My Recent Experiences

By: Warren Chung

My recent experiences.

I start this blog out writing about a recent experience that happened to that made me think about the course and terms we have done.  My experience was when I discovered about Racist Party that a Fraternity at Duke University had.  I had discovered this topic and decided to write about in for my In-News article.  In addition I felt that I needed to post this article on my Facebook feed and I titled it “How disappointing…”  I did not post this article to start any type of conflict or upset the water (Bad idiom), however I did want to express that this type of party was unacceptable and that I was merely disappointed in the actions that Duke University had taken, and I was also disappointed about the comments that were placed in the article itself.  This particular section of my blog is not about the details of the article but more of the responses that happened on my facebook post.

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 4.52.25 PM

An acquaintance from high school had posted (see picture for more information) that the people in this article are too sensitive, and that his assumptions of people throwing white trash, and redneck parties and that no one cares about them invoke to me this idea of passive racism.  However I wonder if my acquaintance sees the mimicry and mockery in both situations, and I question if he sees that these ideas of mocking other cultures have damaging effects on individuals conceptual mapping.  Comparing these two ideas (Asian themed party and Red neck themed party) are very different.  For instance that it is done by people in power (White race (In-group) is making a themed party of Asian (out-group) stereotypes, rather than White Race making a themed party of white stereotypes.)  Although the party was suppose to be done in a funny situation, I question the fraternity’s idea of ambivalence, and I question how they see these stereotypes such as the All Seem Identical alike no different (ASIAN)

My acquaintance continues to say “I’m all about equality” which I thought was to ‘un’problemtize the already disturbing comments and changes the issue of the article into a reverse-racism argument and that is “Why is okay to make fun of white people, but not another ethnic/racial group”.

Although I did not respond to the comment, I would like to bring up the positives of a good friend of mine who elegantly responded to the comment.  (See attached picture)

 Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 4.55.51 PM

I recently watched part of a documentary called ‘Miss’-Representation.  The documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered in 2011 at the Sundance festival, is about the issues about misogyny in the United States.  Misogyny is defined the dislike of women or girls.  Misogyny can be about sexism, sexual discrimination, or it can be viewed as the sexual objection of women.

The documentary opens up with high school student’s opinion about women in the media. It was a complete surprise to me about how female high school students were expressing their concern about how women were portrayed in the Media.  The expression “sex sells” came to my mind as I was watching this documentary.  Women that are represented in the media today are viewed as sex objects that conform to male standard.  The documentary uses examples such as movies where if the protagonist is male, he is always saving the female or if it is a female protagonist the female actor is still conforming to the male patriarchy stereotype.

Women portrayed in and on the news also reinforce negative stereotypes.  I was completely taken back when the documentary explained that women portrayed in the media are shown always to be emotional.  Examples such as political figures who are women who express emotion, such as tears, or angry are represented as weak, or “that time of the month”, whereas their counterpart males who are shown don’t receive this type of stereotype of weakness but as more sensitive.  Women news anchors are also appealing to the male egos, by dressing provocative, or represented as sexual objects in the newsroom only add to the idea of misogyny.

There is this symbolic Annihilation idea that certain groups of women are under represented.  The documentary talks about a few factors about symbolic Annihilation, which is women from ages 18-30 make up 50% (estimated guess, I forgot to write it), however women ages 40-47 are represented of 26%, these numbers do not match the USA census so we do see issues about objectification.  Another comparison is the aggregate numbers of women compared to men.  Men dominate the media 3x the amount of women.  In fact the documentary noted that although we are seeing a growing view of women in the media, specifically within the political realm, it would take over 500 years for a perfect parity.

These ideas of poor representation of women in the media such as less political efficacy, sexual objectification, and the repeat idea of negative stereotypes not only have damaging effects on our schema or conceptual mapping (I know I use this a lot), but it also brings to light the inequality that women face everyday.  The continuation of these types of representation of ridicule and regulation of women, we start to internalize these ideas as acceptable and continue not to see it as an issue.

The next part of my blog was the deconstruction of how the huffington post website.  On the website there are different sections that represent voices of different communities.  I particularly look at the GLBT voice section only to broaden my understanding of issues or progress done by this community.  Today I approached this site very differently, my objective from this deconstruction is to actually view how women are represented in the news media with my previous experience from the documentary, ‘Miss’Representation.  My first analysis was the front-pages of the main page, political, business, and women’s voice section.  I organize my findings into these categories.

Men, women, or mixed, mixed will be broken down by article if the picture has a male and female represented in the article.  I organize each article represented by, business, political health, and sex.  My objective is to see if there is sexual objectification and if women are represented correctly.  Please note as I try to deconstruct this website I make note that I am not a statistician, I am purely looking at pictures of women represented and the topic of discussion in each article.

Main Front-Page of huffingtonpost.com on 2/15/2013

Political

Health

Sex

Business

Total

Men

16

1

3

5

25

Women

4

2

12

5

23

Both

2

Inclusive 2

Other

12

Inclusive 12

After analyasing the first page I noticed that women and men are equally represented on the front-page.  However what I do notice is the under representation of women in politics as opposed to men, the 4 women articles were of Elizabeth Warren.  I would like to note in my findings of how Elizabeth Warren was noted as a “whiner.”  Upon clicking the link you will notice the term Aggressive.  Huffington post had reinforced the idea of misogyny of relating women who are aggressive to whiners.  I also noticed that more women blogger pictures spoke a lot about sex as shown here.  This continues to renforce the idea of women as sexual objectification

Political

Women

7

Men

10

Other

13

Mix

0

In the political section of the Huffington post, women are still under represented.  Although numbers are very close together 4/7 of the women represented were Elizabeth Warren and Men were represented as different people.

Business

Women

6

Men

15

Other

0

Mix

1

In this category of the business section front-page women are still under represented by nearly half of what men are represented.

Women Section

Sex

19

Health

7

Political

3

Business

2

In the women section, sex was rated as high having 19 articles that represented women expressing concerns for pleasing male.  7 Articles spoke about health concerns and diet.  Poltical and Business were in the single digits as well representing 3 and 2.  I thought it was interesting to see the differences of how media represents women.  19 articles reinforced the idea of patriarchy about pleasing the male.  The women’s voice section did not speak about women in power or leadership skills as much as it should have done.

Although this research is done poorly, this gives us an idea of the topics discussed in the movie and from class.  The framework represented give us the illusion of informational for example “How to please your mate?” or “The better Orgasm,” there is this representation of historic relic where women fall into.  I am sure that these authors who are women who are writing about sex and health are feeling they are giving women this voice participant approach where they are seeing themselves as more advocates, they are just fueling the idea of misrepresentation of women in the media.

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One thought on “My Recent Experiences

  1. This was really 3 blog posts in 1! First, your friend’s response to the comment about red neck parties was good–it sought to challenge the wider discourse of “I’m not offended–why should others be?” I appreciated hearing your responses to Miss Representation, as it was good to understand how positionality works (men are much less aware of these controlling images of women). Finally, your quick accounting of images of women in Huffington posts provides a good overall sense of how these stereotypes are reinforced–the cultivation analysis theory. Very enjoyable to read all 3 portions!

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