SBS 318-42 (43214): Race, Class, and Gender
EXAM # 3
Kesselman, Chapter III: 120-125, 134-139 & Ping, Chapter 2. Respond to the questions or statements and fill in the blanks of the incomplete statements.
1. According to Wolf, the West pretends that all of the beauty stems from one ideal platonic woman; however, she also points out to two non-Western counterexamples to the Western concept of beauty. What are these two non-Western counterexamples of beauty?
Naomi Wolf in her book " The Beauty Myth" writes that the West believes in a concept of beauty which stems from the idea of a platonic ideal woman.According to her, the concept of beauty is not universal and fixed, it changes across cultures.She mentions two examples to support this.The first "Maoris admire a fat vulva" and second."Padung, droopy breasts".Maoris are people of indigenous Polynesian origin in New Zealand.Padung people like droopy breasts which is in contrast to the western concept of breasts.
2. According to Wolf, economist John Kenneth Galbraith has provided us with an economic explanation for "homemaking” to be viewed by society as a “higher calling”. Explain how Galbraith analysis homemaking in a paragraph of 7-9 sentences. What are the characteristics of homemaking role for American women? How does the economy benefit? What do the economy and advertising have to do with the women’s gender role of homemaking? What is the real reason for “homemaking” to be viewed as a “higher calling”?
John Kenneth, when talks about homemaking as a higher calling clearly refers to the fact that women play a major role in making the industrialization to grow to a higher level. He says that because of the commercialization of beauty and creation of beauty as something which is in terms of physical bodily beauty, more and more females are lured by this beauty myth. By finding exciting and enticing expression of models and women, the American women are buying more and more beauty products, which are adding to the industrialization. As soon as a woman’s central social value could no longer be defined as the attainment of virtuous domesticity, the beauty myth redefined it as the accomplishment of righteous beauty. It did so to substitute both a new consumer imperative and a new argument for financial unfairness in the workplace where the old ones had lost their hold over newly freed women.
3. Wolf argues also that the beauty myth claims to be about intimacy and sex and life, a celebration of women; however, it is actually composed of emotional distance, politics, finance, and sexual repression. In a short paragraph of 7-9 sentences answer the following. In what ways does the documentary Good Hair represent another case of the beauty myth? Also, describe how the documentary intersects with race and gender issues.
The documentary, “Good Hair”, definitely has connections to the beauty myth in Naomi Wolf’s book. Naomi Wolf asserted that women were being subjected to the broader culture by pressing them to adhere to an unachievable standard of beauty in order to be endured and taken thoughtfully. The beauty myth refers to the idea that women try as hard as they can to attain this impossible ideal despite never being able to do so, and this, therefore, makes them insecure and causes them to seek out extensions, weaves, wigs, chemical treatments, that are sold at major retailers, beauty salons and online websites. Wolf claimed that beauty is currency. Black women spends lots of money on their hair because a black womans hair is related to her beauty. For many black women, the perception of them as having “Good Hair” is an embedded part of their self esteem. Some can’t and will not be seen without weave despite the cost and the time required to achieve it. I remember growing up hearing the term “good hair” and everyone coveted that type of hair and the people who had it were superior in our communities.
4. Wolf argues also that the beauty myth claims to be about intimacy and sex and life, a celebration of women; however, it is actually composed of emotional distance, politics, finance, and sexual repression. Answer the following in a short paragraph of 7-9 sentences. In what ways does the film Desert Flower represent another case of the beauty myth? Also, describe how the film intersects with race, gender and language issues.
According to Wolf, women have "the choice to do whatever they want with their bodies and faces without being punished by an ideology that is using economic pressure, attitude and even legal judgments regarding women's appearance to undermine them psychologically". Wolf argued that women get assaulted by the "beauty myth" in five areas: work, sex, religion, violence, and hunger.
So many of her thoughts were not only true but also very important. For example, why does the fashion industry influence African models wear white foundation? Waris explains at one point, how she felt frustrated because she felt that they were trying to turn her into the black version of Supermodel, Cindy Crawford. With documentaries such as this and Good Hair, I can see the connection is racism, class, political and emotional distancing. I will never understand why the lightening the skin and straightening of the hair on female African and African American actresses, athletes, politicians, models, and TV personalities. The message is racist because of its as to say you are not beautiful the way you are, you need to be lighter, implying the color closest to the white skin is better. You also need to have straighter hair. Implying that the unique hair texture that God gave you is unattractive.
