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Knowing the Body: Second Paper Forum

Knowing the Body: Second Paper Forum


Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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contact info
Name: Nancy
Date: //2004-11-19 15:52:45 :
Link to this Comment: 11684

cell: 484 343 2599
Pem West 115
Free all day Sun and most of Sun night


Intersexuals and Gender Reassignment Surgery
Name: Beth
Date: //2004-11-19 16:37:43 :
Link to this Comment: 11685

For my paper on gender politics, I would like to return to our discussion of intersexuals. In the video Hermaphrodites Speak, many of the individuals present stated that they felt something was missing and wished to convey to others that the surgery is unnecessary and a violation of their bodies, that something is now missing from their lives. I will be looking at the circumstances and policies surrounding the birth reassignment surgery to which they are referring. In addition, I want to examine how this relates to our need for categories, specifically the gender categories of male and female. Why is it that we need to perform surgery on babies with ambiguous genitalia in order to somehow make them fit into these black and white gender categories? What would be the consequences of allowing hermaphrodites to make their own decisions regarding their individual sexuality? How problematic is it if they don’t fit into a concrete category, and who is it that feels this is a problem?


Gender roles and equality in the home today
Name: Sara Ansel
Date: //2004-11-18 13:40:05 :
Link to this Comment: 11653

I will be exploring the question of gender equality in the home. There have been recent studies that pose the question: It is clear that more women are working outside the home on career paths today, but are women still spending more time doing household chores and caring for children than men? The answer to this question is depressing. In the New York Times a study was released which provides evidence that women indeed remain the primary care giver in the home as well as the spouse which spends the most time performing household chores. My paper will be exploring this question of equality in gender roles further.


gay bashing
Name: Rebecca Ma
Date: //2004-11-19 00:35:35 :
Link to this Comment: 11668

The human body is an object in which one lives and the medium through which one experiences oneself and the world. Claims on ideology and space are ultimately vested in the human body, and thus conflicts about belief systems and territory are often contested violently on the terrain of human bodies. In modern U.S. communities various militant conservatives target homosexuals in “gay bashing.” Mathew Shepard’s brutal murder in 1998 illustrates a relatively recent incident in which the human body becomes politicized. What is the process by which the pain and death of Shepard’s body transform from the personal to the political? What does “gay bashing” mean to attackers, receivers and their communities?


contact information
Name: Rebecca Ma
Date: //2004-11-19 00:37:27 :
Link to this Comment: 11669

484 410 1269 though email is the best way


Adoption Rights in FL
Name: Chelsea
Date: //2004-11-19 01:45:29 :
Link to this Comment: 11670

Florida state law currently prohibits gay and lesbian individuals and partners from adopting thousands of children in the foster care system. Because adoption is not possible but foster-parenting is, children may live with gay and lesbian couples for years, then be taken away and placed with a new family. The ACLU is currently lobbying the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the state on the behalf of three families involved in the Florida foster-care system. ACLU states that, although the state does not hesitate to place disabled or chronically or terminally ill children with these families, it maintains the ban on adoption to, by its own admission, express disapproval of homosexuals, which is categorically unconstitutional.

Cell#: 417-496-6821
Room#: 610-526-5558


Gendering the American Welfare System
Name: nancy
Date: //2004-11-19 15:51:43 :
Link to this Comment: 11683

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act changed the face of the American welfare state. With TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) as the main tenet, President Bill Clinton signed into law a program very different from any assistance program previously seen in the United States. New TANF policies included devolving power to the states, imposing federally determined time limits, new federal block grants to states, and work placement and training requirements. This paper will explore the limitations of the PRWORA and the profound effects the program has had on women. State policies will be examined, attempting to see which states have the most women-friendly policies and why. The marked absence of men as TANF recipients will also be explored as well as implications of proposed changes to TANF as it nears reauthorization in March 2005.


Gender Politics in the US Criminal Justice System
Name: Bree Beery
Date: //2004-11-19 15:21:51 :
Link to this Comment: 11679

I will be dealing with the issue of gender politics in the United States criminal justice system. Since 1980 the number of women in prison has increased at nearly double the rate for men. There are now nearly seven times as many women in state and federal prisons as in 1980; however, there is still little knowledge about the causes of girls/women's violence. There have been very few studies conducted on female’s crime and delinquency, in comparison to those conducted on males. I plan to explore the ways in which gender makes a difference in current criminal justice practice and sentencing, and how women who fulfill traditional gender roles are more likely than men are to receive alternatives to incarceration. I also plan to further examine and explain the multidisciplinary research and theories that I have found, on women's lives that have implications for managing women in the criminal justice system. And finally I plan to summarize the recent knowledge on the characteristics of women in correctional settings.

