18 Replies to “ASSIGNMENT FOR WEEK OF 2/22

  1. In July of Summer 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a widespread awakening and call to action against systemic racism, thousands of medics flooded social media with photos of themselves in swimwear. The majority female doctor population posting on social media were responding to a study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery that supposedly was studying the habits of physicians online to determine the young doctors level of professionalism and qualification for future employment.
    Here is a link to the graphics detailing the study’s findings:

    Although the three male authors purported to focus on the prevalence of unprofessional social media content in vascular surgery, many social media users and members of the medical community found it to be a deplorable study which shamed female doctors and nurses. This backlash is due to the studies definition of unprofessional content to include: “drinking alcohol, using profane language, and wearing Halloween costumes, and sharing bikini photos.”
    Here is an expert from a thorough DailyMail article which detailed the reactions appearing on social media:
    Female medical professionals have been flooding social media with snaps of themselves in their swimwear, lounging in pools and enjoying a cocktail or a beer under the hashtag #MedBikini in outrage over the research published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
    The offending study concluded that photos where doctors are wearing ‘inappropriate/offensive attire’ such as swimsuits, are holding or consuming alcohol or that include ‘controversial political comments’ are ‘potentially unprofessional’ and could impact whether patients choose them as doctors.
    The study, which also concluded that ‘censored profanity’ such as swearing and ‘controversial social topics’ are unprofessional, didn’t refer specifically to female medics but the outraged community have accused it of perpetuating ‘sexism’ in the profession…
    Several medics voiced outrage over what they called outdated attitudes in the medical community.
    ‘My #MedBikini because there’s nothing unprofessional about a backyard swim, but also my Mardi Gras look because there’s nothing unprofessional about queerness,’ shared one medic alongside two photos – one of her in a bikini in a pool and another of her at Mardi Gras.
    ‘Let’s fight back against ‘professional standards’ as a tool for dismissal of those already disempowered within medicine.’…
    Many male doctors also got in on the act in a show of support for their female colleagues.
    ‘Although no one will want to see this Dad bod here it is in full support of my female colleagues and this misogynistic study,’ tweeted one male doctor alongside a snap of him topless in the sea.
    ‘Without my female mentor in med school and the one in residency, I wouldn’t be the surgeon I am today.’
    ‘If you are a true #heforshe, then you must speak up against this disturbing study,’ tweeted Dr. Mudit Chowdhary.
    ‘Worse they are shaming our women physician colleagues for wearing bikinis.’
    One medical student called Stephanie told the New York Post she was ‘disappointed but not surprised’ to learn the study was carried out by men.
    ‘When I saw that it was three men who authored this paper, I was disappointed but not surprised, considering the many conversations that have happened on #MedTwitter about how professionalism is often an arbitrary set of rules,’ she said, adding that the term ‘professional’ is often used in the medical community to hide the sexism that exists.
    She said she hoped the social media backlash helped drive change in the profession.
    ‘I hope #MedBikini is the start of health-care workers reflecting on their deeply implicit misogynistic biases and start to restructure their views on what female professionals look like,’ Stephanie said.
    ‘Women should not have to strip themselves of their femininity and womanhood to be considered a professional, especially in their personal lives.’
    Check out the entire article at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8558883/Doctors-post-selfies-posing-bikinis-beers-backlash-against-sexist-study.html

    Although the authors of the study apologized for their poorly framed article and the article has been retracted, what kind of statement does it make about the use of the label “professionalism” by people with privilege as a means of targeting people of color, secual and gender minorities and anyone else they don’t approve of?
    The second wave of the feminist movement was focused on identifying political inequalities and encouraged women to understaand how their personal lives are a reflection of sexist power strucutrees. Betty Friedan suggested that women could not find fulfillment solely through homemaking, and supported upper class white women in finding fulfillment through work. Today women makeup a little more than one third of the active physician workforce in the U.S. according to March 2019 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. However this increase of women in the medical profession has not stopped women from continuing to be evaluated based upon their presentation, looks, or other sexist judgements in order to determine their credibility.
    What do you think? Are the female doctors posting on social media jumping to conclusions that this study was sexist when it didn’t explicitly single out women in the field? How would the feminist of the second wave respond to this judgement of professional, highly educated women?
    How does this extremely strong reaction by women and some men online to this study differ from the response or conversation about the racism and classism which makes the medical field extremely unaccessible for many?

