28
Jun
10

As I walked out of my advising appointment last semester, knowing that graduation was starting to become a reality, it was brought to my attention that I would have the opportunity to take some summer school classes.  Wanting to stay on pace for graduating in four years, I found ‘Race, Gender, and the Media’, and little did I know that it would provide me great insight and passion for a few of the greatest topics and realities in our society

Stepping out of the box was a challenge for me early on but eventually I was able to not only learn some things about other people and how they feel about certain topics, but I was also able to learn about myself.  This class is needed for a lot of people, not only in college but for those also in the work force.  The best thing that we can do for our society, our peers, and our university is to make people aware.  In my opinion, we can’t change anything 100 percent.  For as long as people are different colors, genders, sexualities, we won’t be able to fully change everyone.  But for now, making them aware of what’s happening and what needs to happen is the biggest battle of them all.

As our class rolled along what really stuck out the most was the video we watched of Tim Wise.  Listening to what White Privilege was all about, coming from a white male helps puts that subject into perspective.  Being a white American male, I can say for the first time in my adult life that I finally became aware.  I became aware of stereotypes, and common generalities that are assumed by the public, and by men just like me everyday.

Finally, that box is still sitting there waiting for every individual of 4853 RGM to be sucked back into their own personal lives, losing their awareness for what is right and what needs to happen.  Especially, for us, for our class if we are weak enough to be sucked back into the box rather than staying out of it, we fail.  It’s our job now to keep the box open, keep trying to make friends, family, and our peers open and aware to the knowledge of what these issues that Race, Gender in the media bring to us.

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24
Jun
10

The magazine that I was given was Vogue.  This was the first time I have ever looked the magazine, and it was very interesting to say the least.  By no means, am I going to start a monthly subscription or start buying it off the counters, but some of the advertisements along with some of the main articles that were provided made an impact on me and the way I portrayed fashion magazines.  My three advertisements consisted of Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Lacoste.  All three are very prominent figures in the fashion and advertising markets, so all three really stood out to me when I was trying to find the right ads.

The first ad that I found was the Gucci.  It has a women, very skinny dressed in all white, standing on two platforms with a man standing beneath her holding her ankles.  When I first saw this it looked as if the man were holding her up, the platforms were difficult to see the first time you look at the ad.  The image that this ad gives off is that if you wear Gucci, you’re better than everyone else, you’re not equal with the norm and that you’re on top of the world.  I think the target audience is very small for this ad and product; Gucci isn’t cheap so therefore the audience that the ad is selling to is pretty wealthy.  Diversity and race-wise, with both of the characters dressed in white, along with being white, it gives off the image that only rich white people are the only ones who can buy and wear this product.  If they could do something differently they could make one of the two people black, or Hispanic, or another ethnicity.  I think they could open up their audience with more of an ethnicity background, which will say to the buyer that you may have to be wealthy to buy this product, but you don’t have to only be white.

The second advertisement I got is by Marc Jacobs.  I’m assuming Marc Jacobs is a purse line, considering the model is wearing the purse on her head, like it’s apart of her religion or that it’s too important to just hold.  What bothers me the most about the image is the models body frame.  It reminds me exactly of the ad video we watched.  The model is extremely skinny, her check bones are the widest part of her face, and it’s almost kind of disgusting.  I feel that this ad is more demeaning towards women, stating that you can’t have this purse unless you’re incredibly skinny.  They need to have a woman who has a frame that is more filling, and more average.  It can give off the right image that you can be normal, and happy and still have a Marc Jacobs purse.

Lastly, the Lacoste ad was my last picture that I found that stood out to me above the rest.  The ad features five young white adults riding bikes.  All five are wearing white articles of clothing, they are on a beach with very white sand, and the sky is very white, it looks similar to the clouds.  Again it gives off the image that other ethnicities aren’t good enough for this product.  Lacoste stereotypically is worn by the rich, southern country club folk, rather it is the stay at home mom’s or the kid’s getting tennis lessons, there aren’t a lot of races provided in Lacoste ads.  I can see where they are coming from as far as trying to give off an image where they want the best of the best to buy and wear their products, but they need to provide other ads to let the general public know that all ethnicities can buy their products, and that it’s not one size fits “white.”

21
Jun
10

Blog 8: Disney vs. Hip Hop

Throughout the years Disney movies have provided childhood memories for so many kids, including myself.  With classics such as my personal favorite Lion King, and Pocahontas, and even Beauty and the Beast they all bring so many things to the table such as a hidden sense of diversity.  Hip Hop in my opinion doesn’t bring a lot of diversity, with the exception of Eminem it mostly African Americans rapping or singing about their heritage and experiences.  In my opinion, I don’t feel that Hip Hop and Disney movies have a real connection because of the lack of diversity in one and the fulfillment of diversity in another.

