Let’s Have A Chat

Author: Sierra Nakano

 

Asian American: Does that make me Asian or American?

 

You, my friend, treat me as if I am full Japanese,

when in reality, I am only half. Therefore, you say,

I am a minority and I can feel the implications

of racism, I perceive the threats and discriminations

as an Asian American in this white world

and I should not stand for any of it. I should

argue the rights I have and mock those

with lighter skin, those who are only attacked

with prejudice and not racism because white

is not a race. As an Asian American, I should

stand with those who look like me, like you,

whose race is fully Asian. But, alas,

my friend, I am only half.

 

I am only half. Do you see my German side? Do you see

that I am white, what you perceive as white,

which is everyone in the western hemisphere? Do you hate me,

my friend, for my Nikes or even for being voted

team captain? Did I get those things because I am white? Would

you hate my mother if I invited you into my home? Dislike

my grandparents because they were not refugees like

your parents? Did you even know that my grandfather changed

his last name when he immigrate to this country

so that he did not seem out of place? Did your parents and my grandparents

not have anything in common? Do I not look white

just because of my dark hair and brown eyes? Besides,

what are “white people” if not a race?

 

And, my friend, who are “white people?”

Dutch? German? English? Spanish? Canadian?

You hate the “drama,” “white people” “stir up”

and everything they say…but why? Because

they are privileged? All of them?

When we chat, do you realize who you

are talking to? Who you are talking about?

 

Oh you have a white friend? Never mind

all that nonsense then, my friend.

Women’s Representation in Television

Author: Sabrina Leverett

Below are two charts comparing women’s representation in two popular shows, Friends and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. These charts are used to exploit the disparities that exist in women’s representation in older television shows as well as newer ones.

Friends

Category Amount MCs?
White 12 Yes
Black 1 No
Latina 1 No
Asian 0 No
Disabled 0 No
Child 0 No
18-25 3 No
25-40 10 Yes
40 and older 0 No
Bigger 0 No
Smaller 14 Yes

 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Category Amount MCs?
White 9 Yes
Black 6 No
Latina 4 Yes
Asian 2 No
Disabled 0 No
Child 0 No
18-25 8 No
25-40 9 Yes
40 and older 1 No
Bigger 0 No
Smaller 21 Yes

 

Since I don’t have cable, I decided to compare two of my favorite comedies, Friends and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I used a random number generator to pick the episode I watched. Friends is quite an older show and almost infamous for how little diversity it has, along with other offensive elements such as lesbian fetishization, transphobia, etc. On the other hand, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is generally pretty diverse and has little to no offensive elements.

From what I gathered, it is clear to see that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a lot more diversity when it comes to women’s bodies, but it does still have work to do. Both Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Friends have no representation for larger women, with every woman in both of the shows being slim. In addition, both shows have little to no older women or disabled women in them. This shows a pattern of exclusion that is not getting better. While the amount and race of women (whether it be extras or main characters) has progressed over time, other types of women don’t seem to be getting much better.

Although this is not shown in the chart because it’s not directly related to women’s bodies, I’d also like to include that both shows have no representation of queer women whatsoever. In Friends, there is the occasional episode with Ross’ lesbian wife, but when she is in episodes she’s often the butt of a joke or the subject of fetishization. While Brooklyn Nine-Nine does have queer male representation, there is no explicit female representation (although one of the actresses has tweeted before that she believes her character is bisexual).

(Cis) Women’s Bodies Are Being Used to Further the Transphobic Agenda, and It’s Not Okay

Author: Ashley Benedict

Have you ever had to make the difficult choice of which public restroom to use? Probably not, because society has conveniently given us gender coded signs to show us where we should “go”. Men head towards the sign with the pants, and women head towards the sign with the dress. It’s all very… binary, and it can leave those who fall outside of society’s gender expectations feeling not only ostracized, but beyond stressed.

Under Title IX, the right of transgender students in public schools to use whichever bathroom coincides with their gender identities is protected. Except, not anymore. Public schools have now been “advised” to no longer adhere to this crucial right. And who are the ones being used as the scapegoat? Cisgender women.  Continue reading

Question of the Day

Call for Submissions: Spring Break!