ext. x5791
cell 310 210 9867
email is best


Mothers Go Political
Name: gilda
Date: //2004-11-17 23:25:03 :
Link to this Comment: 11640

I will be exploring the politics of motherhood and war in an Argentine political/social movement called Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of Mayo Square), which started in the seventies as a response to the disappearance of millions of people during the period of dictatorship (and de facto civil war) known as the Dirty War, but still continues today, since most of the disappearances remain unsolved. The Madres' specific purpose is to bring back their children and grandchildren, and they have exploited their image of mothers and housewives to garner political and media attention. I will be looking at the ways in which this use of motherhood does (and does not) transgress the traditional roles of mothers (usually confined to the outside of the political system), and how it has affected the public's perception of them and the effectiveness of the movement.


WHO
Name: Mo Convery
Date: //2004-11-16 22:54:28 :
Link to this Comment: 11621

I am interested in addressing the WHO’s approach to the 2004 World report on Violence and Health. There has been a dramatic shift in the approach to monitoring public health issues globally, particularly surrounding issues of person to person violence. Instead of focusing on the larger global pattern of violence, new WHO programs set out to address health issues on the basis of person to person and at the largest regional patterns. I believe that this dramatically challenges a greater sense of categorization that has so controlled many public health studies up until this point (illustrated dramatically in the NIH initial handling of HIV). I wish to address how breaking down categorical analysis on such a important and global issue, breaks constrictive barriers across gender, sexuality, individuality, etc and the implications which this holds for further issues in public health and societal categorization and discourse.


Art, Race, Homosexuality and Politics
Name: Deborah
Date: //2004-11-19 15:26:36 :
Link to this Comment: 11681

I’d like to explore the political nature of federal arts funding through a gendered lens. Specifically, I’d like to research the Jessie Helme’s proposal to withdraw funding from Robert Mapplethorpe, an gay, African American man who’s photography features homo-erotic pictures of men. I’d like to explore what exactly was considered “obscene”, whether it was the subjects (nudity, mixed-race pairings, homosexual representations) or the artist (black, gay, AIDS, etc) or a combination of both. I am aiming not to merely report on what happened but rather to analyze what is federally considered obscene , and if censorship can be applicable to art.
Cell: 919.451.4328
Room: Rock 217


Rhetoric of Same Sex Marriage Debate
Name: David S Li
Date: //2004-11-19 15:39:51 :
Link to this Comment: 11682

David Little
HC ‘07
Gender Politics Abstract

I would like to work with the journalistic coverage of the debate on same-sex marriage in my paper. I would like to explore the rhetoric of their arguments and to examine the different characteristics in the structure of pro and con arguments. Legislation and legislative interpretation is very deeply rooted in language so I’d like to pay close attention to the ways in which these articles use (or do not use) language, particularly gendered language, and how they quote and cite the legislation itself. I will be using Sullivan’s Same Sex Marriage: Pro and Con as well as articles from direct news sources including one written by Haverford Anthropology professor, Laurie Hart, from the Washington Post.

Contact Info:
dorm: 610-765-6662
cell: 337-296-5498
AIM: MezzanineBrown
I am free all day Saturday and Sunday except from 2-5 on Sun.


Papers on Gender Politics
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2004-11-16 10:59:10 :
Link to this Comment: 11603

This forum has been created as the site where you will post the preparatory work for your second paper.

Given what we have read and talked about so far: What aspect of current gender politics most interests you now? What is your understanding of its current state? How do you imagine an alternative to what now exists? What reading might be useful for you to do, in light of what you know, want to know and do? How might you act, or encourage others to act, to alter the current state of things?

By 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, post a 100-word abstract of your paper in this forum. Anne and Gus will then group the postings into "books."

By 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, write collaboratively with your group a 3-pp. introduction to your "book," and post it in this forum. These will be the topic of our class discussion on Tuesday.

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, write and post your own 5-pp. paper on-line, being sure to "situate" it within your "book."


