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12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Women · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree with the girl in this video. While Hollywood does portray a certain image of women that sets the standard as what we consider “beautiful,” I think that the real issue of women thinking they are not good enough is really about their own insecurities and not accepting who we are. I know that most, if not all of the problem lies within our own insecurities, because I know so many people, who by many standards (the Hollywood standard), would be considered absolutely beautiful. Yet some of these women think nothing of themselves- think they’re too fat, too skinny, not pretty enough, not wanted by men. I think this shows that these insecurities have nothing to do with their own physical appearances, it has to do with the fact that they don’t accept themselves for who they are.
I also think its interesting that we make up this standard of beauty and sexuality. My friend who travelled the world last year on Semester at Sea described to me that women in India and other countries do not see the same thing when they see women showing their stomach, or wearing low cut shirts. To them, that is not a display of sexuality. Instead, many women in India think that showing off their legs is what is most risqué. I thought this difference was so interesting because it isn’t just that us as humans think certain things are attractive—instead, it really is a result of the culture we live in. Other cultures see heavier women as beautiful- it’s a sign of wealth and well being. It almost seems crazy when we think of what being so skinny means. In other cultures, people who live in poverty, who can barely survive day to day- those are the people who are that skinny. Why do we see that as beautiful? It seems more logical to see stronger men/women as more desirable- in nature animals seek strong mates to pass on strong genes and survive. No animal would want to be find a weak, skinny mate.
I think that more women have to get to the point that they feel the way this girl explains in this video posted on the blog. All women are beautiful, because beauty isn’t purely physical. Beauty manifests itself in many ways- I think that good, caring people are beautiful. And I think it’s more comforting to feel that beauty isn’t just a physical thing, because I’d like to believe that I can still be considered a beautiful person when I am older, and don’t look the way I look when I was 21 years old. Unfortunately, many people never feel this way, and instead they struggle with these feelings of not feeling good enough their entire lives.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - I really want to know ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I have thought about this a lot throughout the semester. I can understand where some people are coming from when they say they disregard what Sam teaches. A lot of the concepts we learn seem too big to really comprehend to have them make sense in our own lives. For example, I know that Sam wasn’t tryin to make us end modern day slavery- but I know that that topic definitely seems too big for me myself to do anything about. But even still, just because I don’t feel like I can do much about that, I think that you really have to not have any feelings for other human beings being treated a certain way to say that you can just disregard and ignore whatever he says. I think that people that disregard everything that Sam says are the people that realize its easier to be ignorant, and pretend problems don’t exist, than to possibly challenge the ideas we’ve grown up with, and even change our ways.
However, I know that for me, and a lot of other students in this class, Sam has accomplished exactly what he said he was going to do at the beginning of the semester.. which was to make us think and look at things in a new light. I have definitely looked at race in a completely new way. But more importantly, the material we have learned has given me the ability to have an “educated” conversation about race, with both people of my race, and of other races. This is true because we have been presented with the reality of differences in race, stereotypes, LGBT issues, etc.
Actually, I think that the classs on LGBT issues was probably where I learned most about a topic that I had all wrong and was completely uninformed about. For example, things that I could talk about in conversation now are that children of LGBT couples are no more likely to be gay than children of straight couples. Things like this are what we need to be able to sit down and have a conversation, and be able to defend or argue something with facts (like the statement that being gay is a choice and stems from the environment you grow up in)
In general, the class has opened me up to an entire new world of thinking. Most of all it made me realize how uninformed I was- that I had opinions and ideas for each of the topics we learned about in class, and I thought that it was just the way it is. While some of the things said in class seem “out there,” mainly because they are not the types of things you expect to hear from a professor, I can really say that I don’t disregard what we learn in class at all.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Prom or No Prom: Just... · 0 replies · +1 points

I was very surprised when I read this article that a prom was cancelled just to avoid having a lesbian couple attend. When students are at the age when they are graduating high school, it is just ridiculous to “protect” students from seeing lesbian and gay couples. If anything, as high school prepares students to leave for college and move on to the real world, this should be the time that this is allowed- it needs to be seen for the first time somewhere, and better sooner than later.
Also, prom is a celebration of the four years at school- not a celebration of couples. People can go alone to the prom, and they can go with friends that they are not really dating. So why can’t students go with anyone they want when it comes to lesbian and gay couples.
I think that cancelling a prom for this reason sets a horrible example for students. The event can’t go on because there is a lesbian student? How is that any worse than cancelling a prom if a mixed racial couple plans to attend? If a school was to do that, the board would be called racist, and a larger reaction would probably occur. But since this is about sexual orientation, this is allowed? They think they are protecting the students from being distracted during an education experience, but in fact, they are doing just the opposite. This is a much bigger distraction from what’s important. The educational experience should be acceptance of all other people, no matter what race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. It would be interesting to know if the other students in the school were actually bothered by having a lesbian couple at the prom, or if it was more the school and parents that were concerned.
One of the reasons this article is even more surprising for me, is that I wasn’t really aware that this type of situation was still happening. As states begin to legalize gay marriage, and celebrities and public figures are openly gay, I didn’t realize that situations where students are being ostracized for their sexual orientation was still going on. I can’t imagine this happening around here or where I live in New York. I know that in my high school, prom dates were not a concern to any one, and I am pretty sure that there were girls that went together- not necessarily as couples- but as friends, and no one was asked to clarify the details of their relationship. My high school was more concerned about the safety of students on prom night, and making sure that everyone had safe rides home and weren’t drinking- a much more important concern for high school students in my eyes.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Are Whites the Only Pe... · 0 replies · +1 points

