Comm 360 Blog #3

This past election has brought up many emotions regarding fake news sites. In the past people have not paid attention or really acknowledged that fake news sites are becoming more prevalent, but because this election was broadcasted immensely on different social media platforms the problem of fake news sites and stories began to come to peoples attention.

These fake news sites are going viral because of the ability to put anything on the internet and have access in creating and distributing fake news stories to get a rise out of people. They are also going viral because many people get their information from different social media platforms and are so used to just believing anything they see on the internet.

Fake news sites are considered deceptive because of the ability to fool an individual on the internet. Many people will look at a website and if it aligns with their political or personal views then they will believe the site, even if it doesn’t align with their views they still won’t question whether or not the website site is false they will just reassure themselves that what they believe is right. Another reason why fake news sites are deceptive because of the images and languages used on the site. These sites are sites that look real and have the ability to camouflage themselves to be presented and the ability to act as credible sources, when in reality they are not.

People are believing these stories because they believe what they want to. Anyone is going to believe something that they agree with, and individuals are not taking the time to check if these sources are credible or not because they are satisfied with what is being said on certain sites. Also people are believing these sources on the surface because of the language and topics being discussed. Sometimes these topics are overall dramatic by mostly on the surface they are believable.

Fake news sites are becoming more and more popular in our society because of the humor and deception attached to this phenomenon and it is important to understand that it is

Blog Post #2- COMM 360

Questions: Chapter 4

  1. When Nyberg discusses the three elements of hiding, he states that two of them are disguise and disappear, could he just combine the first two and call it camouflage?
  2. This chapter is all about deceit and the logic of deception, and my question is, would Nyberg consider Jesus to be deceiving people with his teachings?

Comm 360 Blog Post #1

The main focus for Politicians is to receive votes and win. Politicians will do anything to make sure they are ahead of the other individual during campaigns and debates. According to James Cusick (2015) “In 1988, during the US presidential race, George Bush Senior said: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Most economists in the Treasury knew that was probably a classic lie or lose exercise, and Mr Bush believed the White House would be his if he simply told America what it wanted to hear.” This is an example of how deceiving is so prevalent in politics today. Many politicians will either say what the voters want to hear or sometimes even shock them with their words. For example, Donald Trump has been very truthful with his words during his campaign for president and many Americans dislike him for this.

This is because Americans are used to only being told what they want to hear and are shocked by his very truthful attitude towards certain tasks he plans t0 do if elected. This line between deceiving and truth-telling is so prevalent in politics because politicians tell Americans what we want to hear, and once we agree with what they are saying we will always support them. Politics is a game on how well the other can deceive individuals and gain more support. We are also being deceived by politicians everyday because they will tell Americans all of their plans for when they enter the white house but it is nearly impossible to put into action everything they want to do. Politicians have mastered the game of deception.

I believe that deception is a necessary tool for campaigns and politicians because in order to gain support politicians are going to say what Americans want to hear. It is also a necessary tool for campaigns because it could cause harm to the other competitor and once again increase support. Politicians also use this tool also because it can be beneficial towards a campaign. For example, in James Cusik’s article (2015) he discusses how Alistair Carmichael leaked a memo because he thought it would “politically beneficial.” As stated before the main goal for politicians is to gain followers and secure a spot in the white house, and because people are selfish and think there way is the best way Americans tend to gravitate towards the politicians that they agree with, wether or not they are being deceived.

New Law, Old Ways

As a society we have come a long way in accepting different religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientation in a positive way. Although, some individuals are still stuck in ways and do not accept all of these things. For example, in Mississippi a law was recently passed allowing business to refuse service to the LGBT community. This comes to a shock to most individuals because many believe that we have reached a time in our society that accepts all, but passing this law has moved us back a step.

The Law

People in Mississippi protesting the new Law

People in Mississippi protesting the new Law

This law is called the Religious Freedom law which allows businesses to refuse service to an individual if the businesses beliefs do not agree with the individuals life choices.   This law states, according to Mark Berman (2016), that ” “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions,” including the belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that sexual relations should only occur in such a marriage. It also says that a person’s gender is “determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth” and goes on to say that businesses can determine who is allowed to access bathrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms.” This means that businesses are allowed to decide whether they want to serve a person of a community that their beliefs do not agree with. These individuals are denied basic rights as a human being. This law is allowing businesses to do what they choose based on their religious beliefs. Many religions believe that marriage is between a man and a women and because of this law they are allowed to decline service.

