Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interesting article form CNN about gay marriage

The tittle of the article is, "Number of Americans in same-sex marriage states more than doubles"

Two excerpts from the article to peak your interest:

"The number of Americans living in states covered by same-sex marriage laws has more than doubled after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry."
2)  A quote in the article from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
"I think it was politically more dangerous for a Republican," Cuomo told reporters late Friday. "The conservative party was threatening them with consequences ... and they did it anyway."

Link to Article

An interesting movement called Occupy Wall Street

Excerpt from the web page:

"Cornel West, Philosopher and Activist, to Speak at Occupy Wall Street Tonight
Occupy Wall Street is pleased to announce that noted philosopher and social justice advocate Cornell West, author of the book “Race Matters” among many others, will be speaking at tonight’s General Assembly, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Liberty Square at the intersection of Broadway and Liberty Street. He will be speaking about the circumstances that ultimately led thousands activists to occupy Wall Street, as well as the importance of people power in addressing them."

The link to this site is, <>

Economic Inequality as a Feminist Issue

          When thinking about inequality it is very important to talk about socioeconomic class.  The very existence of a class system represents stratification in the power structures of a society.  When looking at feminism and gender equality we must include the topic of class inequality.  This is important for several reasons, one of which is that women of different socioeconomic classes can face very different problems.  Lower class women may require issues like labor politics/policies and domestic violence to be addressed more readily than someone of a higher class.  If a woman is in an abusive relationship where both members are financially bound to one another it can create a difficult situation to escape from.  Even if they leave, they might not have anywhere to go.  I find this scenario personally disturbing.  It is also important to realize that there is stratification in political power and political voice when dealing with class issues.  Middle and Upper class women may have more power in shifting political issues.  This can be due to greater access to resources, higher levels of education, more time to be involved and lesser financial restriction.  It is important to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard especially since according to the Center forWorking-Class Studies states that some economists estimate that the working class makes up to 62 percent of the American population.  In my opinion one of the main goals of feminists is to fight against larger power structures that create inequality and that is exactly what a socioeconomic class system does.  To use a metaphor from my Gender and Societyclass, our class system is one of the bars in a much larger cage that surrounds and restricts people.  This is one of the many reasons why I really liked the two websites we were to explore for class; the People Like Us site and the site for the Center for Working-Class Studies.  I particularly found the CWCS website helpful in identifying the existence of a class system that many people don’t usually think about on a daily basis.  The People Like Us site was also interesting in the way in which it used clever mediums such as flash games to show people socioeconomic stratification.

This wikibook page looks interesting and seems to relate to this topic. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A view of Lilith from one historical lens.

I saw a similar iteration of the legend of Lilith on the show "The Naked Archaeologist"
When I looked for a clip of the story on You Tube, I found this... Enjoy :)

Quotes: The F-word by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

“One criticism of the first wave is that women’s suffrage movement didn’t pay enough attention to social hierarchies other than gender, like race and class (Rowe-Finkbeiner, 22).”
I found it interesting that the mainstream suffrage movement would so easily brush aside the issue of race and class, especially since some of its earliest beginnings were in the abolitionist movement.  Why was it that not all able bodied people were being actively recruited for the cause?  I understand that it is from a different cultural point of view that I look at these women through, but it still confuses me.  Since the beginnings (as I understand them to be) of the suffrage movement came from an abolitionist origin then how could women of color be so easily cast aside.  I think it is important to have a realization of the societal views of the time and choose to not forget this reality of white privilage.  I also found it interesting that class differences would be over looked.  I find it interesting that the voices of the lower class were not heard nearly as loudly as the middle and upper class.  I wonder if this was due to factors such as not having the free time, monetary demands or if they were just actively ignored.  I do understand that these other groups  (such as lower income women and women of color) had active roles in the overall suffrage movement, but why were they not adequately represented by the mainstream group of feminists?  I also wonder if this is still going on in the feminist movement today.
“In addition to the racial tension that marked the second wave, generational tension is now a factor.  Many leaders form the second wave of feminism are still active in contemporary politics, (Rowe-Finkbeiner, 29),”
            I believe that the generational difference between waves of feminism is important to recognize.  It is important to realize that the needs and demands of women change over time as their social and temporal environments change.  Previous generation of feminists that are still active should take into account these new needs of their heirs and not just focus on the issues of previous generations.  If both generations come together, then they become a much more powerful influence of change.  I also understand that this is much more easily said than done in reality, but people still need to try and understand one another.
“The sad fact is that many modern women face the challenges of gender inequality alone, as individuals.  The feeling that individual concerns add up to societal issues in need of electoral (legislative, voting, and candidate) action has been lost, along with flower power and rainbow suspenders, as the second wave fades (Rowe-Finkbeiner, 32).
I have myself experienced people who feel like they do not count on a large scale.  It is almost as if they give up before they even attempt to try.  I constantly hear people complain about various issues in our society today, but they usually come up with the conclusion that,” it sucks, but what can I do about it?”  I agree that there isn’t a very large and powerful movement in general for younger people (including women) to come together and collectively try to address their needs as a whole (at least none that I have witnessed).  Many times I have seen people assume that another entity will make the difference for them.  I don’t really know why this is.  I wonder what leads to this feeling; could it be a lack of a feeling of “togetherness” among the youth or could it be a lack of available conduits of political change.  I just don’t know, and the reality of it seriously frustrates me.

