Where is My Knight In Shining Armor?!

Introduction

We all have those guilty pleasures, embarrassingly to say one of mine is having a Twilight movie marathon. While watching Twilight my friends and I are always clenching our stomachs from laughing so hard about how bad the acting is and imitating Bella Sawn’s whinny voice, but when I was watching the movies recently I didn’t find it funny. I started to

New Moon 2009- Bella Swan after Edward Cullen breaks up with her.

notice how much Bella relies on Edward or Jacob to get her out of trouble. In the second movie Bella couldn’t even function without Edward but when she started hanging out with Jacob the pain started going away. This teaches young girls and women that men are the only happiness in their lives, that they can’t function if they aren’t in some form of relationship with a man. Bella even risks her life cliff jumping hoping this act will bring Edward back.

So What?

The Twilight series are by far the only movies with female characters that rely on their male counter parts. One of my favorite movies from childhood, Sleeping Beauty is another example of this. Princess Aurora is placed in a death like sleep until her true love comes along to give her a kiss to bring her back to life. In the movie she only met the prince once…in the middle of the woods, and all of a sudden they are in love? Media to this day

The Little Mermaid 1989- Ariel brushing her hair with a fork.

continues portraying girls and women in ways consistent with traditional stereotypes. Media show female characters shopping, grooming, being emotional, talking about and flirting with men, being sexual, and engaging in domestic activities. When writing the last sentence three very well known movies came to mind, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, and Mean Girls. All these movies were made decades apart from one another but still portraying the same stereotypes of women. In the article, 20 Facts Everyone Should Know About Gender Bias Movies by Soraya Chemaly from the Huffingtonpost, Female characters are more than twice as likely to be skinny (38.5 percent vs. 15.7 percent), Female characters are more than twice as likely to be either partially or fully naked (24.2 percent vs. 11.5 percent). In films, comments made by characters that refer to appearance are directed at women at a rate of FIVE times that of comments directed at men.

Theory

Julia T. Wood talks about agenda setting theory, the process of media telling us what we should attend to. The media has the ability to directs audience’s attention to particular issues, events, and people. The media doesn’t tell us what to think but is extremely successful in telling us what to think about- which issues, events, and people merit our attention. An example of agenda setting is putting a “more important” article according to the media on the front page of a news paper and making the articles on the inside seem less important. This can be done in movies as well by directing the audiences attention to a certain character in the movie and giving them a more positive light than the other characters around them.
Conclusion
Even though there are copious amounts of movies and TV shows out their portraying women and young girls in traditional stereotypes. There have been more movies coming out such as Brave, portraying women in a new light. In the movie Brave, Princess Merida decides to fight for her own hand in marriage, instead of following tradition, which her mother is trying to conform her to. Disney and other movie, and television companies are starting to come out with female characters fighting for what they want with men helping them along the way and working together. I am excited to see what the next gender  stereotype breaking movie is!

 

The Six-hour Stand

Introduction

Her name is Marina Abramović, she is a 66 year old preforming artist from Serbia.

Marina Abramović during her Rhythm 0 piece.

Performance artist is a type of art that is created in front or presented to an audience by an artist. I want to talk to you about a specific piece she did called, Rhythm 0. This performance involved Marina to stand still for six hours long, while the audience was invited to do to her whatever they wanted to, using 72 different objects that were placed on a table. These included a rose, honey, wine, grapes, perfume, scissors, a scalpel, nails, and a gun loaded with one bullet. She said, “the purpose of this piece was to find out how far the public will go”. At the beginning of this piece the public was calm, people would kiss her on the cheek, hand her a rose, or just look at her. As time went of the public began to become more and more wild. They would cut her neck, and drink her blood, they would carry her around and lay her on the table and put a knife in between her thighs. They cut her clothes off and stuck the rose petals into her body. Finally someone took the gun and pointed it at her and guards ran in and pulled him away.

So What?