5. The topic of gender or gender roles as they reflect femininity and aspirations of beauty, Naomi quotes Reiter who proposed the following regarding the transformation biological sexuality: "The set of arrangements by which a society transforms biological sexuality into products of human activity, and in which these transformed needs are satisfied" (Reiter 1975:159).
Discuss the film Dessert Flower in a paragraph of 7-9 sentences by connecting the film to Reiter’s statement. How does the experience of Dairie Waris provide evidence for the statement above? What is the set of arrangements (moral/beauty) standards that transformed her biological sexuality? What has become a product of human activity in Somalia? Whose needs are satisfied? How has Dairie Waris survived her experience with FMG.
In film, Desert Flower is about an international supermodel named Dairie Waris who was forced to undergo female genital mutilation when she was a child in Somalia. Female Genital Mutilation is performed for Psychosexual reasons. FGM is performed to control women's sexuality, which is sometimes said to be insatiable if parts of the genitalia, especially the clitoris, are not removed. It is thought to ensure virginity before marriage and fidelity afterward, and to increase male sexual pleasure. Only male needs are satisfied. She survived her experience by creating a foundation that is made up of men and women committed to gender equality, human rights and all of them share Waris Dirie’s goal which is to end Female Genital Mutilation.
6. Naomi Wolf points out the beauty myth claims to be about intimacy and sex and life, a celebration of women; however, it is actually composed of emotional distance, politics, finance, and sexual repression. The documentary Good Hair provides good evidence that supports Wolf’s statement. Give examples from this documentary that provide evidence for the factors of emotional distance, sexual repression, and finance. Also, give your opinion by answering the following question: On what other aspects of beauty are women spending too much energy and money?
The documentary Good Hair includes some sophisticated descriptions related to race, femininity, and class. The movie explores the many societal, financial, and emotional implications surrounding African-American women's desire to have straighter, longer hair. They also have conversations about how hair affects sexual relationships. It's argued that black men prefer white women because they can touch their hair. Some proclaim that is important during sex. Celebrities in the documentary explained how society makes them feel like it’s necessary to mask their natural hair with very expensive weaves, while a few outspoken women rage against the "slavery" of a straightening regime such as a chemical perm and sport their natural locks a twa (teenie weenie afro) or bald head.
As a black women, I can clearly see the connection to Naomi Wolf’s statements. I know extensions can cost as low as a few hundred (depending on the area of service) and go up to several thousand depending on the quality of the hair and the method of the service. On a daily basis, there are thoughts of if my hair is appropriate for work, and will they receive me well because I’m wearing braids.
Language and Gender. See Power Point lecture and documentary on Blackboard, Content folder, Week 7.
7. The languages of the world can be divided into 1) gender exclusive and 2) gender preference languages. You read examples of gender exclusive languages, as well as gender preference languages. You also learned that the English and Spanish languages are classified as gender preference languages.
i. In a short 4-5-sentence paragraph, give your educated opinion as to which type is more sexist. You may use examples from the notes on this presentation.
Men and women both identify gender-exclusive language to be sexist. I think Gender preference or gender-biased language is more sexist. Gender-biased language refers to the use of words/phrases/terms that are or can be prejudiced, biased or offensive or hurtful to the receiving group or individuals.
In the case of English, the particular bias is usually the preference of the masculine over the feminine. It appears that gender bias is essentially carved into the English language. In the rules of grammar, it was once directed that we use masculine pronouns like he, his, him, himself whenever a singular referent is required and we don’t know the gender of the person we’re talking about. Thankfully, that is no longer practiced. You should simply rearrange your sentence so that it becomes gender neutral.
For an example of gender, preference language could be someone speaking to someone else and telling someone that," The doctor went to USC for 12 years and he also completed his residency there too". A gender-neutral way of the same statement would be, "The doctor went to USC for 12 years and the doctor completed the residency program there too.
ii. There are other obscene words that are used against or to label women. Personally, what obscene word do you find most offensive? Many people despise the word “cunt”. I ts shocking, its obscene and extremely derogatory. For me, The word I find the most offensive is the word “bitch!” I hate that especially coming from a man. It's a different connotation when it comes from a woman in some cases. I don't like the word, bitch.