The Gov't, Race, and Entertainment scadals
Name: Jana
Date: //2004-11-19 13:39:19 :
Link to this Comment: 11675


I want to look at the Federal Communications Commition's rules on what is sensored on television, and how that compares to the issues that get brought up publically, from society as being offensive. What is “scandalous” I think reflects the fear of a particular type of sexuality being accepted and therefore exposed. In particular, I noticed that the current issue of the introduction of the Cowboys verses Eagles game with Terrell Owens, a black football player, and a white actress Nicollette Sheridan, from the new hit show Desperate Housewives is causing a major stir. Although many of the complaints have been about the portrayal of a small actress with a large powerful football player, the race issue is not brought up. Also, in the 2003 Super Bowl, when white pop-singer Justin Timberlake exposed black superstar Janet Jackson’s breast “accidentally”, the race issue was again not talked about. There are questions that we have brought up in class like can you bring up one political issue without excluding another, or putting it on the backburner? What are the benefits of not including race, and what is lost politically? I will look at articles about these issues from different sources (ESPN vs CNN vs the FCC), and will also look for other events involving two people of the same race, that have not sparked the same amount of controversy or perhaps a different kind of controversy that is somehow more accepted, or accepted in a different way.

phone # 7790 (BMC)610-526-7790 or cell 214-500-9284


Not as stupid as he looks: Bush's anti-choice rhet
Name: Jessie
Date: //2004-11-19 14:33:10 :
Link to this Comment: 11677

During a presidential debate, Bush was asked about Supreme Court justice nominees. He took the opportunity to vociferously come out against the Dred Scott decision. Though it is certainly comforting to have a president who is against slavery, the logic of his response was beyond me. However, a blogger noticed a connection between Dred Scott and Roe v Wade: Dred Scott was wrong because it gave masters rights over slaves’ bodies. Roe v Wade is wrong because it declares that women have rights over fetuses. One mistake that people make (myself included) is in writing off Bush’s rhetoric as simply unintelligent and irrational. This is a dangerous mistake to make, for it allows Bush to broadcast dangerous messages unopposed. There is a logic behind connecting abortion to racism, and that’s what makes it so scary. I plan on reading theory about the anti-choice connection between racism and abortion, and what that reasoning does for them.

room phone: x7580


Contact Information
Name: Beth
Date: //2004-11-19 16:39:32 :
Link to this Comment: 11686

(610) 795-6362
(516) 459-1149


The Gender Politics of Abortion
Name: Claire
Date: //2004-11-18 17:57:04 :
Link to this Comment: 11658

Pro-life and pro-choice have the impression of being mutually exclusive. Is there any way to unite these two apparently irreconcilable sides of the abortion debate? To look at abortion from a feminist standpoint is a good starting place to do this. Within feminism, the debate over abortion is not about in the morality of abortion or the integrity of people who support or are against abortion; it is about how abortion fits into our culture and how a women’s choice to undergo or not undergo an abortion influences the status of women within our culture. Abortion has become a double-edged sword for women’s rights. Without the right to choose women would be locked into their role as a mother, but being given the right to choose also acts to bypass the greater issues of patriarchy, such as the lack of support for women within our society. In my paper I plan to explore both sides of the debate and propose a way to reconcile them within the framework of feminism.

Room phone number: 610-795-6554
Cell phone number: 484-437-2858


Phone #
Name: Gilda
Date: //2004-11-18 18:29:56 :
Link to this Comment: 11659

610-526-5638


The City of Dead Girls
Name: Sierra
Date: //2004-11-18 20:42:04 :
Link to this Comment: 11660

In Juarez, Mexico an unknown, estimated between 300 and 600, number of young women have disappeared and been murdered in the last decade. They are all young, poor, workers or students who look about the same. Often the girls are beaten and gang raped before being killed. Nothing really has been done about these murders. No one has been caught and they continue. There is an interesting gender and class dynamic that is in effect in this situation. I will look at the social and political situations that allow so many murders to be committed and nothing to be done about them. I am also going to look at how the girls are murdered and its significance.

917-903-9655
610-526-7886


Woolf on Title IX
Name: LB Graham
Date: //2004-11-18 20:43:50 :
Link to this Comment: 11661

In Chapter Three of “Three Guineas,” Virginia Woolf remarks that women “have been shut out from the universities so repeatedly, and are only now admitted so restrictedly.” She argues that women are not at a disadvantage for having been previously barred from higher education because it made them create their own system for educating themselves. Would Woolf have been an advocate of the Title IX Education Amendment which prevented discrimination by public education institutions on the basis of several factors, namely sex? Were the accomplishments of Title IX in accordance with Woolf’s ideas concerning women in education?

