Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

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Power transfer?

The topic I want to focus on in this blog post can be found in chapter four under the heading “The politics of sexuality.” It talks about how heterosexual relationships are organized the same as patriarchal societies and how “the power men have in society gets carried into relationships and can encourage women’s subservience, sexually and emotionally.” I think that because men have power in society, they may be more apt to feel the need for power in a relationship. Men, however, do not always have the power in relationships. Sometimes, women can control men to get what they want. For example, if a man wants sex from his wife, she might make him do something before he gets what he wants. This seems to me like the woman has the power. Sometimes the man depends on his woman for food, clean clothes, and a clean, orderly household. This, to me, seems like the woman is in charge. She has the power to either make him feel like a king, or make his life a living hell. These are a few reasons why I think that men’s societal power does not necessarily carry over into relationships.


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Chapter 5: Inscribing Gender on Body

According to Chapter five, many women do something in order to meet the standard of beauty. Media and magazine contribute to the idea of beauty in some way. I am extremely worried about the standard of beauty will do nothing but damage the women’s health. Some women have anorexia because they do not want to become fat so that they eat like a bird. As a result, they get the symptoms of anorexia. One of my high school classmates have decided to eat small amount of food to lose weight, finally she succeeds by great effort. But whenever she eats, she will vomit out everything she eats. Then she cannot eat anything except water. She has to live by taking infection of nutrient now. Added to this is that sometimes dancers and models will eat food, and after they finish eating they will try to vomit things they just eat. The reason is that if they become obese, they are going to lose their jobs. Most company believes that if you are fat, you cannot be a dancer or model.

Plastic surgery is performed a lot in the society nowadays especially in Korea. Plastic surgery includes making double eyelid, shrinking the size of face, and implanting breast. Not all of the plastic surgery is successful. Some of it fails and lead to unrecoverable injury both physically and mentally.

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Happy girls are the prettiest

I want to post about the topic of body image that we discussed in class earlier today. It is true that society and the media creates an “ideal” image for both males and females. For females, it seems as though a slim figure, face make up, tanned skin, tight clothes etc. are some of the major factors that the modern youth consider to be attractive.

However, earlier at work today a young woman walked in exhibiting short, tight clothes and a face full of make up. My male work colleague turned to me and said “I’d love to know which man said that that is attractive, and I’d love to know why so many girls actually listened to him.” This made me laugh. It was funny to hear a guy say this because although I personally don’t think it is attractive, I always assumed guys did.

To me, this emphasized the need to ignore societal pressures concerning appearance, and to create an image that YOU like and feel comfortable with. Audrey Hepburn was quoted saying “happy girls are the prettiest” and I believe it! If a female is truly happy and confident in herself, her beauty will shine from within. And if she bases her appearance upon what she likes and not what others expect or think is attractive, then she will appear more beautiful and more importantly, she will feel more confident and attractive too.

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Overcoming the Ideals of Beauty

Being ideally beautiful is demonstrated throughout the media in all sorts of ways.  It’s all over magazines, on tv, mannequins throughout stores, and billboards.  It shows people of all ages starting as young as even eight years old that girls need to be skinny and tall with no blemishes while males need to be tall, muscular, and athletic and that if you aren’t those things then you’re just not what society considers “beautiful”.  Overcoming what the media views as beautiful can be a very hard and time consuming task for someone, especially someone of a young age.  It may lead to psychological disorders even.  What it comes down to, though, is just facing the fact that what they portray in the media isn’t realistic and isn’t in fact what the majority of the population look like.  It’s much easier said then done, but what it comes down to is simply just rising above it and knowing what is healthy for your body and not putting your body through something that can ultimately do more harm than good to it.  I think that is the way to overcome the ideals of beauty and to be most happy with yourself and what you look like.

