Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Being a Good Girl can be Bad for Girls

I loved Tolman's article on female sexuality. I think that it is far beyond stupid how critically girls and women are judged based on their sex lives, or what people perceive as their sex lives. I once heard, "90% of women masturbate, 10% are liars". Pretty funny if you ask me. I think that a woman's sexuality depends greatly about how their parents raised them, and how their education has taught them. My mom always said "if you can't please yourself, no one else will". I always thought she was crazy until I took women's studies courses. Why are so many girls afraid to have a real orgasm? You're already naked in front of your partner! I don't think guys are to be blamed for this however. Most guys want to give their parter an orgasm. Who would want to be selfish? It makes people feel good to know that they can please their partner, and if the girl fakes that, I think it would devastate the guy. Guys are no more sex crazed than girls, girls are just taught to hide it. In school, I was only taught the scientific names like the uterus, scrotum, whatever. I was also taught how to put a condom on a banana. How will this ever help me!? I've always been interested in both genders, and that was confusing enough growing up. Why aren't we taught about the LGBT community in school? It makes everyone who's not in the heterosexual box feel awkward and abnormal. Plus, a penis does not even resemble a banana. Isabel's story about the possibility of being asexual made me kind of sad. I feel like teenagers feel such a pressure to lose their virginity before they graduate high school. If you lose it too early, you're "easy", but if you're still a virgin in college, you're "weird". Just because someone has other priorities than sex, does not mean that they might be asexual or abnormal. I used to hear in high school that certain girls were sluts. But being friends with some of these girls, I realized that most of them who were highly sexually active were that way because they had been sexually abused in their lives and by having sex with multiple people, it makes them feel as if they have control of their bodies again. Who are we to judge? But, people are going to judge you no matter what you do. It's your sex life, do what makes you happy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Phatic Culture

Vincent Miller's article was quite confusing for me. I believe that Miller has not been exposed to the internet in the most productive way perhaps. He included a Facebook status about someone eating a hotdog. Yes, people post stuff like this, but it depends on who you have on your friends list. If you add people who are only interested in simple things such as what they are eating or who they are dating, that is all you are going to see. However, if you add friends who are interested in what is happening around the world, you will expose yourself to many different ideas and even events that are to your interest. To me, it seems as if Miller is saying that our generation is dumb through the statuses we post. He posts a "typical Twitter Profile" with the main name as "HappyWaffle" and their posts says "im in mah quicken, runnin duh numberz". If you add someone named "HappyWaffle", do you really expect them to post interesting things? Again, if you are not friends with intelligent people online, one has to expect to not see intelligent updates, posts, etc. He is looking at a narrow group, and I do not think this is fair to the generation of the internet. Here is an example of an intelligent and interesting blog written by a younger girl.

Things I understand:
From what I understand, Miller believe that social networking has created a culture of "communications which have purely social (networking)
and not informational or dialogic intents". I disagree as I believe that social networking gives people a broader way to communicate with others. Something as simple as Facebook chat allows students to talk about homework, friends to reconnect with eachother, and family to keep in touch. To me, small talk means a quick conversation about nothing in particular. However, people chat online for hours. People can have political debates on their blogs with other bloggers. There are many websites and online social networks that are specified to one's interests. Why would many of these people join these networks if they did not intend to contribute their opinions and thoughts? I believe that the world outside of the internet constricts broad communication more. When someone passes someone they know on the street, they are likely to say "Hey, how are you?" and keep on walking. However, if they are on the internet, they might have time to remember something they had to say to the person such as about the class they have together, or something they thought may interest the other person.

Things I don't understand:
I did not understand what phatic communion meant so I looked it up. It means "Speech to promote human warmth: that is as good a definition as any of the phatic aspect of language. For good or ill, we are social creatures and cannot bear to be cut off too long from our fellows, even if we have nothing really to say ... Also Known As: phatic speech, phatic communion, phatic language, social tokens..." ( In other words, phatic communion is small talk from what I understand. I also do not understand where Miller gets his stereotypical data from.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fast Foward