Cell: 931.308.8329


The Politics of Women's Work
Name: Marissa Ch
Date: //2004-11-18 23:27:11 :
Link to this Comment: 11662

In my paper, I will be exploring the current state of the workplace for women (and the impact on families in general), and how the lack of government support in the workplace (for both men and women) has been a major obstacle for women who are trying to balance time between work and family. I will show how other nations demonstrate that assistance from the government through supportive policies and benefits directly impacts women in the home and the workforce. The use of language also plays a role in how the U.S. government classifies these policies to make them less applicable to American women.

Phone: X5758
Cell: 732-598-4116


groups
Name: gus
Date: //2004-11-20 10:57:35 :
Link to this Comment: 11694

Here are the groups for the papers--it's up to you to decide how to pull them together precisely:

Mar
Gilda
Sierra
Rebecca

Jana
Arielle
Beth
David
Deb

Sara
Marissa
Nancy
Bree

Claire
Jessie
LB
Chelsea


Shoes
Name: Arielle Ab
Date: //2004-11-20 17:08:09 :
Link to this Comment: 11699

Rona Berg from Vogue writes .High heels are a paradox. They can make a
woman appear more-or less- powerful.. I will explore this paradox and
examine the different types of power associated with high heels such as
sexual or authoritative power. High heels are detrimental to women.s
health, can effectively reduce them to physical helplessness, often seen
as explicitly sexual . which in today.s society is not generally a
positive context- but even while doing all this, women continue to wear
and love high heels because high heels can function as a strong feminine
psychological tool to promote feelings of being more powerful, in charge,
confident and capable.

i am most reachable by email. aabeyta@brynmawr.edu


Women and War
Name: Mar
Date: //2004-11-20 20:54:50 :
Link to this Comment: 11701

For my final two papers of the term I wish to explore the relationship between
women and war. Virginia Woolf’s final chapter of Three Guineas, specifically
her idea of women as Outsiders working for pacifism, will be my ‘jumping off
point.’ I will also use Jane Addam’s Peace and Bread in a Time of War for an
American’s view of women and war. I will also look into women’s roles in the
American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, both World Wars, and a brief overview of the current roles of women and war in Western society.


revision
Name: gus
Date: //2004-11-21 10:00:59 :
Link to this Comment: 11702

Sorry-that last group should read

Claire
Jessie
LB
Chelsea
Mo


Bodies
Name: Mar, Gilda
Date: //2004-11-21 12:47:50 :
Link to this Comment: 11704

The human body participates in politicized activities as a part of people’s collective contentions about ideologies and space. The bodies of gays, women and children become entangled in violence when they enter into arenas that combat ideas. The four essays in this book illustrate incidences all in which bodies experience physical injury.

On October 6, 1998 Aaron McKinney and Russel Henderson crossed paths in life with Mathew Shepard. McKinney and Henderson came from poor rural backgrounds, earned criminal records, lived in trailer parks and fixed roofs for a living. Shepard came from more privileged family background and studied as a student at the University of Wyoming. Shepard frequented Fireside, a college bar where McKinney and Henderson also drank that particular night. In a casual chat, Shepard told McKinney and Henderson that he was gay. The three left the bar together because Shepard believed that McKinney and Henderson were driving him home.

In the truck McKinney began hitting Shepard, approximately three times with his fist and six times with his pistol. Later in court, McKinney would testify that he assaulted Shepard who placed his hand on his leg, seemed to be reaching for his balls, and thus triggered his “Gay Panic Defense” which the law stipulates as a mechanism in response to the sexual advancement made by gays. After severely beating up Shepard in the moving truck Henderson tie Shepard onto a fence on the lonely mountains of Laramie. McKinney pistol whipped Shepard several more times in an attempt to later prevent police involvement when Shepard managed to read the truck’s license plate at McKinney’s orders. McKinney and Henderson left Shepard to die, midair in the freezing night of the wilderness.

Eighteen hours later a biker discovered a deathly Shepard after having initially mistaken his five foot one inch, seriously injured body for a scarecrow. The biker reported the crime to the police and the first officer who arrived at the scene later described Shepard’s face completely covered in dried blood except for the bloodless streaks that his flowing tears had run off. EMT rushed a barely breathing Shepard to the Ivinson Hospital emergency room where doctors decided that the patient needed to be transferred to Poudre Valley Hospital for neurosurgery. Ironically Dr. Cantway, the physician who treated Shepard also treated McKinney twenty minutes prior to Shepard’s arrival two rooms down the hall.

In an interview for The Laramie Project, McKinney’s girlfriend Kristin Price told writers that the two men went to the bathroom where they planned to put on a gay pretense in order to lead Shepard to the truck and rob him as punishment for “coming on to straight people.” Price described the punishment as a lesson that the two men were intending to teach Shepard.