I have watched a few seasons of the Bachelor and Bachelorette, and I have noticed that almost every one that has ever been on the show has been white. I don’t think it is so much that they want all the contestants to be white. Instead, I think that because the Bachelor and Bachelorette have been white, ABC feels that an older audience would want to see white couples, and think that people (especially in older generations) would be offended? (maybe not the right word) if they saw mixed couples, and therefore stop watching the show. That being said, I do think that this isn’t fair considering the diversity of our country, and I think that there should be seasons with contestants who are black or other races. But, I think if that happened, the network would still have men and women on the show that are dating the Bachelor or Bachelorette be of that same race, and not have mixed couples.
While I have noticed this pattern in the TV show, only because it has come up in conversations about the media, such as this one, I think that white people, including myself, don’t think about race in that way when we all look at other groups of white people. Just as when people ask me how I identify myself, and I say American, race is just not something I notice when I see other white people. On the other hand, I think that many people of other races tend to identify with their race and would say Black or Indian, for example, when asked how they identify themselves. However, it makes complete sense that when people of other races watch a television show with ONLY white people on it, they would of course noticed that other races, especially their own, are not being fairly represented on television.
I have to agree with the fact that people are saying it is the older audience that is the cause. When you look at a show like Real World, the entire purpose of a show like that is to put people that are completely different from one another in a house (then watch the drama that unfolds). Every season of Real World has people in the house that are gay and straight, people of different races, and people who come from all different socioeconomic backgrounds. Again, MTV targets teens, and in today’s generation, this diversity intrigues people, and does not often offend or bother younger viewers.
As some people have commented on this topic, I don’t think that lack of diversity on the show means that the people at ABC are racists or don’t like people of color. I do think that this is a sad reflection of our society and what people still want to see, and ABC and the people working there are just trying to give people what they want so that there are more viewers and the show stays on the air.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Native Americans: Ques... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think that the problem here lies within our education system. It’s hard to blame individuals for being ignorant if they had no outlet to learn the truth about our past. I know that I never actually learned about the genocide. I had heard that the truth was very far from what we learned in school- but still, I never formally learned that genocide occurred. When I think about what I did learn in school about Native Americans, it seems very clear why the drawing of a person with a weapon and feather would have happened. I can’t imagine what it is like, being Native American, knowing that the genocide is ignored. It is not that people know, and are simply interested in talking about other things. It is that somehow most people in this country pretend that this never existed or have no idea it did, and believe that we did nothing wrong. I know that I find it unfathomable that there are people who have never heard of the Holocaust, or even worse, don’t believe it happened.
Because I am one of the people that graduated from a good high school, yet never learned about any of this, I think that children need to learn more about the history of our country, and what the Europeans did when they arrived. This being said, I don’t think children should be learning about genocide when they are 5 or 6 years old. There would be no point, and no sense of understanding, as a child that young simply doesn’t understand the concept of death. What children do understand is the concept of having something taken away from them, and the concept of wrong or right. So we can start by teaching children about our history with the idea that it was wrong- and that Europeans showed up in America and took what wasn’t theirs. There’s a start. Just because we don’t want to teach them about genocide at that age, doesn’t mean we should completely ignore the whole topic.
Also, as kids get older, and start to learn about wars and slavery, this genocide should not be a side note in a textbook. This topic doesn’t deserve any less attention than other events in our history. As someone in another video question on the blog said, this topic needs to be taught in a way that hits home, that people realize what it means- that people’s lives were taken, for their own land. It is a big step if we learn about the genocide happened- but we also need to work towards putting real meaning behind the word.
While education is not the only thing that needs to be done, I think it would be a great start. That way, there wouldn’t millions of people living in the US, like me, that were never taught about the true history of America.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Why Is the Conversatio... · 0 replies · +1 points

