Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Orange Is The New Black

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The television show, Orange is the New Black, addresses many race, gender, and class issues. In the episode we watched, the women in prison were running for a position on the prison council. They separated themselves, mainly by race. There was a group for white women, black women, Hispanic women, and other or older women. One of the characters made a comment to the new girl, “Just think of American society in the 1950’s, and this will all make sense.” The group of Christian white women wanted to have segregated bathrooms. Most of the prison guards and people in charge were white men. One of the men seemed to be taking advantage of his power by having sex with one of the inmates, though it was consensual. The main character was the new girl to the prison, and she was from an upper class, white family. An example of white privilege is that she won a spot on the council without even running; the men in charge just wanted her to have that position because they viewed her as a better option than the others that were running. A stereotypical portrayal of the black women was all of the fried chicken jokes. A non-stereotypical portrayal of women was that they were loud, raunchy, and anything but the traditional idea of being lady-like. One of the guards yelled at the women to “act more like ladies.”

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