticism, and are more likely to have a negative reaction to their reflection in the mirror.

Menstrual cycle

Women in the pre-menstrual phase of their cycle experience higher levels of body-dissatisfaction than at other times.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

also known as Dysmorphophobia and Imagined Ugliness Disorder) People suffering from BDD (an extreme level of body-image disturbance, body-dissatisfaction, self-consciousness and preoccupation with appearance) will experience the most negative reactions to the mirror.


Perhaps surprisingly, given that their physique is closest to the stereotype masculine ideal, male body-builders experience greater dissatisfaction with their appearance than almost any other males. Body-builders are generally regarded as vain: in fact they suffer from low self-esteem combined with high perfectionism.
One American study indicates that female body-builders, by contrast, seem to have a more positive body-image than other women. A London University study appears to confirm this, finding that women who take part in sport (body-builders, rowers and netballers) have more positive perceptions of their own bodies and increased acceptance of muscular body shapes, despite their divergence from cultural ideals. It is interesting to note that another study showed exercise therapy to be as effective as conventional psychotherapy in treating serious body-image disturbance in young women.
Generally both men and women who participate in sport have a more positive body-image than those who do not.


Fat-phobia and prejudice against the overweight in our culture is such that obese people (particularly women) tend to have a very poor body-image – not to mention severe anxiety and depression (studies have shown the mental well-being of obese women to be worse than that of the chronically ill or even severely disabled). These problems are not caused by obesity itself – in cultures without fat-phobia or where fat is admired, obese people show no signs of these effects – but by social pressure and the association of beauty with thinness.

Acceptance of sociocultural standards

Most of us are aware of our society's emphasis on the importance of appearance, and we know what the socially sanctioned standards of beauty are. But not all of us accept or 'internalise' these standards: strong-minded individuals who reject current standards are more likely to have a positive body-image.

Social Justice Event: Occupy Providence!

The Occupy Movement is described as, " is an international protest movement which is primarily directed against social and economic inequality," and "by October 9 Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 95 cities 82 countries and over 600 communities in the United States. As of November 4 the Meetup page 'Occupy Together' listed 'Occupy' communities in 2,464 towns and cities worldwide."

There is a great blog called  We are the 99 percent and it has pictures and stories of people who have been affected by social and/or economic injustice. This particular blog states, "We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent."

I attended Occupy Providence in the month of October. The opening of the event took place at Burnside Park in Providence, RI on October 15, 2011 at 5pm, and I honestly had no idea what to expect.

One article I found describes Occupy Providence as, "a collection of teachers, lawyers, businessmen, activists and unemployed fed up with the status quo, so much so they are willing to camp indefinitely in the downtown park in solidarity with protests springing up worldwide. Their ranks include toddlers lugged by parents and adults seasoned enough to have protested the Vietnam War. They are public defenders, shop owners, artists, veterans." Occupy Providence is getting a lot of support and the people are going to be allowed to camp out there for a few days by the city, even without a permit.
All of the people who are coming together have one thing in common: they want change. "Many lament that 1 percent of the population is prospering while 99 percent face joblessness, foreclosure and the disintegration of the American dream."

I was really impressed on how the people who came together at Burnside Park. There was no drugs, alcohol, or any illegal activity or violent behavior allowed. Also, many people took part in cleaning up the park before the event started. Even people who are not unemployed and who are not struggling as much are still taking part.

I was also impressed that there was a specific stand where people could tell their own individual stories.

So many people are showing a lot of dedication to this by camping out, by holding out signs and who are planning to stay indefinitely, even though nobody knows how long it will take before any type of change will happen.

website states, "Although we are all victims of the current system, some of us are more victimized than others. As a popular movement, we seek to be accountable to those most directly affected by the system that we oppose: people of color, poor and working-class people, women, queer and gender-queer folk, the disabled, immigrants, youth and the elderly, and others.”
 I have been really surprised at some of the ignorance I've seen toward this movement.

For example, a teacher at a Catholic private high school that I attended for two years, has been posting on Facebook, that the people at the "Occupy" movement need to go home and "occupy a shower" and then they'll be able to "occupy a job." First of all, it disgusts me on the level of ignorance of that statement. Not to mention that he works at a religious school where he was supposed to be teaching, and practicing that God is the only person who should be judging anybody. And secondly, considering he is in the 99 percent, he should be happy that other people are fighting for something he too should be supporting. This affects everybody.
I went another day with my son, about two or three days after the event started, and I was so impressed with all the donations of food and all of the people around just showing some support. A man who I was speaking to there explained to me that we all need to come together because if things continue to go the way they are going, the children in the upcoming generations wont have a future.

Overall, I think this was a really good event. It is really encouraging that so many people are so dedicated in bringing forth change. I am hopeful that this will make an impact on the system of which we live in.

