Archive for the ‘Journal’ Category

AMST 202 Journal 4/25

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Of the various stereotyped images women were assigned in the ’60s, I think the “catfighting” idea was the most harmful. It was considered another example of women making “spectacles” of themselves (or displaying any sort of emotional rebellion), and was said to set the movement back far. The connections to capitalism and the social obligation to compete just imply that women share the mindless urge to consume, and will go to extreme lengths to fulfill their material addiction. As the environmental movement was advocating strongly against the “plastics” mentality, feminists were trying to disprove their connection to apathetic suburban housewives; but also acknowledging a “sisterhood” between all women. They were only seen as hypocritical because of their reactions to being backed into corners by the media, having to defend themselves in a sea of labels.

The “natural” look could also be as harmful; since it imitated the feminists’ style, it tried to undermine the rebellion (which was already undermining mainstream fashion). Among other imposter styles America tries to capitalize on, it made the real feminists appear to be conforming, which contradicted their message again. People were so used to being lied to, it was harder for the older generation to distinguish between message and symbolic imitation; this is why feminists resorted to iconoclasm, and legislation took awhile to pass in response.

Journal 4/25

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Susan Douglas in Where the Girls Are described a shift in the thinking of gender roles throughout the 1960s. During the 1960s there were a few minor attempts for women to assume major roles in fighting for equal gender rights. Throughout the decade more feminist activists appeared. For the most part, the feminist’s voices were rarely heard. The men did not allow them to make much progress. There was more attention on the attraction of women. The men would rather see them as sex symbols rather than fighters for equal rights. During this time female culture norms were seen as just being beauty figures. This is why the media only gave the women attention through beauty products and such things.  Such ideals have carried on throughout American history. Dominant personalities are still being attributed to males, and females for the most part are being viewed the same way they have been.

Legacy of the 60′s

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

At the start of the semester, I had always assumed the only remaining aspect of the era was the commercialized counterculture. I had never considered the lasting implications of fledgling social movements that laid the groundwork for movements of today. For example, the outcry against the Miss America pageants of today would not have been as prominent if they had not began back in the women’s movement. Or the fact that women like Hillary Clinton could gain power and respect without having to alter her appearance. These are just a few examples from only one aspect of the lasting legacy of the 1960′s.

One of the other main things that I took away from this semester was the distinction between the “good” and “bad” sixties movement. I used to think that’s how the common distinctions were made of the time period, but I learned that was pretty inaccurate. Both halves of the 1960′s had their good and bad moments, but all of which were important. From Lytle, Douglas, the primary sources, and album reviews my perception and preconceptions of the 1960′s have been drastically changed in a way that gives a broader overview of the decade.

Journal Response 22

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

All of today’s reading came from Susan Douglas’s book, Where the Girls Are. By the end of the 1960′s, women have made a stand that they will no longer be the submissive wife with standardized roles such as getting married and raising children. It was time to end this era. Many groups that catered to every interest and desire in the topic of the liberation of women was formed. Women were particularly focused on how the media was altering their view of what a woman should look like through commercials and advertisements. Feminists despised this and fought it every step of the way through debates and rallies. ”As a metaphor for the struggle between feminism and antifeminism, the catfight provided a symbolic catharsis of women’s internal conflict between the desire for liberation and the longing for security” (Douglas 223). There has always been a constant struggle between what a woman should or shouldn’t be in the eyes of the public. Although, we cannot say the same for men.

Towards the end, Douglas mentions that she has no intention of sheltering her own daughter from the forces of mass media. She understands that her daughter will probably go through the same situation she had gone through because of the social pressures that this world puts on women. She does have hope, however. “I also suspect that she and her generation may get wiser to all this sooner than we did [...] and that they will be less patient and less willing to compromise” (Douglas 307). So with this, when do you think that this struggle will end? Do you think it will never end?

 

Legacies of the 1960s

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Throughout Where the Girls Are, Susan Douglas has presented the narrative of the shift in gendered thinking in the 1960s. While, initially, female groups like the Shirelles were both groundbreaking and incredibly influential, as the decade progressed, more radical feminist politics progressed as well. Unfortunately, due to the patriarchal social landscape, the leaders in feminism were belittled and berated as being shrewd, bitter about not being able to appeal to men, lesbians, bitchy, and the list goes on. Also the combination of the media and differing views within the feminist movement itself led to a fragmented, rather than unified, front. More attention was paid to whether or not these women shaved their legs or wore makeup than the thoughts they were articulating. Those self-identified women who did not eschew female cultural norms were looked down upon by feminists who considered themselves to be more “real” or devoted. Ultimately, the media is still gendered and still promotes unattainable beauty standards. Additionally, rather than being encouraged to pursue varied interests, young girls are encouraged to adopt personalities that commodify themselves. Representations of headstrong, brave, and intelligent girls in media meant to be consumed by young girls are still lacking, and many positive personality traits are still largely associated with male figures. Despite all of this, America is a more progressive place now than it had been, and although there are, admittedly, cultural shortcomings, these issues are more likely to be analyzed critically rather than taken for granted.

Why did the media try so hard to create the image of feminists as petulant and irrational, focusing more on irrelevant catfights than on important political questions of equality?

