The media tries to make society believe that racism does not exist in this time era. We sometimes confuse prejudice with racism. One example that is defined in Webster’s dictionary is “preconceived judgment or opinion: an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.” While racism can be a part or branch derived from prejudice; it is an ideology that one race or group is inferior or superior to another by their color of their skin, religion etc.
I can say that every human being has been prejudiced to multiple people by how they look, stereotypes or irrational judgement before getting to know them. I can say that I’m in fault here, especially with books; if the cover does not intrigue me I won’t read it. Humans try to avoid anything that they don’t have any prior knowledge or avoid situations outside our comfort zone. Ignorance has been our downfall; Native Americans, African-Americans, Latin America and society have justified one race dominating the minority groups.
At what point do we separate ourselves from animals. What group decided that any group that was not as advance than other was not “civilized” enough, that their religion was the only religion that we should worship. History has shown the difficulties certain groups had to endure throughout the years, and the media tries to sweep it under the rug that prejudice and racism does not exist. It has been difficult for news outlets to cover the high rate of ‘hate crime’ that has been occurring these past few years in the United States. Or maybe it has always been there, but we’ve been so blind to see it. Believing our justice system is always there to make us feel safe and they can do us no harm.
The more we try to educate ourselves on different cultures, we’ll accept and support each other, without trying fit into the roles society has enforce us to play of being the dominate or submissive.
Is their such a thing as colorblindness?
We all like to consider that we don’t see color when we see people, that we only see a human being. That segregation and oppression is gone in America, but I beg to differ. We live in society in which many decades or generations this was enforced and encouraged. People are raised with these ideologies and pass them down as the family grows.
I don’t think being colorblind would help with the issue of racism. If we were all colorblind we couldn’t see culture; color is representation of our traditions, believes, our roots etc. It takes away from us being uniquely different.
The statement that Stephen Colbert, addressing that he didn’t know what race he was and that people tell him he is white. He goes on a rant of examples in why believes the people that tell him he is white: a police officer, his friends, a pharmacist etc. The thing I really did not agree with him was he saying, “I just pretend everybody’s white and its all good.”
My interpretation of his statement was if we were all white then everything would be okay in the world. Only color people do any wrong, and racism wouldn’t exist. Even if we were all colorblind, prejudice would still be there, we wouldn’t have a culture of who we are. I understand that sometimes we want to believe that the issue doesn’t exist, that if we ignore maybe it’ll disappear, but being ignorant would just make the problem worse. Me being a Latina, I can say I’m proud of my culture, my parents taught at very young age that there may be discrimination in the world, but that would push me harder and make me stronger.
Maybe one day we can separate color and race without taking the essence of person’s culture, but colorblindness is not the answer.
Sexism in the Media
We can all agree that the media’s priority is to convince the consumer to purchase whatever they’re selling, creating a marketing pattern to see what makes them profit. The media is like the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings, that watches all. All media outlets inform you what they think is newsworthiness and what’s trending.
The media created this course, where they sexualize anything they are trying to sell. For women, they all seem to be in provocative, submissive, fragile, sexualized objects that are innocent and all sexy at the same time. While, you can see the man in Greek, powerful, alpha, dominant and possessive poses. They imprint these images in our heads that the man is the CEO, and the woman is the secretary. I’m not trying say that all magazines or the fashion industry is like this, but more than average is. This isn’t counting the use of children clothing as the new fashion trend for women, that promotes man to sexualize children, which feeds into children pornography, human trafficking (children are being sold as sex slaves) and pedophilia.
They created the “ideal body” for women and men with photoshopping and retouching photographs. The infamous hourglass figure has been a phenomenon that has lived on for decades. Lately, the media has been leaning towards this with having a big butt and the men having the perfect six-pack. Although, there is too many “How to guides…” for example, getting the butt you always wanted, ads for plastic surgery, how to contour your face etc. In any way am I against plastic surgery, a person should be allowed to do whatever they want with their body, but society is making people believe that they are not good enough just the way they are.
This also goes back to disorders like anorexia, bulimia, depression and anxiety. Anorexia is third most common chronic illness among adolescents, according to ANAD. Sexism is not dead; the music industry is a great representation in how women are viewed as sexual objects and nothing more. The TV/cinema is another example in where the film industry created ‘chick-flicks’ in which woman aren’t happy unless they find “the one.” Usually, the protagonist is looking or should be looking for the perfect man that has certain qualities/expectations; this man doesn’t exist, they created a pedestal in which men have to strive for and can’t achieve.
Gender vs. Sex
Sex is the scientific definition of separating female and male. While, gender relate to behaviors and roles that have been set by society which separates females and males. Throughout the years gender roles have been changing through cultures and society standards.
For example through the 20th-21st century man and females are set to be masculine or feminine. The man has to be strong, breadwinner, be charge and superior to women. The woman has to be submissive, gentle, a mother and a wife. These are not set in stone, but they’re some of the norms that social media have been advertising for years.
