Female Icons

Female Icons
Order Description
Post 3: Section 1 Reading: Douglas Questions “Introduction” from Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media written by Susan Douglas, 1994.
Wow! I hope you liked this reading— I loved it!
1) Looking back at your life so far, have you been influenced by mass media? Give some examples and analyze whether or not your experience is positive or negative.
DO THE FOLLOWING: Find a current magazine. I want you to look for an ad for alcohol, Dolce & Gabbana, perfume, a motorboat, or a luxury vehicle. Do you find anything troubling with the ads you are seeing? Please identify the ad you have found and why you found it interesting, puzzling, or just downright disturbing!
2) What if advertisements and mass media were all subjected to a test of moral responsibility before being allowed to be used? Do you think we should have some control over mass media so that maybe we can avoid the negative influence mass media seems to force upon many today. For an example of where I’m going with this, look in the external links, I added one from the University of Iowa. From the site, I followed an additional link to this site: http://www.commercialcloset.org/cgi-bin/iowa/index.html
Here, they show some interesting commercials. Click on themes, then look for something called “in the prison.” There’s a 7-up commercial with a gay male theme. Watch it. And then think about the initial question. (I know this is a women’s studies course… this was just a perfect example to demonstrate the issue to you… I know there are numerous examples out there for women as well).
NOTE: I found the video on YouTube and have added the link below:


3) So, what has changed since 1994? There is some good news based on research done on how Social Media is helping. Click on this link and watch this short video (8:28 in length). Do you agree or disagree with Blakley? What were some of the key-takeaways from this presentation?

Post 4: Body Image Article
For this week’s assignment, you will need to spend some time browsing online for academic articles that deal with Body Image. Give a short summary of the article (2 paragraphs). Next, think about what was discussed in the article- have you witnessed or experienced this personally? If you have not: find someone who has experienced it (indicate how many people you had to seek before it applied to someone). Give them a brief summary of the article and ask them for their reaction and possibly to give you an example of the impact mass media has had on them (positive or negative) and assure them you will not indicate their names in your written assignment. The overall length should about 2 pages

Post 5: Section 3 Reading: Richards Questions Amelia Richards, “Body Image: Third Wave Feminism’s Issue?” A few questions for you regarding this reading. Provide your analysis of this article in at least 2 complete paragraphs. Cover the following questions in your work:
1) What new information did you learn from this article?
2) Do you agree with the author’s message?
3) Describe what runs through your mind when you hear the word “ radical.” Are you the type of person that will stand up to injustice, or, do you feel more comfortable sitting back and letting others speak up? What ways could you voice your discontent today- including use of technology? Is it important to educate or enlighten others when it comes to their knowledge of women’s rights, equality for all, and rights of all oppressed people?
4) When it comes to progress made by feminists, do you think it is safe or must we keep fighting for equality within the US and how about across the globe? Do you read articles about events that impact women- both positively and negatively around the world? Describe.
Part Two: Watch the following video presentation:
http://on.ted.com/b0FHA (you may need to copy and paste the URL into a web browser)
1) What were some of the key take-aways from Madeleine Albright’s speech?
2) It was quite interesting how she discussed women who are critical of other women. When you were listening to this, could you relate to it? Have you heard stories from family or friends dealing with this?

Post 6: Real Women Have Curves
Please view the following movie: “Real Women have Curves.” It is available at a local Blockbuster or similar movie rental store. You can probably find it at a local library as well!! This movie, which I use in my Women’s Changing Roles course as well, has many issues contained in this one conveniently packaged, entertaining movie! Be prepared to talk about the following themes: cultural pressures in realizing “ideal beauty,” body images of the women in the movie, relationships among the women in the film, and Ana’s sexuality… to get us started. If you have already seen this movie, see it again- I find you always pick up something you didn’t realize before.
Then, complete the assignment located under the discussion board for the film.
A couple of notes:
1) If you are watching a DVD version, on the set-up screen you might want to activate subtitles. There are several times in the film where the actors speak Spanish- English subtitles are great for those who don’t understand Spanish.
2) If you would like to watch the film online, then you can try the following link. A student found it last semester (I’m sure there are probably other sites that have it as well). There were two complaints: after watching it for so many minutes, you have to stop and come back to it; and, no subtitles are available.
At one point in time, you could watch this film on YouTube- usually it is broken into numerous segments.
Please respond to the following:
Introductory paragraph: first impression of the movie? What did you think, what emotions, if any, did it stir up in you?
1) The image of beauty in the Latina culture Ana was raised in. Does this continue today (if you don’t know, if you know a Latina, ask them!)? If you become a parent someday, is this a film you would show your children to teach them the positives about loving your own body and self?
2) Struggles within a class of people. Think of Mrs. Glass- the woman at the manufacturing office who refused to give Ana and Estela the cash advance. How did this scene make you feel? Are the struggles within the various Latino cultures (if you don’t know, surf the web and find out!)?
3) Discuss the relationships among the women in the play: Ana, Carmen, Estela, and the women in the factory.
4) What role does gossip play in this movie (carefully analyze this one!)?
5) Analyze the three main male characters: Jimmy, Rau’l Garcia – the father, and the Grandfather.
Then, add any additional thoughts you may have!

