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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Orenstein "Cinderella Ate My Daughter"

In These excerpts from Peggy Orenstein's Cinderella Ate My Daughter, she discusses the effects of the media, specifically the idea of princess culture, on young girls.

"I do not question that little girls like to play princess: as a child I certainly availed myself of my mom's cast off rhinestone tiara from time to time. But when you're talking about 26,00 items (and that's just Disney), it's a little hard to say where "want" ends and "coercion" begins" (Orenstein 16).

Related imageIn this quote, Orenstein discusses how the mass production of the princess culture in our society has made it so that the lines between a child playing what they want, and being led towards a certain interest begin and end. With Disney Princesses specifically, they have taken over the stores and  are everywhere one looks when around items aimed towards young girls, and so if those images are everywhere and all that these young girls are seeing, while it may be something they would have been interested in regardless, the extent of that interest is hard to discover.

"The boys seemed to be exploring the world; the girls were exploring femininity. What they "got" to do may be uniquely theirs, but it was awfully circumscribed" (Orenstein 22).

Here Orenstein discusses how often times it is argued that boys are more limited in the world, because a girl can do things that are seen as masculine, but boys are often criticized for doing anything remotely feminine. But while that may be true, the way our society and the media portrays that femininity to young girls is very limited. The same few ideas of princess, fairy,fairy princess, butterflies, etc. are repeated over and over again and while this is fun and interesting, it is preventing them from having common access to topics more focused in the real world, rather than fantasy. While we've discussed the cumulative cultural text specifically in regards to teens, princess culture is creating a single story for young girls to follow and fall into, which is then reflected in that one story which is projected onto them in their teen years.

"Let's review: Princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by the prince, get married,...and be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Their value derives largely from their appearance. They are ravid materialists. They might affect your daughter's interest in math. And yet...parents cannot resist them. Princesses seem to have tapped into our unspoken, nonrational wishes"(Orenstein 23).
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Through this quote, Orenstein summarizes the main aspects and traits portrayed by princesses, and how even still parents continue to then by into the culture of it for their young girls. She explains that they may embody nonrational, unspoken wishes, in which parents are able to see their children playing in a fantasy world, and completely innocent, as well as living in a world full of fascination. While childhood wonderment is a good thing, aligning it with these negative aspects of solidarity, materialism, and submission to men, it is just furthering this one idea for young girls.

Raby "A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolesence"

In her piece, "A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence" Rebecca C. Raby argues that there are a group of dominant discourses in our society in relation to the discussion of teens. These discourses include, The storm, becoming or the promise,being at-risk, being a social problem, and the idea of pleasurable consumption.

She describes the discourse of the storm as the idea that teens are at a point of emotional and hormonal imbalance, therefore acting out as a storm and tormenting those around them, specifically they're parents.
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"by characterizing adolescence as a turbulent and emotional stage, adulthood is framed as rational, calm, 'evolved' (Lesko 1996a) and knowing" (Raby 433).

Through this quote, Raby is emphasizing the gap that is seen to be created between teens and adults, and how this discourse continues to further that gap. This also furthers the idea that often teens are seen as separate or an alien life form. But as Raby also discusses, teens very commonly are the ones who are described as the storm and it very often is the adults in their lives who are facing emotional distress as they are facing their own midlife crisis, and projecting it onto their teen's adolescence.

Raby describes the discourse of becoming as a point in which teens are seen in between childhood and adulthood, and therefore everything is focused on them getting ready to become an adult.

"Discourses of becoming negate diversity. lesko observes that adolescents...are subject to psychological 'typing' in which they are assumed to ast alike, to have identity crises, and to be outside social and material relations" (Raby 434).

Here Raby discusses some of the negative impacts of the discourse of becoming and specifically how it boxes teens up into one category. The idea of becoming therefore furthers and helps form the cumulative cultural text that is shaped around teens in the media and shows how through doing so, it limits teens access to diversity in the media and that is then reflected in their lives.

The discourse of at-risk describes how teens are seen and portrayed as being at a state of risk, emotionally and physically, due to their wild behaviors and hormone, and therefore must be protected.