  2. Sports have been a historically male dominated activity. Female participation has been slowly accepted but still kept strictly separate from males with many restrictions and inequalities. Women’s sports have been altered and restricted to adjust to their “lesser physique” along with getting paid less than men for playing the same sport. The documentary discusses the second wave of feminism and the movement of women to pursue male dominated occupations and seperate themselves from the housewife stereotype. In 2020, the Swiss Supreme court officially ruled against Caster Semnya, a female South African olympic runner, preventing her from running in the Olympics due to her speculated abnormally high levels of testosterone. Since 2009, Semenya’s success in the 800m run has been criticized and attacked. As the documentary states things that women were told they could not do, her success in athletics caused speculation that caused males to question if Semenya was really a man. This absurd idea even recommended that Semenya take drugs that would lower her testosterone levels to suppress her testosterone levels. The documentary confirms that women have been taught that men should always win, and sexist ideologies are still evident in this unfair ruling of this case. Semenya stated, “I am a woman and I am fast,” to clarify the unaccepted idea that women can also be as athletic as men.
    This disgusting accusation sheds light on many arguments that Hook’s makes as well regarding the constant oppression women face. When men are challenged from their dominance and power by a woman they feel threatened and Semenya did just that. Semenya was discriminated against because of her gender and uncontrollable biological condition.
    Her strength as a woman was questioned but why is that when a man is strong and succeeds, he is never called into question? How does the ruling of this case contribute to the double standard that is discussed in the documentary? Should she be able to compete in the women’s category despite her testosterone levels if she has been biology determined as a female her entire life?

  3. I will be paralleling two stories, each a mirror image of the other, the only difference being the gender of those who were abused. Sexual Assault is not just a female issue, all gender groups are subject to sexual assault, it is a perfect example of how the goal of the feminist movement can also benefit male counterparts.
    Larry Nassar and Richard Strauss were both doctors who worked with Athletes, University Students, and other children. They were also both able to sexually assault over 150 individuals because of their powerful positions. Both got away with their actions for far too long because of the system we live in today. The toxic power dynamic created by said system gives inherent respect and trust to “sophisticated” rich white males. The only difference between these men was what gender they targeted; Larry Nassar sexually abused young women and girls, (mostly gymnasts) while Richard Strauss sexually abused young men and boys. (mostly wrestlers).
    I was a gymnast for most of my youth and I have been a gymnastics coach for almost five years. I was a gymnast and a gymnastics coach in 2018 when Larry Nassar, a USAG (USA Gymnastics) doctor got sentenced for his sex crimes. I saw firsthand how it affected the corporation and the sport as a whole. Many changes were brought about including new training for coaches but mostly the publicity of the case brought negative attention to the sport as a whole. That said this case brought some much-needed change to the sport as well. But it did not and has not brought enough change to the system that allowed for such abuse to take place in the first place.
    We talked in class and on the blog about how men use violence as a tool for control. Solnit speaks to how even though women also display acts of violence they are less likely to cause serious injury or death. Hooks speaks to men using violence, especially sexual violence as a tool for power. Both address sexual violence, and other forms of violence coming from dominant male characters as a prominent issue in the feminist movement. If we through the feminist movement found a way to change this pattern of sexual violence coming from dominant male criminals we would not only be protecting young women but also young men. This is just one example of how the feminist movement can benefit men. Feminism is not anti-men, it is anti-toxic patterns of seeing the ways men use their inherited power in our current system to do bad things and get away with it because of their gender and the power it gives them.


    • Outstanding example, Judith. It looks as if sports is a rich vein of topics for a portfolio. I believe that we do not really know all of the coaches who have taken advantage of boys and young men.

  4. Captain Marvel is a Marvel superhero movie that premiered in 2019. It was initially proclaimed as the first female-led superhero movie in 2013. As progressive as this sounds there was bound to be some backlash because in the end America is built on white supremacy, sexism, and classism. The film was boycotted by many passionate Marvel fans before it was shown. Many claimed that the film was too political and that it was ruining marvel by introducing “diverse identity politics”.