In Juarez, Mexico an unknown, estimated between 300 and 600, number of young women have disappeared and been murdered in the last decade. They are all young, poor, workers or students who look about the same. Often the girls are beaten and gang raped before being killed. Very little is being done about these murders at the governmental level in Mexico, but they have drawn national and international attention. Women gather weekly in Mexico to protest and hold vigils to send a message that these murders must be stopped. While on three different occasions suspects have been arrested, the murders continued, often within days and the cases of the suspects were mishandled.

There is an interesting gender and class dynamic that is in effect in this situation. Most of the young women were workers in Juarez’s maquiladoras. The environment in the maquiladora’s made the murders quite easy. Women wait for busses early in the morning with no protection, are often sent home from work if they are even a few minutes late and leave late at night with no security guards or protection. A recent debate over rape laws where the sentence for rapers would be reduced from four to one years if the raper could prove that the woman had provoked him illustrates “that, in a society where men cannot be charged with raping their wives and domestic abuse is rarely prosecuted, authorities simply do not take violence against women seriously enough.” This is why many believe that the crimes were not committed by one person, but many people because they realize that they can get away with this violence with no consequence.

Madres de Plaza de Mayo is a movement of Argentinean housewife mothers who to this day protest the disappearance of their children and grandchildren during the Dirty War, a period of dictatorship in the 1970s. Since associating and forming groups was forbidden under the dictatorial regime, these women began to take walks around Plaza de Mayo, the main square in Buenos Aires, at the same time every week. Walking alone, or in pairs, their presence did not break the law, but it did allow them to share their grief with other mothers suffering the same plight and, more importantly, to send a message to the government: they wanted their children back alive.

The Madres were ridiculed and called locas ("madwomen") by many in Argentina, because they thought that their cause was pointless, and that, as mothers, the Madres should grieve in private. This illustrates the dichotomy prevalent in the Argentinean gender politics of the time, where a "public" woman could not be a good mother, and good mothers could only exist within the "private" realm of motherhood. By gathering at Plaza de Mayo, the Madres upset this binary. While "going public" is a transgression of traditional motherhood, the performance of their tragedy is only valid and effective precisely because they are mothers. By taking their children away, the dictatorship forced these women to stop being mothers, both because they no longer have anyone to take care of and because they are out on the streets. Bringing back their children would also restore their motherhood.

In Three Guineas, Woolf claims that women work with each other in groups outside the main stream, working away from the patriarchal systems upon which men have learned to rely. She, for the most part, uses examples from her own time period, the 1930’s, and place, England. Women have been creating and working within such groups all over the world for many years.

Women, on both sides of the Civil War, worked within the restrictions of their social classes to help with the war. In the South, Southern ‘belles’ often donated jewelry or other items of value as a ‘lady-like’ way to give support to the war. In the North, women pledged to refrain from buying luxuries and other unnecessary goods as a sign of solidarity with the troops. Women on both sides became nurses and often read letters from home to troops as a way to improve morale. It was rare, but not unheard of, for women to disguise themselves as men and become soldiers themselves.

“The term "war hero" usually refers to a man who unselfishly risks his life to fight.” (AAS Online Exhibitions, A Woman’s Work Is Never Done) Few women actually went into battle, but many aided the war effort in their own way. One of the most famous of these women is Molly Pitcher who brought water to the soldiers on the field and worked with the wounded and dying. Other women took over their husbands’ roles on the farm or in the family business while he and their sons went to fight the British.

Women have become more and more integrated into the military, especially in Western countries such as the United States. Female soldiers have fought on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Women’s bodies have been used in military and non-military capacities in many incidences throughout history.

The human body is both an object in which one lives and a site of political articulation. The struggles within many societies begin and end within the terrain of the human body, which though has no referential meaning becomes embodied by meaning within context that has a stake in and of itself.


Title IX
Name: LB
Date: //2004-11-21 14:46:26 :
Link to this Comment: 11706

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

I wanted to post it so everyone could know precisely what it states.