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Just to make this exceptionally clear, I thoroughly enjoy playing “Devil’s Advocate” in matters of argument. I certainly hope none of you had taken offense to my former post. I think I briefly stated that I had planned to elaborate further on my feelings towards our society and the role women play within it. I concluded with an open-ended idea that perhaps we are a part in the true issue at hand. To be frank, I feel that, in most circumstances of women’s oppression, it’s predominantly our fault. Okay, allow me to explain. The birdcage that we discussed in the last chapter? It’s other women who hold the keys to that heavily barred cage door. We allow ourselves to be exploited, encourage it even. When a lady walks out of the house in a low-cut top, who is she more afraid of–gawking men or women whispering behind her back? Women are constantly being degraded by other women! We call each other names; we are the ones pointing fingers when another woman is promiscuous or unsightly. We are building our own cages. I don’t know a single man (this isn’t to say I can assume this is always the case) who treats women as badly as I’ve seen them treat each other. Women are vindictive, assumptious, and cruel, at times. Why should we expect any different from men when we don’t expect any different from each other? We don’t respect ourselves or each other. Sadly, we have one of the LEAST oppressed societies of women. And yet, we have one of the MOST body-conscious and unhappy ones. Does this say something about our nation? Does this say something about our perspectives? I know this is fairly short compared to my last post, but I was more interested in commentary. I want to know what you all have to say about this epidemic lack of respect amongst women. 

Again, until next time, 


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The Choices of Love


I would think there are many definitions of love, and these definitions would vary depending on person, experience, and type of love. There is the love for family, for friends, love of living, and a passionate love for one individual which sets them apart from every other person in their life. My favorite way to look at love is through my favorite bible verse which is from the book 1at Corinthians, chapter 13: 4-8 which says,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Seeing love in this light puts love in a selfless perspective for anyone unsure if they feel love. The reason for this is our need to be loved is so self-centered, when we find that person that makes us lose our own desires and purely think of the others wellbeing, it allows us to live by the guidelines from this verse.

While I read in chapter 4 from the book Women’s Voices; Feminist Visions, on page 186, from the reading Romance: Sweet Love by Bell Hooks. She quotes from another author saying that romantic love is very destructive, saying that people believe that we have no will or capability to choose the feeling of love. I strongly disagree with this idea and statement. The reason for this is because, I have known a man for 7 years, we were neighbors and we became close friends about 3 years ago. Just recently I started dating him, and after much doubt from myself and people in my life I can truly say I have fallen in love with this man. However, with the many complications that loving him would create, I have chosen to be with him and I have been happy to be with my best friend and first love. Every day, woman and men choose to date people and decide to pursue or discontinue a further relationship. The statement “falling in love” is only because we have chosen to open ourselves up to loving this person unconditionally. I do agree with Hooks when she talks about sexual passion and how it affects a relationship. Hooks says, “Shared passion can be a sustaining and binding force,” however, “not the proving ground for love.” Intimacy does not create a respecting, trusting, caring, committing, and understanding relationship, Abstinence and building a friendship should be the core foundation to a relationship, only then we will be more prepared to receive love both emotionally, and physically.

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Protesting Miss America

On September 7, 1968 members of the New York Radical Women group staged a protest about the Miss America Pageant. As the winner of the pageant went across stage they held up a women’s liberation banner and chanted slogans. The protest was broad casted on nation television, and in my opinion a great step in the right direction for society and women. They also threw “instruments of torture” such as makeup, bras, girdles, and playboy into a freedom trash can. This is a great symbol of women standing up to society and the beauty ideal it has created. Women should not be judged by what they look like and events such as the Miss America pageant, who emphasize the importance of looks, add to the oppression of women and further the idea that women need to look a certain way. Women all around are made into sex objects, we are constantly bombarded with media defining the idea of beauty and the “ideal woman”. I looked at some of the pictures of past Miss America contestants, all were very thin with perfect hair and teeth. To me Miss America would be a woman who is confident, intelligent, successful and comfortable in her own skin no matter what she looks like.