Tuesday, December 2, 2008

homework Wk.10

For this assignment I decided to watch a pornographic film. As I was watching this film it was extremely hard not to notice the different forms of violence that were occurring. There was a lot of slapping, forceful grabbing or squeezing, a lot of profanity in the language. As the film continued there were multiple men involved with the one woman so not only was she taking this slapping, squeezing and hair pulling from one man there were now two. I noticed a lot of the profanity in the language was coming from the woman telling the men to "f" her good. I think a lot of young men who watch pornography get the image and assumes that every woman likes it hard and rough. Because men's strength overpowers that of women's strength men might not think they are pulling or tugging as hard as they really are which in turn can hurt the woman. After watching this pornography it really showed many acts that we consider to be violence against women, and male domination over women. 

Homework Wk.9

I thought that the bring a man to class day went very well. I think that a lot of what we said really made some of the guys think, and I think that if they find them in a situation that they will really evaluate themselves and do what is right. I unfortunately was unable to bring a guy to class due to last minute cancellations but watching the other other guys that were brought it seemed like they were listening and were receptive to what was being said. All in all I think the day went very smoothly and there was something that each of those guys took away from the class.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Week 9 and 10

Week 9

I thought the "Bring a Man to Class Day was quite a success. I think when we broke up into smaller groups I think that it gave the men in my group an opportunity to express themselves in a smaller group and feel comfortable. I think its helpful to have a few guided questions nut also leave some room from the freedom of interpretation of discussion questions. I think my group did a good role in helping the participants elaborate on some concepts we clearly understood well. Overall, I think that the discussion that was introduced to the visitors both men and women were great. I think some key things that they were looking for too was how to approach the subject with friends, peers or even other family and that was something that I had no real premise to go from. We helped them understand what an ally is, but I don't think there is one formula in terms of how to be an ally.

Week 10

I watched the slasher film Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. This film is a prime example of violence against women. Most of us know the story line a woman steals a sum of money and takes off out of town. She has to stop driving for fear of utter exhaustion when she comes upon a small and quaint motel. She decides to stay the night, but senses that she won't get much sleep. Of course she is eventually killed in one of the most gruesome ways in the "Alfred Hitchcock time" films. First, I wanted to examine the forms of violence that were evident on a lower end of the continuum of violence. Clearly as she undresses she is being watched through a peep whole by the motel manager. It is very alarming to the audience, yet I think it desensitizes the audience to the ideas that people actually will peep in on you. On the other hand it makes women fear traveling alone, leaving a domestic violence situation, move to a new city. Though the movies intent is not to reinforce these ever so present visualizations of violence against women it is clear. I watch the 2001 version of Psycho but have seen the 19?? versions as well. I think Jackson Katz pointed the concept of how much more sexualized the woman was viewed in the movie. When she is showering you can almost see her being exposed several times, where as the old version there are hardly any aspects of overt sexual invasion. I remember while watching this movie and other scary movies, constantly repeating to myself, "this is not real" over and over and I'm sure there are plenty of people that do the same. By having a mind frame set around not believing you are less likely to actually be aware that these events occur. Somehow I've chalked it up to cinematic art that only the actresses are attacked, while in reality it's any woman and any young girl that is susceptible to the violence against themselves, family or friends.

Weeks 9 and 10

Bring a man to class day:

It was nice to see such a large turn out last week, even though they all seemed a bit uncomfortable at first. Congrats to Channing for getting his other WS teacher to award extra credit and get a few more guys into the room. It was great to hear what these men had to say during the discussion time, especially after they read the sentences describing how women try to protect themselves throughout the day. A suggestion to those who want to educate more men about VAW, The Vagina Monologues is playing at OSU around Valentine's Day. And if you are interested in performing, auditions should be going on soon! The Monologues are a great way to hear (more of) the voices of women who are fighting against violence.

Watching a porn movie:

I watched a "girls gone wild" style movie where the male filmmakers convinced "real" girls to do crazy sexual things on camera. Most of this involved the intoxicated and already scantily clad girls flashing the camera, making out with and stripping other girls and inserting objects like beer bottles between their legs. All of the girls looked very young and the camera guys were quite a bit older. They were constantly trying to get the girls to drink more and cajoling them into doing things that were even more sexually outrageous. After she was finally bullied into doing the most shocking thing they could dream up, the camera guys would laugh at her and call her degrading names. The same pattern repeated itself over and over again; coercing an impaired woman into doing something that she wouldn't usually do and then ridiculing and insulting her for it. I think this type of porn is a more dangerous learning tool than the overtly violent porns. This kind of sexual degradation and harassment is easy use in any situation and on the surface, no one is getting hurt. Young people these days are learning about sex and relationships from these guidelines. These girls wouldn't necessarily have sex with a man in front of a camera but they don't see the harm in flashing or making out with another girl to get guys attention. I used to be one of these girls. My friends and I knew that we would get attention from guys if we kissed or took our clothes off. I didn't think that anything was wrong with it, I wasn't having sex and everything was consentual. But what I realize now is that while we weren't getting hurt, those guys perception of how women should act at parties and around guys was changing to reflect how we acted. I taught my guy friends to expect girls to just walk around in a bra when they are drunk. I helped them get one step closer to feeling up the girls who passed out half naked. Some of them didn't, but some of them did simply because we had been acting like sexual objects and allowing them to treat us without respect. And I have a hand in the fate of any girl who was later mistreated by my guy friends because I thought it was fun to become the sexual fantasy of high school guys.

Week 10 assignment

I decided to go for the most uncomfortable thing to review... pornography. The first thing that I realized about it was how easy it was to find any kind of porn video on the Internet in an instant. There was no age verification, or blocking of any kind. I tried to watch a few of the videos in the archive that I found, but for all of them I found I could not make it more than a few minutes without turning it off. No matter the "category" of video, each video had some sort of violent act committed, and none of the actors or actresses even flinched. There was a lot of ass slapping, chocking, smacking of various body parts, and violent language. All of these acts were done to the women, even if it were another woman doing it. I was shocked by the amount of violence, and the fact that people are aroused by these acts. Especially after taking this class, it has reached a whole new level of disturbing.

Homework Assignment: Week 9 & 10

I thin Bring A Man To Class day went extremely well. Arnufo, my guest, was extremely interested in the class. He brought up some very good points and discussion topics in our small groups. Unfortunately he had to leave for a class, but when we worked together that night he talked about the class and wanted to know what we talked about after he left. He became more aware of how important it is for men to become more involved in advocating for violence against women and how men need to speak up and work with women to make this a known issue in the world.

For the media assignment, I decided to watch The Lost Boys: The Tribe. I'm not too sure if this would be considered a "slasher" film, but after watching the roughly 45 minutes of it that I did, I think it should definitely be considered one! I actually did not know that it was going to be as horrible as it was, in regards to the content of women and the killings!, but once the movie started and I realized how many more than half clad girls there were and "girl-on-girl" action that was present in just the twenty minutes, I thought I should write about it for this assignment. The women characters in this film spent the majority of it in just their bra and underwear and were consistantly seen as throwing themselves at men and being "drugged" (with the blood of the vampires) and taken advantage of. There was even a scene of a woman who seduced the lead character and when she started getting rough with him, he picked her up and threw her against a wall (she died from the antlers mounted on the wall, weird movie, I know!!). This all happened within the first hour of the film. The movie was so awful, degrading, and hurtful towards women that I could not sit through more than an hour of it and had to stop watching it soon after. I was surprised by the movie, especially since the first Lost Boys was about vampires but it was not as gruesome and hurtful towards women. In this movie the main girl character and the extras were objectified and seen as sex objects and nothing more than a thing to drug and take advantage of.

Week 9 and 10 Assignment

Week 9 

I thought bring a man to class day was a great success. We created a warm and inviting atmosphere where our guests felt comfortable and welcomed. It was nice to see how many men came to show their support and willingness to help. I think showing the Jackson Katz film was a good idea because it is geared towards men, it points out the flaws in society rather than simply blaming all men. I was happy to hear that many of the men had insightful contributions that encouraged conversations. My favorite part was having the men read out loud many of the common fears that women have. I think you should continue to do that activity each year. 

Week 10 
For our week 10 assignment I watched a few short pornographic films, which was a new experience for me. I have never really watched porn before and I found it difficult to to watch an entire video so I watched a few shorter clips instead. I found the films to be very degrading. They are all about focusing on the man's pleasure, even if it is painful for the woman. One film feature a young woman in Spain, who had oral, vaginal, and anal sex with middle aged American man while his friend filmed it. There were several times when it was clear the young woman was in pain and reached to stop him, but each time he would reassure her and continue doing it. After watching a few more short clips there are a few things I concluded about the films i watched. First, the number one concern is the man's pleasure and satisfaction because men are the target audience, but this often means the woman is in pain. One example of this that I saw in all the films was women choking as the man inserted his penis into her mouth. The women would cough and gasp once her pulled out and the man would  simply laugh at her and do it again. A second commonality was this enjoyment that the men got from watching women in pain. The article by Robert Jensen focuses on this point. Women in pornography are not depicted as people and so it is acceptable for them to be mistreated. As Jensen says, "in pornography, women are not really people; they are three holes and two hands." The problem with this portrayal of women is that some men carry these ideas into their everyday lives. 

