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Feminist Rage: Classroom Edition

Today was one of those days where I hate my major. I am an Electronic Media Technology major and being in a tech-related program means that most of my fellow eMedia students are male. This is not as awesome as you may think it is. This is not a case of "I am an available female constantly spending class time with a number of available, eligible males." This is more like a case of "I am a terminally single female surrounded by males who fall way below the standard I have set for myself, or that any woman with self respect should set for herself."

Don't get me wrong - I love me some geeky dudes. But there's a difference between being attractively geeky and being one of those guys who plays WoW for 14 hours straight in his parents' basement. That is not sexy at all. And if you are one of those dudes, I suggest you go out and get some sunlight. You should probably bathe first, though.

There are a few exceptions, but most of the guys in my program fall into the latter category. And as they spend a lot of time together, they tend to suffer from what I refer to as "behavior echoing and amplification". That's when a group of people that act and think similarly are together for a long period of time and begin to think that their behavior is widely acceptable. They all think and behave the same way and echo these thoughts and behaviors back to other members of the group. Individual members of the group are now validated and increase this behavior, resulting in amplification as a whole. There's no one there with a dissenting viewpoint, so they come to believe that their way of thinking and behaving is acceptable.

This came into effect today during my Media Design Applications class. Our homework had been to put together a digital portfolio and we were doing peer reviews. For the reviews, our professor shows the work to the whole class on a projector. He brought up a folder containing the work of a male student and opened one of the files.

The file in question was an image in the style of a Demotiovational poster. The photo was of a young woman with a cut and bloody cheek. The hand she had under her chin was bloody as well. The text underneath read, to paraphrase because I can't remember the exact wording, "Communication: Pay attention the first time and you won't have to be told twice."

It felt like I myself had been slapped in the face. As I sat there, stunned into paralysis, classmates talked about the Photoshop work that had been done to enhance the stage makeup on the woman's face and clean up the image, but not the offensiveness of the image. They questioned whether the image was appropriate for a portfolio, not the appropriateness of the image in general.

No one said anything until I raised my hand and said, "This is inappropriate. People will find this extremely offensive." The whole room understood my implied "I am extremely offended by this." and got quiet, like the thought had not occurred to them. And suddenly I felt all eyes in the room on me.

For the rest of the quarter, I'm going to be known amongst my Media Design Applications classmates as the girl who got all bitchy over one stupid joke. I don't care. If you let something like that slide once, it'll slide by a hundred more times. If I stayed silent I would be sending the message that it's perfectly okay to advocate hitting a woman and find it humorous. Without the dissenting voice, they just keep echoing and amplifying that behavior.

I don't care how small an incident it was. It's not acceptable. It's not a joke.

I hope you like your right hand, buddy, because no self-respecting woman is ever going to touch you.

ETA: Jesus tap-dancing Christ what the fuck is going on with guys and misogyny today?! NOTICE: The group/fanpage/what-the-fuck-ever-Facebook-is-calling-things-these-days that you can "like" called "Not being raped by Ben Roethlisberger" not only makes light of the fact that a man has allegedly gotten away with multiple sexual assaults because he's a football player, but is insensitive to his alleged victims. I have told several people that if someone on my feed liked it they would be instantly defriended, no exceptions. Someone just found out how absolutely I was not kidding when I said that.


Feb. 9th, 2010

Why Taylor Swift Offends Little Monsters, Feminists, and Weirdos

This is a very interesting piece that I pretty much agree with 100%. Especially the sentiment of liking Taylor Swift as a person, but not so much loving the product that she's selling.

Sucking the Quileute Dry

Ugh, this makes me absolutely sick. I was already kind of pissed at SMeyer for appropriating and misrepresenting the Quileute culture (some people are saying she's just clueless but given her attitude about doing research of any kind, her willful ignorance is just as bad as doing it on purpose) and the Summit/Hot Topic people for the cringe-y wolf pack merchandise. I seriously can't even look at that merchandise without feeling major second-hand embarrassment. But to learn that the Quileute nation isn't seeing a dime of the profits made off that exploitation? Rage inducing.

If the whole Twilight machine wasn't only concerned with profits, this would actually be a good opportunity to educate our generation about Native American culture and the problems facing reservations. Then maybe something good will have come out of this ungodly phenomenon.