Week 15

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“Profound offense strikes at a person’s core values and sense of self. It is caused, for example, by the desecration of a religious symbol or by the violation of profound cultural norms, such as those associated with respect for the dead…One could also feel profound offense if one felt that one or one’s culture is not being treated with fairness or with respect. It is common for people to frame their objections to cultural appropriation in terms of offense” (Young, Brunk, 2012, pg. 5).

Many people who appropriate culture or don clothing that’s sacred to an individual’s culture don’t realize how demeaning it is for that person. People begin exploiting the culture of people of color without any regards or understanding of the history, experience and traditions. When this happens, it makes it seem like it’s okay to not respect someone’s ethnic identity because they feel entitled to take it from them and it becomes another form of representation out of their control.

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Week 13

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“I see these shifts in gender and race representation as located within struggles between generations so that representation itself becomes an arsenal in a kind a cultural territory war. Within this particular battlefield, the struggles of the past to represent women and people of color are read through nostalgic lens as an “old school” kind of politics. Indeed, contemporary manifestations of “girl power” and the “urban” render the language of sexism and disenfranchisement as old-fashioned and even quaint. The dismissal of the language and the politics associated with it is characteristic of “new school” politics, where commodity culture is situated not in opposition to those politics but rather provides the very means to exploit and represent these dynamics of race and gender” (Banet-Weiser, p. 205).

In the media and in real life, political correctness is a big deal and everyone should do there best to abide by it. Language plays a huge factor in that. As the quote states, representation has changed so much as time progresses and America has had many past issues with gender representation before but now it’s considered as “old-policy fashioned.” Now, I believe the “new school” politics could refer to equality for transgendered individuals because it is also similar to what happened with the “Jim Crow” laws, in which certain places would have public bathrooms marked “for colored only.” Now the famous store Target has created a new pro-transgender bathroom allowing those who choose to identify with a different gender choose which restroom to use. However, there has been many backlash against this decision, including some post-feminists who believe a gender inclusive restroom is dangerous. I’m not sure how to feel about Target’s decision. On one hand I am all for equal rights and I can see how difficult it may be for transgendered individuals choosing one when they identify as another, but as a woman who does shop at target I’ve seen other people make very valid points about the potential dangers that could arise just by allowing any individuals to choose which restroom to use. This also relates hugely with Naomi Gordon-Loebl’s article about gender or hetero spaces, it’s difficult because as much as some people want to include all races, all genders, not everyone feels the same. So, how do we achieve equality for all people but also regard women and children who feel vulnerable to this decision?

Week 12

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“If the shame lies in the face, Lopez’s display was (at least) a triple sign of symbolic warfare: “showing ass” as a sign of pride, “kiss my ass” as a form of revenge against a hostile cultural gaze, and “I’m going to kick your ass” to offset the economic exploitation implicated in racism. In Lopez’s case, this third rear victory is now dramatically evident in her current status as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses- Latina or not. No wonder she says, “I have a curvaceous Latin body… I like to accentuate that.” So would I- all the way to the bank.” (Negron, p. 235)

In the reading for this week I really liked the focus of accepting the body type. This mentality of Lopez’s really does classify as a victory. I think as a person who’s been the media for a very long time has set a standard for a lot of women in the industry and in general. I chose Demi Lovato because she’s famously known as someone who’s had body issues and is also a Latina. No one can truly say why or how anyone’s body is formed the way it is but it generally does have to do with genetics. So, embracing how your body is , whether it’s related to race or not, is a wonderful thing. For people like Lopez who has seniority in the entertainment industry, who’s gone through negative and degrading comments, to use it and positively, I believe has helped people such as Lovato and in turn, has helped women of color everywhere.

Week 11

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“…there is no discussion of white people. In fact for most of the time white people speak about nothing but white people, it’s just that we couch it in terms of ‘people’ in general…in Western representation whites are overwhelmingly and disproportionately predominant, have the central and elaborated roles, and above all are placed as the norm, the ordinary, the standard.” (Dyer, Richard, “The Matter of Whiteness,” 2005, pg. 11)

I found these images online created by Julio Salgado. He created a series of images (such as the pictures above) and transformed casts from popular television shows to show how it would look if they were played by minorities. Salgado stated that, “My intention here is to be confrontational and turn popular white characters into POC [people of color] characters.” I want to point out that the only reason this would be considered confrontational is because his subject was people of color. Like in the quote mentioned above, there is no discussion of white people because having an all white cast like the shows Full House or Sex and The City is considered the norm, where would the controversy be in that? Representation of Whites are what the general standard is thus, there is virtually no reason for controversy against that race unlike with the issue of post-racism. That concept deals with people of color still being underrepresented, that issue is real but reverse racism isn’t real. When white people accuse people of color of racism and discrimination, for issues like the Black Lives Matter movement or creating spaces for themselves like the BET channel that white people aren’t a part of, they believe it’s excluding them and is reverse racism. This is unfounded because racism is when a group of people is being negatively targeted for their race but this doesn’t usually occur within White people because they’ve never had a problem with being represented.