People still use language to be sexist, they perhaps don’t always do so using the terms which have been used in the past and they may use these terms which have been used in the past and they may use these terms ironically or humorously to deflect the responsibility for sexism.
8. In the documentary Slut: a Journey to get a word banned, you listened and watched points of view from people from different walks of life give their opinion about this word.
i. Do you think that there won’t be a double sexual standard between the sexes if this word is banned? Why yes/no? It doesn’t matter if the word is banned or not, people will still use it. Its degrading and offensive, but it will still be used. Just like the “N” word, it still used by many people . If racial slurs, gay slurs, anti-semitic slurs, geographical slurs, financial slurs, religious slurs, and other female slurs are all allowed, banning the word slut, will do absolutely nothing.
ii. Perhaps, you noticed that there were not enough women and men of color interviewed for this film. Might it be the case that this word is offensive only to white women? What is your opinion? Yes, I believe that the word, “Slut” is more offensive to white women. I’ve noticed that you don't hear derogatory terms like slut in the African American or Latino cultures. The team you hear instead is “hoe.”
iii. The documentary points out that men started utilizing the word slut after World War II for 2 reasons. What were these reasons? Women had gained independence, this might have frightened men because women were encroaching on areas they used to dominate. Women were going out, they were drinking and they were being referred to in a derogatory way.
iv. There are other obscene words that are used against or to label women. Personally, what obscene word do you find most offensive? I strongly dislike the word, “bitch and hoe”.
Chapter VIII-Changing our World: Feminism as a Social Movement (558-577).
The Making of the Vanguard Center by Benita Roth (pg. 559). 1.5 points.
9a. Benita Roth indicates that while black women were trying to stabilize the family, the white women’s liberation movement was trying to reshape a family structure. Explain why there is a discrepancy between these two groups.
In the traditional narrative, Black women struggled with the double burden of sex and race while many White women were only concerned with their own advancement. This collective memory is limited by a paradigm which presents White and Black women only in opposition. The reality is that White women cared about the inclusion of women of color and spoke explicitly about their role in the movement.
Thus, even though Black women and White women both wanted to fight against oppression, their misperceptions of each other caused an ideological division within the women’s movement. Many Black women were threatened by a perceived attack on the stability of the family, while many White women mistakenly saw their Black sisters as complicit in the white and Black women even though they pursued the same goals.” 45 Many Black women saw speaking openly about the sexism of Black men as threatening to the family. That does not mean that they did not address sexism within the home, but they did not attack their own family members publicly. Atlanta Civil Rights activist and feminist Mary Long explained that, “In the Black community there is a lot of Black women leadership, sorority leadership, church leadership but they would never embarrass another Black male or family. Black women are less likely to speak out in disagreement with Black men. I guess they felt like they came out of the slavery movement. You can’t put yours down. Furthermore, opening Black men up to criticism made them vulnerable to attacks from White people and put the family at risk. The call to challenge the patriarchy had great risks for Black women and put their agenda at odds with feminists.
9b. Benita Roth points out that Beal in “Double Jeopardy” proposed an analysis of the construction of masculinity and femininity. Describe their analysis of masculinity and femininity. Also, give your opinion on this analysis.
In Double Jeopardy, Beal analyzed the cultural idea of Black manhood and that the construction of masculinity and femininity was necessitated by the need to sell products to men and women. The typical middle-class women staying home and buying these products was not a black woman, who had historically worked outside of the home and historically mostly in white middle-class homes. Beal argued that the male black liberationists is had failed to extend their class analysis to the position of the woman. She had sympathy for black men suffering in white society, but Beal, consistent class analysis meant recognizing that the move to put black women back in the home was futile in the face of technological advancement.
9c. Benita Roth indicates that Margaret Wright from WAR said that the black men want to imitate the white man’s family structure to be “head of the family and women have to be submissive and all that nonsense.” Why would black men want to imitate the white man’s family structure?
Margaret Wright, a member of the Los Angeles Black Women's Liberation Group declared that it is impossible for Black Families to be shaped like white ones because of class domination. The Black man is basically saying that he wants a family structure like the white man's. He's got to be the leader and the head of the family and women have to be submissive.. Hell, the white woman is already oppressed in that setup.