Week 10 Homework

For this assignment I watch a porno or I technically watched two but I fast forward through a lot of it. I've never really sat down and watched one and to say the least it was disturbing. The first one I watched was called "Horny Beg (yes, they spelled it this way) Butts Move Better" and the other one was called "Tasty Teens #30". The first one just showed several couples and threesomes having sex but there wasn't any story line and every scene ended with a "cum shot" to the woman's face. It was disgusting and the women really acted like they enjoyed that. In the second one, there were story lines but one was really disturbing in which three guys in Italy picked up a hooker then one guy would have sex with her and she would also give a blow job to the second guy and the third guy she would give a hand job to, all at the same time! They took turns with her and in one scene they were trying to have anal sex with her but she obviously never had it before. You could hear her crying in the background while another guy was having sex with her from below. You could also see a producer walk towards her and ask if she was doing ok. It was horrible. It ended with all three guys dick hitting her then coming in her face. I always thought porn was degrading but I feel more educated in talking about it now that I have seen one.  

Week 9 assignment

I think that Bring A Man to Class Day went very well! It seemed that most of the men were very open to what we were trying to tell them. My boyfriend, Dave, reacted very positively. He always had a hard time with me after class because I was always in an odd, emotional place after class. He was able to understand why I need time to decompress after class. He, too, needed time to think it all over after class last week. He also wanted to give me a big hug after class, and he wasn't able to express why he had this urge. He told me that he felt like he was a good boyfriend,and I told him that he is!

I think that it went very well over all, and I think it should be continued in this class!

Bring A Man To Class Day

I really enjoyed last Tuesday when all the guys were able to come and watch the video. My boyfriend really enjoyed it but he thought some of it was common sense to him and I had to explain that it isn't common sense for a lot of people, especially men. I really enjoyed having all the other men there and the group discussion that followed. I thought it would have been neat to hear all the men's reaction to it because the other groups seemed to have some good discussions going. I did notice some of the guys getting a little tired as well and noticed the one that fell asleep too. 

HW Week 10

For this week's homework, I watched an old, "b" horror film called "Don't Look in the Basement," or, "The Forgotten." Not what most would call a "slasher" per se, but it was a gruesome horror flick that had a lot of messages embedded in it about our society, including timeless sexism.

This film was made in 1973. It is set in a mental institution in the middle of nowhere, where the patients roam free, and are encouraged to act out their obsessions in mild ways as part of their treatment. The head doctor is killed by one patient with an ax, and one nurse is killed by another patient. Only one nurse remains, and she struggles to regain order. Then... a new nurse arrives, as planned by the deceased doctor. She tries to find her place in the hospital, as odd happenings and deaths continue.

So, for starters, the new nurse that arrives is of course - a young, attractive blond woman that wears nothing but a short nurse's smock. Also, the film definitely plays on our society's discomfort and fear of the insane, and the elderly. What I found most noticeable, was one character, Jennifer. She is represented as an unloved woman, so traumatized by failed relationships that she will seduce anything that moves, hoping for a connection. This includes scarily forcing a repair man to say he loves her. He dies, but she ends up sleeping with his dead body. The actress is nude in the film occasionally, but I don't think she was ever nude right before or during a killing scene. Other patients refer to her as a whore, and I slut I believe, and slap her.

Horror movies are quite a genre. I have to admit, I enjoy watching old horror movies (pre-80's), and this one was decently well made. Creepy, and unexpected at times. I enjoy dissecting these films, and frequently, laughing at them. But I certainly wouldn't want my kids watching these films.

An interesting last note, this films is being re-made, due out next year some time.

HW Week 9

I thought that Bring A Man To Class day went over swimmingly! There were some great discussions, and more importantly - the pizza was delicious!

Seriously though, I was very impressed with our guests, and their interactions with the material during our small and large discussions. Sadly, I think some of our guests, and some of our classmates, still had a bit of an idea that some of the material was "anti-male," or "blaming." But overall, I think most of our guests took a lot out of it.

My primary guest, Mike, is not one to undergo change lightly. He simply doesn't want to think about or wrestle with these ideas. At most, I will see him catch himself when he says "bitch," but mostly for my sake, I think. If I wasn't there... who knows. Mike has a lot of big life issues he's in the middle of right now though, so hopefully this will eventually be incorporated.

This class has been so cool. What a fun event overall! Excellent.