"A discourse of teens at-risk...justifies mechanisms of social control, in the name of instilling discipline..., and protection..., and and legislation and proposed legislation that allow for the incarceration of girls who are on the streets at night without due process (Government of Alberta, 1997; Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, 2001)" (Raby 435).
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Through this quote, Raby discusses how the discourse of at-risk teens creates and justifies adults in creating social control. This instills further a sense of uniformity, as well ass placing teens further under others control and limiting their options in regards to expressing themselves. So while teens are seen as being in a stage of becoming, through the at-risk discourse, that sense of becoming is further limited and teens are again seen as alien and separate.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Alexis Jones "Locker Room Talk" says who?

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In her TED Talk, “ ‘Locker Room Talk’ Says Who?”, Alexis Jones discusses advocacy for the prevention of sexual assault, as well as how the solution lies in bringing awareness to and working with boys and men. She specifically discusses her work with college athletes in their locker rooms, and the specific experiences she
has interacting with them. She discusses how the majority of the time, men are seen as the issue,  but in this situation they are also the solution.

Jones argues that in our society, as boys grow up they are strongly influenced by the media portrayals of men and women, and how they should interact with women, and that specifically in our society now with the vast amount of media available at a person’s fingertips, these perceptions are being shaped more and more by the media and porn, and often times are unaware of where their opinions are coming from.
Image result for sexual assault perpetrator statisticsSo often, boys are just allowed to go with the flow and do whatever they please, the whole “boys will be boys” mentality, but this leads to boys being boys but not knowing why they are. Jones stressed the importance of questioning that mentality then, and questioning why, and stop letting things pass by as common sense.

So often the issue of rape and sexual assault is discussed as how to help women after they’ve been raped, and how to help them protect themselves from being raped, but not focused on teaching boys not to rape. This goes back to Croteau and his discussion of the media framing ideas into falling under the ideas of common sense. People telling boys not to rape seems like common sense because rape is bad, and everyone likes to believe that their son/student/athlete or whatever is a good person and therefore won’t rape. But it is much more than just good and bad, and while it is known as bad, it is not portrayed that way in the media, specifically the media which young boys have access to. So while many people are falling under the idea that it is common sense that everyone knows that rape is bad, young men are getting opposite messages from the media, and having it be ingrained into their mind as it being “cool to fuck chicks” and natural to express themselves through violence and to get what they want, which in the end leads to sexual assault. But at the same time, I am not saying that they just don’t know that rape is bad, because they do, but they have these representations from the media which justifies it to them.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Selfiecity and "No Selfie Day"

In Teen Vogue’s article “Why You Should Totally Participate in ‘No Selfies Day’” they discuss the idea of selfie culture and it’s affects on self-esteem. Throughout the the article, they discuss the dominant discourse of selfies and selfie culture being associated specifically with teens. Contrarily to the article though, on the selfiecity website, it is shown that selfies are most commonly taken and posted by young adults in their early to mid twenties.
Image result for baseball game selfie
Many of you will probably remember this selfie here which
was a part of a big story in the media when these young college
students were caught taking selfies at a baseball game and
were called out by the announcers as being self centered
and caring more about themselves then the game. 
The way selfie culture is examined in our society relates back to Raby’s piece “A Tangle of Discourses”. Selfie culture and teens is then able to be explained by the discourses of “the storm”, “at-risk teens” and that of “becoming”. The Teen Vogue article discusses how selfies are used to improve one’s self esteem and through editing create the image they want to project of themselves, but also how this can negatively backfire when this does not get the feedback they were looking for. This exemplifies the idea of teens being fragile and also being at risk of low self-esteem, as they are seen as not being able to handle any negative feedback. Also, teens are seen as being in a state of becoming, Raby discusses how the teen years are seen as a point where a teen is working towards becoming an adult and forming their true identity. Raby also discusses in how in response to the idea of teens being seen as at-risk, it creates this feeling of a need to protect, control, and censor teens. The idea of even just having a “no selfie day” is acting out to try to protect teens from hurting their self esteem. While I’m not saying that selfies don’t have any negative effects on self-esteem, I agree with what Bristol posted in that they are more often associated with self-love.  