I was drawn to this performance when I first saw an article about it on Facebook a year ago, reading what the audience did to Marina and how they dehumanized her shocked me. I was reminded about the performance once more just a few days ago when I read and watched a classmates blog post with a video about a woman who silently walked through New York and was verbally harassed hundreds of times. I felt that this performance was important to talk about because it is terrifying what people will do to women who don’t fight back and defend themselves. The way they treated Marina should be brought to society’s attention because the dehumanization and maltreatment of women has become far too normal in Western culture. Rappers degrade women in their songs calling them bitches and ho’s. The most popular video games give extra points for mauling women. In my gender communication class a few weeks ago we talked about catcalling and the women in my class said that they felt like a piece of meat, animals. They didn’t see it as a compliment, some women even felt scared and vulnerable.

Theory 

Julia T. Wood talks about Growing up feminine, There are two different versions of femininity that coexist today. One says that women have it all today, they can get any job they want, and have marriages where men share the responsibility of raising children equally. At the same time fewer than 20% of women will be given the opportunity to advance to higher levels of their profession. “Even women graduating today with M.B.A.s make $4,600 less per year than men.” In today’s society the media constantly portrays the message that youth and beauty are key to a woman’s success. One of the five themes we identify in the current views of femininity and womanhood is negative treatment by others.  Devaluation and the mistreatment of females are prevalent in Western Culture. Not only is it just men, rapers, and the media but the negative treatment of females begins early and can be intense in girls peer groups. Girls can be very critical of other girls who are not pretty, or thin. They will spread hurtful rumors, exclude her from a group, as well as encourage others to criticize her. We can also look at the standpoint theory, societies are made up of different groups that have different amounts of power and privileges. This theory focuses on how membership in groups such as, gender, race, class, and sexual identity, shapes what individuals experience, know, feel, and do. Women tend to be thought of as less powerful then men, giving women less opportunities than men. Mostly in the workplace, and the way women are treated.

In Conclusion 

After reading about growing up feminine and relating it back to how Marina was treated by her audience in her performance we can see that not only men treat women negatively but women do as well. We need to realize that todays society as a whole needs to treat both men and women equally. At the end of Marina’s Rhythm 0 piece when she was able to move after her 6 hours of standing still her audience ran away fearing what she might say or do to them. This as well as the woman walking silently through New York City shows that we need to stand up for ourselves and each other to create equality. We also need to start at the beginning childhood to prevent these themes of femininity from occurring as well as the themes of masculinity.

Me, Myself, and I

Hello There!

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“Difficult doesn’t mean impossible.”

My name is Olivia Robinson and I am currently a Junior at Longwood University. I am majoring in Communication Studies with a concentration in organizational communications and public relations as well as a minor in psychology. Through my courses I have become to love PR and communications and wanted to become more involved on campus as well as gaining more experience in these fields, so I joined Longwood’s Public Relations Student Society of America organization.

I have gained a lot of knowledge from my Public relations and communications courses at school but I have also gained some experience in these fields as well over the past few year. In one of my courses we had to create a media kit to help revolutionize an organization of our choice. We picked Lancer Productions, we created cover letters, fact sheets, press releases, and newsletters for the organization. I have effectively communicated with customers, staff, and management while working at two different fast-paced restaurant environments. Over the years I have been able to adapt my communication style to be able to keep in contact with close friends while we have moved in different directions with our lives or with those who I have moved away from geographically.

I have had quite a bit of experience with gender. I have taken an online psychology of sex and gender class this past Christmas, as well as taking a women and gender studies course my Freshman year of college. Through these courses I have learned about the stereotypes society places on men and women, how not only women suffer from sex and gender stereotypes but men do as well. I have also experienced gender personally, I have worked as a hostess at two different popular restaurants, and while working at both of them I have never worked with a male host. One of my managers told me the reason for this is because women are perceived to be friendlier and more welcoming then men are. Throughout this course I hope to learn how to break down gender rolls, and be able to apply this to my future career in the communication field, to be able to spread messages without dictating them towards one specific gender.