I thought that Lauren Greenfield's project was very interesting. However, it does not come as shocking to me. I do believe that teenagers grow up faster in L.A. because of Hollywood's close influence, however, I believe that teenagers across America grow up too fast in general. I went to a public school in Connecticut, within five minutes from Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Casino. I grew up in a middle-class family in a quiet neighborhood. My school had a gang made up of kids who lived on the reservation. I went to a party once, and they broke in with pipes and crowbars and beats kids faces in. Groups of friends would get pregnant together. Kids smoked weed in the bathroom, came to lunch tripping on acid. One of my best friends was given a 2009 BMW for her birthday, and has four houses. My other best friend grew up with a single mom, in a tiny house, and spent a good portion of high school living with me because she was always being kicked out. We would tag bridges. I've had a friend get a breast reduction, while another is getting a boob job for graduation. A girl came up to my table at lunch one day and showed us her new damage to her arms. I eventually was able to get her help, however. I worked 30 hours a week. I've heard girls puking in the bathroom. None of Greenfield's work seems new to me. Yes, these are solely negative aspects of high school. I was also on the high honor roll all throughout high school, captain of my cross country team, and was active in volunteering. I feel as if many teenagers live a double life. Who they are with their friends is not who they are at home or in class. Maybe I was just involved in the "wrong crowd", but if I never went through everything, I don't think I'd be who I am today. I think that society focuses on the negative aspects of being a teenager. We hardly get rewarded for doing good things, but get constantly talked down on for acting out. I think it is sad that girls feel the pressure to be thin and beautiful. I also think it is sad that boys feel the need to be macho and thugs. However, most people outgrow these stages. They make them into stronger people. I also think that gang violence needs to be addressed as it takes too many young lives. I didn't understand what the 1992 riots were, and a few L.A. related things were in Greenfield's article. I wish I had more than a week to capture teenagers in my town, because this seems to be a fun project.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This television series made me SO angry. I have heard so many reviews on it, and everyone has said it was a great show. I am not one for musicals however, so I did not care to see it. After seeing it, I do not understand how ignorant people can be to enjoy watching stereotype after stereotype. To start my rant, the gay community is poorly represented in Glee. The only gay guy on the show is overtly flamboyant with his Marc Jacobs, while the lesbian girl is gothic. What does this say for the gay community? It says that these are the stereotypes, making viewers believe that these stereotypes are indeed true. New York Times called Glee "blissfully unoriginal". Of course the only person in a wheel chair is dorky, almost as if he is mentally challenged. Of course every old, white man is mean; while the young, attractive guy is charming and nice. Of course the chubby guy is riding a cart, next to the skinny guy who is running. The straight guys harrass other straight guys for being a part of the Glee club, aren't all straight guys jerks? At least, this is what this show is teaching its audience. The part that enfuriated me the most was when the Glee teacher sabotaged his student for having weed and said "this is the blackest moment I have ever had". No wonder the majority of prisons are filled with people of color, the media never gives them a chance, reenforcing our negative judgements on them as a society. The only black girl on the show is loud, angry and refers to a student as "white boy". The woman who is married to the teacher of Glee has a shopping addiction and only cares about the money her husband makes, while her husband is having a fling with another woman. The Christian girl had to pray before making out.

There are so many problems with this show, I could rant for hours. Every stereotype I could possibly think of was shown in this series. What ever happened to breaking barriers? This is a horrible depiction of teenagers, and ever American culture in general. It is nothing more than a straight romance. As the teacher of the Glee club said, "being an adult, you have to give up on the things you love". As in no adult is ever happy? As in being a teenager is a joke? I did not understand why this television show would ever be allowed to air, and why so many people follow it. All it is doing is constricting every person in America to their own stereotype, enabling those in power to keep their power. This ties into every aspect we have learned in class, especially that youth is a culturally constructed category.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Jared Ball's articles were very hard for me to read. However, I understood a few concepts that he was trying to point out. The first being that mainstream hip-hop is not what it had originally intended to be. Original hip-hop was intended for "black America" to vent about problems with society and the struggle of being a person of color. "Hip-hop is often taken out of the existing context of political struggle, repression, or the primacy of a domestic/neo-colonialism in the service of which mass media play a (the?) leading role. Media, often incorrectly defined by their technologies, are the primary conduits of ideology or worldview and must be seen as such" (Ball). He says that the media has portrayed hip-hop to be this highly sexual musical style of "thugs" and "hoes". His second article is discussing how major music labels often tell their artists what they can and what they cannot sing or rap about, inhibiting true hip-hop to be produced. "At times called the petit-bourgeoisie, or even the Black bourgeoisie, they are simply that group which, as administrators, administer to society that which limits or confounds ranges of thought so as to keep people from stepping – intellectually or literally – beyond acceptable parameters" (Ball).