Post 7: Newspaper Article Search Assignment
This week’s discussion board assignment is a bit different.
Find a newspaper article (it can be from an online source, but, it must be a source that is also available in print, such as the New York Times) that deals with a contemporary female icon. This woman can represent the world of: sports, television, film, music, comedy, politics, education, business, etc.
You are specifically looking for examples of sexism or unfairly treating a woman icon versus how her male counterpart might be treated. Is the person asked questions which are gender-based or gender-influenced; is specific attention paid to her physical attributes and maybe not enough attention to her skill which makes her an icon; etc.
If you don’t find any incidence of this negative treatment of women, move on to another article and keep looking.
Report back the following:
1) The title of your article and author’s name (if you found it online, send me a link)
2) What issues did you find? Is this situation common in society?
3) Have any contemporary articles (in an academic journal) been written about this problem? If so, what did they have to say?
4) How many articles did you have to go through before you found an article that worked for this assignment?
Part Two: Watch the following presentation http://on.ted.com/i0HXK
1) What key issues resonated with you?
2) Provide any other thoughts or analysis you have from this video.

Post 8: Iron Jawed Angels
Secure a copy of Iron Jawed Angels. This film is extremely close to being historically accurate. There is no record of a Ben Weismann being in Alice’s real life… this may have been added for theatrical purposes. Please respond to the following:
1) This is a powerful movie centering around the lives of powerful and motivated women. Provide me with your initial thoughts of the movie- pretend you were being interviewed outside of the movie theater on the night of the movie release.
2) What did you think about Alice Paul in regard to the following: a- her strength as a leader for the woman suffragists; b- can women have both strength as leaders, be motivated, and have a personal life which may include a love interest and children?
3) Inez Mullholland-Boissevain, the leader of the parade, was an interesting character in this movie. Describe your thoughts of her as she led the parade and when she became ill.
4) The “intersection” of old and new, as can be easily seen in this movie, can represent a time of turbulence. Does that always have to be the way? The past can not be changed, but, what would you say for our time- how could the collective strength and energy of a people be harnessed and not fully realized?
5) The prison scene. Often a tough part of the movie when you focus on these women, their faces, their strength and then the completely ridiculous nature of those making the rules and decisions. Describe what you felt.
6) Any other issues or things you want to mention about the movie-please do so here!

Post 9: Section 4 Reading: Griffin Questions Pat Griffin “Damaged Mothers, Muscle Molls, Mannish Lesbians, and Predatory Dykes: 100 Years of Scaring Women out of Sport.” Read this article and then watch the video online below (this aired on “In the Life”).
Part 1: Tell me your thoughts about this article. Then, draw connections to things in your personal experience- make specific connections to Griffin’s article and be certain to provide thoughtful analysis. If you know of other connections to the reading (friends, relatives, etc, you can talk about them- just change their names to maintain their anonymity).
Part 2: Answer the following question: As of today, do you think we have made progress and do you see limitations on girls and women when it comes to pursuing sports?
Part 3: Check out this excellent episode of “In The Life.” (the episode title is “Changing the Game” in the event this link is broken again, you can search on youtube).

What do you think of this short episodes of “In The Life?” Have you ever thought of how society makes people who are “different” feel and how they are treated is often different than those who society considers/deems “mainstream?” Discuss.

Post 10: Cailtyn Jenner- A Female Icon?
Let me start off this assignment by telling you, I am NOT a fan of the Kardashian family. Call me old fashioned or just plain old crazy. I would greatly prefer to read about a nurse who saves lives, a doctor who brings a smile back to a sickly person’s face, etc.
Now, the story of Caitlyn Jenner obviously didn’t start with the Kardashians, however, this is where we (formerly Bruce Jenner) Caitlyn resurfaced after many years of not being in the limelight after Olympic success.
Beyond Caitlyn’s story is the complex and often misunderstood reality of a trans-person in America today. I would like you to find an article or two dealing with the topic of “transgender” identity. Then answer the following:
1) What new information did you learn?
2) Watch the following video clips:


Then, free-form respond to what you’ve just watched.
3) Finally, now that you’ve read at least 1 academic article and watched these two videos (they are part of a larger documentary called, “Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She” and it is quite fascinating to see in its entirety), do you think Caitlyn Jenner is an icon? Has your thoughts about Jenner changed as a result of this assignment? If so, please describe how. Add any additional information you would like as it pertains to the topic of a transgender identity.

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