Even Lemon has jumped into
the world of the selfie

This idea of selfie culture also relates back to Bogad’s “Framing Youth” which states, “we come to know youth as a ‘tribe apart’ (Hersch, 1998) with customs, languages, and rituals all of their own”. Even just the name of “selfie culture” shows how selfies have been created into an entirely different teen culture that needs to be scientifically and culturally examined to be understood, so much so that just googling "selfie culture" brings up hundreds of articles all on whether or not it is "out of control" or "the root of all evil". Also, how as stated above, selfies are most popular with young adults in their early twenties, many of whom were teens just a few years before, are left out of that idea of teen culture. Of course there is the whole stigma of being a technology addicted millennial that those young twenty somethings face from older generations, but they are still mainly left out of that teen culture and the stigmas associated with it.

Media Matters

To start with the forming of my ideas of teenagers, I got the majority
of my information from the Disney Channel, Hannah Montana,
High School Musical
(and HSM2) , Stuck in the Suburbs, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
were my overall favorites. They were my first real exposure to teens and high school.  I think the 
biggest impact of all of these wasthe character of Maddie Fitzpatrick from the Suite Life. 
She was a smart and studious, hard working '"good girl" and 
When I was eight or nine I wanted to be just like her and a lot of my personality was really 
framed by her as a character. I related to her as a kid,being from a big family with not a lot of money,
 and I really valued a lot of the same things, and these carried over into the first half 
of my teenage years and really formed how I approached being 
a teen. 

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From January of my junior year to October of my senior year of high school,
I had read Looking for Alaska by John Green somewhere around 11 to
13 times. I carried my copy of this book with me everywhere I went, and was reading it
 constantly. During my junior year, I went through a huge transition as a person, and as I did,
I kept this book by my side, quotes from it were everywhere, in my journal, written in sharpie on
my skin, in papers I wrote for school. I used it as a guide as I went about my last two years
of high school, and it really shaped how I went about social situations and academics.

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Tumblr. was the main social media I used throughout high school. It was a social
media platform that was completely separate from any adults that I knew, as well
as separate from any people from my school, it was an exposure to teen life beyond just
my town. While a lot of my blogging was puns and pictures of Taylor Swift, I interacted
with people and posts, in a space where a lot of teens felt that they could just be teens.
It was exposure to political discussions and varying views than those I got from my home,
and everyone was more willing to discuss their opinions and experiences, as well as just
popular teen culture of shows, music, movies, etc.

Image result for taylor swift speak now era
I know there's only supposed to be three of these but I needed four because
I realized I forgot about Taylor Swift. She became my absolute fave when I was in 7th grade
and with that, I began to braid my hair every night so that the next day it would be curly.
I went through a period where I tried writing my feelings into songs ("Argyle Sweater" really
 could have been a hit) and then there was the whole cowboy boots every day for a year thing.
But beyond that, she was shown as  the epitome of being a teen icon, and while she was in
the beginning of her twenties when I was a teen, her music and music videos were all aimed towards
teens. She specifically exemplified and shaped my understanding of young relationships, as well as
dealing with other life and high school teen things. Often, comments like "it's like she read my
diary and wrote a song about it" were made by both myself and other teen girls, and that really made
her music eem so realistic and representative of teens. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

About Me

Hi I'm Becca. I can often be found singing
a rendition of "Where are you Christmas?" year round
(as is happening in the above picture). 

My niece Lemon and Jess- my two favorite gals. 
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This winter I recently started skateboarding
and it's one of my new favorite hobbies, and I'm really looking
forward to the warm weather to get to skate more this summer!
(p.s. that's the same board I have but not my feet or pic)
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I work at Burger King as well as Old navy. 

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I Love my RSA fam! 
oh, and also I can be pretty corny sometimes. 

Orenstein "Cinderella Ate My Daughter"

In These excerpts from Peggy Orenstein's Cinderella Ate My Daughter, she discusses the effects of the media, specifically the idea of p...