Author: Ashley Benedict

Spring break is here, and most of us will be traveling, volunteering, working, or watching Netflix for the week. (And trying to catch up on school work, though we’ll likely procrastinate on that).

What else can you do, if you find the time? Well, you can submit to Feminist Voices!

Unfortunately, as the intern for this blog, I will not be able to actively check the e-mail for most of Spring Break (though I do have posts scheduled for the week) but I’m hoping that some of you will take this week off as an opportunity to submit some work for me to come back to!

For those who aren’t sure what to write about, here are some recent issues you can build ideas from:

  • Recent anti-semitism and anti-muslim hate crimes throughout the country
  • Immigration reform
  • Transgender rights
  • Clean energy and cutting funds to the EPA
  • HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
  • “Religious freedom” to discriminate

The Women’s Center accepts all kinds of submissions, including, but not limited to:

  • Persuasive essays or personal stories
  • Creative writing, e.g., poetry, flash fiction, short stories, etc.
  • Book/movie reviews – anything that critically examines current events or media sources and their impact on social justice issues
  • Photography (along with a brief description of how the photograph relates to a specific topic)
  • Audio/visual, e.g., songs, skits, commentary videos, etc. (Note: for those interested in submitting audio or video pieces, please visit our FAQs page).
  • Art pieces that make a statement
  • Satirical comics or comics that address feminist myths, current social issues, etc.
  • Ideas for our Question of the Day polls

Check out our Get Involved page to find out more! We at the Women’s Center encourage submissions from anyone who wishes to share their opinions and let their voice be heard. You can also draw ideas for posts from our theme of the month!

The theme of the month for March is:

theme-of-month-2

Take this break to think about how you can contribute and what issues you are passionate about. Your voice matters! Contact us through the contact page or send in submissions or questions to gvsufeministvoices@gmail.com

Hope everyone has a relaxing break!

Zero Discrimination Day

Author: Ashley Benedict

Today, March 1st, has been anointed as “Zero Discrimination Day” for 2017. In a nutshell, this is a day that promotes diversity and recognizes that everybody counts. The theme this year is the role of discrimination in healthcare, specifically pertaining to those who live with HIV/AIDS, and below is a video that highlights this issue:

Here is an interactive website with stats pertaining to a number of issues worldwide.

Non-discrimination is a human right, and so is universal healthcare. Data from 50 countries from the People Living with HIV Stigma Index show that 1 in 8 people living with HIV report being denied health care. Around 60% of European Union/European Economic Area countries report that stigma and discrimination among health-care professionals remains a barrier to the provision of adequate HIV prevention services for gay men and people who inject drugs.

From UNAIDS website and press release statement: “This year we are calling on everyone to make some noise for #zerodiscrimination. Individuals and communities can join voices and transform the world. Zero Discrimination Day is an opportunity to highlight how everyone can be part of the transformation and take a stand for a fair and just society.” In this day and age, it’s imperative that we become aware of acts of discrimination and work to dismantle our own prejudices.

How do you stay mindful of possible acts of discrimination committed by both by yourself and others? Do you call out acts of discrimination when they occur? Do you plan to? Let us know by sending submissions to gvsufeministvoices@gmail.com

Environmental Justice is Social Justice: Winona LaDuke

Author: Ashley Benedict

It’s hard to care about the environment. We are conditioned to take advantage of what we’re given without ever thinking about how we personally impact the physical world around us. We are accustomed to using plastic bags that will inevitably end up in the ocean, throwing away our trash without debating whether or not it can be recycled, and littering items that will never degrade. We buy brand name products, never pondering about who made these items, or what their working conditions are like, or how much they get paid by the hour. We don’t think about where these companies dump their waste and who is affected by the pollution. We don’t contemplate the thousands of oil spills that happen yearly as we fill the gas tanks in our cars, and the thousands of gallons of oil that poison our land and water, or the poisonous carbon dioxide that becomes trapped in our atmosphere. We don’t think about the millions of people that these issues impact, and how they affect our own lives in return.

Continue reading