COMM370 Week 15 Responses

2 May

I found Lorde’s general examination of difference quite telling.  I especially liked the quote that “it is our refusal to recognize those differences [in race, gender, class], and to examine the distortions which result from our misnaming them and their effects upon human behavior and expectation” (664).  This comment reacts to our “Post-___” society where people are trying to move past/ignore things in order to say that our society is through with them.  We cannot say that we’re post-racial because there is still racism, and anyone who ignores that is foolhardy.

I also found Lorde’s examination of poetry as a means to convey emotion for the underpriveleged very interesting because I had never particularly thought of poetry in that way.  It’s rather insulting then that literature publications often ignore and do not publish poetry.  I feel like poetry, as a whole, is a means of conveying hardship and relieving onself of emotions that rest heavy upon the heart and the head.  Therefore, poetry and even just literature should be encouraged at all levels.

bell hooks’ argument that the patriarchal system of society should be removed because it is the foundation of “all other oppressive [structures]” is very compelling (672).  It sort of seems like she argues that the patriarchal system is the root of all evil, and I can see this because it promotes domination.  The system emphasizes oppression in all forms which carries out to involve sexism, classism, racism, and discrimination based upon sexual identity.  She focuses primarily on sexism throughout her essay because it affects not just the public life but the private life, too.  When something is so pervasive as to affect such a significant amount of life, then it must be challenged.

Once again, the article by Thompson reminded me of being called a “fag” in high school just for expressing my negotiation of identity.  Thompson suggests that boys/men need to open themselves up to a wider range of emotions and acceptability.  So much of masculinity is based on aggression rather than compromise.  I have always tried to side on negotiating through problems without violence.  Now, that hasn’t prevented me of thinking about throwing a punch or two or being furious, but I’ve learned to accept that those people were dealing with insecurities about themselves rather than plainly just attacking me.  Plus, it would be a really scrappy fight that I would probably lose if I even tried.

Nevertheless, I did not have too many allies because I did not really talk about my negative experiences and discrimination during high school.  I mostly just shrugged it away.  Therefore, I did not have the supportive network that Ayvazian envisions because I handled it on my own.  My way may have not been too effective, but it worked.  Nevertheless, I can see how Ayvazian’s way would probably be much more beneficial if I had followed it.

I feel as if Nielsen and Lovato’s articles are relatively the same because they show how organizations can effect change.  For Nielsen, a small organization can negotiate wage disputes and benefit farmworkers while Lovato shows that activism and technology can also effect change.

The volunteerism article made me think about the volunteer work that I do.  I volunteer usually once or twice a week at The Grand Cinema.  This type of work definitely seems more on the charity side of things rather than the solidarity because I do not put much effort into it (I’m just working concessions), and I come out mostly benefitting myself rather than others.  Sure, the patrons get to have kindly service buying their popcorn and some good conversation about movies, but we don’t delve into deeper social issues unless a movie (like Waiting for Superman) comes along and brings those issues up.  My volunteer work is easy compared to what other people do.  Nevertheless, it does help things run, and I feel like I’m a part of something big and positive.  This article by Leonard does show that, for future volunteer work, I should look for something that provides solidarity rather than just charity.


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