Just Trying to Relate This Message

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

The Scourge of “Relatability”

Rebecca Mead establishes many different opinions on how we use “relatability” to judge literature and works of art. Mead uses her article “The Scourge of ‘Relatability’” to articulate the history of the word, the different meanings behind ‘relatability,’ the surge in the use of this word, the qualities that constitute ‘relatability,’ the difference between ‘identifying’ and ‘relating’ to a work of art, and the consequences of demanding “relatability.” I agree with Mead, when she states that the value of literature or a work of art should not be judged solely on how easily the audience can relate to the story or character, but I do not agree with how Mead places all the responsibility on the reader or audience to find ways to establish connections with the artist.

While relatability is a tool that can be used to measure the effectiveness of communication in artwork, it should not be the only means used to determine something’s value. In contrast to Mead’s belief that it is the responsibility of the audience to interpret artwork, I believe the responsibility should be evenly split between the author and audience when making connections and establishing understandings through works of art. Although I saw how important the use of tools other than “relatability” actually were in measuring the value of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” I also believe that the way Charlotte Perkins Gilman reflected on the experiences of women in the 1800s to help women relate to the narrator was crucial in getting her message across.

Although there are many points in “The Scourge of ‘Relatability’” that I can agree with, the major point that can be supported by “The Yellow Wallpaper” is the idea that the value of literature and films should be based on more than just “relatability.” When Mead talks about how relatability is wrongfully being used as the main tool to assess value, I can’t help but agree that art can still be very valuable without being relatable. “Relatability—a logism so neo that it’s not even recognized by the 2008 iteration of Microsoft Word with which these words are being written—has become widely and unthinkingly accepted as a criterion of value, even by people who might be expected to have more sophisticated critical tools at their disposal.” When reading “The Yellow Wallpaper,” I found that I could relate to the narrator due to the fact that we are both female, but could not really relate to this narrator on any other basis because of our different historical context and ethnic identities. Although I could not relate to the narrator on a cultural and historical front, I was able to use other tools like clarity and creativity to assess the overall value of “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

While I understand why Mead believes “relatability” should not be our only criterion for judging whether or not a film or piece of literature is any good, I don’t agree with the emphasis that Mead places on leaving “relatability” completely up to the audience as opposed to both the audience and the artist. According to Mead, “To reject any work because we feel that it does not reflect us in a shape that we can easily recognize—because it does not exempt us from the active exercise of imagination or the effortful summoning of empathy—is our own failure.” In order for a film or work of literature to successfully reach the reader or viewer, I think that the author must provide some sort of framework that a good majority of people can relate with through direct or indirect experiences. As the author provides the opportunity for the majority to relate to the piece, the audience must use this opportunity to dig into their life experiences to solidify this potential connection. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Gilman establishes a plot in which an individual is oppressed. Although men may not be able to identify with the gendered oppression faced by the narrator and women across the globe, it is their responsibility to look into their life experiences for a time when they were oppressed for perhaps another reason.

Although Mead makes a lot of claims in “The Scourge of ‘Relatability’” that I don’t particularly agree with based on my reading of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” I think she also makes many claims that effectively capture the importance of reflecting on the way we “identify” and “relate” with different texts. In many ways, artwork can be used as a mode of communication. While it is incredibly important for artists to relay their messages in ways that the audience can try to understand, the ability of the audience to make their own personal connections to a piece of art is what ultimately leads to a sense of value and appreciation.

But does Juno even help?

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

Conference paper proposal

How accurately is abortion really portrayed in Juno? I saw this film as one that articulated the unequal reproductive options available to different women from a pro-choice perspective.

Through my analysis of this film I am investigating whether or not the pros outweigh the cons in terms of shedding light on abortion and fertility options available to privileged women through this pro-choice perspective. Although this film advocates for women having autonomy over their own bodies, perhaps Juno’s failure to acknowledge the effect that socioeconomic class and race have on accessibility has weakened the pro-choice argument they are trying to convey..