The Development of Chicana Feminist Discourse by Alma M. Garcia (pg. 565). 1.5 points.
10a. On the issue of Cultural Nationalism Alma M. Garcia said that Chicano cultural nationalism “…situated the sociohistorical experiences of Chicanos within a theoretical model of internal colonialism.” The sociohistorical experiences of the Chicana/o community can explain this theoretical model. What were those sociohistorical experiences and how do they explain this model? In order to strengthen your response to this question, you must make one short citation from your reading on the history of the family.
10b. Alma M. Garcia points out that Chicana feminists as well as Chicana feminist lesbians continued to be labeled vendidas, “sellouts.” Why were these Chicanas labeled vendidas? What is your opinion about these Chicanas being called vendidas?
During the movement, women were often asked to sacrifice their needs for the larger movement and to choose between being Chicana and being women. Chicano loyalists and Chicanos often accused Chicanas of being Venditas “sellouts” or traitors to the movement and they were often compared to Anglos of the Women’s Liberation movement. The Chicanas were viewed as being anti-man, anti-culture and anti-family. They were also accused of attempting to split and divide the movement and being non-supportive of the cause. The movement of Chicano often neglected the requests of Chicanas to integrate issues such as reproductive choices and abortion as well as other such issues that Chicanas considered important. This backfire from the community compelled Chicanas to talk about how Chicana Feminism could relate Chicana movement to the rest of the movement (the Chicano Movement). The Chicano movement loyalists, however, believed that racism must be addressed prior to sexism. They would often argue against the Chicanas blaming them of disrupting the male and female roles within the community of Chicanos. The more liberal and independent Chicanas would become, the more was accused of being Venditas, sellouts or Mujer Mala by the loyalists and the more these women were accused of adopting the fight of Anglo women. According to most of the Chicano males believed that Chicana feminism was a factious ideology and that wasn’t compatible with the Chicano cultural nationalism.
Chicana, however, countered these allegations with two major arguments:
First, they commented on the historical independent women in Mexican and Chicano history. For this, they used instances of women who participated in the Mexican Revolution and the indigenous women before colonization by Spain and the fact that they were independent and strong in the society.
Second, they discussed about the need for remaking the family in the struggle of Mexicans against domination of Anglos. This was quite different from the Anglo movement as there wasn’t enough importance laid on the family structure in it.
My opinion about these Chicanas being labeled as Venditas:
I believe that shouldn’t have happened as sexism is also an equally important issue as racism is because while humanity fights against color or race discrimination, sex discrimination should also be annihilated from the society.
10c. It is argued in The Development of Chicana Feminist Discourse that Chicana feminists have emphasized that Chicanas have made few gains in comparison to white men and women. In what areas or institutions do Chicanas have to make progress still? In other words, in what institutions Chicanas have not made enough progress? Why have they not made progress in these institutions?
Chicana feminist have emphasized that Chicanas have made a few gains in comparison to white men and women, as wells as Chicano men, in terms of labor force participation, income, education levels, rates of poverty, and other socioeconomic status indicators. Over the past 40 years, Chicanas have made only small occupational moves from low-pay unskilled jobs to higher-pay skilled and semi-professional employment. Chicanas did not obtain the same educational opportunities as the Anglo population; therefore, Chicanas are not able to progress through means of education which, in turn, communicates to the larger society that they are unable to deal with education. In essence, the negative social expectations of Chicanas continue to exist because of the lack of educational opportunities which restrict them to failure and the negative stereotypes which society and schools continue to convey.
Thoughts on Indian Feminism by Kate Shanley (pg. 573).
11a. Kate Shanley states that the Indian women’s movement seeks equality on the individual level. What kind of individual equality does the movement seek? How does this individual equality differ from that of the mainstream white feminist movement? Why does the difference between the movements exist?
The Indian women’s movement seeks equality in two ways that do not concern mainstream women; on the individual level, the Indian woman struggles to promote the survival of a social structure whose organizational principles represents notions of family different from those of the mainstream.
On the societal level, the people seek sovereignty as a people in order to maintain a vital legal and spiritual connection to the land, in order to survive as a people.”
The difference between indian feminist movement and white feminism was that white feminism was all about addressing the issue of color and the privileges women lacked because of their colour whereas indian movement focused more on equality between land and the family.The focus is upon empowering indigenous women in the context of indigenous cultural values and priorities, rather than mainstream, white, patriarchal ones.