“Masculinity refers to a complex of values and ideals more profitably analyzed as a cultural tradition than as a biological given: what it is to be fully gendered as a “real man” as opposed to simply being assigned to the male sex,” wrote Craig Williams, Roman Sexuality.
It goes back to what we’ve discussed in class, male represent blue and female represent pink. When did we decide as societies that color represent the gender of person? It goes back to religion as well, that man and woman are the only way you can get married. Back in roman times, man and man were known to have sexual relationships; it wasn’t separated with homosexuals or heterosexuals it was simply comfortable with their sexuality experiences. They also believed that since men were “superior” beings than women couldn’t sexually keep up with men. Aristotle even wrote that were ‘infertile males.’
“The female, since she is deficient in natural heat, is unable to ‘cook’ her menstrual fluid to the point of refinement, at which it would become semen (i.e. ‘seed’). Therefore her only contribution to the embryo is its matter, and a ‘field’ in which it can grow,” Aristotle (384-322 BC).
Christianity history is based on the Greeks and Romans philosophy when the church took over. The church has always had women being inferior to men, that men were born to rule and women lead. Gender roles haven’t changed if you think about it. The issues that might have changed are our cultural norms of man and woman can only marry (because of the church’s dominance through years in our culture), what women and men should wear or their appearance.
The 21st century has given hope for equality to both genders; voting, jobs, political world, both can be leader, but we still haven’t reached a perfect equal line rights. Not having the same pay rate and not a lot of women are CEOs, scientist or leaders (political world). It may never reach that point because of cultural believes and religion.
Masculinity and Machismo
(If I listen to my mother, “I’m a mama’s boy.” If I listen to my wife, “I’m a slave.”)
Growing up Mexican, masculinity was always topic my dad enforced to my older brother and now I even see it with my youngest nephew. It seems to be passed down to each male family member, ‘man’ way to act in society. He would always tell my nephew,”Los niños no lloran,” meaning boys don’t cry. We’ve always tried to change my father’s view about masculinity and machismo; is like trying to change our founding fathers view on the role of the federal government.
Men were taught to never express their feelings because that is sign of weakness. Showing emotion is only trait women have, and worst insult for man is to be compared or be called a “woman.” That men are so used to consuming media that show men getting what they want with physical violence. This leads to the majority of violence, crime rate: murder, rape, theft etc. is by men showing their masculinity or “never backing down from a fight.”
Machismo in the Latin American culture is man who wears a mask to society by never showing any sort emotion. This has been described an occasional work in Octavio Paz’s literature. One of his most famous would be “Mascaras Mexicanas.” Where he describes the walls that Mexican men where taught to build up stoic walls so they can’t let anybody in or express their pain. Paz explains that it may even go all the way back to Spanish “conquering” Mexico and the corruption of the government. Mexican men were born from La Malinche (Aztec woman) whom helped Cortez defeat (murder) her people by sleeping with the enemy; that’s were the Mexican ethinicity group were “born” called the Mestizos. Which, Paz referenced born from a whore and a killer. Mexican men are to have the power of the household, treat women as objects, never back down, but they know they can’t progress to becoming “the boss.”
Being Latina and being Latino in Hollywood
In class people have shared and discussed that they have felt shame for being a certain race or ethnicity. Growing Latina was something that I was proud of because my parents showed us what it really meant. It meant both my parents had to work, my aunt was a second mom, we always had beans as a side, and California was home.
My first language is Spanish, my parent’s priority was for me to speak and write Spanish. They have always have believed that Latinos who don’t speak Spanish are neglecting their roots. In California the education system has always had high percentage in the bilingual program. I was in bilingual classes until the third grade, which did cause me to have a struggle with English when I transitioned to complete English.
As an adult I really appreciate my parents enforcing me to speak and write Spanish; Spanish is also the only language my parents communicate with me. The struggle of being a bilingual is you always have to prove yourself to both groups you identify yourself with. I always had to speak perfectly in Spanish with my parents and relatives because they would view me less of Hispanic. It reminds of a scene from the Selena movie, when the Dad of Selena describes what it means to be Mexican-American. We have built a barrier for 2nd generation americans identity, they find themselves lost limbo of two worlds.
When I started going to English classes the students made fun of me for having an accent, so growing up I tried to erase any signs of having an accent. Which now I see it as the mass population and media will always make fun of you for being different; we all have to dress or sound a certain way to make it in the journalism world.
In Hollywood being Latino/Hispanic is meeting a quota of stereotypes. You have to have a certain accent, look a certain way, play the suave machista, the seductive maid etc. They’ve built this box in which we have to fit into, if we don’t our presence in the big screen or on TV can be met by other races that look “Latino enough” so they fill in the spot of the diversity character. Some actors even struggle by finding roles which they identity themselves with or end up playing roles of other ethnicities because of our ambiguous features. A TV show that I enjoy watching that breaks some of the stereotypes is Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which has two Latinas playing the roles of strong and independent detectives.