    Please watch this trailer and video of Larson’s speech as a point of reference and view the comments in the comment section as examples https://youtu.be/wpVKBAT7MJ4

    Lead actress Brie Larson worked with USC’s Anneberg to make Captain Marvel’s press days more inclusive. The public did not respond to this well. Especially the outdated fans of the Marvel Industry that are very keen on the idea that the franchise does not become progressive. Many reacted as if asking for more diversity and less racism in the industry was a bad thing. They accused the movie of trying to push an agenda simply because Larson emphasized inclusion. As Franklin Leonardo once said, “ when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”. I think many fear a loss of their power. This goes into Bell Hooks’ point about how bourgeois white women tried their hardest to control the feminist movement. They would have control of what was said and their place in society would not be threatened.
    The controversy grew larger once a video of Larson “not wanting to listen to a 40-year-old white dude review ‘A Wrinkle in Time” in a speech promoting inclusivity. The context of the speech once circulated was most often not given. Instead of trying to fully understand why this was said and acknowledging the power white men have in the industry, they are made to be victims in this instance. Although Larson preluded the controversial statement with statistical proof, the statement was instead given all the attention. Many people felt as though Larson did not want men to view the film and as a result, some men felt targeted. The public began to call her racist and sexist. They also claimed that the film was pushing a feminist agenda now that she had been labeled as a ‘man hater’. This is very similar to the Black Lives Matter movement in which people misconstrue the idea that other lives don’t matter. This relates to the point Hooks made about white bourgeois women and victimization. By trying to make victimization the concept that all women can bond over, it allows them to negate the idea that they themselves also have the power to oppress and sometimes do. It neglects accountability in the role they play in the problem.


    Was there a more “appropriate” way for Larson to comment on the inclusivity of the industry?
    Do you think the movie industry has actually progressed or are they possibly trying to appear progressive to make more money?

    • Amara–Excellent. Here’s the deal: If we don’t want people to limit women’s ability to participate in cultural criticism or film analysis, do we have to be careful not to limit the ability of white males to talk about a film which may expose feminist ideas? “Superheroes” are highly masculinized, in part because women are not supposed to be physically strong.This one statement is fantastic: As Franklin Leonardo once said, “ when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression”. Words to ponder along the spectrum of equity issues.

  5. Like Sarah Nguyen talked about, sports are male dominated and participation and female participation is starting to grow but is highly criticized. For the second wave of feminism, female’s goals were to break the stereotype of being strictly a housewife. One person in particular who shattered this barrier is Katie Sowers. Sowers dove headfirst into the male dominated, sexist environment that is the NFL. She is only the second full-time NFL assistant coach and the first openly LGBTQ+ coach in the NFL. When she began her coaching career with the San Francisco 49ers she, and the franchise, received so much hate from the surrounding community on how “women don’t belong in football”. Comments such as these flooding in all season. It was only until the 49ers won the superbowl with her as an assistant coach that the hate comments slowed, not completely stopped, but drastically decreased. She broke a barrier and now there are eight female coaches in the NFL. Those eight received the hate she did in full force. Hate on Sowers slowed because she proved with a super bowl ring she was good enough to be there. The people the hate comments were coming from turned into “she is an exception”. It took a super bowl ring to show she had what it took to be on the sidelines. The hate for those other eight, however, will continue until a super bowl ring is won. Sowers broke a barrier but society turned it into breaking the barrier for herself, not for all women. The comments resort to the fact that if every female coach in a male dominated sport wants respect they have to win something big. Even with a super bowl ring, Sowers was attacked for not only being a woman but her sexuality. This is an example of the constant oppression women face everyday, on large stages, like the NFL, and smaller stages, which Hooks points out in her book.

    • This is a good example, Nicole. People always think of sports as the only area in which performance is the sole determinant of success. However, you demonstrate that this is not true. Moreover, that women have to prove themselves by reaching the pinnacle of success, The Super Bowl. This is a double-standard of tremendous proportions. This example is also good because this is why feminism IS for everyone–if we can illustrate inequities in a field based on performance, it calls into question assumptions about gender.