This difference is occurs because for Indian women their role domestically is more important which has been ignored. The traditional beliefs and tribal sovereignty are important for Indian women rather than in white feminism. Because Indian women have a position within their tribe's cultural,economic,political and social spheres,the characteristics of white feminism focusing on sociopolitical confinement of women to the domestic sphere has little application in Indian feminism. Indian feminism values focus more on land and tradition.
White feminism somewhat misuses the privilege of being white and focusing less on the equality problems especially with indian women.
Kate Shanley writes about Indian feminism, but separates it from white feminism. One of the things Shanley writes about is a different understanding of the family structure than what white women are thinking/ talking about. For example, white/ mainstream feminism is thinking about how to shift existing family structures (i.e. the nuclear family). While both movements are challenging the idea of the family, Indigenous feminism is also trying to seek sovereignty as an entire group. In addition, it was important to maintain close connections and ties to the land in a spiritual fashion.
One important aspect is also the idea of having tribal sovereignty that is separate from mainstream feminism. This is where the idea of women gaining individual equality-- women would also have a big sense of equality in their own spheres at home, however, this will not happen if the nations are not sovereign from the American government; that is to say that Shanley asserts that freedom from the oppressor of white patriarchy/ colonial oppression can only exist through a separation. Having tribal sovereignty was an incredibly important aspect Indian feminism because these women believed that was the only way to actually gain freedom.
However, mainstream feminism did not really address the needs of Indigenous women, because, for the most part, mainstream feminism was not really concerned with what was happening to Indian women-- their focus was more on them. They were narrow minded in this respect and only thought about their immediate needs.
11b. Kate Shanley points out that the Indian women’s movement seeks equality on the societal level. What kind of social equality does the movement seek? How does this social equality differ from that of the mainstream society? Why do the Indian women’s movement seek this type of social equality? What kinds of sociohistorical factors influence this issue?
Indian Feminism tries to seek equality on the social level because they believe finding equality in the social level will lead to greater freedom. In addition, as mentioned before, spiritual connection to the land, and general ties to the land are important-- this comes from changing some of the societal values.
I found this quote on the internet from the piece (although not the entire essay but I think it is applicable, "vital legal and spiritual connection to the land, in order to survive as a people".
In general, the mainstream feminist ideas were more concerned about trying to find equality at the workplace and at home. Some of the work 2nd wave feminism did was to try to enforce laws that banned discrimination, give maternity rights, etc. One of the biggest things they did was the Equal Rights Amendment that ensured equality of rights, regardless of sex. They also worked to get birth control accessible to people. On the other hand, Indian women were less concerned about this because they wanted to be autonomous from the general American government.
Another quote; "The word 'feminism has special meanings to Indian women, including the idea of promoting the continuity of tradition, and consequently, pursuing the recognition of tribal sovereignty" -- I think this quote is also important to think about because a lot of this is also about thinking about tradition rather than trying to make big changes. This is thinking about tradition, and old relationships whereas some of second wave feminism was more about changing. Yet, this is still feminism and feminism exists in many spheres.
11c. The nuclear family has little relevance to Indian women. Why is this the case? The Indian women’s movement opposes the intentions of mainstream white feminists. Why do they oppose these intentions? How do the sociohistorical experiences of indigenous peoples in the US influence the position of the Indian women’s movement?
The nuclear family has little relevance to Indian women because Indian womens tribes work more in thinking about the community as a whole, and larger communities. In addition, Indian women were not as concerned with having two children, but wanted to do what was best for the community at all times. Indian women oppose some of the intentions set by white women for their feminist movements because there are different societal issues; for example, in white feminism Indian women would still be oppressed by the white patriarchy and colonial structures. This is why Indian women fought for autonomy, because Indian women knew that working within those structures would not help grant them freedom. The modern family was seen primarily as a nuclear, marriage-based entity in which men provided economically for their families and women performed housework and took care of children, according to Shirley A. Hill.
Presenting the Blue Goddess: Toward a National Pan-Asian Feminist Agenda by Sonia Shah (pg. 575). 1.5 points.
12a. How does the First Wave of Asian women’s organizing differ from the First Wave of Feminism? Why do they differ?