Unlike the pro-choice movement, the pro-life movement does very little to help minorities escape cycles of perpetuated poverty. How much can minority women benefit take away from this movie on the choices of privileged women?

 

 

 

Although abortion and the use of contraceptives are legal in the United States that does not mean that they are accessible or even considered options for everyone. Scarcity of abortion clinics in low income areas, the prices of different contraceptives, policies like the Hyde amendment, and the overall racism and classism that surround reproductive politics contribute to the different priorities of pregnant women. Minorities are not given access to the same resources that white women have and are therefore more limited in the control they have over their bodies and futures. While it is one thing for the government to provide reproductive rights through legislation, this legislation cannot be justified if it doesn’t ensure accessibility as well. By not providing the same accessibility to white and nonwhite pregnant women, the government is not only supporting divisions based on race and class differences, it is also perpetuating a cycle of poverty in low- income communities. In order to break this continuous cycle of poverty in low income communities, minorities need to be given reproductive rights as well as reproductive justice so that they too can take advantage of the opportunities that will further them in this society. While the government has passed laws to protect reproductive rights, they have not done nearly enough to make sure U.S citizens have access to the resources that allow them to exercise these rights.

 

Yellow Rain Revision

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

3/18 Blog Post Revision

 

Getting to the bottom of a situation and relying on facts to support ideas is crucial in any given situation. Without concrete facts, not only will we fail to learn from our past, but we will also fail to educate those who will determine our future. When listening to a Radiolab podcast where the hosts discussed the controversial chemical warfare that allegedly took place in Southeast Asia with educated Hmong individuals, I found myself very unsure of which side’s perception I found more legitimate.

When I heard the podcast the first time, I was not sure what to think and what exactly had unfolded in front of me. However, once I took a few notes and really let the material sink in, I realized that we were dealing with a case of two Hmong individuals who were very sensitive about their history and a very insensitive radio show host who went a bit too far in his questioning of an innocent elderly man and his niece. I did not take the side of one party over the other because I originally thought the radio show was a mess on both the sides of the hosts and the guests.

Once I looked further into the issue and read Kao Yang’s response to the Radiolab segment, my eyes were opened to the biases that were present before the segment even began. In Yang’s response she pointed out the use of titles for everyone except her and her uncle, whom were instead portrayed as uneducated foreigners. According to Yang, Radiolab omitted a crucial portion of the segment where Yang and her uncle talked about the Hmong’s knowledge of bees and Laos. Yang also explained how she was lead to believe the interview would be centered on her uncle’s experience rather than the controversy surrounding chemical weapons. In Yang’s response to this podcast, she used emails to support the idea that she was mislead by Radiolab, “Pat wrote, ‘I’d love to speak with your uncle. And no, I don’t have a single specific question; I’d be delighted to hear him speak at length.’ There were two New Yorker stories on Yellow Rain, and neither of them contained a Hmong voice, so Radiolab wanted to do better, to include Hmong experience . . .Before the date of the interview with Pat and Robert Krulwich, one of the show’s main hosts, I wrote Pat to ensure that the Radiolab team would respect my uncle’s story, his perspective, and the Hmong experience. I asked for questions. Pat submitted questions about Yellow Rain.” After I read Kao Yang’s response, I sided with Yang and her uncle against the inaccurate depiction the radio show managed to pin to the Hmong people. Through Yang’s reflection on Radiolab’s segment, I saw that the radio show was racist and only edited segments of their show to unprofessionally alter the ideas of their guests.