  6. British actor Jameela Jamil, known for her role on the TV show The Good Place, has been called out by the media for her “toxic feminism” over the years.
    In 2018, Jamil created an Instagram account called “I Weigh” after she came across a picture of the Kardashian sisters detailing their weight. The account aims to divert women and young girls’ focus on their weight by instead highlighting their personal achievements. Jamil has described the account and accompanying hashtag #iweigh as “a movement for [women] to feel valuable and see how amazing we are, and look past the flesh on our bones.”
    However, despite this positive and empowering aspect of Jamil’s work, her larger message is being called into question. Jamil has consistently been accused of policing, criticizing, and scrutinizing other celebrity women (i.e. Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, and Cardi B) and their behavior. In response to one of Cardi B’s Instagram posts advertising detox tea, for example, Jamil commented: “They got Cardi B on the laxative nonsense ‘detox’ tea. GOD I hope all these celebrities all shit their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do.”
    While the impossible beauty standards that shape how the world sees women and how women see themselves are an issue, the way that Jamil brings attention to this issue (by judging other women, for example) is labeled as counterproductive.
    bell hooks explained this idea of “woman-hating” within the larger role of sexist ideology:
    “While sexism teaches women to be sex objects for men, it is also manifest when women who have repudiated this role feel contemptuous and superior in relation to those women who have not,” further stating that “Sexism teaches women woman-hating, and both consciously and unconsciously we act out this hatred in our daily contact with one another.” (hooks 48). This kind of woman-hating needs addressing and unlearning as it becomes counterproductive to the movement—it serves as a barrier to solidarity.
    In an article for the Atlantic, Hannah Giorgis discusses Jamil’s tactics and calls into question her “toxic feminism.”
    See the full article here: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/12/jameela-jamil-airbrushing-nofilter-feminism/577333/
    In addition to calling out other women, Jamil has made claims that airbrushing images should be illegal, saying, “it’s a disgusting tool that has been weaponized, predominantly against women, and is responsible for so many more problems than we realize because we are blinded by the media, our culture, and our society.”
    While airbrushing and photoshop tools are problematic in the ways that they create false perceptions and uphold unrealistic standards of beauty, Girogis discusses the ways in which Jamil’s argument is flawed:
    “It is, in the grand scheme of women’s causes, fairly easy to point out the corrosive effects that advertising has on young women’s self-esteem. What’s more difficult, and more important, is earnestly grappling with how one tool—in this case, airbrushing—functions as a symptom of a larger social ill. The dangers of navigating the world (and the mirror) in an othered body—a body read as black or queer or trans or fat or disabled, for example—extends far beyond the blight of photo-editing tools.
    Beauty hierarchies—which prioritize whiteness, youth, and thinness—reassert themselves even when mediums change. Whether in magazines or on Instagram, with the help of PhotoShop or Facetune, women are invariably bombarded with images presenting some sort of idealized beauty. Removing the mechanisms by which these images become so aspirational does little to change the fact that aspiring toward beauty is an inherently tainted project for many people.
    In her pursuit of an optical feminist justice, Jamil often overlooks—or reifies—the same structures that harm other women.”
    As described by critics, Jamil’s feminism is characterized as “toxic” and “exclusionary” because she judges and picks at other women instead of challenging the larger socio-political systems and corporations at work.
    What do you think about the argument against airbrushing and Photoshop?
    Do you think Jamil’s feminism is “toxic”? What do you think about Jamil’s criticisms of other women—do you think these women she criticizes should still be held accountable in some way for enforcing the patriarchy and accepting sexist ideology?

    • Good work, Mamie. I think the problem is that the general public does not have the proper perspective on these things. I am a feminist, but I enjoy makeup and other activities that some deem as “oppressive.” Ideally, we want women to be free to present their authentic selves, whether we agree with it or not. Dolly Parton was called out for years because people thought she looked “trashy.” Over time we found out that she was a consummate businessperson and philanthropist. We don’t want to emphasize how women look too much, because we don’t want to ignore other aspects of their humanity. The problem is that there is not enough discussion that the representations we see of women are not entirely real.

  7. The allowance of Brett Kavanaugh‘s supreme court justice status was a moment in American history in which women’s rights were on centerstage. Bring Kevin I had been accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford when they were both in high school. When the allegations came to light, some people were more inclined to side with Brett Kavanaugh then to except the fact that a woman had endured trauma. The argument was made that if Miss Ford had actually been assaulted she should have said something when they were still in high school, but people ignored the greater purpose of Miss Ford speaking up. The greater purpose of Miss Ford speaking up was to ensure that someone who Was accused of sexual assault was not in a position to make new laws about women and how they control their bodies. Some political figures were more concerned with Brett Kavanaugh‘s confirmation then Christine Ford’s trauma. This reflects a societal shortcomingBecause no matter how vocal a woman is about suffering and trauma, a man’s career has the ability to cause media and society to ignore her.