Starting off with Disney movies, even though a lot of the movies are about animals or inanimate objects such as Toy Story, all of the characters are different and provide diverse backgrounds.  My favorite movie growing up was The Lion King, there were so many different animals portrayed in this movie.  Sure the main plot was based on a lion cub and his pack of lions, but I feel that all of the animals made the movie whether it was Rafiki the monkey, Timon, or Pumbaa, the two best friends of Zimba.  Rafiki seemed to have a more culture-based religion background, he was the one that was always drawing, which a lot of his drawings especially on the tree of life symbolized life, and religion.  Timon and Pumbaa represented the poor, they had to work hard for their food, but they were free, and lived by Hakuna Matata ‘no worries.’  Other than movies that featured toys, or animals most of them featured white couples falling in love as their main story line.  Aladdin and Pocahontas provided some race issue within their characters.  Aladdin’s main characters looked like they were more of a Middle East descent, where as Pocahontas seemed to be more of a Native Indian decent.  At the time they were created, they both provided change, and the public was really respectful of Disney, and the races that were receiving praise through these movies.

Hip Hop, in my opinion doesn’t really compare with what the ideals, and issues that Disney was trying to get across.  I feel that maybe today some of that may be similar just because of the time change, but back in the early 90’s when my generation was at the peak of their childhood nothing seems to be similar.  Disney had a diverse background with a lot of its plots, where as Hip Hop all of the artists are the same and to me personally, it seems that a lot of their songs and lyrics are about the same stuff as well.  All artists today talk about drugs, money, sex, and fame, and that was even the same in the 90’s and 80’s with 2pac and Biggie. Along with the lack of diversity, it’s also very degrading to women and their core values and beliefs.  The two just don’t match and it’s hard to compare the two when Disney is portraying love, friendliness and good family values, and you change the channel to Hip Hop music videos and there are lyrics that portray killing, and sex.

Disney Story

17
Jun
10

Blog 7: Free.99

Throughout the United States, and even the world there are diversity issues within the office.  People complain about how there isn’t enough diversity in the office, or how there’s too much diversity, or there’s too much of one single race.  In my opinion, nobody deals with issues like diversity better than the sports media.

No matter what station, or what sport there always seems to be a diverse crowd covering whatever is on TV.  ESPN is probably the best at it, even though it can’t be too hard with all of the different sports that it covers, and all of the TV channels, radio stations, and regions.  But no matter where you look while watching it always seems like there is a diverse group of guys on TV covering a game, or previewing a game or series.  A great example is NFL Live, there are three white men and two black men.  The same with NBA Countdown, there are three black men and one white man.  Really no matter the sport that is being covered there is always a diverse group covering and giving their honest opinions about what will happen during the event.

What I respect about ESPN and how they handle their diversity it that they give everyone equal jobs and opportunities.  For example, throughout the entire media covering sports white men and women are a popular choice to be hosts of shows, they are the main sports anchors for that particular show.  At ESPN there is a wide array of people that host shows, it goes from John Buccigross a white male, to famous anchor Stuart Scott a black male, to Lori Smith a white female anchor.  I never feel like I see one person always covering sportscenter, there are always diverse faces talking to the TV screen, and giving the public its common knowledge on what happened that day in sports.  Overall, I understand it’s easy to pinpoint ESPN and other sports media outlets on being successful with diversity issues, we watch them every single day.  But I honestly feel that people in the sports media don’t see color, and that they give jobs to the people who deserve them the most and who work hard for everything they have and that’s why I respect the media in sports.

The Black Quarterback

16
Jun
10

Blog 6: Respecting our Privileges

American Is PrivilegeThroughout the first week and a half of this class, we have been pushed to our limits and maybe a little beyond to how we feel about race, and gender.  This blog has been the toughest for me so far, trying to come up with words on privilege and what it means to me.  In my current situation, I have a lot of privileges.  As I read the excerpts from Mr. Wise, and think back to his lecture we saw earlier this morning, I feel very thankful and privileged for the things I have, and for being able to be under the scrutiny and under the harsh criticism that Wise puts on White Privilege.

On day one of class we were asked to step outside of our box, and as I reflect over the past week what I have been able to learn is a privilege.  I’ve been able to meet new students, learn in a beautiful facility in Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, and talk about subjects that are so serious, and have created so much controversy throughout the history of our nation, some which have even ended in war.