Gender Politics Book
Name: Jana Deb B
Date: //2004-11-22 15:15:36 :
Link to this Comment: 11713

In current events, social attitudes about gender and sexuality have had
an enormous impact on public policy and politics. For example, in the
latest U.S. presidential election, exit polls indicated that the majority of
Americans votes were most influenced by moral issues. Based on
President Bush’s more controversial policies from his first term
including the ban of partial-birth abortion and his approval of an
amendment to the constitution to restrict marriage from non-
heterosexual couples, we can code “moral issues” to indicate a strong
opinion regarding such gendered issues as abortion and gay rights. In
asserting that moral issues was the most important factor of the 2004
election, it can be seen how influential and prevalent social opinion of
gender and sexuality color our political system. It appears that moral
issues indicate a conservative standard regarding the negative impact
of gendered issues on our society. In our book we explore the possible
harmful impact of social stigmatization on issues such as same-sex
marriage, intersexual appearance, obscenity in the media and the arts,
and the sexualized appearance of women. We will use these topics to
highlight the broader implication of social stigmatization through a
series of questions: Who is being offended? What exactly is obscene?
Who is being attacked? What are the rules, social or legal, regarding
censorship or categorization? Do we as a social body have enormous
influence over our media and political systems or is it just the opposite?
If something is controversial, should it be celebrated or condemned?
Through media, rhetoric, art and physical bodies we explore these
questions and the social implications of the answers.
Due to the diversity of topics in our book, we will be able to illuminate
American pop culture from five distinct lenses. Despite the broad range
of topics, they all share a common thread of cultural imposition. We will
explore language, imagery, ideals and their interwoven nuances and
meanings. We will be looking at agency and the driving forces that are
behind each issue. We want to know who is saying what, how they are
saying it, and the reasons behind why they saying it in that particular
way. Who is behind the decisions we make?
We will examine the myth of normality and what constitutes the “other.”
This book would like to entertain the idea that normal is an illusion, a
social construction that is holding these conservative ideals in place by
pressuring individuals to conform. Whether it be the issues of
language, high heels, obscenity, marriage, or gender, the fact is that
there is no normal. That there are individuals whose identities and
ideals exist outside language demonstrate the social pressure and
stigmatization that this book wants to emphasize as problematic to our
freedom to choose our own identities and lifestyles. It is important to
pay attention to language and its inadequacy to speak for those who
deviate from mainstream society and its acceptable practices, its
norms, because this contributes to the bipolar world of right and wrong
of whose existence the current administration is trying to convince us.
The world is not black and white but shades of gray, and the act of trying
to fit everyone and everything into neat categories is an impossibility that
this book will strive to persuade you, the readers, to acknowledge. It is
important that we pay attention to how are morals are imposed and
whether or not we have the right to self-imposed morals. This book
wants to argue that diversity and the individual are being suffocated and
are perhaps even in danger of being wiped out. There is an urgent need
for us to examine the world in which we are living and to ask the
questions that we seek answers to in this project. Do we create the
ideas we see in pop culture, the media, art, classifications, language,
laws, and debates? Does this broader culture of morals, stigmas and
stereotypes represent us and accurately reflect who and what we are in
America? Or does the opposite happen? Do we do as we’re told by
some larger infamous “they” or perhaps “The Man”? Do we internalize
propaganda, media, language innuendos, and then perpetuate the
ideals they project onto us? Who controls society, the media, the
agendas, the stigmas, the issues?
Our book will examine these questions through the diverse issues of
women’s love of backbreaking shoes, gendered language in legislature
surrounding same-sex marriage, the need to bipolarize gender and
how hermaphrodites are forced to be either all male or all female,
censorship and what is considered “obscene” art and why, and lastly,
the possibility of separating one issue such as race when discussing
other issues such as sexuality or gender. In this case it will be through
the medium of the Janet Jackson/ Justin Timberlake breast exposure at
last year’s Super Bowl show.
Our book will explore the ways in which gender and sexuality inform the dynamics and mechanisms of power and how these mechanisms, in turn, inform gender and sexuality. Can progressive attitudes towards gender and sexuality restructure contemporary power gradients along gender lines or will these attitudes merely become appropriated by current systems of power? By examining the way in which this power struggle is codified into legislation and political discourse, one can attempt to understand the motivation for the push and pull for power from both sides of the current power struggle. Does this codification allow for a restructuring of this debate in terms other that conservative and liberal that may be more illuminating as to how power moves within the system of this discourse? These particular questions and concerns will be addressed within this book from several different perspectives and from different subjects.
The examination of the politics and power dynamics of gender and sexuality is incredibly important right now because so many freedoms and liberties awarded to once-oppressed (and in many ways still oppressed) persons are in grave danger due to the sentiments of the current administration. By contemplating and analyzing these political structures of gender and sexuality we can understand better the ways our freedoms, rights, liberties, and power is threatened and therefore be more apt at protecting them.