This event can be connected to some of the readings we have done in class. For example, in "The Master's tools will never dismantle the Master's House" Audre Lorde states, "Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference- those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older- know that survival is not an academic skill. It is about learning to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish" That quote can be related to the Occupy movement because that is exactly what the protesters are trying to do. They are trying to stand their ground and eventually create a world where it is more fair and people, regardless of what social class they are in, they should be treated with respect. They should have access to jobs and to health care, among other things. She also states, "It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the Master's tools will never dismantle the Master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change." Though a lot of what I got out of Audre Lorde's reading what that you can't use the "Master's tools" which are racism and homophobia to dismantle to the "Master's house" which is oppression. The point of her essay was that you can't use tools of oppression to fight oppression, and if you do use tools of oppression to fight oppression, it doesn't fix the problem, it just makes you apart of the problem. However, I still find this reading still relates to the Occupy movement. I think another good point is that the Occupy movements are known as peaceful protests, because though the protesters want to make their point, they do not want to fight oppression with violence, which is another form of oppression.

The second piece, which we watched in class is the film called "People like us." This film had a lot of information in it about social class, and that can be related to the Occupy movement. It had interviews with many people, such as a typical SCWAAMP man who feels as though people in his social class are "nicer, more attractive, and treat people better." It also had a middle aged single mom, who was so poor that her own children were embarrassed of her. She walked ten miles to work at Burger King. Also, it had a young woman who went to college and got a great job and moved away, and even though she technically wasn't apart of her social class anymore because she was no longer poor, she still felt as though she didn't fit in with the upper class and she felt like she didn't fit in with her old class either because she felt that her own parents and her old friends thought that she thought she was better than everybody. This film can be related to the Occupy movement because it reinforces that the way the system is set up, it is almost impossible to successfully leave a social class that you were born into.

The third piece which we read in class that can be related to the Occupy movement is the piece called "Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts," written by Blanchard. Blanchard discusses three codes to prevent racial bigotry. However, this is similar to the Occupy Movement because instead of just making it clear to young students about racism. Blanchard states, "Encouraging multiracial friendships and exposing naive students to students of color can help to strengthen the knowledge base of students and decrease the incidents of race." It should be brought to young people's attention that there are different races, sexuality, and social classes. If the fact that there are different social classes besides the middle class, which most people oddly enough class themselves into, there would be less ignorance and more acceptance of the Occupy movement, especially when the people who are expressing ignorant ideas and who are encouraging oppression, are people who are in a lower social class, and who are in the 99 percent.

Feminism can be defined as, "a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women.Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles."

The Occupy movement has a lot to do with feminism because the whole idea of feminism is justice and living in a world where people are treated equally and fair, and I believe that this can go farther than women fighting for equal rights and to be treated the same as men; it can go as far as people in different races fighting for equal rights and to be treated the same as white people; or people who are homosexual fighting for equal rights as heterosexual; or people who are in a lower social class fighting for equality and justice and who want to be treated more fairly and want to be offered higher pay, and health care as well as many other issues that people of a higher social class do not have to worry about, such as, having a small amount of money, and having to decide if you should buy groceries, or put gas in your car so you can get to work, or to pay a bill, or to pay rent, etc.

Here are some pictures I took at the Occupy Providence event, and some videos I found on Youtube about the event:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Talking points #9: "Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts" -EXTENDED COMMENTS

Sorry for the late post! Had to wait for blogs to be posted so I could do extended comments.

I am going to be using Heather's blog to discuss Blanchard's piece, "Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts" through extended comments.

Heather states, " Blanchard argues that racism is not just an intentional act committed by 'mean spirited' people but also acts committed out of lack of knowledge. She explains that most kids entering college have had little to no exposure to other races and are not sure on how to act and end up making 'racial mistakes.'"

Blanchard states, which Heather discussed in her blog as well, that there are three different "codes" of preventing racial harassment on college and university campuses.

Heather states in her blog about these codes:

-The first attempt is focused on punishing the few "mean spirited " people but the language used is not as clear as it could be and makes enforcing this code difficult.

-The second "code" focuses on "civility" which teaches tolerance and acceptance and leaves the punishing to the administrators instead of influencing each other to not act in a racist manner.

-The last "code" is a broader scope than dictated by state and federal regulations and focuses on both intentional and unintentional actors of racism. But still fails to look at the reasons of racist acts. Blanchard believes to be successful aspects from all three codes should be compiled into one new useful code.

Heather finishes off her post about "Combatting Intentional Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts" by saying, "Encouraging multiracial friendships and exposing naive students to students of color can help to strengthen the knowledge base of students and decrease the incidents of race."

I found Blanchard's piece interesting and Heather's post interesting as well.

I went to a private Catholic school the last year of high school and most of the school's population consisted of white upper-class kids. And when anybody who didn't fit into the mold of what they were, they looked down upon others. Most of the kids had nice cars given to them as gifts and when a small percentage of other students who didn't have cars or didn't have nice things it was a huge deal to them. I think that exposing kids like that, and any kid really, to different people of different races, different religions, different ethnicities, different social classes, etc is a good way to fight racism, by everybody coming together and although there are differences, they can be accepted.