Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quick Blog 6

I have a pretty diverse group of friends and people I know. Most of my friends are around my age but a handful of friends are a few years older than me.  I also help coach a town basketball team where I live so I am around high school kids some too.  At one of my summer jobs I worked with some people who could be my parents and also people my age so I have had experience encountering people of different age groups. It is an interesting dynamic but also very important because it allows me to find that I can relate to a lot of people, age not really being an issue.  I feel I spend enough time with people who are close enough to my age to where we can still relate well with one another, while not spending much time with people out of that age range. 

I think people who are not within the same age range can have difficulty relating to one another because society is always changing.  The way people talk changes so misinterpretations may occur during said encounters.  While I think this can be overcome employers may not want a possible issue to arise.  Also, younger people are looked at in positive ways such as being technologically advanced yet are also widely considered less responsible than older people. While the idea of "respect for elders" argument is fair, one never hears of "respect your youth."  Younger people are looked at as always "up to something" and elderly people as unable to do for themselves, which are two bad characterizations of both groups.

There is much to be learned by spending time with people of varying ages.  It offers a different perspective than the one a person sees through on a daily basis.  Older people, even though may have different views than someone younger, has seen more in their life so that says something about experience.  I think if people worked together and there wasn't such a divide we could all learn from each other and then generational gaps would not be as signifcant or important.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog 15- What I Can Do

I fully realize that I am just one person. Realistically, I cannot change how everyone views issues that we have studied in this class. However, I can influence the people around me. I want to be more mindful of issues such as ableism because it was not something I gave too much thought before this class. I realized there was inequality yet I did not think of it too much. Honestly, this could be because I was afraid to see how privileged I am just because of the groups society puts us in. I do not see too much discrimination but if I were to see this in the future my eyes will be opened to it. I will speak up because I realized how much of an impact discrimination has now. Before, I knew about racism but the other -isms were not too familiar to me so I will be more mindful of that.

I figure if I am not a negative participant in society, notice these issues, and not stand by and just go with the majority then I will make a difference. I have already brought up things I have learned from class with friends and many of them were surprised to learn how privileged we are, even if we don’t necessarily feel it. I am realistic, at some point in my life I will probably run into people who are in denial but I feel as though this class has given me information to speak my mind. If this class has taught me one thing, not matter our differences we are all the same and mainly want the same things. I know that sounds cliché but after some thought age, sexual orientation, race, etc. do not matter. If anything is to change we all have to work for it, not just one segment of people.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Being a good activist, to me, is to be passionate about what you are fighting for. There is no such thing as a passive activist. You do not have to be a gay man or a lesbian to be an activist for gay rights or marriage. An activist just has to want to fight for the change they want to see. An activist, especially a leader, has to be able to speak to others in a way that connects. I think it is important that an activist does not alienate the people they are against. It seems like the only way change can come about is if the people who want change convert some of the people on the fence about a given issue. An activist who has a significant impact on change has to be able to speak to everyone while at the same time prove why change is needed.

A great example of an activist connecting with people would have to be Shirley Chisholm. I found it very interesting that she was running for President at a time where women did not have the power they have today. Not too many women had powerful jobs at this time and she was running for the most important job in the country. I admire her because she was a black woman who was not afraid to speak her thoughts and try to make a change. She did not think she was going to win that particular election but she wanted to show that it could be done. I have not watched more videos about her but it seems like she was not an alienating type, she wanted change and she was doing it the right way. In many ways it’s clear she paved a way for President Obama. She set the precedent.

I also really liked what Howard Zinn had to say because he kind of broke down the way power works in out society. He falls into at least two of the privilege groups, most likely all four, and he is still an activist. He doesn’t need to be. However, he had a way of explaining what activism is and why it is important to fight for change that really helped me gain understanding of what it truly means.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


While watching the video, “Once We Were Young,” I couldn’t help but notice how life is much more difficult for an older person than I thought. I think at the root of the issue is that life moves fast. Today, many jobs are moving at a mile a minute and people automatically look at older people as if they cannot keep up. Also, in a medical sense, ageism works to support health care providers who think it is risky to cover someone who is older. I do not think it is right but it seems to be the way things have been. When thinking about myself being ageist I would have to be honest and say, in certain circumstances, yes I am. The video shows a group of teenagers walking by an old lady and calling her things like, “grandma.” Now, grandma is not a bad term but the way they said it was filled with sarcasm. They were being jerk for no reason. I am not like that, however sometimes I see an old person and I think to myself that in some way, because they are old, they are helpless. That itself is being ageist because all I’m basing that on is the fact they are old.