Legislation and Societal Attitudes: A Love-Hate Re
Name: Chelsea, C
Date: //2004-11-22 15:51:51 :
Link to this Comment: 11715

Legislation and Societal Attitudes: A Love-Hate Relationship
Subtitle: A Murder Suicide Waiting to Happen


Laws are not created in a vacuum. Legislators attempt to reflect cultural norms by regulating practice through written statutes. Consequently, it is possible to adjust social attitudes using legislation enforced action; the dynamic between legislation and societal attitudes is fraught with flaws. The precise rhetoric used by one group of people, for example, pro-lifers, can determine the entire framework in which we discuss particular issues. Legislation primarily deals with the effects of citizens’ behavior yet rarely addresses the causes thereof as in the case of the debate over abortion. Given the evolution of society and increased access to information, societal attitudes have changed and lawmakers have been forced to decide how to adapt to shifting norms. For example, the breakdown of stereotypes surrounding women forced legislators to pass laws equalizing access to educational and extracurricular resources for students under Title IX; the rights of gays and lesbians in Florida to become adoptive parents will come before the Supreme Court to strike down a law based on homophobic stereotypes linking homosexuality and pedophilia. Thinking outside societal norms to form legislation opens the door to creating laws focused on the causes, rather than the effects, of individual problems normally attributed to societal ills. This book examines the dynamic between society and legislation and the possibilities that lie within, and without.


The debate about abortion is a prime example of a piece legislation missing the underlying problems of society, thus focusing law and the debate over the law on the product of these problems instead of working to fix them directly. Despite the great effort that has gone into the feminist movement, women still do not stand as equals in society. Societal structures, such as the workplace, favor men. Abortion, which gives women more autonomy through the ability to control their bodies, serves to bypass the need for a dramatic change in the patriarchal structure of society. It is through a feminist framework that the two opposing sides of pro-life and pro-choice can unite to fight for this drastic change in structure by attacking the underlying problem of inequality of women. Only after the fundamental problems are settled can legislation accurately reflect what it is regulating.


Florida state law does not permit gays and lesbians to adopt. Passed in 1977, the law is founded on a homophobic belief that homosexuality equates to pedophilia. Even as the moral tone of society in a particular time and place creates legislation, it is impartial deference to the facts of a case which change that legislation, and so feed the larger societal view of an issue. Political rhetoric plays to the emotions of an audience, but the legislation must reflect facts- and the facts in this case favor the ACLU and the rights of gays and lesbians. The refusal of lower courts to overturn the law opened the best possible way to guarantee adoption rights for gays and lesbians in the future- having a Supreme Court ruling to look to as precedent.


The United States federal legislature concretely addressed the issue of sex discrimination in public educational institutions in 1972 by passing the Title IX Education Amendment. The law was took effect during the era of second wave feminism proclaiming that women be liberated from their devalued traditional gender roles. In both academic and extra curricular educational settings, girls and women did not enjoy the same quality of experience as men and boys. Without equal access to educational opportunities, women would always be financially and thus socially dependent upon men; proponents of the movement recognized the long term effects of providing women with the same chances for success as for men. Title IX reflected the change in societal attitudes concerning the increased value of women.s potential contributions, but the legislation did not change the daily practices in educational settings which promote gender inequity.


Laws can inform our social beliefs by indicating that society does and does not find permissable; societal beliefs also shape legislations - you cannot make a law you cannot enforce. Taking another step back, these attitudes can be manipulated through talk about legislation. One such use of cunning rhetoric is in the pro-life's connection of slavery to abortion. In this line of thinking, slavery was wrong because it gave rights over slaves' bodies to slave-owners; abortion is wrong because it gives rights over fetuses' bodies to mothers. In this line of reasoning, the Dred Scott decision and Roe v. Wade were both decided by personal immorality rather than strict interpretation of the Constitution. This story is not accurate history or legal interpretation, but it is plausibly constructed and, moreover, persuasive.


Once the pervasiveness of societal norms in legislation is understood, it is necessary to look beyond this restrictive standpoint to individuality. Focusing on individual cases not only addresses groups of people who might otherwise be neglected, but it also presents a more complete and diverse view of the problem at hand. This extension of public analysis was taken in the 2004 WHO World report on Health and Violence. As illustrated in the report, the increased levels of personal discussion allowed for the development of complex partnerships between once marginalized groups. This allowed for public health officials to gain a greater understanding of the root causes and possible methods of prevention. In legislation this diverse collection of ideas and experiences is necessary in creating statutes that are most appropriate and efficient.