Women’s movements tries to protect the women from the changing societal, cultural and economic changes. They don’t fight for equal rights but tries to save the existing rights. They don’t challenge the rights of the male gender, instead focus more on being secure, safe and benevolent.
Feminism on the other hand fights for equal rights. According to them, whatever rights the men enjoy in the society, they also want to enjoy. They are very rigorous in terms of fighting for their rights than the women’s movements. Feminists are on the rise making the male dominated society shocked with their radical involvement in religious, political, cultural and economic spheres. They don’t want to be with men who don’t respect them or mistreat them and this number is also on the rise because of the economic independence.
12b. How do the Second wave of Asian women’s organizing differ from the First Wave of Feminism? Why do they differ?
The first-wave feminism was focused primarily on suffrage and overturning legal obstacles such as; rights to gender equality e.g., voting rights and property.
The second-wave feminism broadened the address to the wider range of issues like sexuality, family, the workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities. Attention to domestic violence and marital rape, the establishment of rape crisis and battered women's shelters, and changes in custody and divorce law were also highlighted in this wave of feminism.
12c. What are some of the crucial internal challenges that the Asian Women’s Movement face? Why do they face these challenges?
There are different sources that pose great challenges to the women’s movement in Asia, they are religion, politics, culture, family etc. These institutions see woman still as a child bearing machine, a modest thing (not human) who tolerate any violation. Bold women from all parts of Asia have fought and won their rights that were denied and that are rightfully theirs. Women in few Islamic countries, still fight for their rights.
Religious aspect – Although it is preached by all the religion that everyone is equal in front of God, it’s not practiced by the religions. Women cannot become priests in any religion and women cannot enter into certain worship places because they will spoil the holiness as they get monthly periods. Even God knows it’s one of the holiest aspect of the universe for reproduction but the foolish religions, in the name of God neglect all their rights to get close to God even. Politics – In Asian countries women are not encouraged to come to politics because men feel inferior to work under women because of their stereotypical perception towards woman. Even if the women by quota get into politics and win the election, they will be dominated by their husbands and family members in all the aspects. Culture – The culture in Asian countries are male dominated and keeps women as very soft and easily broken objects. This cultural phenomenon of keeping woman at home has denied their education and job opportunities. Family – One different thing in the family today, is that Asian women in most of the households are the masters. The view point here is that the domestic violence by their husbands and in-laws that bring lot of stress on the women.
During the 80s women were allowed to study but not work, during the 2000 women were allowed to work even in distant places and today although the Asian societies are still in the transformation period, pose a threat to the women empowerment movements
13. In The Time of the Butterflies. Write a short paragraph of 7-9 sentences. What is this film about? What important date honors the women in the story? How does the story of one of the women in the film compare to the experience of Mayra Bradwell? Remember that in chapter IV Miccio discusses the case of Mayra Bradwell. What does this film say about female courage and commitment to ideals such as liberty and democracy?
This film is about the Mirabal sisters of Dominic. They were the activist who raises their voice against Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of Dominic. Trujillo was making their homeland an unsafe and horrible place.After obtaining control, Trujillo organized a clandestine police unit that lacerated and assassinated the opposition to his ruling. The Mirabel sisters defeated the regime of one of the monstrous terrorists in history through their courage. It’s a fictional story but they were assassinated on 25 of November in 1960. In many countries of Latin America, the day of Mirabel sisters' assassination (25th of November) is observed as the International Day against violence towards the woman. Myra Bradwell was one of the earliest female lawyers in American history who raise their voice against gender discrimination with female and for the right to speak for women.This film beautifully and effectively shows the strong beliefs in democracy and firm determination to achieve liberty and freedom.
VOLUNTARY SECTION Kesselman, Chapter VI 386-388, 392-393, & 398-414. Poems, essays and short stories on issues of race and class. Respond to the following:
1. Adrienne Su’s story entitled Codes of Conduct tells the story of Su. Where did she learn who she really was? What new vocabulary did she learn?
