Democracy or Dictatorship

I was unaware that Trump began to rescind the already little amount of protections for transgender students. It is terrifying to me that one man is given all this power and is hiring individuals in powerful positions who share the same hateful values. It feels like more of a dictatorship than a democracy at this point. Honestly, I am scared for the LGBTQ community, as well as all minority groups, including women and reproductive rights. Gavin Grimm is fighting against his school board and it is very likely this case will make it to the Supreme Court. This issue, although local in Grimm’s case is a nationwide issue that may very soon erupt. The only downside is that the LGBTQ community is relatively small, compared to the women’s march, the population hardly compares, it will be difficult to make a difference if the group has a small following. This is not just an LGBTQ fight, this is a fight for minorities, for basic human rights, but conservatives are very reluctant to change with the times and unfortunately, it seems that they are running the country. America used to be referred to as the melting pot, but now that America truly captures that name, people seem so adverse to anyone who is even a little bit different. I understand that there are a lot of other important issues going on nationally and internationally, but any issue regarding the LGBTQ community is generally pushed aside and hardly ever publicized. This is an issue regarding human rights, and until people start viewing transgender individuals as valid and legitimate members of society there will be little to no progress to improve their lives. The way that I understand transgender and its legitimacy is the way I feel wearing a sundress (hear me out). I am a heterosexual white woman who is constantly told to dress up and wear sundresses and ‘girly’ clothes. The feeling that I have whenever I put on a sundress is cringeworthy, I feel so uncomfortable and that I am not ME. I take that feeling and I amplify it 100 times and I believe that is how it feels to be trans. Feeling like you don’t belong in the skin you’re in, constantly wanting to be someone else. Of course this is all I have to base it on, but I try to use this example to explain to skeptics and it seems to get them to understand a little bit more. I can’t imagine living that way everyday and having the majority of the nation delegitimizing everything that I feel and making life-changing laws based on those close-minded views. Just because the lawmakers are not harmed does not mean that other people are not drastically effected.

Appearance is Imperative

In our society, we like to focus on the superficial. We focus on material possessions and aesthetic qualities rather than morals and values. As discussed in class, the film, Beauty, and the Beast, displays an underlying standard all too familiar in our society, appearance is imperative. While Belle falls in love with the personality of the Beast, the movie can not have closure until the beautiful woman ends up with a beautiful man. The majority of Disney movies, similar to Beauty and the Beast, revolve around western conceptions of beauty. The demographic of these films are typically young girls, introducing an unrealistic standard of beauty for prepubescent children. It is ridiculous that society has such an obsession with presentation and appearance. It makes me wonder what the world would be like if people were taught that interactions and morals were more important than appearance. Through these films, which can easily be distinguished as gender propaganda, women and men are directed into certain gender roles and told to act/look specific ways in order to be accepted. Continue reading “Appearance is Imperative”

The Pressures of Masculinity

In class, we discussed a variety of traits associated with masculinity, as well as the pressures that follow stereotypical ideals of masculinity. The reading, “Reenfleshing the Bright Boys”, is controversial to many for its comparison of oppression between the female and male gender. The article argues that the genders are “symmetric”, men are as equally oppressed as women. While I understand the argument, I refuse to acknowledge that men don’t have a supremest and more authoritative position within society, based on their sex. We live in a patriarchy, where male privilege very much exists. Although men do face pressures to maintain a masculine persona, women have to overcome innumerable obstacles just to achieve the same position as a man. Men are socialized at a young age to be dominant, the primary trait associated with masculinity and success. Meanwhile, women are raised to be passive and submissive. The differential socialization of men and women exhibits a vast asymmetry in the genders and the individualized oppression they face. This reading made me think of a book written by Michael Kimmel, titled “Guyland”. The book focuses on the male perspective of our gendered society, the ‘objective’ perspective and the pressures/influences which motivate young boys to mature into masculinity-obsessive men. As stated previously, men are entitled to feel pressured due to a social obligation to appear masculine, but it is not equal to the oppression women face in the public and private sphere. In class, I hope to further discuss the pressures of institutionalized masculinity and its effect on male behavior towards women (gender aggression/violence).