Just when I thought I had established a position against Radiolab, I decided to read Krulwich’s apology to Yang and her Uncle and had my opinion changed once again. After reading Krulwich’s apology, I found that it was much harder to be against the radio show and their strong desire for the truth. Krulwich’s account of the conversations leading up to the interview happened to be very different from Yang’s account. While Yang claimed that Krulwich never gave any indication that they were interested in discussing the controversy surrounding chemical warfare, Krulwich claimed that he was actually very clear in their intentions to explore the validity of Eng Yang’s personal accounts with “Yellow Rain.” In Krulwich’s response to the Radiolab segment, he included the list of questions that he sent to Yang, which were clear precursors to the line of questioning that followed on the radio show. According to Krulwich, “Many commenters have suggested that we ‘ambushed’ Mr. Yang and Ms. Yang, but I feel that it’s important for you to know that was not the case. Mr. Yang and Ms. Yang were informed about what we were looking for: our goal was to find out if President Reagan’s statement was true or false.” Krulwich also used his apology to explain that his persistent questioning of Yang’s experience was solely to get to the facts, and nothing more personal. “I forcefully questioned Mr. Yang to find out if he had actually seen the source of the ‘Yellow Rain’ because I was trying to understand if the scientists had considered all the evidence. I care deeply about getting the facts right.” After looking at Krulwich apology, I noticed that he used this platform to justify the position he took during the interview rather than genuinely apologize to the guests of his show. Although Krulwich’s apology may have helped the viewers see the “method to the madness” that may have unfolded on Radiolab, the apology did very little for Yang and her uncle. If I were to take a stance on this podcast based on Krulwich’s apology, I would in no way see Krulwich as a genuine and respectful host, but I would feel inclined to take him seriously as a reporter searching for the truth.

After I finished analyzing this confusing interaction from the different perspectives of Yang, Krulwich, Abumrad, the situation’s cultural context, and the podcast itself, I arrived at the conclusion that there really is no reliable evidence that I can base my opinions on. All of the statements managed to counter one another and the podcast was clearly manipulated on more than one occasion. The only sources that I found I can somewhat rely on to take a stance in this situation were the parts of the podcast that I actually heard, and even these segments had to be taken with a grain of salt. From what I did hear in the podcast, Krulwich and Abumrad should have been more considerate to Yang and her uncle based on the sole fact that Yang and her uncle volunteered to share their story as guests on this Radiolab segment. Once the hosts of this Radiolab saw that their guests were uncomfortable with their line of questioning, they should have changed the tone of the discussion.

 

Yellow Racism. . .I Mean Rain. . .Or Do I Mean Racism?

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

Getting to the bottom of a situation and relying on facts to support ideas is crucial in any given situation. Without concrete facts, not only will we fail to learn from our past, but we will also fail to educate those who will determine our future. When listening to a Radiolab podcast in which the radio hosts discussed the controversial chemical warfare that allegedly took place in Southeast Asia with educated Hmong individuals, I found myself unsure of which side’s perception I found more legitimate.

After I heard the podcast, I did not automatically take the side of one party over the other. When I heard the podcast the first time, I was not sure what to think and what exactly had unfolded in front of me. Once I took a few notes and really let the material sink in, I came to the conclusion that we were dealing with a case of Hmong individuals who were very sensitive about their history and a very insensitive radio show host who went a bit too far in questioning an innocent elderly man and his niece. I did not take the side of one party over the other because I originally thought the radio show was a mess on both the sides of the hosts and the guests.

Once I looked further into the issue and read Kao Yang’s response to the Radiolab segment, my eyes were opened to the biases that were present before the segment even began. In Yang’s response she pointed out the presence of titles for everyone except her and her uncle, whom instead were portrayed as uneducated individuals. Yang then went on to claim that Radiolab omitted a crucial portion of the segment where Yang and her uncle talked about the Hmong’s knowledge of bees and Laos. Yang also explained how she was lead to believe the interview would be centered on her uncle’s experience rather than the controversy surrounding chemical weapons. Yang used emails to support the idea that she was mislead by Radiolab, “Pat wrote, ‘I’d love to speak with your uncle. And no, I don’t have a single specific question; I’d be delighted to hear him speak at length.’ There were two New Yorker stories on Yellow Rain, and neither of them contained a Hmong voice, so Radiolab wanted to do better, to include Hmong experience . . .Before the date of the interview with Pat and Robert Krulwich, one of the show’s main hosts, I wrote Pat to ensure that the Radiolab team would respect my uncle’s story, his perspective, and the Hmong experience. I asked for questions. Pat submitted questions about Yellow Rain.” After I read Kao Yang’s response, I emphasized and sided with Yang and her uncle against the inaccurate depiction Radiolab managed to pin to the Hmong people. Through Yang’s reflection on Radiolab’s segment, I saw that the radio show was racist and only edited segments of their show to unprofessionally alter the ideas of their guests.