According to Amber Phillips, this law is set up to “the law’s supporters say the broad measure is necessary to protect people’s freedom of religion in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Democrats and LGBT rights organizations retort that this law codifies discrimination on nearly every level of an LGBT person’s daily life” (2016).

Amber Phillips believes that this law is discriminating against LGBT with their basic living situations. They are discriminated against marriage, employer rights, and basically anything that they want to do. This topic is important to examine because as individuals in today’s society we need to realize that there needs to be equal rights for all individuals. This should not based on sexual orientation.

Also according to Amber Phillips these laws can be examined by four different elements. These elements are 1. religious beliefs, 2. for a business,  3. state officials from being punished for denying a range of services to LGBT people, 4. and schools and foster parents. Regarding the religious beliefs says that if a Catholic nonprofit organization or religious group does not believe in same sex marriage they can deny treatment. Expanding on this law for a business this law says that a business can refuse to serve a member of the LGBT community or hire them for a job. For the third part of this law it says that government officials can refuse to sign marriage license for a member for the LGBT community. Lastly, this law states that schools can prohibit students from wearing clothes and using the bathroom of the gender they identify with if it doesn’t match the gender on their birth certificate. These are just some examples of how this law is going to affect the LGBT community. As a society we need to not not take a step back, but a step forward.

Why is this related to Gender?

This topic relates to gender by when our class discussed Affirmative Action Polices. According to Julia T. Wood, she states that these policies are based on three ideas.

The first idea is that “because discrimination has systematically restricted the opportunities of groups of people, remedies must apply to entire groups, not just individuals. Second, to compensate for the legacy of discrimination, there must be preferential treatment of qualified member of groups that have suffered discrimination. Third, effectiveness of remedies is judged by results, not intent” (2015).


Protestors standing up against the Religious Freedom law passed in Mississippi

These are policies that are in place so people do not discriminate against other individuals. The policies are basically stating that there must be a group of people that are being treated poorly in order for it to be considered discrimination. Second, this policy is stating that someone did not give you a job based on your gender, race, or sexual orientation, then this is considered being discriminatory. Lastly, this policy states that treatment is based on results of content rather than intention. An example of this would be if a business did not hire an individual based on their gender or race. A couple years ago there was a lawsuit filed against Abercrombie & Fitch because the company discriminated against minority and only hired individuals that did not fit the retailer image (2013). This lawsuit stated that this company did not hire minorities because the company wanted someone with a “classic look.” If a minority was hired it was said that they were told to do jobs that were undesirable and kept out of the public eye (2013). This is an example of how these laws were put into action. The minorities were being discriminated against and so those individuals took action and brought this company to court.

Importance for others

When looking back on the current law of Mississippi and relating it to the Affirmative Action Policies I wonder why no one is taking serious action. These individuals of the LGBT community are being discriminated against under this law. This has changed the way I think about gender because if I were told I was not able to do something then I would not know what to do with myself and would feel useless. It is important to realize that this is happening in our society today. Even though we have come a long way from where our country was; making this law is taking our society down a path that is scary. It is important to have this understanding so we can make change in the communities around us. Although someone might not be able to change the law, in Mississippi, one can surely stand up f0r what is right and protest for equal rights for all.



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New Year New Target

Many parents, teens, and kids get excited about getting new items for their house. Whether it is, for parents some new furniture or for teens some new clothes and for kids maybe a new toy.  When shopping at stores, most people will look up at the different aisle and see “girls toys” or “boys building blocks.” This blog post is about how a store, that we all love, decided to break down gender norms and get rid of the naming of certain aisle  such as “boys and girls stuff” and create a neutral gender place. This store is Target. Target is popular amongst many individuals, and them breaking down gender norms is allowing others to see that we are moving into a new era of acceptance.