Frank’s story really hit home for me because I have family members struggling to come out. Being Latina, I’ve always been proud of my traditions, roots, but I’ve never agreed with the machismo view of sexuality.
We were taught very young that marriage consists of a man and woman. Especially with most Hispanics are usually Catholic. Growing up going to mass every Sunday was mandatory, never an option and being involve with a same sex relationship has always deemed as a sin from the Catholic Church.
Being gay in the Latino community for men is considered to be “less of a man” or “being a woman,” which emasculates the man but also makes the woman as inferior sex to the man. Machismo has been rooted to the Hispanic culture, but usually goes back to Mexican history. It goes all the back to hierarchy of society of many centuries, how men where always considered the superior sex to women and it has even been rooted in the views of the church and the bible. Eve was one whom convinced Adam to taste the forbidden fruit; that women are the downfall of “great men,” and our only serve purpose is to bare children.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.” Ephesians 5:22-23.
The church has evolved throughout the years and has noticed their errors in the roles of a man and woman. A great significance has to do with Pope francis, whom is referred as the ‘Revolutionary Pope’ and representing the ones that don’t have a voice. He has voiced his views about the LGBT community, he may not agree with homosexuality, but he tolerates it at some extent which is great change for the Roman Catholic Church.
“Who am I to judge?”said Pope Francis.
For lesbian Latina women it’s quite the same, they are looked as less of woman because the most precious thing for woman is to become a mother. They can’t grasp the idea that some women don’t want to become mothers or that you don’t necessarily need a man to be a mother. It’s the machismo and sexist ideas that have been enrolled in the mindsets of the older generations of Latinos.
Bullying in Social Platforms
Bullying is a person who is full with hatred and prejudiced, and feeds off the pain in cause to others. In the world of online is called a troll. The on place they love to point their “opinion” is Twitter. Twitter is a place that has so many content that updates per second, they don’t think it’s necessary to police every tweet that is posted. Which leads to multiple people posting hate, threats and disrespectful comments to a tweet or post.
A recent bullying that has occurred in the passed week that has caused attention the media was of Rachel Roy. It all started with the new album that Beyoncé released recently, a specific song called Lemonade. The song is about the struggle of her marriage and infidelity of her husband. She mentions a girl “Becky with the good hair,” which social media platforms started speculating it was Rachel Roy. She posted an Instagram picture mentioning “having good hair…” and it caused the ‘Beyhive’ Beyoncé’s fans to go viral. They went to every social media platform that Rachel is on and just bashed on her being with hateful words that will not mention. It even went as far as attacking Rachel Ray, the cook on her Instagram because they had mistaken Roy for Ray; which Ray responded by publishing a lemonade recipe.
I do not associate myself with either party, I don’t follow Beyonce music or with famous gossip, but I just found it so horrendous how a group of fans of an artist can go as far as attacking children and posting threats. I feel that if I was public figure myself and I had a group of fans who followed my every move or were influenced by what said or sang I would want to establish of boundary of all the hateful bullying they were “so called,” doing for me.
It also goes back to the stereotypes that songs, movies and media have establish for us. “Becky with the good hair,” may be considered a racist term for caucasian women. People need to understand that writing these hateful comments can affect a person emotionally. Statistics have shown that a great deal of women, whom a their job is connected to social media get bullied by men with threats or sexual comments.
“There is a lot of misogyny in the world, and men often lash out [at women] in a very misogynistic way on Twitter,” said Jon Ronson, in an article for Elle.”I do think in many ways women have it worse than men, because the range of threats against them is way worse; they are more severe and violent in language.”
Walt Disney: Princesses
No one can deny that growing up all you watched as a kid were Disney movies. Disney was everywhere, the theater, clothes, toys, food etc. It was and still is a franchise that dominates the United States, which includes media outlets and what we consume. Disneyland and Disney world have branded themselves as a place of magic; a place where you can be kid again.
My favorite Disney character has always been Winnie the Pooh, we made me believe in friendship and you can always find a solution to any problem you’re having.
I have to say Princess movies were a big impact on my childhood, but I wouldn’t say it made me who I am today. For me it was another aspect to my imagination and thinking that we could do anything. I think a great example of that was Mulan, even though we established in class that she had become a man to finally be taken seriously in society. As a kid I didn’t see it with a perspective of intellectual student, I saw it as Mulan becoming a badass whom wanted to help her father and finding her true self.
I do understand the sexualization of the princess in how they were dressed or the body type they all seem to have, small waist and curves in all the right places. The princesses always played the roles of damsels in distress, their goal was to get married and fit the stereotype of the race they played. I know now that Disney needs to evolve the patriarchal roles that women and men play. The men also can only be handsome and charming, but not smart a good example is Prince Naveen, in The Princess and the Frog.
One princess that I think Disney got right was Merida. She didn’t fit the usual characteristics of being a ‘proper princess,’ instead she wanted freedom, she wanted to decide if wanted to get married, and she fought her own battles. She was the first feminist princess because she wanted equality.