Posts Tagged ‘gender socialization’

I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE

I love being a girl.
I can feel what you’re feeling
as you’re feeling it inside
the feeling
before.
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend’s really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won’t call back.
It’s a vibe I share.

I am an emotional creature.
I love that I do not take things lightly.
Everything is intense to me.
The way I walk in the street.
The way my mother wakes me up.
The way I hear bad news.
The way it’s unbearable when I lose.

An excerpt from Eve Ensler’s book I am an Emotional Creature.

Eve Ensler has also written:

The Vagina Monologues

Necessary Targets

The Good Body

Insecure at Last

A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer (editor)

Ensler is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. And she is one of my role models. Rock on woman.

VDAY: A Global Movement

Buy I am an Emotional Creature (it\’s AMAZING!)

The V-day logo

Image via Wikipedia

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FOR EVERY GIRL WHO IS TIRED OF ACTING WEAK WHEN SHE IS STRONG, THERE IS A BOY TIRED OF APPEARING STRONG WHEN HE FEELS VULNERABLE.

FOR EVERY BOY WHO IS BURDENED WITH THE CONSTANT EXPECTATION OF KNOWING EVERYTHING, THERE IS A GIRL TIRED OF PEOPLE NOT TRUSTING HER INTELLIGENCE.

FOR EVERY GIRL WHO IS TIRED OF BEING CALLED OVER-SENSITIVE, THERE IS A BOY WHO FEARS TO BE GENTLE, TO WEEP.

FOR EVERY WOMAN WHO IS TIRED OF BEING A SEX OBJECT, THERE IS A MAN WHO MUST WORRY ABOUT HIS POTENCY.

FOR EVERY WOMAN WHO FEELS “TIED DOWN” BY HER CHILDREN, THERE IS A MAN WHO IS DENIED THE FULL PLEASURES OF SHARED PARENTHOOD.

FOR EVERY WOMAN WHO IS DENIED MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT OR EQUAL PAY, THERE IS A MAN WHO MUST BEAR FULL FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

FOR EVERY BOY FOR WHOM COMPETITION IS THE ONLY WAY TO PROVE HIS MASCULINITY, THERE IS A GIRL WHO IS CALLED UNFEMININE WHEN SHE COMPETES.

FOR EVERY WOMAN WHO WAS NOT TAUGHT THE INTRICACIES OF AN AUTOMOBILE, THERE IS A MAN WHO WAS NOT TAUGHT THE SATISFACTIONS OF COOKING.

FOR EVERY GIRL WHO THROWS OUT HER E-Z-BAKE OVEN, THERE IS A BOY WHO WISHES TO FIND ONE.

FOR EVERY BOY WHO IS STRUGGLING NOT TO LET ADVERTISING DICTATE HIS DESIRES, THERE IS A GIRL FACING THE AD INDUSTRY’S ATTACK ON HER SELF-ESTEEM.

FOR EVERY GIRL WHO TAKES A STEP TOWARD HER LIBERATION, THERE IS A BOY WHO FINDS THE WAY TO FREEDOM A LITTLE EASIER.



Original poem can be found at:

http://www.workplacespirituality.info/ForEveryWoman.html

American boys walk in packs

playing dress up in

small towns, boulevard

walking along panels

illuminated of glass.


American boys get violent

scared straight

sending vibes like

small atom bombs

fallout smells of

musk, fear, Old Spice,

Boy Scouts.

 

American boys and mall-metal podcast

haircuts get the better

of me, an American boy,

hapless in fashion’s prison

culturebound to ignoramus

brethren, fatuous

fumbling for cigarette

taunting nervous girl

as she walks by alone.

 

American boys atomic and atomizing

walk strong in tough

group same shirt

bent brim hat to

Senor Frog shooter

night for to make

get drunk, get pussy,

get real stupid drunk

like television drunk.

 

We too Americans, boys

caught somewhere

nomadic in packs

snapping fingers

giggling in 7/4

rearrangers of names

becoming sounds blasts

of rhythm without

territory or time,

 

We too America(n), boys,

despite it all,

laugh it out

have it out

have a drink

have a smoke

have a conversation

interrupted

by cell phone

new conversation

text message

on virtual

co-planar getting

co-planar getting

sick.