  8. The Bechdel test is “a set of criteria used as a test to evaluate a work of fiction (such as a film) on the basis of its inclusion and representation of female characters.” (Merriam Webster) The normal criteria of the Bechdel Test are that at least two women are featured in a work, that these women talk to each other, and that they discuss something other than a man. Sometimes, the criteria includes giving the women names, and there have been variations of the test that focus on race and sexuality. For a greater understanding of the definition, listen to the podcast below, including examples that show how some female driven television shows do not always pass, like Grey’s Anatomy.
    The test is not always foolproof in identifying sexist works and has limitations, however the concept itself points out the one dimensionality of many female characters in film or fiction and their presence to merely support male characters, especially in a romantic or sexual nature. The name comes from cartoonist Alison Bechdel, whose comic Dykes to Watch Out For first feautured the concept. I have included the referenced comic below:
    It is said that about fifty percent of films pass this test, and has gotten better over the years. This reminded me of the film 9 to 5, which was referenced in Feminists:What Were They Thinking?. The film passes the Bechdel test, and features three women who, through a comedic story, manage to get equal pay with male employees, flexible work hours, and a daycare at the office for employees with children. However, this is not the norm for films, with many having female characters that are one-dimensional objects rather than fully fledged characters. Some popular films from recent history that do not pass are Ford v Ferrari, Just Mercy, and The Irishman. The problem of women in cinema extends beyond the screen, but in directors, producers, and actresses. In the documentary, filmmaker Wendy J.N. Lee recalls one time at an awards ceremony, saying “I was receiving an award for a film and so they handed the trophies to each director. And when they got to me, they handed it to my actor, who is a man.And then, after that, they ushered the actor onto the backdrop to take all the pictures.” (00:45:54) Due to the overwhelming male influence in the film world, women have been, like Lee, pushed out despite their accomplishments. Women are objectified, exploited, and even abused in the film industry and on the screen. The widely known Me Too movement began after dozens of women accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, and how he utilized his position as a film producer to exploit and abuse them. As we have learned in our readings of hooks, men can use sexual violence as a way to exert power over women. If the film industry cannot support women in real life, how can it be expected to produce feminist works with empowered women?

    Does your favorite movie or television show pass the Bechdel Test?
    How do you think men in the film industry can help solve this problem?

    • Maria–Excellent. I did not know about the Bechdel Test. I’d like to know why Grey’s Anatomy did not pass. It might be nice to post a text version of this test so that we do not have to listen to the podcast to assess our favorite shows.

  9. Captain Marvel and Feminism —
    As another form of literature, movies serve as an alternative medium to reflect and impact culture. The film industry has adjusted to reflect the social environment and massed a large audience and area of influence. Specific genres of movies gain more concentrated fans including the science fiction community and the tales of superheroes. These characters serve as an ideal or hope for the time period with heroes such as Superman moving from the pages of comics onto the silver screen. As the times have progressed, the representation of these heroes on screen has increasingly become a topical subject especially the inclusion of female superheroes.

    The 2019 film from Marvel Studios, Captain Marvel (2019), attempts to address the demand for female superheroes as the main protagonist. The film follows the tale of a woman, Captain Marvel (also known as Carol Danvers), that discovers her full power after being treated as a subordinate that needs to be tamed. The same society that undermines her value also captured her for the sole purpose of controlling and using her body. The movie’s story line attempted to invoke a feminist tone through female empowerment themes as well as aiming the promotional material at women. Despite the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) containing 20 movies prior to Captain Marvel, it was the first movie with a female superhero as the center of the film [Ant Man and the Wasp (2018) was Marvel’s first movie that included a female super-hero in the title, but she was not the title role].

    Although this is not the first instance of a female-fronted superhero movie, at the time of its release it was the highest grossing one release to date with DC Comics’ Wonder Woman (2019) falling in second place.
    Check out the chart that lists the top grossing female-superhero films: https://www.statista.com/statistics/744392/box-office-revenue-female-superheroes/

    These movies represent the increased calling for female representation in media especially that of the strong, independent woman archetype. While there will always be critics on films in regard to the technicalities of plot, pacing, and other components, this film received extreme backlash due to her behaviors as they conflicted with the stereotypical behaviors assigned to women.

    A lot of criticism centered on her “arrogant” personality, but this same trait can be reflected in arguably one of the most loved heroes, Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man. Before he developed within the later installments to the Marvel franchise, his character was that of a narcissistic, snarky billionaire who constantly flaunted his intelligence to undermine those around him. Carol Danvers paralleled this level of self-confidence though it stemmed from a belief in honor and toughness as a soldier rather than that of economic status and intelligence. When the characters are summarized to their core elements, they both represent the same confident, bold tropes, yet the reactions are far different and based off of the response, the main reason is set in the fact Stark is a man and Danvers is a woman.