In the article, “Codes of Conduct”, Adrienne Su explains how as a child she used to play a character that did not resemble who she really was. The vocabulary she learned was Chinese for the purpose of communicating to her relatives in China. She wanted to learn to find out who she really was. She mentioned that she wanted to eavesdrop on her parents. She examined her feelings about her identity in comparison to those around her when she was a little girl. She talked about how when she grew up in the South, no one ever acknowledged the fact that she was Chinese. She used the example of how when she came home from college and was discussing the Asian classes she was taking to learn more about her culture, with her best friends parents, there was an awkward silence because I had carelessly dragged the conversation into never-never land, the land of what made me different. She grew up in the southern portion of the United States, she became accustomed to the American ways of life. As she grew older, she discovered that she oblivious to her Chinese background, which may be understood metaphorically as the “Code of Conduct”.
2. Chrystos talks about being Native American. How does she want to be seen by non-native people?
Chrystos childhood is obvious in works about street life, cultivation, mental institutions, inbreeding, passion, sensuality, and resentment. Her works and her poems are fundamentally intended for a reader of Native American descent. She also speaks on First Nations, people of color more openly, and lesbian and lesbianism. Her goal is to raise awareness of Native American culture and history. She wants to provide details about her history while cutting down stereotypes.
3. Angela Davis talks about her childhood in ‘An Autobiography’ (excerpt). Why did her neighborhood become known ad Dynamite Hill? What does her experience have to do with race?
The neighborhood of Angela Davis became to be known as "Dynamite Hill " because it was a middle class neighborhood of Afro-Americans ,many homes in this middle class neighborhood was bombarded by Klu klux klan for many years.
Angela Davis herself was an Afro-American and has seen the impact of racism since her childhood in the lives of the Afro- Americans. Her mother was an active member of NAACP that worked for the upliftment of colored people.Angela was moved by a bombing incident in which four Afro-American girls were killed.This made her to join the civil rights movement and take the cause of her race.
4. Beverly Neely’s story entitled Sisters deals with the intersection between class, gender, and race.
a. Which class, race or gender experiences unite Lorisa and Jackie?
b. Which class, race or gender experiences divide Lorisa and Jackie?
5. Kendall A. Johnson tells her story in Poverty, Hopelessness, and Hope.
a. What is her story mainly about?
Kendall Johnson describes the vast distance between social and cultural realities of middle class and poor people.
b. What did she feel guilty about? What was difficult to watch?
What was difficult to watch? She explained how she knows she’s lucky. She held a law school education She felt saddened to see understand that in a wealthy country like ours, that most people will remain in poverty and regardless of their personal effort to grow past it. She felt guilty because her future was full of promise and others weren’t. She felt guilty that she couldn't save them and didn’t understand that I was struggling to save herself.
c. What does she reject? What doesn’t she reject? How does she cope with her guilt?
She made it a point to remind herself of how lucky she is. How does she cope with her guilt? She copes with her guilt in part by dedicating her professional career to providing legal services to the poor.
Exam 2 - Questions 7-8
7. Langston proposes in the article entitled Tired of Playing Monopoly that in the USA people believe in the myth of a classless society. She claims that this myth conceals the existence of a class society, which serves many functions. Give two of the functions that she discussed.
1. It perpetuates the false hope among the working class and poor that they can have different opportunities in life. The hope that they can escape the fate that awaits them due to the class position they were born into.
2. Another way the rags to riches myth is perpetuated is by creating enough visible tokens so that oppressed persons believe they, too, can get ahead. The creation of hope through tokenism keeps a hierarchical structure in place and lays the blame for not succeeding on those who don't. This keeps us from resisting and changing the class-based system. Instead, we accept it as inevitable, something we just have to live with.
8. According to Langston, class is more than just the amount of money one has. What is class according to Langston? According to Langston, Class is more than just the amount of money you have; it's also the presence of economic security. For the working class and poor, working and eating are matters of survival, not taste. However, while one's class status can be defined in important ways in terms of monetary income, class is also a whole lot more specifically, class is also culture. As a result of the class you are born into and raised in, class is your understanding of the world and where you fit in; it's composed of ideas, behavior, attitudes, values, and language; class is how you think, feel, act, look, dress, talk, move, walk; class is what stores you shop at, restaurants you eat in; class is the schools you attend, the education you attain; class is the very jobs you will work at throughout your adult life. Class even determines when we marry and become mothers; Working class women become mothers long before middle-class women receive their bachelor's degrees. We experience class at every level of our lives; class is who our friends are, where we live and work even what kind of car we drive, if we own one, and what kind of healthcare we receive if any. (Langston)
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