Just when I thought I had solidified my position against Radiolab, I decided to read Krulwich’s apology to Yang and her Uncle and had my opinion changed once again. Krulwich’s account of the conversations leading up to the interview happened to be very different from Yang’s account. While Yang claimed that the Radiolab team never gave any indication that they were interested in discussing the controversy surrounding chemical warfare, Krulwich claimed that Radiolab was very clear in their intentions to explore the validity of Eng Yang’s personal accounts with “Yellow Rain.” In Krulwich’s response to the Radiolab segment, he included the list of questions that he sent to Yang, which were clearly precursors to the line of questioning that followed on the radio show. According to Krulwich, “Many commenters have suggested that we “ambushed” Mr. Yang and Ms. Yang, but I feel that it’s important for you to know that was not the case. Mr. Yang and Ms. Yang were informed about what we were looking for: our goal was to find out if President Reagan’s statement was true or false.” Krulwich also used his apology to explain that his persistent questioning of Yang’s experience was solely to get to the facts, and nothing more personal. “I forcefully questioned Mr. Yang to find out if he had actually seen the source of the “Yellow Rain” because I was trying to understand if the scientists had considered all the evidence. I care deeply about getting the facts right.” After looking at Krulwich apology, I noticed that he used this platform to justify the position he took during the interview rather than emphasizing a genuine apology to the guests of Radiolab. Although Krulwich’s apology may have helped the viewers see the “method to the madness” that may have unfolded on Radiolab, the apology did very little for Yang and her uncle. If I were to take a stance on this podcast based on Krulwich’s apology, I would in no way see Krulwich as a genuine and respectful host, but I would feel inclined to take him seriously as a reporter searching for the truth.

After I finished looking at this confusing interaction from the different perspectives of Yang, Krulwich, Abumrad, the situation’s cultural context, and the podcast itself, I arrived at the conclusion that there really is no reliable evidence that I can base my opinions on. All of the statements managed to counter one another and the podcast was clearly manipulated on more than one occasion. The only sources that I found I can somewhat rely on to take a stance in this situation were the parts of the podcast that I actually heard, and even these segments must be taken with a grain of salt. From what I did hear in the podcast, I believe that Krulwich and Abumrad should have been more considerate to Yang and her uncle based on the sole fact that Yang and her uncle volunteered to share their story as guests on this Radiolab segment. Once the hosts of this Radiolab saw that their guests were uncomfortable with their line of questioning, they should have seen that it was time to change the tone of the discussion.

 

Blog post #6: Virginia Woolf

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

  “If Only Space Were More Feminine” – Queyras

English 181: Writing in tight spaces

Virginia Woolf- “A Room of One’s Own”

        “Women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems (Woolf).” In Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”, she characterizes many of the differences between the sexes that are holding women back in the literary arena. Although women are capable and have produced work on the same level as men, the way women think about and experience the world is very different due to the inequalities they face. Virginia Woolf really emphasizes the discrepancies in available money, available space and frequency of interruption as reasons why women are so misrepresented in literature. Woolf concludes her essay by encouraging the reader to use the little achievement that has come before them to not only multiply space for future women in literature, but to give voice to the women before them who were not given the same opportunity.  “But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.”