    These double standards are highlighted in the critic’s response and the audience’s response. Even before the film was released, many “fans” went on a review-bombing raid in a hope to destroy the movie before it even hit theaters. It is important to note that many of these individuals who took part in this motion were men, particularly white men. Through comments such as Captain Marvel was not the “right” female superhero to chose or that she was “too powerful” of a character for the MCU, these men cloaked the anti-feminist sentiment into a vague narrative that the movie was not “good” [note that movie had not been released but these individuals rated it anyways].

    This article highlights this review-bombing raid and breaks down some of the common comments: https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/tv-and-film/captain-marvel-brie-larson-trolls/

    Even the actor herself is constantly attacked due to her portrayal of Carol Danvers. On her Instagram under a promotional post for the movie, a comment reads “Go to hell” while another called her a “#feminazi” to name a few. Despite many fans reporting and deleting the misogynistic comments, she continually receives attacks linked to her character.

    Link to Instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvzca4tDBx1/?igshid=1km3ojfvk1aan

    While this hate festers, there are many people who see her character as inspirational figure to be a strong woman. Although she receives large praise from some groups, the fact she receives a significant amount of hate in regard to her character displays there is much further to go, but to some, this is considered a victory.

    On the other hand, there are arguments that Captain Marvel belittled the concept of feminism by oversimplifying it in a retro-format. Rather than taking on more complex issues, the film made many small steps as displayed in a line “it’s called the cockpit for a reason.” This line is a very blunt misogynistic comment that is now more widely acknowledged as morally wrong than earlier times and this choice let the movie avoid many topical situations [note that Captain Marvel took place in 1995].

    A good article to address the downfalls of Captain Marvel: https://mashable.com/article/captain-marvel-feminism-female-superhero/

    In the documentary, artists and actors, such as Jane Fonda, expressed their concern over the lack of representation of female empowerment and strength. The character of Captain Marvel represents the confidence and pride Jane Fonda and others argued should be displayed and encouraged rather than the submissive, damsel in distress. Although the movie supports the arguments within the documentary, it fails to address the complexity of women and feminism as addressed by hooks. In her work, hooks expanded the construction of feminism to include the leadership of black women and, to further her argument, those beyond the sphere of white privilege. Just as hooks states that it is necessary to include women of all backgrounds, especially black women, these movies must include female heroes beyond the white demographic. In the world of comics, science fiction has allowed for a number of female superheroes from different races and even species yet those chosen to move to the forefront in cinema have mostly been white women. From Captain Marvel to Black Widow to the Wasp to Wonder Woman and countless others, the majority of those chosen have been white [I acknowledge characters such as Catwoman (2004) with Halle Berry and a few other side roles, but the majority remain to be white women]. It is important to acknowledge that the only non-white title character from the MCU is Black Panther [outside of title characters, there is only Falcon and War Machine] but there has yet to be a black woman in the forefront. The intersectionality of women must be portrayed within film to recognize the depth to feminism and female empowerment.

    This article dives into the whiteness within the MCU in relation to the prominence of characters and the diversity in available comic book characters: https://www.forbes.com/sites/anharkarim/2018/10/10/the-marvel-cinematic-universe-is-61-white-but-does-that-matter/?sh=199a7ebf4482

    What do you think? Is the promotion of these movies a step forward or a step back? Should these movies be celebrated as a step forward or just as a continuation of the norm? Does the continuation of white within media outweigh the benefits of female representation? And how does an audience member’s race influence their view of this movie (compare the speakers within the documentary versus hooks)?

  10. This past year we have seen a rise in the abolish Greek life movement in universities all across the country. After the Black Lives Matter movements this summer, many students realized how Greek life is elitist and perpetuates systematic racism. Students from different colleges started Instagram’s account to give a platform where people shared what went behind the scenes of these sorority and fraternity recruitment. The thousands of posts uncovered how truly elitist, sexist, and racist many Greek life organizations are. An article in online political magazine Broad Recognition, by the feminist publication at Yale, perfectly explained why sororities are not feminist organizations, and in exchange they actually are anti-feminism.


    Sororities stem out of the existence of fraternities. The first organization to ever be called a sorority in a university is dated back to 1874, while the first fraternity emerged in 1776. Historically, sororities depend on fraternities to socialize, have parties, or go out. In this section, the article depicts the anti-feminist grounds that these organizations have established.

    “Sororities, as a function of their existence, are complements to fraternities. Sororities, as a function of their existence, are complements to fraternities. The vast majority of sororities are chapters of huge national organizations whose bylaws forbid throwing parties or having alcohol—often even having men in the house is against the rules.”

