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The Nature of Being

rethinking the facts of life

Author

mcroomes

Societal Wrap Up

Society, according to the definition from Google, is the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. What I find interesting about this definition is the fact that they used the term “more or less”. Essentially this term allows leaving room for failure as well as the trial and error that is needed in order to figure out what works and what does not. Unfortunately I feel as if what works and what does and what does not was based predominantly on a male point of view. From tv advertisements for food, clothing, perfumes and the like, woman have been brushed under the rug and deemed as creatures only made to fit societies form only to please the male. And even though it has probably been known by woman of older generations , it seems as if it has only begun to be more forcefully rebelled against. This is simply one of the many ways that society has shaped and formed our minds.

It as if we have been so manipulated by what is crammed into our head from the point of elementary school to the beginning of university that it is at times we are somehow unsure of how a situation would be a problem. For example, I was online the other day and saw someone post about how in American schooling during how we learn, a few pages about Mexicans in America, 3 or so weeks learning about African Americans and Slavery, and 9 months on white colonization. Now I had not even thought about how messed up this system is. This is the same education we pay 50,000 dollars for and we only get at times, what we pay for and what our school districts allow for us to learn. Systematic Selective learning at its best.

My article about LGBT in Media being killed off was an eye opener to me. I was aware of the problem but did not think of an act to rebel against it in order to initiate change. Or how women have the biological urge and how “one day it will hit them and they will want to have kids because that’s what women do. What society has conformed us to think and how behave. The worst being we are programmed to learned and do what we are told and to not ask questions less it reap penalty from authorities.

Now this generation has been blooming and really fighting back against what we feel is right and wrong and speaking up for ourselves but how much are we really going against the grain? We seek change and others are acknowledging this, however it is like a one step forward in two steps back aspect. In regards to the new Barbie Ad, we are shown how it is amazing that young boys are being advertised in playing with what is seen as a predominately female toy but still in a sense, advertised negatively and instead of him being of a more respectable boy he’s portrayed as being very cheeky and what message does that send? It is almost as if they do it for the possible negative reaction so that there is an excuse not to advertise like that again in the near future.

If I were to end this off by saying anything, it would be that from my experience in this world, this society we have been bred in, it would be to never take someone’s word as final. Question the subjects you learn about, research them and do not let anyone force you to believe something when first hearing about it. Because what makes this generation ,as well as other generations, special is the way we think. Our mind is our own so we must continue to question things to make, create and live in a society that is more than less an ordered community.

Barbie Girl, Barbie Boy

When one thinks of a newspaper what does one think of? Politics? Political Cartons or the usual Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield comic strip that everyone knows and loves? Sometimes newspapers can form to be whatever they want to be whether it be good or bad. There’s a German newspaper called Bild. It’s been around since 1952 and went from being a newspaper that showed mostly pictures and sold around a million or so copies a day, to a newspaper that is not very well loved anymore around Germany because of the tenacious yet audacious way the paper has began to write. Now, I had the pleasure of reading an article the other day about an advertisement with a little boy playing with this new version of Barbie called Moschino Barbie. It was an article advertising these new Barbie dolls called Moschino Barbie dolls. The irony also hasn’t escaped me because Barbie was a doll created from the German Newspaper Bild. The doll was called Bild Lilli but the copyright materials, design and such were bought by an American woman in the mid 1950’s. The article wasn’t very long it simply stated how boys are now being advertised with Barbie dolls. I found this article very interesting because it’s starting to show the cracks in the social norms of what is shown in gender media. It showed how we are trying to take a step past the line that has been created by society that only girls can be advertised with Barbie dolls, and only boys can be advertised with race cars and/ or video games. Even though race cars in video games can be something that girls play with as well, as now as advertised in this Barbie commercial, now boys can  play with Barbie dolls ,or dolls in general, as well. What I found a bit unpleasant was the way the Barbie was dressed. One of the aforementioned dolls had a leather skirt on and a see through net top with a bra on covered slightly by a leather jacket. The little boy mentioned “wie scharf” translated to how spicy, how hot this Barbie is. Now to imagine what message this would send to younger kids is what bothers me. The Barbie is dressed a bit scantily and the boy is already shown making remarks a child his age should not make. The idea of the Barbie is a great one and I am more than enthused that it is attempting to pass the gender norms of media and society but it makes one wonder to what expense and if they were made purposefully this way in order to point a blame on what happened to the youth of future generations. It is my hope that with this step further past the gender roles that have been created, that we step into more of a gender equality and neutralism in the future but maybe without the loopholes and I partially mean the ones in Moschino Barbies top as well.