New and Improved Target:

Target is one of my favorite stores to go to whenever I need something.  When I saw the news about Target eliminating gender specific titles on their aisle I was even more pleased with shopping at Target. Target also released a new line of bedding called Pillowfort. According to Sarah Epstein, a writer from TODAY, stated “Target made parents and customers happy when the store made its toy section gender-neutral in an effort to make the franchise more ‘gender inclusive.’  Now Target is taking its mission one step further.” The next step would be, as I said before, Pillowfort. This is a bedding line that launched February 21 and will have more pieces that are gender- neutral. There will of course be some pinks and blues, but the main focus is to provide more of a variety of options for kids. Kids will be able to choose their bedding and not understand the difference between having a pink bedspread or a blue one.

An example of Target's new bedspreads called Pillowfort

An example of Target’s new bedspreads called Pillowfort

This is an important step for Target because Target is breaking down the gender norms of girls always having to choose pink and boys always having to choose blue. With this line a girl could choose a bedspread that has a spaceship on it or a boy could choose a bedspread that has butterflies on it and no one will question whether that is for a boy or girl. Phil Wahba, a writer for Fortune, stated that the Pillowfort collections “prints and patterns are more open-ended: trees, arrows, astronauts, and bicycles. Products featuring images that are more traditionally gender- specific, such as basketballs, hearts, and alligators will have neutral colors such as white, black, and yellow.” Changing the way that Target sells their bedding and other toys will continue to help society break down gender-roles.

Another example of Target's Pillowfort

Another example of Target’s Pillowfort

Although, some individuals do not like that Target is doing this, the idea of a binary gender norm is fading. Society is moving past gender norms and accepting that it is okay for a boy to have a pink bedspread or a bedspread with light colors. According to WGN, Julie Guggemos, Target’s Vice President of design, said that Target is hoping to expand and create elimination of its gender-norms offerings. Julie Guggemos stated, “It was an aisle of pink, fairy princesses, ponies and flowers,” Guggemos said. “And for the boys it was rockets and dinosaurs. Well, you know what? Girls like rockets and basketball. And boys like ponies.” She also said, “Who are we to say what a child’s individual expression is? We really wanted to develop a collection that would be universal.” These are examples of how society is changing within the department stores. Having gender-neutral bedspreads creates a break in gender norms in our society today. When thinking about the good that Target is bringing to society by not having gender specific toys and other items it makes me want to continue to shop at this store. I know of young kids who would love to have a bedspread that is not considered “masculine” and have a bedspread with lighter colors, but they are afraid of what others might think. By Target creating this line they eliminate gender norms. Target is also giving children the option to be whoever he or she wants to be, regardless of his or her gender norm. These young kids are demanding something different and they do not want to fall into traditional binary gender norms of girls always having pink or boys always having blue. This allows kids to get something that they want and will be happy with. Before we know it the younger generations may not even know what a gender-norm is.

Target and our Gendered Lives:

When relating this topic back to our class, Gender in Communication, I think of chapter seven of Julia T Wood’s textbook “Gendered Lives” (2010). Wood discusses what it’s like to grow up masculine and feminine. Growing up, men under traditional gender roles are not supposed to act feminine, but they are supposed to be successful, be aggressive, be sexual, and be self-reliant. When growing up feminine women are supposed to be worried about their appearance, be sensitive and caring, do not have negative treatment towards others, and be a superwoman. Julia T. Wood suggests that these are the ways in which society wants men and women to act. Men are viewed in society to act strong and brave. They are to be the breadwinners for the family and are the ones that love being sexual. Whereas women are viewed in society as always having to be put together and be sensitive towards others. Women are also looked at having an easier life because we get our drinks paid for at bars, we get our meals paid for when going on dates, and being able to get out of tickets. Although in reality women are more prone to sexual assault, having job discrimination, and live in poverty. Even though these aspects of gender-norms do not seem like they would relate to the subject of Target changing their bedding style, it in fact has a big impact on this topic.