I think the reason why we do not talk about ageism so much in our society is because there are so many more glaringly obvious issues in our society. Racism and heterosexism are two issues that are always up for debate. For example, there was a time when a “mixed race” marriage was looked at as very negative. Gay couples are fighting for the right to be married. Yet, no one has ever seemed to care if two old people want to get married. While ageism of old and young does exist, especially concerning jobs, it seems like older people have it more tough. I think people try to sugarcoat things to older people when denying them a job.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick Blog 5

Watching the video, “Dead Porn Stars Memorial” really got me to look at the impact of porn. I never really thought of the consequences porn stars had to come to terms with in their real life. It was sobering to see how many porn stars died in pretty violent ways. Numerous people took their lives while many others died from possible accidental drug overdoses and car accidents. Also, many died from complications of AIDS. I have mixed feelings about the message of the video. It seems like the video implies that everyone who passed away because of porn only. While this may be true in a good amount of the cases I’m sure there were other factors. That being said, I think the porn industry is partially to blame.

In some ways I think porn shapes how men see women sexually but I don’t think that is the case for every male. However, porn does further sexist and misogynistic views of women because they are objectified. Most porn is for males and it seems as though it works to reinforce the male’s dominance over the female. It harms young men watching it because it will allow them to think it is acceptable to treat women as if they were objects. I have mixed feelings about how feminists look at pornography. I think men and women are objectified yet the focus is more of women because they draw the men in. I see there is a dark side to it but I think it is a case by case scenario. The video shows a number of men who died as well so porn can have an affect on all people not just women.


The video Gimp was eye opening in a few ways. First, the video made it clear that disabilities are not the end of your life. This was displayed by a dance that showcases people with disabilities yet that is not its only focus. I thought it was interesting to see disabled and non-disabled people doing pretty much the same dance moves. At times I didn’t even realize people were disabled at first. It was a good example of how we can easily follow the stereotype that disabled people are helpless. This video proved that notion was false. Ableism is the idea that disabled people are inferior to non-disabled people but video such as this prove this to be wrong. By showing disabled people as the same as a non-disabled person, having them to the same physically strenuous exercises, works to break down negative ideas about disabled people.

In Susan Wendell’s piece, “The Social Construction of Disability,” she opens with making a very important point. She writes, “I see disability as socially constructed in ways ranging from social conditions that straightforwardly create illnesses, injuries, and poor physical functioning, to subtle cultural factors that determine standards of normality and exclude those who do not meet them from full participation in their societies” (477). I think the most important part of her point is that the subtle ways disabled people are excluded in our society. The idea that there is a “standard of normality” proves there is a disparity between who can participate fully and who cannot. I feel as though most of the time non-disabled people ignore these subtleties because they can. However, disabled people cannot because it is something they have to face every day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Process Piece

I think my project came out pretty well. I put a lot of thought into how to show how racism has been looked at in the past, how it is still present today. Also, I wanted to show how racism is changing today, for the better in my opinion. I started my project by figuring out what program to use, ultimately choosing Windows Movie Maker. Once I was familiarized with the program I started my research by finding pictures that I thought would be useful. After I did that, I asked a family member and some friends what their thoughts on racism were. Once I did that, I researched quotes from famous and influential people to have a balance. Since I had all the pieces to my project, all I had to do was arrange them in a way that explained what racism from a historical sense. It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to present an issue that many people are familiar with at least on a basic level. I think this turned out well. After I had finished the movie I synched the music to it. The song is more than an effect. I think it contributes to the spirit of my project and it added something extra. It is an informative song with a similar message I was trying to get across with the video. I was a little concerned with the fact that there were a lot of quotes at the end but the way the song ended with just the beat made it seem more cohesive overall. I am proud of it because for being a relatively short piece I think it demonstrates how black people were looked upon and portrayed throughout history and how this is changing in the media today. My project’s biggest weakness, I feel, is that I feel like I could have made my titles stronger when introducing slides.
Work Cited
All the images were found at
Interview were conducted by Tom Wilbur
Mark W. Personal. 14 January 2011.
Keenan D. Personal. 15 January 2011.
Melissa C. Personal. 15 January 2011.
"Racism Quotes, Sayings about Racial and Ethnic Discrimination." The Quote Garden - Quotes, Sayings, Quotations, Verses. 9 Sept. 2010. Web. 15 Jan. 2011. <>.