 

Sources:

http://www.bild.de/unterhaltung/kultur/barbie/barbie-jetzt-auch-fuer-jungen-43433174.bild.html

http://kids.barbie.com/en-gb

http://www.women-inventors.com/Ruth-Handler.asp

#WeDeserveBetter

Everyone wants a happily ever after that they can relate to right? Most young girls watch old Disney movies and think that waiting for their Prince Charming is their only option. Some young boys even think it is their duty to try and save every girl whom they believe are damsels in distress and need someone to save them. Unfortunately for the young boys and girls who are apart of the LGBT community ,or as I like to call them family, like myself, we do  not want that for our future. However, due to society’s standards created by predominantly privileged cis white males, we have been led to believe that any love that is not between a man and a woman is somehow an abomination and or fantasized and sexualized. That the love we share with our same sex is not natural despite there being scientific evidence that same sex attraction is as natural as heterosexual attraction. There are even homosexual relationships in animals. In some cases, female lionesses who identify as both gender or look similar to a male of their species can lead their pride because despite contrary belief, it is possible to survive with only one gender in a group.

Recently there has been a lot of controversy over ,the 100, a tv show which used to be one of the highest rated series of the year. The Director, Jason Rothenberg, used the promise of a non mistreated/mishandled LGBT couple romance, in this situation the main character Clarke being LGBT and falling in love with another woman Commander Lexa, in order to win the LGBT audiences ratings and views but then brutally removing one or both of the characters after ratings are high. This act has been named queerbaiting. So, after the show was ranked #1 on the most watched and popular tv series, the aforementioned couple ,both strong and respected leaders amongst their people, accepted their feelings for one another. Directly after spending their first night together as a couple, the partner was shot by a poisoned arrow meant for the other. Not only was the arrow a misfire but it was shot by the right hand advisor of the one that was shot. Now after this happened and the controversy began the Director claimed that this was done to add to the “shock factor” of the show.

The question that is being asked is would anyone call another lesbian character on a tv show being killed off a shock? Would the young lesbian and bi community think that was a good shock for a story they looked to for their promised happily ever after? One they could finally have that did not end in horrible and or tragic heartbreak? I certainly did not. After this fated day our epic Commander Lexa was taken from us, the LGBT community was outraged, flooded twitter with #Lexadesrvedbetter, #Wedeservebetter, #LGBTcharactersdeservebetter etc, and began to expose this director for the monster he is. A misogynist who mistreats his minority cast and ,even though his main character is a female, constantly creates male roles to dominate the strong roles of the females. Now I have only mentioned J. Rothenberg once or twice, I have made this whole blog post apart of the minority. Why is that one may ask? Because ,at least in America, society has taught cis white males that they are at the top and anyone beneath them are disposable.

Well the community took a stand and said we are not disposable. So what have we done? We have started a campaign for the Trevor project which is non-profit organization founded in 1998 and the leading national organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and other queer youth. Within mere weeks of the fated episode the Lexas death we have raised over $30,000. The message is clear, we will not back down, we will support our youth and ourselves and we are a force to be reckoned with #LGBTcharactersdeservebetter.

Sources:

http://nypost.com/2015/12/28/gender-fluid-lioness-is-the-queen-of-her-pride/

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/death-100-prompts-30000-donation-furious-fans-trevor-project/#gs.X37aZKQ

http://www.autostraddle.com/all-65-dead-lesbian-and-bisexual-characters-on-tv-and-how-they-died-312315/

 

An Educational Experience

Education is a facilitated of learning that is important all around the world. But it is important around the world in different aspects.  In a different country for example, education  could been seen as the most important in order to facilitate what the best method is in order to have a functional and successful life. However in the US for another example, I feel as if it’s all about connections that one makes instead of the education that one has. For it has been my displeasure to meet people who don’t talk with an educated mind but with a view of only what their parents have taught them ,whether good or bad, and never gone out to experience and see if it is true. However that is not to say that education is not important for it is as well very important there.

Being an educated person is such an important part of our society and culture and is necessity needed in order to get by. Unlike in European countries ,like Germany, where I am currently studying, in the US, education, especially higher education like college education, is extremely expensive. One pursues this higher college education, in order to receive their degree so that it is possible to get a good paying job with health care benefits that won’t leave you paying $50 to $70 every time you see the doctor for a checkup. Tuition fees in American schools are extremely high. One could pay a range of $19,000 to $60,000 per year including room and board. If one is not able to pay his tuition fees upfront, they have the option to take out student loans or what we call Financial Aid. Student loans and financial aid come in the form of scholarships, stipend, as well as well as directly from our government. However with all of these fees you eventually have to pay them back as one needs to do when taking out a loan. All of these loans you don’t have to pay back until the end of your  college education however some loans have attached to them interest rates that still accumulate while you are in school.