    “Sisters who want to go to parties and socialize outside of their domestic space are then left to attend ‘mixers’ at whichever fraternity houses they mutually agree to ‘pair’ with
    What then, is the function of a sorority, if it is incapable of functioning independently as a social space in and of itself? The answer, as it seems to us, is that sororities exist to populate the party spaces of their more powerful, more well-funded, more male counterparts. The ‘mixer’, as evidenced by the normalized but truly creep-inducing term itself, is by design a highly sexualized space. It’s a space where men control who gets in the door, where men serve alcohol, and where only men live. It’s a space where sororities provide fraternities with the guarantee of a rotating population of beautiful women to come to their parties and sleep with them on the weekends.”

    “We can’t and shouldn’t shame sorority members for their individual sexual decisions. But what must be understood is that the whole Greek system naturalizes the complete segregation of men and women in all spaces except those intended to promote, well, mating.”

    In this next section, the article speaks on how sororities perpetuate the division of class and keeps the elite apart from the rest in colleges. Also, it talks about Women of color in these organizations.

    “In addition to the obvious gender woes of the Greek system, the question of which sororities mix with which fraternities is also almost always a question of wealth. The most beautiful or highly ranked (read: wealthy) sororities mix with the most handsome and highly ranked (read: rich) fraternities”

    “Recruitment is also based on socioeconomic status. Whereas fraternities allow men to sign up to rush whichever specific fraternity/ies they want, sororities require that all potential members rush every sorority on campus. The consequence of this requirement is a long, exhausting (and as I perceive it from the outside, harrowing) process wherein every rushee attempts to make brief small talk with girls at each sorority in an environment more like a networking event than a party.”

    “All of these things have everything to do with wealth. Traits of conventional beauty—your weight, clear skin, nice hair, cool pics on Instagram—are all highly associated with how much money you have, and how much money your family has.:

    “This, of course, is inextricable from race. Apart from affinity-based Greek life (Black Greek life, Latinx Greek life, etc.) sororities and fraternities are famously full of White people. This is not to say that predominantly White sororities do not have members of color. However, this then begs the question: what is the role of a woman of color in an overwhelmingly white sorority, an institution not only comprised of mostly White people but that ultimately seeks to further the project of Whiteness? On the one hand, it’s easy to imagine that the guarantee of friendship and belonging at a predominantly White institution (PWI) like Yale can be comforting for certain women of color who feel anxious about fitting in.”


    Lastly, I wanted to highlight how these Greek organizations cannot claim that they are feminist organizations. Sororities propagate heteronormative ideology while fully depending on their male counterpart. They limit the possibility of what a true feminist coalition of women could look like. These organizations fail to recognize intersectionality and the importance of looking at feminism as liberation. One should fight racism, classism, and oppression of all along with advocating for women’s rights. Sorority “sisterhood” and “feminism” circles back to the first movement of feminism where white, middle-class, educated women voiced their struggle and their feminism as the generalize of every female’ feminist idea.

  11. Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” to describe how different aspects of one’s identity intersect and impact their life experiences, especially when it comes to Black women and the violence they encounter. In her TED Talk, “The urgency of intersectionality,” she utilizes people’s awareness of Black men who have been killed versus Black women who have been killed to show how “the awareness of the level of police violence that Black women experience is exceedingly low.”
    Check out the full TED Talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality/transcript?language=en
    The concept of intersectionality and how it affects Black women is not only applicable in cases of police brutality, but also in cases of Black women and girls going missing, and how people are quick to overlook how they are disproportionately kidnapped, abducted, trafficked, etc.
    Here is an excerpt from an article:
    “The tens of thousands of Black women and girls who are missing include abductees, sex trafficking victims, and runaways. Black women and girls exist at the intersection of racism and sexism, and quite often poverty. These barriers contribute to disparate and poor outcomes in many arenas, including but not limited to health, wealth, housing, education, employment, food security, access to water, and violence. It is therefore unsurprising that Black women and girls would be overrepresented among people missing in the U.S. They are uniquely vulnerable and too easily erased from public discussions about the alarming trend of missing people.”
    The article also discusses how there is a disturbingly high amount of missing Black girls and women in Washington DC, and while this may seem unique to the nation’s capital, “the harsh reality is that an estimated 64,000-75,000 Black women and girls are currently missing in the U.S.”
    Aside from the lack of media coverage, a large part of why these numbers are so high is because of how law enforcement responds to Black women going missing.
    “Quite often, law enforcement categorize missing Black girls as runaways. Consequently, their cases aren’t treated with the urgency given to those of people who have been abducted. They disappear into a faceless mass of missing children blamed for their attempt to escape untenable situations. Systemic failures render Black girl runaways invisible and, more harrowingly, disposable. Their stories remain untold or unfairly chronicled as tales of juvenile delinquency and criminality. Black girls aren’t afforded the protection of childhood innocence.”
    Check out the full article here: https://womensmediacenter.com/news-features/the-urgent-crisis-of-missing-black-women-and-girls
    Black women going missing at a disproportionate rate, as well as how they are responded to, is only one of many examples of how there is more to one’s experiences than just their gender. In hooks’ book, one of the overarching messages is that feminism is not simply the struggle to end sexist oppression, but to end all oppression, which can’t be done unless we acknowledge the intersectional experiences people face, especially Black women. When discussing early white feminists, she says that “they do not understand, cannot even imagine, that black women, as well as other groups of women who live daily in oppressive situations, often acquire an awareness of patriarchal politics from their lived experience, just as they develop strategies of resistance” (hooks, 11).