I like to believe in a privilege that differs from what Wise and McIntosh say and write about.  I feel that Wise points out all of the flaws and if possible “bad privileges” white Americans are given today.  Why not look at the good?  Look where we have come today from 50 years ago.  People say that we still have a lot of work to do as a nation, sure we can always improve, but lets be proud of the nation that we have become.  I’m proud I can attend a class with African Americans, and Chinese, and others with foreign backgrounds.  It’s a privilege to be able to be taught from an African American.  We’re learning more by being more diverse, we get a wide array of ideas when were within a diverse group of people, that’s the ultimate privilege, being able to become wise beyond our years because of the people we are surrounding ourselves with.

15
Jun
10

"The Politician"

In the small quote provided for the beginning of blog 5 Walter Lippman dissects what stereotypes do, and how they affect us not only individually, but also as a society through the public, and through the media.  Stereotypes are never neutral, once someone has made their mind up of an individual, or a race they automatically assume certain things, which unfortunately has become a common theme in our world today especially within the U.S.

“It is the guarantee of our self-respect; it is the project upon the world of our sense of our own value, our own position and our own rights.”  This sums up what stereotyping accomplishes for all individuals who practice it.  While stereotyping someone a person automatically develops a relationship with that person.  They may not know each other, or even talk with one another but there is a certain respect or lack there of for that individual.  Stereotyping takes away an individual’s value, and their rights because of how they look, act, behave, etc.  They are judged by their stereotype and unfortunately it can change them as a person through other people’s eyes more than it does their own.

The ending comment of the quote is what struck me the hardest.  “They are the fortress of our tradition, and behind its defenses we can continue to feel ourselves safe in the position we occupy.”  Throughout that whole quote, a single word comes to mind..COWARD.  It speaks of an individual afraid to be in their own skin, hiding behind their own insecurities and the only way out is to stereotype, make fun and belittle others so they are comfortable (at least during the time being) with themselves.

I do agree with this quote, I feel that it pinpoints everything that’s wrong when stereotyping certain races, and genders.  What I enjoyed about Lippman’s quote was it’s indirectness of how it leads the reader to feel about how they can deal with stereotypes on a personal level.  He points out how its not a neutral feeling, and how it’s a common reality that there is always going to be a stereotype, and with that people who do stereotype will always have to hide from their insecurities to make themselves happy with what they are and who they have become.  I wasn’t able to see a great deal of connection between certain media systems and the quote, but one thing that did pop out was how stereotyping was a “great blooming, buzzing confusion of reality.”  The booming, and buzzing provide adjectives of how the media would use certain races, or genders to help get their point across when they are trying to persuade the public opinion into their own.

http://remember.org/guide/History.root.stereotypes.html

14
Jun
10

Blog 4: Race/Gender in the Media

Throughout all of today’s media outlets Race and Gender are hot topics.  These two topics are conversed about on TV, radio, and print.  They are talked about professionally, and even through the eyes of the public in open forums, blogs, and twitters.  As I was trying to find my three sources, I wanted to check out all media outlets so that I would have the opportunity to find three diverse subjects, and that’s exactly what I feel I have found.

The first thing I found was something brought up here locally in Oklahoma City on a blog to the editor of the Oklahoman and newsok.com.  Although the excerpt was short, Evelyn Brown from Yukon got her point across.  Brown attacked the U.S. for having no borders with other countries, using Mexico and Mexicans as an example.  “Has this become a nation without borders? People who decide they want to live here just walk in. If officials and teachers want to communicate with them, they must learn a new language.”  I agree with her statement, I do feel that the U.S. does cater to immigrants more than what we really should.  I feel that the U.S. should use its borders with Mexicans, and immigrants of other races because it is a privilege to live here and we, as Americans need to treat it that way.

The second example I found was a story written by a student on CNN.  The article was about how Muslim Americans are now portrayed in the United States.  The young journalist documented all of his experiences as he went all throughout the U.S. researching the lives of Muslim Americans, and some of his findings were particularly uncomfortable to read about. “I was shocked to see the challenges American Muslims are facing, from kids beaten up and called terrorists at school to people incarcerated without charge and subjected to inhuman treatment and mosques being firebombed.”  Martin, goes on to ask readers what it means to be American.  I understand where he is coming from as far as treating others with respect but, I do feel that with what has happened with Muslims over the past decade it is easy to be a little skeptical about the race.  However, even though its easy to be skeptical, by no means is it fair to a person who looks different to be treated unfairly, or beaten physically.

The last article is a little bit different than the others.  It’s a video game titled ‘Hey Baby’ reviewed by the NY Times.  The video game seems very subjective to women, it includes a women with a gun running around a city, with men coming up to her.  If the men are nice she won’t shoot them, but if they are mean she will shoot them.  I found this game interesting, and kind of sick to be honest.

http://www.newsok.com/article/3467847

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/11/my-take-new-portrait-of-muslim-america-shows-community-on-edge/?hpt=Sbin

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/arts/television/08baby.html?ref=television