Week 16: Continued Underrepresentation in Media

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“Minorities constituted just 5 percent of the creators of digital platform and syndicated programming during the 2012-13 season” (Bunche, pg. 22) “11 percent of the creators of digital platform and syndicated program- ming during the 2012-13 season were women… it corresponds to underrepresentation by a factor of more than 4 to 1 for women among the creators of digital and syndicated shows.” (Bunche, pg. 23)


I chose this because Mindy Kaling has transcended many boundaries by being the creator, writer, and lead actress in her show, the Mindy project. Being both a woman and a person of color Mindy has defied many odds which can be see in the statistics from the Bunche center. Much of her show is based on what it mean to be a woman while also a person of color. She is a prime example of someone different who has excelled in a predominantly white male setting.

Where’s Her Movie?

“Women (red line) claimed the lead roles in only 25.3 percent of the 174 top films examined for 2013. This figure is a bit lower than the share the group claimed in 2012 (30.8 percent) but virtually identical to 2011’s figure (25.6 percent). Because women constitute slightly more than half the U.S. population, they were underrepresented by a factor of about 2 to 1 among leads for the films examined in 2013. Films that featured female leads that year include: Gravity, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Saving Mr. Banks.” -Bunche Center 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping the Script

I chose this image of Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) as an example of the lack of leading female roles in big Hollywood blockbusters. Hollywood is afraid of change, and it’s painfully evident in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. Out of all the Avengers (2012) from the movie, Black Widow is the only one to not have a her own standalone movie. Even newer MCU characters such as Ant Man, Dr. Strange, and Black Panther will (or already did) get their own standalone movies. It’ll be over a decade from the original Avengers movie, if at all, until Black Widow gets her fair shake, even though audiences react positively to the character. Everyone gets their own movie, why her? Girl’s need someone to look up to, as well.

-Edgar Nava

 

week 16

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“Compared to minorities, women enjoyed fewer gains in Hollywood employment…they posted small gains in only two employment arenas (among film directors and the creators of broadcast scripted shows…they remain underrepresented on every front” (Bunche, 1). #women #media #underrepresented #Hollywood #Mack

Women are still facing difficulty with having their voice heard in the media. They are often objects and it is difficult to have their voice heard.

Cultural Appropriation

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“Alternatively, the unsuccessful appropriation of a style (or another cultural product) could lead non-members of the culture to form a low opinion of the culture. This could, in turn, give rise to harm to members of the culture. When assessing acts of cultural appropriation, one must be sensitive to the possibility of harm that originates in this manner” (Young and Brunk, 2012, P. 9).

#culture #appropriation #artistproblem #misrepresentation #mainstream #Rodriguez

I chose this quote to go along with this picture because is shows how popular it is for artists to commit cultural appropriation. Sometimes artist claim to use those cultures because they admire it. The problem is that it can be taken in the wrong way if the artist isn’t careful of making sure that they are respecting the culture and the meaning behind the styles. The cultural clothes/accessories the people use has a meaning behind it. It’s not a costume, so artists shouldn’t be treating it like it is. Like the quote says if one wants to do cultural appropriation they must realize that they can be harming the culture and it’s people by giving them a low reputation.

Appreciate, Not Appropriate

“Sometimes the appropriation of art has a religious dimension. This is so when appropriated items have ritual or spiritual significance in their original cultural context. Perhaps most importantly, some appropriation of art has to be understood against the background of the appropriation of land. The appropriation of land from indigenous peoples has resulted in their oppression. Appropriation will tend to be morally suspect when it occurs in the context of unequal power caused by the appropriation of land.”-Young, James. “What is Cultural Appropriation” in Cultural Appropriation and the Arts (3)

Cultural appropriation is impossible to combat, because, as stated in the readings, everyone’s borrowing from someone. Nothing’s new, that’s right. But just because this is true, this doesn’t give people the right to appropriate some of the most sensitive items, sacred, or most revered items from a culture. These feathered warbonnets (or headdresses) used to be worn in battle but are now mostly used in ceremonies. This is a scared item isn’t worn by all Native American tribes, but for the ones who do wear them, they signify bravery and bestow the utmost respect on the one wielding it. How could something so sacred be worn with such disregard at parties, raves, and for Halloween?

-Edgar Nava

Week 15

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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Katy Perry performs onstage at the 2013 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

“Artists represent their own experience in their works. In representing their experience, artists represent what is already theirs. They do not represent the experience of anyone else. When artists represent their experience of other cultures, the insiders are left with their experiences. They are not appropriated. Other cultures fall within the experience of artists so, in representing other cultures, artists do not have to appropriate anyone’s experience, even if that were possible” (Young, 8). #katyperry #culturalappropriation #artist #Mack

When artists adopt something from another culture it become cultural appropriation. This can be a good or bad thing. However, they bring new experiences to audiences. Because of cultural appropriation, we are able to experience different things. This picture of Katy Perry shows her adopting Asian culture but it is not necessarily a correct representation of their culture.