  12. In September, Justice Ruth Bader passed, with this arose the opportunity for Trump to bring a request about restrictions on abortion pills to the Supreme Court. Abortion cases were always avoided in the higher courts, until Chief Justice John Roberts joined with others to strike down Louisiana restrictions on abortion providers. This was a major breakthrough for abortion rights supporters but there was still a battle about the “safety” of letting women have abortion pills delivered to them and providing them the right to even have one. A case on abortion in 2022, June Medical Services v Russo, during the presidential election, where anti- abortion and abortion rights groups were spending money to persuade voters, was another way for women to get closer to having the total right to abortions.
    The topic of abortion is tough for feminists, many explain that this is the only power women have and they must fight for it, power over their own bodies. In the documentary we are explained that the men of the era didn’t give women the chance to think for themselves because they believed they knew it all. This is a problem today, where men believe they have the right to argue about what women can do. Cases regarding abortion tend to come and leave the Supreme Court, the ACLU has began to represent abortion rights groups when it comes to challenging a permanent lift of restriction on abortion medication and allow patients to receive in the mail, but republican lawmakers have tried to revoke access through the FDA to the abortion pill entirely.
    A story on a 12 year old sexual assault victim, who was impregnated explains how Alabama’s abortion ban bill, makes life difficult for girls like herself.
    Situations such as these are tough to understand why there is an argument against abortions, they should not only be legal for people like the 12 year old but be available for anyone that needs it. The documentary gives plenty of stories on how these women wish they had the right to get an abortion because they wanted or needed one, but having to almost risk their lives is what they had to do since it was illegal in their time. I would definitely say the document does provide a timeline as well as a great comparison of how things were then and how they are, even though they could be better; helping viewers understand to make a change you must have patience but be headstrong and believe change will come.

  13. While the term “professionalism” is not necessarily negative, it has been changed by people with privilege to discriminate against people who don’t look or act like them. There is an idea that has been put out by modern media that professionalism is embodied by the white male wearing a nice suit (or maybe a white woman wearing a pant suit or blazer with a skirt). However, this picture does not reflect the majority of the population. People have different styles or types of hair or gender expressions, which should not affect someone’s job prospects. Women already have struggles entering the work force, with the deeply ingrained sexism in American society, and women who do not look like the what we know as professional women have even further struggles. In regards to the Kaiser Family Foundation study, I do not believe that the female doctors were jumping to conclusions by acknowledging that the study did not single out women in the field. Women make up over 1/3 of the population of this field, which is a significant portion, and the neglect of their presence is sexist. I have noticed that the medical profession especially has ingrained sexism, in which people trust male doctors more than female doctors, even assuming that female doctors are nurses and need assistance from a male to do their jobs. I think that second wave feminists would be fully supportive of these women who were seeking fulfillment beyond home making and be upset about their being left out of the aconversation discussing health care professionals. Some men had strong reactions against the women who were arguing for inclusion in the conversation, which differs from the discussions of racism and classism because most agree with the struggles faced due to these systems of oppression. In contrast, sexism is often pushed to the side and ignored as a real issue. In general, many men will ignore the cries of feminists, saying that they are needy or that they are already equal. This is false and is showcased daily. Think of the wage gap. Women are paid less than 80 cents to the dollar compared to a man, and that gap grows accounting for further differences including race. This is just one example of the ingrained sexism in our society.

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