Laurie discusses in her video that the race talk always boils down to a conversation about black and white. As Sam discussed in class, many people say that slavery happened so long ago and talk about the fact that slaves were “liberated” in the late 1800s, as if that was the end of all discrimination. However, I think that a large part of the fact that it comes down to black vs. white in these conversations is that that “liberation” was not the end of it. We discussed in class how loans were given to almost only white people, there was segregation, discrimination on the job front, laws about being able to leave a job and get a new one- these were all examples of how white people got on top and did everything they could to keep black people from being able to “compete” fairly for these things. So all of these things bring us to where we stand today- that talking about race comes down to an issue of black and white. Sometimes this is difficult for me because I feel as though the feeling in the room when race is discussed is white people today are the racist ones- and there are many who, of course, are. However, I think that feelings of racism goes both ways. For example, in a race conversation I’ve been told things such as “I would never even bring a white friend to my house.” Racism today goes both ways, despite the fact that white people are the ones that are often called racist.
Also, many people say that white people today feel guilty for what our ancestors have done in the past. However, I agree with Laurie that it is more of the fact that there was the Civil Rights movement- she said that African Americans brought their plight to the center of our culture- there were marches and uprisings. So today, we associate discrimination with African Americans because they brought it to attention. With that being said, I don’t think it is a big mystery as to why the conversation always goes back to black and white. I think it is important to talk about black/white issues, and discuss them so that we uncover and understand the feelings that people have. However, I don’t think just because it is more talked about, that it is any less important to talk about the way other groups, such as Native Americans, are treated, considering many of our ancestors came and took the land that was theirs. There are many other groups whose stories and conflict needs to be discussed in these race discussions- not just blacks and whites. We have to remember that other groups have issues to talk about even though it has not been brought to the center of attention.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - I Guess It Pays to Lea... · 0 replies · +1 points

After reading this article and learning that a flight was diverted after a man was praying while wearing tafillin, I am very torn on this issue. I see the airlines perspective as being safe, and the passenger’s perspective of not thinking anything of completing his normal prayer rituals. I see the need for security in the U.S., and I see our ignorant society. Where does ignorance go too far to the point that anything unknown is a threat to national security?
Being Jewish, I am well aware that there are certain traditions that people of other religions are unaware of and don’t understand. So I think that if I were in in the position that I wanted to pray, especially on an airplane where security is high and people are often suspicious, I would consider what other people would think and how they reacted if I was wrapping black cable looking material around my arms and head. In general, people are scared of what they don’t understand. In this case, a harmless prayer tradition was misunderstood and was interpreted as dangerous and even associated with terrorist activity.
On the other hand, I also see his perspective. If you are a person that wears taffilin, then you are most likely very religious and live in in surroundings and among people that don’t think twice about your customs, because they are all doing the same things. In that case, you probably don’t see prayer as an interruption to your day, but in fact a natural part of the day that is done in any place, whenever necessary to fulfill the custom.
It is sad to me that many people are ignorant and are completely unaware of other religions and customs. After grow up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, coming to Penn State was quite a shock to me. I am not unaware of the small percentage of Jews in most areas of Pennsylvania- but I actually have met people who have never met a Jewish person before. Forget knowing these intricate details and traditions of Tafillan, some people make it to college never having learned about Judaism- not even in the context of its difference from Christianity. This lack of knowledge is what turns into fear of the unknown and stereotypes that people are ignorant to believe.
It also seems sad, even though I know it is necessary, that this is what causes a flight to be diverted and for someone to be in handcuffs. But national security is highly important, and I know there is a lot of controversy about this- but I’d rather see us erring on the side of being cautious, than missing a sign of a possible danger.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Last Name Begins with "D" · 0 replies · +1 points


12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Clubbing the "Bejesus"... · 0 replies · +1 points

Robertson is actually making a claim that the people of Haiti brought this devastation upon themselves. I’m not sure what purpose Robertson believes he is serving by making these types of comments when all people need right now is help and hope. How can someone that claims to be in touch with a higher power, and that preaches from the Bible, really make these claims? Maybe this man actually believes what he said about a pact with the devil. But shouldn’t a “leader” know when people need to hear compassion instead of blame? It seems like this man is less in touch with G-d, and more focused on making controversial comments on television. There were millions of other things this man could have said relating to faith and G-d, but he chose something that would cause hurt and anger.
Also, I think that it is very easy to make such ignorant comments because so many of us are so far removed from the pain and loss that people are truly suffering in Haiti. Some people see Haiti as an entire country experiencing this situation- we hear numbers and statistics. But in each of those numbers there are real people, each one experiencing different types of pain and loss. If this man actually knows a mother in Haiti that is missing a child, or a family that is going to sleep hungry- do you really think he could look them in the eye and say “You did this to yourselves!” ? Maybe this man could, if he's willing to make such stupid comments on television. Robertson needs to think about what meaning his message would have on a personal level to people in Haiti, and how it makes the rest of the world look when he can blame those who are suffering while he sits comfortably at home unaffected.
The sad part is that this man is actually on television. And he has an audience that most likely includes plenty of people ignorant enough to believe him. When people like him make statements that have no basis or truth behind them, there are always people who will buy into it- especially when it involves placing blame on a group of people. We’ve seen this happen over and over again throughout history.
Obviously Robertson’s comments need to be discussed. However, it almost makes me feel worse that people are taking the time to respond to him. Responses to this man show that he is in some position of power over other people- where people care what he has to say. So really, he deserves no response because what he says holds no meaning.