Argument - Opresssion by Marilyn Frye

I believe that Marilyn Frye was trying to make two main points clear in her article; one of which is that men, in our society, cannot be oppressed as men and that our society is built in such a way that it allows for the active oppression of women.  Frye describes oppression as a system of forces that act together in order to mold, immobilize, and/or reduce in order to restrict or prevent mobility.   She makes it clear that just being exposed to misfortune, pain and suffering does not add up to active oppression.  People who are oppressed are usually placed in a position in which no matter what they do, they can’t “win”.  What I mean by this is that no matter what you do, you are always put into a negative light.  Frye uses the example of women being put into positions where options are made few and all choices come with some level of penalty; this is called a double bind.  One specific example used in the article is the sexuality of women and how it is perceived by the male majority.  If a woman is sexually active then she is looked down upon as a sexual deviant, “loose”, and a whore.  If said woman restrains from being sexually active than she is labeled as a tease or uptight and then pressured into becoming more sexual.  Our society can also instill these ideas into the minds of some women in order to allow them to perceive other women as teases or sluts based on what behaviors the society appoints with these labels.  This is due to ideologies put into place by our society that we are exposed to even before birth.  No matter what the woman does, she will be labeled and associated with some sort of perceived negative trait.  No matter what option is taken she is put down by someone and it is our social and societal structure that allows for this to occur. 
The media, the common social structure, and main stream culture don’t allow for any option the woman may have to be seen as a positive one.  Men do not really have such a limitation in our main stream culture as a male.  Continuing to use sexuality as an example, males are not usually scorned for being overtly sexually active.  They are usually given praise to being either active or being non-active sexually.  The structure of our society allows for the existence of a double standard.  It teaches us to praise males when they perform a certain action and then scorn or punish women for conducting similar behaviors.  Our society is stratified in a way that always puts males above females and for this reason men are not oppressed as men.  The man must be transformed into something else in our society before he can be oppressed.  This would include classifying him as being a person of color, a homosexual, being deformed or overtly feminine.  In these cases the man is oppressed not as a man, but as someone with these other traits.  He may feel misfortune or suffer as a man, but he cannot be actively oppressed as a man in our society; the societal structure does not allow for it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Introduction

Hello, my name is David Budzyna.  I am currently in my senior year at Rhode Island College.  My major is Anthropology with an interest in Archaeology.  So far, I like how this semester is going, but I am worried about figuring out what I want to do with my life after I graduate.  I still have not been able to find a specific time period/region to focus my studies on.  I guess part of this semester will spent trying to find my self so-to-speak.  Outside of school I like to hang out with my close friends, go on walks and day hikes, read an occasional book and play the occasional video game.  I also love a good movie or television show (especially if it is Sci-Fi). 
I have wanted to take this specific class since my sophmore year.  Through my Intro to Cultural Anthropology course I learned that various factors such as sex, race, economical class, social class and gender have a large impact on our society.  I hope that through this class that I will be able to further my knowledge about how gender and gender roles are constructed and how they influence society.