 

Let’s start a fire, America.

Let’s do away with

Boys Who Will Be Boys.

Let’s become something else.

 

-Patrick D. Higgins


We Can Do It PosterIn World War II over six million women joined the home front war effort in America, filling jobs that had been exclusively male. Produced by the War Production Co-coordinating Committee, the “We Can Do It!” poster created in 1943 by J. Howard Miller inspired women entering the workforce. 1942’s popular song, “Rosie the Riveter” became a nickname for all women in the war workforce, as well as what this iconic poster became known as. As men returned from WWII, most women left the factories, but the confidence, competence and earning power they had experienced forever changed the American workplace. Over time Rosie has become an icon symbolizing women’s strength, determination and ability to do any job. The Rosie the Riveter advertisement is effective in that it encouraged women to go against their society’s gender norms and generate force behind their new role and service to their country.

            When first visually analyzing this advertisement, we can see that the main elements being projected are attitude and power. The text “We Can Do It!” is large and the only text present; it is significant because in this one short statement, these words of encouragement and confidence had enough power to convince women they could contribute and be just as strong as men. This poster is unique because it portrays feminine and masculine qualities. Rosie is showing feminine qualities by wearing makeup and lipstick, her eyes are large and dramatic, and her hair is curled and pinned up in a red and white polka dot bandana. Contrasting to what qualities women were expected to have in that time period, Rosie is also wearing a men’s work shirt, the symbol on her shirt is a woman instead of a man, her hair is covered, and most importantly she is holding a very strong and masculine stance. Her facial expression shows plenty of attitude, especially with her direct stare, showing no fear or doubt. The advertisement shows that although she might look feminine, her actions show hyper-masculinity. Rolling up her sleeve shows that she is ready to work hard and portrays that she has strength and power that no one knew she possessed.

            In observing the Rosie the Riveter poster, we can similarly compare it to the famous Uncle Sam Wants You poster. Although both were created to persuade men and women separately for different reasons, the confidence and power generated from each are similar. Rosie the Riveter is all confidence and encourages women to take on a new role and embrace their strength. In an androcentric society, this message exerts that women can step out of the homemaker role and can handle the responsibility of a man’s job as well. This debut of strong women everywhere stated that it was women’s time to step up and their opportunity to take on more power. Our government called upon the highly androcentric society of the 1940s and asked women everywhere to reverse their roles and fight the gender norms constructed for them in order to help keep the country running. Rosie the Riveter forced women to be more than what society told them they could be.

            Although modern America has largely evolved from the created roles and values that were enforced in the 1940s and 1950s, R.W. Connell, author of Gender: Short Introductions, makes an observation that can be liberally applied to women’s roles, regardless of the current decade. Connell explains that, “women do most of the housework, in most contemporary societies, and also most of the work of caring for young children. Women are much less likely to be present in the public realm than men, and when they are, they usually have less in the way of resources” (pg.2). This is, in short, what women were faced with when the men of the United States went to war. In this “post-feminist” world, there has been a huge increase in the number of women in the workforce and working the same jobs as men, at usually the same hours or more. However, Connell says that worldwide, women’s average incomes are fifty-six percent that of men’s average incomes. In perspective, our society is economically set up so that women must be dependent upon men.

            “People construct themselves as masculine or feminine. We claim a place in the gender order- or respond to the place we have been given- by the way we conduct ourselves in everyday life” (Connell, 28). The Rosie the Riveter advertisement was effective in that it sparked a revolution that allowed women to take power for themselves and generate a force that was bigger than them, to accomplish new roles and responsibility in order to serve their country. However, from the historical demands from reform of social movements regarding women in the workforce, reproductive rights, homosexual law and many more, we still see today that there is unequal respect amongst the relations between men and women in our society. Gender is completely socialized by the people we surround ourselves with and by our relations with the values and beliefs that our social structures provide. Cultural patterns differ, yet gender will always be taught. We must stray away from the thought that the human race is so black and white, and try to reform what has been instilled inside us by learning that gender is just another social structure in our society.