If young kids today are brought up not being taught “masculine and feminine” then these gender norms will diminish.  A boy having a bedspread with light colors and different animals doesn’t mean the boy isn’t masculine, it just means that the young boy is interested in those types of things. If a young girl has a bedspread with an astronaut on it, that doesn’t mean that the girl isn’t feminine maybe she wants to just have a fun and unique design on her sheets. Our society today stressing the importance of imagination, but when it comes to a boy having an imagination of “girly things,” most people begin to question his masculinity, and if a girl is being creative when playing with different toys such as trucks or guns then her femininity is questioned. When I was younger I remember that I loved playing with toy cars. My childhood best friend and I would always play with these toy cars and I never thought anything was wrong by doing this. Although looking back I can now see that even at that young age I was breaking gender norms by being a girl and playing with toy cars.

Target is beginning to helping eliminate gender norms by creating gender-neutral bedspreads and removing labels off their aisle such as “boys bicycles.” By Target being the one of the first well-known companies to eliminate gender specific bedspreads and toys it is allowing other stores to follow. This has helped myself have more respect for Target that the CEO’s are seeing that even though the store is not gender specific the sales are not being affected. Target is still allowing young boys and girls have an imagination, but they are allowing them to do it without have a label of “girl or boy.” It is important for myself and others to be aware that Target is pushing these boundaries because this is what our society needs to do; we need to step away from always being so worried about gender and let people live their lives the way they want them to be lived.

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A Girl With a Boy’s Name

Hello my name is Drew Pelkey. Because most people first hear my name, they think I am a boy; they get a shocking surprise that I am female.  I am a junior at Longwood University and majoring in Communications Studies, concentration in Public Relations. I was born in Goochland Virginia, member of a six-person family. To most people that is a big family, but to me it doesn’t seem big enough. Being in a family of six which was chaotic at times.  To make matters even more strange, all of our first names start with the letter D.  However, this dynamic taught me to be loud, respectful, and caring. Growing up with three other siblings I have always loved the busy and loud atmosphere that my family has created. I hope to find a career that embodies the goals of my family. I hope to work in an environment where I can speak my mind, always be busy and wanting to learn more. My mom always has told me “ Drew, you are a unique person and light up a room when you enter.” That saying has given me the confidence to achieve the goals that I have accomplished and it has challenged myself to be the best person I can be whether it is with academics or a career.

Durning my academic career at Longwood University, I have taken many Communication course. I have sat through lectures on how to be a good communicator, how to be a bad communicator, and tried to truly define what communications is. In high school I was a very involved, member of the student body government and the captain on the varsity soccer team; I was in my comfort zone in high school. Although after coming to college ,I began to stay quiet.  I started not volunteering for extracurricular activities, and to not push myself outside of my comfort zone. After my freshman year of college, I began to miss being involved and I decided to apply to be a Peer Mentor. Being a Peer Mentor gave me the confidence to get more involved on Longwood’s campus. I began to communicate more in classrooms, apply to more positions on campus, and take leads on projects in my classrooms. I recently accepted a position as an intern in the Admissions office at Longwood University. This position will begin to let me expand my skills as a communicator such as: being independent with projects, deciding what trends attracts future students, and how to have more confidence on individual tasks.

One of the more tame family gatherings

One of the more tame family gatherings

Gender in Communications was a class I have always been intimidated by because I have never had to talk or deal with these certain situations. I was raised Christian so my family never really discussed anything else besides male and female. My experience with different sexes such as intersexed and different genders such as transvestite, adgrogyny, transgender, and transexual was never discussed in my household. After enrolling in this class, I have already learned about things I never knew even existed for example, when we recently discussed androgyny. As a child, I always got along better with guys, I was always picked first for sports teams because guys knew I could play them well, and I was not concerned about my looks. Although when I got older I started wearing nicer clothes wearing makeup and not being the “tom-boy” everyone thought I was. I remember when I first wore a blouse, all my friends looked at me weird and even one of my guy friends said “Ew Drew why are you wearing that,” he later even said, “why are your jeans so tight.” Looking back on it, after being in Gender in Communications class I realize now why it was such a shock to my friends when I began to wear tighter jeans and blouses. People were not used to me being the girly girl and when I hit puberty everything began to change and they did not know how to react. Gender in Communications, being somewhat sheltered as a child, has broadened my knowledge about different genders and how it affects our everyday communication.

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