Virginia Woolf emphasizes many differences and inequalities between men and women in “ A Room of One’s Own.” However, one of the main overarching inequalities that Woolf emphasizes is society’s inability to take women seriously, regardless of their intellectual ability. Women have never been and are still not considered on the same level as men, which has not only lead to the lack of available educational opportunities, but has also devalued the women who strive for knowledge and positions of power. By introducing the reader to the unfair story of Judith Shakespeare, Woolf provides a powerful visual of exactly how unequal the playing field is for men and women in literature. Judith’s brother was praised for his work and rose to fame because society took him seriously as a male, while Judith was discouraged and driven to suicide for the same work because she was a female. “It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare.” Woolf uses the story of Judith Shakespeare and gender inequality to show that the secondary position of women in Shakespeare’s time is very similar to the supporting role women are restricted to today.

Virginia Woolf states that one of the differences between the sexes is the presence of resources in the lives of men and the absence of these resources in the lives of women. According to Woolf, women have been poor since the beginning of time, and this has kept them in the supporting role of the men who had financial resources. By marginalizing women to a supporting role, women were discouraged and not given the help they needed to create their own space. If women were given the resources they needed to create their own space, they would be able to acquire their own wealth and continue to make more spaces of their own. Instead of moving forward, women are stuck in a never-ending cycle in which they have no space of their own to work toward the financial status of men. Patriarchy has provided men with both the resources and monetary necessities to perpetuate their roles as leaders in the literary and non-literary world. Woolf even states in her article, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” The financial discrepancy that still exists between men and women today only contribute to the idea that it is not possible for women to be as successful as men in the literary world.

Another difference that Virginia Woolf characterizes is the different interruptions faced by men and women in everyday life. We must acknowledge that although the idea that women face more interruptions than their male counterparts can be attributed to the fact that women do not have their own space, women are also generally expected to divide their focus in more ways than men are. Men are generally not expected to care for children, the household and other family responsibilities at the same magnitude that women are. If women want to achieve the same literary status of men, women do not only need to create their own space, they need to create an uninterrupted space for themselves where they can exercise privacy, creativity and ultimately their own financial independence. Since men are automatically given this uninterrupted space to write and create masterpieces, women are once again held secondary to men. According to Virginia Woolf, an uninterrupted space for females will help to alleviate and level out the playing field for men and women in literature.

Woolf makes it clear in “A Room of One’s Own” that she does not believe in a distinctly female mode of writing, but she does provide instances where it seems she believes women think and experience the world differently from men. Through Woolf’s story about Judith Shakespeare, we see that Judith and her brother had the same talent in writing; the only difference was the space that was given to Judith’s brother and taken away from Judith. Women have the same ability, mode and capacity for writing and creativity, we just do not provide enough space for female representation in our literary society. Woolf does however point out the difference in the thoughts and experiences of women as opposed to men when she speaks about the interruptions faced by women and not by men. Because women generally face more interruptions than men, they cannot channel their focus into their work as efficiently as men can. We even see how these interruptions play out through the narration of Woolf’s piece. When a cat in the first chapter distracts Virginia Woolf, she really struggles to regain her focus; however this would not have been an issue if Woolf had her own uninterrupted space. Because Woolf effectively shows the different ways that men and women see the world, we begin to understand how the experiences of men and women in this world are very different. There are many inequalities faced by women that paint an inaccurate picture of their capabilities. Women are not given the same opportunities as men and therefore must fight to not only attain a space of their own, but overall equality for women in the literary and nonliterary world.

 

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1929. Print.

Prude

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

Upon first setting foot on Emory’s red bricked paths, I knew that the journey I was about to embark on would be dramatically different from any I had previously taken. The word “college” which had been looming over my head for a couple of years now had finally come down to meet me and I was eager to see what awaited me. Little did I know that my values were about to be challenged and my innocence to be stripped away.

Growing up, I was taught to elevate modesty and self-respect above many other attributes. A sense of timidity and demureness characterized my persona, and I found myself appreciated by others for this. Around boys, my demeanor was viewed as “cute” and “endearing” and separated me from the “sluts” or “easy girls”. Some thought I was “playing hard to get” but in reality, I was not “playing”, I was. My reservation did not exist because I saw myself as superior, but rather because I wished to uphold my values of self-respect and modesty.