So, by the time you actually finished school some of 3, 4 years later you will have accumulated debt to your name and/or to your parent’s  name for possibly over $100,000. It is for these reasons I think that  education is used in America as a system of Oppression. Basically a way to say if you can’t pay to be educated then you don’t have the right to be educated. But if by chance you choose the path of educating yourself with the assistance of Financial Aid you will be forced to work for 30+ years of your life in order to pay off $100,000 in debt and still be able to live in a house and take care of your family. But it just doesn’t just stop there. Then what happens is that you don’t continue to learn for the enthusiasm of learning but because you are forced to in order to be accepted into society. Which would in a sense explain why it is a fact that “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem amongst US College Campuses” (Anxiety Depression Association of America). After the process of completing higher education, we are forced to find a job, that we are more than likely not to enjoy, only because the wages are good and work with paying back loans at the same time as trying to survive. Suddenly you find yourself 32 years old stuck working a nine-to-five pm job as a telemarketer, hate waking up in the morning to go to this job, and spending so much of your time doing something you do not care about or enjoy. But you feel don’t have a choice because you need the wages that this job pays and you find yourself unhappy because you’re not living you’re just going through the motions by then. All of this only to pay off the education that is necessary in our society to get these jobs.

Everyone will not choose these exact steps but for those who do, the best hope is that we all get our degrees in something we are passionate for and don’t fall into the motions of just being and choosing a path that is convenient. That by the time we finally finish getting our bachelor’s and master’s degrees we have made a mountain of connections. We have bonded with our professors who will write our glowing letters of recommendation. We have struggled in class but learned more than we could have ever dreamed of learning. Most importantly that we are getting a degree in a subjects that won’t let your bones rest that makes you axioms to learn the very next thing. Then after all that we find a job that we have a burning fire for and we enjoy working that nine-to-five job at someplace that makes us feel alive and makes us feel that we are making a difference. But above all, finding a job that makes us happy with our educated educational experience .

 

Sources:

 

http://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/student-finance/how-much-does-it-cost-study-us

http://www.adaa.org/finding-help/helping-others/college-students/facts

Woman Biological Urge

Do you ever go to a social gathering of some sort and while you are mingling, if you mingle at all, you encounter someone with such radical ideas or old fashioned views that you’re amazed you are still listening to their nonsense? Even if only to be able to tell it in a story later about some guy who started talking with you and believes it is only natural for you, a woman, to be attracted to males, himself in particular, so that you can reproduce. Now, despite us being in the 21st century and woman having many more purposes and needs than one would have thought of in, let us say, the 18th/19th century, I found something interesting in the garbage that came out of this boy’s mouth. For despite me being a homosexual and in fact not going to parties to find some man to please, he sparked a curious question in my mind. How many women do have the “Biological Urge” to reproduce?

I have personally wanted to give birth and be a Mother since I was young. Would I call that a biological urge? No. Personally I think it goes amongst the wants of what one wants to do when one grows up. I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger. I would still enjoy the ups and downs of being a doctor but these days it is no longer a priority. I have talked to a few women who range from “I never want kids” which is what my older sister Charity has been saying ever since we were young and that mindset still has not changed. To other women, like my partner who is a primary school teacher, who says “maybe one day if I can afford to bring the child up nicely” and others, like my friend Monique, who dreams of driving a van around with at least 5 kids in the car. It poses then the question if it was an actual urge to reproduce and be a Mother would the urge not affect each and every one of us? Which is why it is to my understanding that it goes down to background of how we were raised and how we perceived interactions when we were younger and to today, which helps us determine if we want to reproduce and making the decision to become a Mommy.

Now, while my word only goes so far therefore, I have read a few articles like the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast about not women who do not want kids. In this article it stated “For women, there is no real evidence to support the notion that there is a biological process that creates that deep longing for a child”. Which is not so far fetched of an idea for even if one were to say that they chose not to have kids, well, that would be proving my point exactly. That it is in fact a conscious choice and not a need that as a women no matter the age would they want kids. In my case, I can only be grateful that I have a partner who is not against the idea of being a Mom but would much rather adopt than give birth and that is fine by me. Well, at least for one of our kids.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26089486

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-carroll/childfree_b_1752906.html

 

Societies Manipulation of Thought

My name is Maranatha Croomes. I am a Third year Student, originally from Southern California, on my second year on exchange in Tuebingen. I am 20 years young going on 21 in about 2 or so months. I have explored many different horizons on my years abroad and so I am not surprised I ended up in this sociology class that has opened my eyes and broadened said horizons even further.

I feel as if society has manipulated the general mind set of what is accepted and what isn’t and it is only within the last few decades its been deemed, only by us ourselves of course, to fight back against it, go against the grain so to speak. But it make me wonder as to what have we gone against and what is imbedded into our mindset so much we fail to realize it is even a problem. Using a variant of example this is what I aim to pinpoint.

One of my favorite quotes from the texts was in Chapter 15 which is :

” a woman as a natural mother- a being consumed and fulfilled by dedication to another; a being whose meaning is the species, not the self; a being less than and more than human, but never paradigmatically man-“.

In this quote I feel as if there is so many things said and it incorporates what old time Female culture was. For example what they believed they had to be doing as their duty as a woman, like taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, and things like that and how they never had a right to themselves but always to dedicate themselves to another for their purpose to be fulfilled in life. Using this as starting point ,to open up the mind to what we are dealing with, quotes from readings like this ,as well as what I have perceived in my time as a student, I will make connections in what our societies and cultures aim to force down our throats and see where it began what it started to become and is currently changing to be.

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