In class we reviewed many of the problems in society relating to gender inequality. We listened to the song “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce. In the song there are many emerging themes that relate to gender inequality and the readings we did for this week. Particularly to Landry (2000), who examined the difficulties that black women often face as being seen by others as virtuous. These women were “faced with the prevailing views of white society that placed them outside the boundaries of true womanhood”(Landry 2000:286). In the song Beyonce, tells women to stand up and unite, congratulating those women who graduate and have a high powered position in society. Also talked about in class was the struggle that women and particularly black women had to gain the right to vote. Some of the biggest agents of social control are those in the white house. Gender inequality is shown in the Senate where only 17 of the 50 members are women. In class we talked about the sexual revolution and some of the movements that came with it, including the emergence of adolescence as a social category, mass media, and the birth control pill. We then went on to talk about the six hindrances to the development of a radical theory of sexuality. Sexual essentialism describes how we as a culture fundamentally think that men and women are inherently different. This was shown during recitation when we watched the videos showing children pointing to a female or male Barbie when asked questions like “who cleans the house”. The video showed how children even at a very young age can distinguish what gender is. In the second class this week we looked at an interesting website that showed the different Time magazine covers comparing the US to Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. There were omission of some of the cover stories with headlines like “Why the US will never save Afghanistan.” We discussed why there might be different covers, coming up with ideas like, the US doesn’t want to see covers with negative headlines towards our country. This all relates to social control, the omission of these headlines creates control over what Americans read. We then went on to talk about Trayvon Martin, who was murdered in February by a man named Zimmerman. It is crazy to know that there was no charges put out against Zimmerman, since a 17 year old boy was killed with only skittles and an ice tea on him. After a couple of months he was finally arrested due mostly to the press associated with it, not only just in the US but also internationally. This and other stories like that of an elderly black man named Chamberline that was murdered by police officers shows us some ways that white privilege works. For those who killed the black men they have white privilege and don’t have to worry about the consequences.
-Written By: Natalie Rechter