Journal 22

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Today’s reading is about what fueled, affected, and practically created feminism. Though readings tend to tell us they were “radicals,” Douglas, talking from first person point of view, puts us in feminist position. This is probably me looking in to the past through my present built beliefs, but when you grow up practically being told you’re a slave with just enough rights to be a second rate citizen, and standards try to contain what you can be and stall your apparitions simply because your outer appearance, how do you expect one to act. I’m a bit passionate about this subject, because how women were treated was outrageous, and it took a serious effort to dilute some of those inequalities. It was interesting to read that feminist was inspired by young black women during the Civil Rights Movement. Black women were bold and radical, but Admired. Also, the reading opened my eyes to shows I use love as a child, and put them in a new light. In “I Dream of Genie,” the husband is married to an all powerful women, and he constantly kept contained in a bottle, where she was “safest,” which is absurd; along with Bewitched (one of my personal favorites),  where his wife is in the same boat, except not in a bottle, he tried to tell her what she could do with her talent; even though she did it anyway. As time progressed, shows and actress started breaking down that stereotypical pre-fifties women role simply by being different. Whether it was being beautiful while not fitting standards, being openly expressive, crossing the boundaries of what was considered modesty, or just being bold in their stance and not wavering from it.

feminist

Gloria Steinem: Political Feminist Activist, Journalist, and writer.

Interesting Side note: She’s Christian Bales “former” step mother.

Valerie Solanas- Creator of the “SCUM manifesto

Betty Freidan- Creator of the “Feminine Mystique”

Young Hillary and Bill Clinton. Hillary told interviewer:

“He was the first man I met, who wasn’t afraid of me”

Read more about that here: http://www.salon.com/2012/09/02/when_bill_met_hillary/

Feminist1

feminist2

“Women were encouraged to understand aspects of their own personal lives as deeply politicised, and reflective of a sexist structure of power, and women’s cultural and political inequalities were seen as inextricably linked.” culturaldiplomacy.org

The Graduate

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

To be honest, I’m quite was actually about; yet the movie was still fantastic to see. The plot was about a recently graduated college student who seem to have no aberrations for himself. He’s a complete in udder zombie who ends up stuck in an affair with his father’s partners wife. He takes out his dad’s partner’s daughter against his affair partners wishes, but simply to avoid having a full family dinner party, then things went crazy. He falls for his affair partners daughter, his affair partner decides to screw it up for him as much as possible, but saying she’ll tell her daughter what happened between them, he beats her too the punch and goes back to college. He drives all the way to her college, sits in classes, lives with people he don’t know just to try to reconcile the situation and ask her to marry him. She’s already seeing another guy, and he knocks her up. She’s about to get married to him, and he travels from point A to point Z (it felt like) just to get her back.

Okay as i’m writing this, there’s a few points I see. It was a breaking free of the 50′s stereotype of life, and how it should be. He didn’t had a clear plan, and lounged around all day not worried about his future, until he decided there was something worth chasing after, a pregnant women who was at the alter and already kissed her bride. In American Society, can you consummate a marriage before the ceremony?

One Word: Plastics

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Before watching The Graduate in class, I would unashamedly admit to having seen it at least six, if not seven times before hand. It is one of my favorite movies and one of the main reasons I picked Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends for my album research. Not only is the soundtrack one of the most iconic and important, it also fits the movie so well that every scene that uses S&G just becomes ten times more engrossing. After doing my research on the movie and album, I learned much more than I already knew about it which made watching it this time around much more engaging.

The end of the film is what I was waiting for the most, one of the most powerful of the film that captures the meaning and message. Ben and Elaine’s expressions fade to uncertainty at the end because they realized they made a mistake in running off. From research I did, this scene can be interpreted to be representational of the youth generation of the 60′s, who at the end of their protesting realized that they did not know what was supposed to come next for them. I found this to be the most fascinating aspect of The Graduate. 

DQ: Why were none of the adults mentioned by their first name in the film?

Journal 4/23

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

This journal entry is specifically based on the film The Graduate. The film was all about a young man named Benjamin Braddock who just graduated from college. At the beginning of the film he was seen as being lonesome and apparently depressed because he didn’t know what he was going to do with his future. Benjamin ends up having an affair with Mrs. Robinson, a family friend. Mrs. Robinson also has a daughter, Elaine, who is going to be coming home from college relatively soon. Mrs. Robinson forbids Benjamin from dating or even seeing her daughter. Benjamin ends up dating Elaine and eventually falls in love with her. Mr. Robinson finds out about the affair that Mrs. Robinson was having with Benjamin, and threatens to press charges on Benjamin if he goes near Elaine again. At this point Elaine is basically being forced into marriage with another man from her school. Benjamin does whatever he can to prevent the marriage from happening. He succeeds and Benjamin and Elaine run away together. With the context being shown in this film, it must have been debated amongst many critics during the time of its release. Such things shown in a film could be almost viewed as criminal.

How do you think the nations reacted to this film during the time period it was released?

Lost in the Look Forward / The Graduate

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Throughout the course of our class and readings we have seen the development, progression, and failure or success of various political movements throughout the 1960s. This reading acknowledges the general success of identity politics movements and the legal end of “Jim, Jane, and Jose Crow,” the end of the Vietnam war, etc. Toward the end of the 60s, radicals felt like they had not accomplished enough, despite all they had managed to achieve. The successes of the counterculture movement and New Left created an opening for New Right protestors and activists seeking to undo much of the progress the Left had made. This lead to the election of Richard Nixon and a republican-dominated political landscape for many years. Confidential government leaks and Nixon’s innate paranoia became Nixon’s inevitable downfall, as he turned to illegal tactics of intelligence acquisition. His Plumbers broke into homes and offices, tapped phones, etc., and during the Watergate scandal, not only did Nixon have a hand in the entire operation, he helped with the cover-up. When all of this became public knowledge, Nixon resigned the presidency. Despite technical, legal gains in social issues and politics, stereotypes still existed, discrimination still occurred, the government was clearly partaking in corrupt practices, and the post WWII prosperity came to an end and was instead replaced with a recession as the 1970s came around.

With such a negative end-of-decade report, and with the (still present) effort to reverse 1960s political progress, were the hardships endured by activists futile, or does that progress still resonate?