I agree with Ball's articles. Hip-hop has swung from Tupac being the most popular hip-hop artist talking about the positive changes he wanted to see in the world, to Lil Wayne, the most popular hip-hop artist today singing about the objectification of women, and how he wants to objectify him. It is disgusting to see the hip-hop industry be what it is today. I believe that this is directly connected with SCWAMP. Tupac rapped about how black people were not treated equally, and how people of color filled the prisons. This shows the racism and racial problems in society, and show that white men are truly the privileged ones. In addition, with Lil Wayne singing about women as purely sexual objects, it can account for one of the many reasons why women are not treated equally. With artists such as Lil Wayne becoming popular, more people listen to what they have to say, and the women's movement goes nowhere. What happened to intelligent rappers? I would like to see the hip-hop movement be back where it used to be.

Tupac- "I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races"

Lil Wayne-"Open up her legs then filet Mignon that pussy
Ima get in and on that pussy"

This looks like a big change to me...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Coming of Age with the Internet

Although I thought that McMillian and Morrison's article was rather boring and pointed out the obvious, I agreed with their points. Today, teenagers are on the internet more than ever. I find that it has enhanced my education like they pointed out in many ways. Whenever I am reading something and see a word I don't recognize, I often look it up on If there's something that everyone is talking about on facebook and I have no idea what it is, I wikipedia it. I found out about the Haiti disaster through people's facebook statuses before I ever saw it on the news. The internet makes it easier to get in touch with friends, family, and the world; however I believe it has more negative effects than positive. When I see older people interact it is a lot different than when younger people interact. More people now seem to be more socially awkward than in previous generations. A lot of people I find do not know how to hold "real life" conversations since they spend a lot of time on the internet. In addition, I find that people are more likely to say what they want on the internet than to a person's face. For instance, when someone uploads a picture of themselves on the internet, people are likely to comment on it saying that they think the person is "hot" or "sexy", yet these people would never go up to anyone and tell them that to their face. Also, a lot of young people seem to be spending more time indoors on their computers than going out with friends and meeting people. In additon, everyone knows what is happening in other's lives all the time. If you have ever heard of the term "facebook stalk", you know what I mean. I have had people come up to me and talk about what they saw I was talking about with someone else. The internet is getting pretty creepy. I can see future generations becoming a lot more public about their lives, yet a lot more socially inept.

Here is a video from my favorite band and their video about the internet/entertainment:

Rise Against-Entertainment

Here is an episode of the Tyra Banks show (although I find her a little crazy) and internet addiction:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Girls Negotiating Adolescense

What I don't understand is how someone can say that all teenagers are the same but say that all adults all different. If all teenagers are the same, then how would they ever grow to be different adults? Obviously teenagers who were raised in a high-crime area are going to act a lot different as a whole than teenagers who were raised in a first class quiet neighborhood. Teenagers who have supportive families are going to act out a lot less than teenagers who are the "black sheep" or their own family or do not have one. If not all teenagers are treated equally and raised the same, then there is no chance that they could all act the same way. Every teenager goes through different experiences, both good and bad, that shape who they become as adults. In addition, the media strongly influences how people stereotype others. Girls who grow up with wealthy parents are always girls with perfect bodies who are really stuck up and dumb. However, these stereotypes leave out reality. What about the girls who never see a dime of their parents money because their parents want to teach them how to be successful on their own? What about the girls who don't have large boobs and size 2 pants? Yet, these girls are not shown, therefore we assume that media is reality. Raby does a nice job with pointing out these flaws that are prevalent in the way society sees teenagers.
On the other hand, I thought the article had some interesting points, but I did not really like it. It was not confusing, but it was too long of an article. Too many points were being thrown at the reader, that the reader may not know where to even begin critiquing it. In addition, I find that Raby likes to take a long time to sum up the point she was trying to make.

One of my favorite videos right now: