Tag Archives: male

What is Privilege?

Privilege is the state of mind that enables a person to take up more than one seat on a crowded train. As evidenced by the Tumblr Men Taking Up Too Much Space On The Train, this display of entitlement and/or obliviousness to the other people around is “a classic among public assertions of privilege.” While this Tumblr was created in jest, it offers an interesting insight into what privilege (specifically male privilege in this case) can look like. Whenever I have been on a crowded train, the person taking up more space than necessary has almost always been a man, and usually one who believes his briefcase deserves its own seat. Linking this to the privileges of the sexual hierarchy might seem extreme, but offers some potential truth. As we have discussed in class for this unit, the media teaches women to self-objectify and to be constantly conscious of their weight and physical presence while allowing men to remain as they are and encouraging them assert themselves, which may just include taking up more than one seat on a crowded train when it is personally convenient.

Here are a few of the best posts:

http://mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com/post/63675885828

http://mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com/post/63675885828

http://mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com/image/62433461151

http://mentakingup2muchspaceonthetrain.tumblr.com/post/64874062612/london

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What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is the unjust treatment of others based on race, age, or sex. Discrimination becomes a major part of someone’s life when their natural physical characteristics change the way they are received by others. I believe that females have to deal with discrimination more often than males in society. This is mainly because of the way women are presented in the media. Most importantly, women are seen as easily manipulated. On the other hand, I think that males are believed to have an inherent striking presence and are promised a certain power than women are not: “the promised power may be moral, physical, temperamental, economic, social, sexual- but its object is always exterior to the man. A man’s presence suggests what he is capable of doing to or for you” (Berger 37). Accordingly, I believe that discrimination is a hackneyed process that people perform daily where men are seen as the more authoritative. Since media sets up a “phallocentric patriarchal state” (Hooks 109), unequal notions leads to discrimination based on gender. For instance, in a highly publicized study by the National Academy of Sciences, the same resumes were handed out with either a male or female name. Results showed that the male applicants were consistently rated higher despite the same qualifications, thus revealing an existing gender disparity within academic science thanks to discrimination (Moss-Rasculin, et al. 1).

Berger, John. “From Ways of Seeing.” Trans. Array The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003. 37-39. Print.

Hooks, Bell. “Seduced by Violence No More.” Outlaw Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Moss-Rasculin, Corinne A., et al. “Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 21 August 2012. Web. 28 October 2013. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109

Consent: Where Responsibilities Lie

We have seen music videos that present inequality between men and women;  women are fragmented, oversexualized creatures whose sole purpose is to please the dominant male artists.  Men have the freedom in music videos to exert power over women, and it is simply assumed that women enjoy it.  The reality, however, can be quite different.  It is our responsibility to separate what we see in music videos with how we act in everyday relationships.  Mutual consent is the key to successful and respectful relationships.  Our job is to understand that consent “should encompass more than yes or no,” and that “silence is not consent.”  We are responsible for communicating to our partners what we do and do not want, and we should ask them to share their feelings as well.  Consent is not passive;  we should not allow ourselves or our partner to simply see how far we can go, or do what we like without asking about our actions.  Unlike the fantasy of music videos, actual male/female relationships need the female to say what she likes too,  instead of only the male taking charge without discussion.  When everyone in the relationship takes responsibility to speak honestly about their desires, respect any instance when a partner says no, and ultimately treat each other as more than just their bodies, then it will be easier to put distance between the sexism in music videos and sex in the bedroom.

Bussel, Rachel. “Beyond Yes or No: Consent as a Sexual Process.” Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power & a World without Rape. By Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti. Berkeley, CA: Seal, 2008. N. pag. Print.

Yoplait-Is it so good?

I recently saw this Yoplait commercial while watching tv, and after a moment thinking back, I realized I couldn’t recall a single Yoplait commercial that featured a man as the primary consumer of the product.

(Recent Yoplait Commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC0pseknG7I)

I checked on Youtube to see if maybe there was one that I missed when it was advertised, but all I could find was this commercial (that actually made the male in it look silly):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdRLYqP7ZoM

It turns out that most of the Yoplait commercials I looked up after this featured women (and sometimes their daughters) as the primary consumer of this yogurt.

(See also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsOlsk7jloM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxE1n1lb8KU)

I understand that Yoplait primarily targets women for their products because they promote weight loss and healthy eating, two concerns that are stereotypically women’s problems, stemmed from societal pressure to look attractive at all times.  The question I want to raise, however, is in regards to men.  Don’t men also worry about their weight and want to eat healthy? I assume so, even if it is to a lesser degree than women.  But would a man who is interested in buying healthy snacks want to buy Yoplait if he only ever sees ads with women eating it? Subconsciously, he might reject Yoplait because it is too ‘feminine’ a product for him to buy.  Do you think Yoplait should feature men as primary consumers in some of their ads, or  show a male and female enjoying the yogurt together?

Breaking the Stereotype… of Beer Commercials

This afternoon I came across a video about a new Guinness beer commercial.  I  expected nothing short of the usual – something fairly humorous, possibly sexual, and likely full of very attractive women (housewives) who were gladly serving their couch-ridden-foam-finger-wearing  husbands a nice tall (manly) beer.  I was completely wrong.  This commercial has received attention for sending out a completely different message than those of other beer commercials.  It depicts a group of men in wheelchairs playing an intense game of basketball, after which all but one of the men stand up; they were using the chairs to include their friend.  The commercial then ends with a scene of all the men sitting around a table drinking beer together.  I thought it was wonderfully daring that a beer commercial made the switch from basic advertising techniques (women and sex) to instead portraying men as more respectful, brotherly, and sensitive.  Does anyone else think that this was a great commercial in that it doesn’t objectify women or portray men as dominant and sexual? Any other takes on it?