This book addresses the inconsistencies which arise when societal norms are used as the foundations of legislation and public policy. This system of legislation based on this ideal of normalcy allows the needs of individuals to be neglected and repressed when protection under the law is necessary. It is constantly perpetuated through the basic rhetoric and past laws which politicians and lobbying parties present. It is only when legislators are able to identify this reliance and to respond accordingly to a changing and diverse society that the laws will be most valid.



I am so sorry!
Name:
Date: //2004-11-22 23:46:28 :
Link to this Comment: 11724

This is a disclaimer to tell everyone that I posted the book as my next web paper. This was very dumb, but was done before 5 pm, so had I not messed up, you would have been able to read ours before midnight. I apologize. -nancy


While governmental policies affect all Americans, they tend to affect men and women in remarkably different ways. The following essays will examine gender differences in public policy and the private sector. Specifically looking at welfare policy since 1996, policies dealing with juggling work and family responsibilities, and women in the criminal justice system, we will present a multi-faceted view of governmental actions and the inconsistencies in which they apply to men and women.


For families receiving welfare, or TANF dollars (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), the 1996 Reform created a dramatically different welfare state. Changes included devolving power to states, funding through block-grant money for states, requiring work training and placement, and a five-year limit on TANF dollars. These policies had the most profound effect on women, largely because of their inherently family-focused nature. Since welfare is a program for needy families (and originally a program only for needy children), and since mothers generally care for children in the event of a parental separation, TANF is a program very focused on women. As TANF is up for reauthorization in the spring of this year, new (mainly women-friendly) changes are proposed, such as an increase in child care dollars. Reauthorization, while expanding the scope of the policy, seems to promise to make TANF all the more gendered. Unaddressed questions include what to do with men who do not provide direct care for families yet still qualify for welfare? Is the mandatory reveal of the paternity of the child necessary?


The average working woman also gets about an hour’s less sleep each night than the average stay-at-home mom. And men spend more time than women both at their jobs and on leisure and sports.” Working women, though having gained ground in the work place, have not budged in the home. The gender roles still hold true in the private spectrum despite women’s growing stature in the career sphere. Women are still expected to be the primary care givers. Their new role of a working woman has not demanded a sharing of duty in the home between two parents, but simply a doubling of the work expected of women today. Have women therefore truly taken a step forward due to their growing numbers in the professional world, or have women inevitably been forced to bite off more than they can chew? Women will not be capable of stepping forward on the path of equality and respect without stepping out of their well defined footprints still in place today.


The United States Fair Labor Standards Act has not been revised since 1938. The composition of the American workforce has changed considerably from this time, and so have their needs. There need to be changes to accommodate the modern worker-both male and female. The government needs to implement policies to make the workplace a more flexible environment- not just so women can be better mothers, but also so men could be better fathers. There are a number of effective policies that already help workers in other nations. These policies will give men and women more time to spend at home, which gives the potential of both sexes sharing equally in “the second shift.” It is also important for these policies to explicitly encourage men to work fewer hours, in order to relieve the burden on working women.


Much like the governmental policies concerning welfare and women in the workplace, the United States criminal justice system is just another form of social control. However, the affects of this control on both men and women differ greatly. Since 1980 the number of women in state and federal prisons has increased at nearly double the rate for men. There are now nearly seven times as many women in state and federal prisons as in 1980, yet there is still a common misconception that the criminal behavior of females is not a serious problem. Women have often been viewed as victims rather than ‘criminals’ and their crimes are often dismissed as ‘survival crimes,’ such as trafficking drugs, selling themselves for money or stealing. For example, if a male was caught trafficking drugs and explained it as a way to earn money for his family, his sentence would be much harsher than that of a female’s, who has committed the same crime. This is because of the societal perception that women would and should do anything and everything to protect their home and family. This clarifies why in court, women who fulfill traditional gender roles are more likely than men to receive severe sentences. Therefore the criminal justice system is just another social control used to impose and strengthen traditional women’s roles as well as cultivate a reliance and submissiveness of women to society. Like welfare and the workplace, women are caught in a cruel cycle between the public and private. If they try to break out of the private sphere of domesticity and into the public sphere of a patriarchal society, they are always, through governmental controls and policies, forced back into their private spheres of home and family, which is for some women, their own personal prison.




Governmental Gendering...is the name of our book
Name: Nancy, Bre
Date: //2004-11-22 23:49:11 :
Link to this Comment: 11725


The Next Step
Name:
Date: //2004-12-06 21:22:03 :
Link to this Comment: 11896