However, my appraised and attractive behavior in high school has become dubbed “prude” in college, a term the Urban Dictionary defines as “a guy or girl who’s afraid to do anything sexual”. My manner has gone from being admired to scorned, complimented to insulted and appreciated to denounced. In my experience at college, students disregard the fear component of the definition of “prude” and equate the word with reserve. Having causal sex sparingly in college is often referred to as “prude” behavior, which in the literal sense falsely implies that there is fear, completely neglecting the more likely reasons for opposition to such activity. Thus, the more reserved girl gets the unwanted label of being “prude”.

Although just 5 letters, the word seems to set a certain social standard for college students. The negative connotations of the word promote more promiscuous behavior and undermine sincere sexual activity. The world is also associated with immaturity, encouraging college students to try their best to avoid any association with the term. Thus, not only is the word incorrectly used but the way in which it is undermines the excitement of suspense and waiting in a relationship.

 

The music video I have included depicts a “prude” and not so “prude” girl. In the end, the “prude” girl wins over the boy, giving light to which character the artist prefers, which is in line with my preference. Despite the negative connotations of the word, I think it’s better to be more demure than very forth coming.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuNIsY6JdUw

 

 

 

How Big is Beauty?

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

What makes someone beautiful? The desire to be beautiful is something that spurs the actions of many people. From diets consisting of nothing more than crackers, to spending copious amounts of hours in the gym, to getting out of bed two hours early to do hair and makeup. According to Darwinism humanly physical beauty should be defined by healthy features. Ideally healthy features would then be considered more sexually appealing and therefore be more likely to be passed down. But is that the case in contemporary American society? It is no secret that today’s icons of feminine beauty, supermodels and movie stars, often weigh far less than the healthy or recommended amount. A myriad of campaigns have been launched to change the definition of feminine beauty. These campaigns often attack fashion companies using extremely thin models in their advertisements. One of the catalysts for such campaigns was a 2006 interview with Abercrombie CEO Michael Jeffries. Jeffries stated “Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny, but then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.” These are scary words to hear from a powerful man with influence over the American youth. But are the social movements that demand a more plus sized definition of feminine beauty not also limiting and dangerous?

The Huffington Post published an interesting article titled “Real Beauty: Why We Think Healthy Should Be The New Skinny”, detailing the views of a former plus sized model Katie Willcox. Willcox was a size 12 and hired by companies selling plus sized clothing or companies claiming to be in involved social movements to create a “more positive idea of beauty”. However, Willcox felt that her weight was unhealthy and dropped down to size 8, in the process losing most of her clients. She found she was no longer large enough to work for her old constituents and still too large to be considered a regular model. It seems the only size model people are not looking to hire is average.

To try to use advertising to put a size on beauty is a dangerous a thing, no matter what that size is. The meaning of beauty is vast and reaching. A sunset can be beautiful. An algorithm can be beautiful. A work of music can be beautiful. How then can we as people possibly try to limit the definition to one type of physique?

 

cosmetic

Blog Post: Keywords

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

A keyword, which is prevalent in Harriet Jacobs, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl, is ‘ambiguous’. According to the Oxford English dictionary the word Ambiguous means ‘open to more than one interpretation. Due to the nature of its meaning, ‘ambiguous’ is considered to be a synonym of vague and obscure, however it is ironic to see the degree of influence the word ‘ambiguous’ has on a literary piece which is so detailed like, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl.  Similarly the word ‘ambiguous’ has an underlying influence in Harriet Jacobs’s novel. From Jacob’s piece the entire perception of the American society during slavery is open to interpretation.

Linda is the protagonist in Jacob’s novel and her literature in her diary reflects on her development as a person also. Linda’s style of writing in the first few chapters depicts a mood of hope however as we progress from chapter to chapter the style and the mood becomes more cynical. I remember an instance during which Linda’s brother William approaches Linda and tells her that the world is so ‘unhappy’ and ‘cross’ and he wishes that he died along with their father to this Linda replies by saying that the world is not unhappy, she says those who have Pleasant homes and family are happy, however they are slaves, who are deprived of family and by being good, they can be content. This incident displays satisfaction in Linda’s tone however in the preface she says that “only by experience can any one realize how deep, and dark and foul is that pit of abominations” in reference to slavery. From the literature itself we can see a change in the character and once again the literature is open to interpretation.

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl focuses on notions like humanity. Jacobs’s appeals to emotions like sympathy, empathy and love through the vivid descriptions in the novel. Jacob’s uses slavery to appeal to humanity. By displaying the rampant death, abuse, and injustice prevalent in slavery by doing so  Jacob’s reinforces the theme of humanity. The theme of humanity is also ambiguous since it is open to interpretation. Thus we can understand the influence of the word ‘ambiguous’ not only on the style of the novel but also on the themes of the novel.

The picture below may provide some insight on the word ambiguous it really stimulated thought when I saw it for the first time

 

Blog Meme

How Should We Use Stereotypes?

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

Everything is instantaneous and at our fingertips, ready to access when we need it. Quite simply, we are impatient and do not like to wait for things. he same impatience that is part of our human nature is responsible for stereotypes. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a stereotype is defined as “A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

Stereotypes arose as a way for people to get to know others quickly without having to put the time and effort in to form an actual connection. Because stereotypes stem from our impatience, they are also an unavoidable part of culture. We can also attribute the rise of stereotypes to our need to form groups and generalizations so that it is easy to identify people and form assumptions about them. For example, when people see Asians in their math or science classes, many resort to existing stereotypes and assume that the Asians are going to excel and do better than everyone else; however, this is definitely a false assumption. Although Asian culture places a strong emphasis on success in school, explaining why Asians are stereotypically thought of as “nerds”, not all Asians are good at math and science.

While stereotypes are sometimes true, we must understand them to understand a culture as a whole; however, it is important to note that we should not define a culture by a stereotype. Instead, we should observe what the stereotype is and then consider why and how the stereotype came about. As an Asian American, I have been asked if I want to be a doctor and whether I play the violin and golf. Although I do play the violin and golf and plan on going to medical school, therefore validating the stereotype, I fit the stereotype because of my heritage and culture. While Asian culture does promote academic success, the expectation to excel is even greater for Asian Americans like me because many recent immigrants do not have a stable economic foundation and expect their children to work hard so that they can have secure jobs in the future.

While there is not much controversy surrounding the definition of a stereotype, there is definitely controversy surrounding how we should use stereotypes to understand others and connect. Our tendency to “oversimplify” does not stem from racism but rather from impatience.

 

I will leave you with a clip of an example of what many think of when they think of stereotypes:

Blog Post 2

By My blog. Originally published at My blog.

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury”. Under the U.S law a confession of guilt is only valid if it is voluntary. ‘Madness after Virginia tech’ is an informative article that depicts the psychiatric risk prevalent in today’s society. In the article Reiss also discusses the importance of literature and its reflection on the author. In the article Reiss has used famous physiatrists like, Michel Foucault as a reference. During the course of the article Reiss also discusses the validity of psychiatric surveillance in the creative writing classrooms. However such a practice raises questions along with its implementation. Does such a practice lead to suppression of freedom of speech or is precautionary in nature. However the most important aspect about college is the development of the students. Not only academically but also mentally. Madness in Virginia shows the importance of mental stability in college. Now as far as confessions are concerned we need to explore into the validity of confessions. A confession needs to be written in a sane state of mind and needs to also display a repentance of the actions and awareness of its consequences. The incident in Virginia tech was indeed a really sad and eye opening incident. It has made us take into consideration the impact of the education system on students and also made us realize the importance of mental stability.