Monthly Archives: August 2012

Everyday discrimination

Since African slave trade began in 1600s, racism and discrimination have been ingrainged into our society and it becomes one of the most serious problems in today’s society. Even though slavery was formally abolished about a century and a half ago, Americans are still struggling with the costly political and social legacy of slavery. Nevertheless many people in general may believe we are living in a just society and there is barely racial discrimination compare to the past. However, the video clip I linked illustrates that racism and discrimination are still deep rooted in contemporary society. The purpose of the experiment was to observe public reations to bike theft in public park and the result was surprisingly scary. When a White man tried to break the lock of some’s bicycle with various tools, there were no one actually calls the police or stops him forcefully. On the contrary to this, when a black man did the same thing, many people have reacted with outrage, yelling at him, and some even took pictures for evidence. Why would people react so different? I personally think it’s basically derived from people’s prejudice that created by media. It’s true that many disturbing crimes are committed by African-american, howevere at the same time there are numerous number of crimes committed by White, Asian, latino, and other ethnics as well. The problem is that black people are more likely to be portrayed as offenders in movies, dramas, even in novels and it controls and makes a picture of criminal on our head. Believe or not, most (approx. 80% of) serial killers in the U.S. were White and some cases are still unsolved. Because we are living in the society where mass media strongly influences everyday of our lives, discrimination, prejudice, and quiet racism seem hardly to leave the us unless we all can change our way of thinking regardless of how the media portray the world.

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The structure of our society is patriarchal: leadership positions, highly paid and highly estimated work occupied mostly by men. Even if the women do the same work as men they earn less. Moreover, in addition to the work a woman should take care of the household and her family. While this provision is clearly unfair the society (mostly men) doesn’t want to change anything.
Sexism is so usual in our society and in our minds, than it is often not notice. Most of us brought up in the spirit of sexism from early childhood. If the parents didn’t brought up their child this way, then at least, environment, society and traditions teach boys to play with toy cars, and girls with dolls. Further, young men should be strong and courageous and girls are required to be beautiful and feminine; and, finally, men need to support the family economically, and women to keep order in the house. However, in reality a woman not only has to take care of her children, the family and the house, but she has to work as well.
The sexism (as a racism) implies the superiority of physical and intellectual manifestations, although not provided convincing arguments in favor of the fact that men are better than women or vice versa. Traditional arguments – such as the indication of the limitations of women in terms of creativity or links to the notorious women’s logic or psychological instability still exist in the public consciousness. These prejudices have not been proved by the science; it is just stereotypes imposed to us by the society from ancient times.

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Frumpy to Feminine

Frumpy to feminine

How we present ourselves is considered a very important aspect in most people’s eyes. Since we do not want to be judged by our peers, we try to alter how we look and dress to fit what our society presently thinks is attractive. It has been like this for a very long time. Men and women exercise and go on diets to try to mold their bodies to an image that is attractive.  As the host says in the video, “Before you can sell a product, you gotta sell you.” This is absolutely right when it comes to modern society. On billboards you do not see people who are look ordinary and dress ordinary, you see people who are attractive and are dressed nicely.

In the video, Chelsea is considered a woman who dresses “frumpy” or “unattractive.” In the series the hosts give the guest a makeover to make them more feminine. At the end of the clip, after Chelsea has been “transformed,” the host remarks: “It’s hard to believe that you’re the same woman.” Chelsea points out that she is in fact the same woman. Chelsea is right, she is definitely the same woman. Society judges us too much based on our appearance to a point that it is not necessary and overwhelming. How we look should not at all define who we are as a person. If we were to be proud of how we look  and ignore the way society judges us then we would all feel better about ourselves.


Chelsea is someone who does not follow this idea. In the video, Chelsea is shown wearing “unattractive” or “frumpy” clothing

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Religious conflict

Religious Conflict  caused by the contradictions of interests of different social groups, which united in two or more hostile groups and provided that each group should be guided by common system of values, world views, ethical and moral beliefs. In this case, each group tries to present an opponent as a subject of the conflict. The subject of the conflict is a group of people, but the object is represented by certain moral norms and values. These norms and values are disagreements between the parties. Since there are no people in the world with exactly the same ideals, then such differences could be considered natural. In most cases groups could resolve their conflict either by mutual initiation to the values of each other, either by tolerance and recognition of the right to different beliefs. However, these ways are not always applicable for religious conflicts.

The reason of religious conflicts lies in the fact that they affect the spiritual life of the people and the inner world of believers.
However, religious discord is often come out in a form of expression of class and ethnic conflicts. The hostility against other religious groups usually varies depending on economic, political or national interests.
Conflicts exist not only among religious groups, but also within them. They accompany the life of any religious group, and act as an integral part of the ongoing struggle for power, prestige, and privileges. These conflicts could be caused by changes in the spiritual life of the society, resulting from the formation of a secular culture and coming into conflict with the traditional religious views of the world and moral values. Religious commitment can lead to conflict not only with the scientific views of the world, but also with the norms of secular morality and the requirements of the law. Religious beliefs may conflict with service in the army, participation in political life or civic activities.

So, returning to the issue of the conflict between religious groups I must admit that the media is the one of the provocateurs of the enmity. The journalists sometimes use the words with a negative context against members of religious minorities and proving the advantage of one faith over others, and sometimes even humiliate them. And that is completely contrary to the principles of journalistic professionalism.

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Discrimination and Racism.


Discrimination and racism are a big issue in our world today. People are segregated and looked down upon depending on their race or background. Immigrants like myself have it hard in US. We do not speak English as well as “Americans”; I quoted it because all the Americans are in fact descendants of people who colonized America. People are refused jobs just because they are black or Spanish, I’m white but I’m still an immigrant and I’m still looked down upon when I want to get hired anywhere.

People always think of themselves better than others therefore there will always be segregation and different social classes and standards. The video I have picked shows an example of an Iranian lady being refused apple products because of her heritage and background. She is viewed inferior and untrustworthy just because she comes from a different place. Later on in the video they explain on how you can’t import apple stuff into Iran, it’s not like this lady is going to sell it. She wants to buy an apple product for her own needs, not being able to buy it and use it is a good example of discrimination. I’m honestly sick of the people today, all this segregation and discrimination is not getting us anywhere, every day you heard on the news of new examples of discrimination and racism. This country is full of it. I just hope that as we live on this will slowly change but I’m afraid that life is too short for this to happen. At least for the time being.

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Sexism and Women in Sports

I’m not a particularly athletic person and I didn’t follow sports much growing up, but I’ve got to say, when this commercial first aired before the beginning of the Olympics, I felt pretty inspired. I think I might have even yelled “Yeah, girl power!” after watching it.

In our last topic on sex and gender we differentiated between the two as biological markers and socially constructed ideals of femininity and masculinity, respectively. In Judith Lorber’s piece, “Night to His Day”: The Social Construction of Gender, she writes that people rarely think about gender because it is so closely tied to sex; at birth, most children are marked as either male or female, and from there once they have been identified as such, people begin to treat them differently. We don’t think about it because our ideals of femininity and masculinity are learned at a very early age and are enforced by those around us.

Now that I think back to my childhood, I wonder why I didn’t engage in sports more, and I’m realizing it all comes from social norms and wanting to be accepted. I didn’t avoid sports because I was uncoordinated and awkward (my mom played basketball, and my dad did martial arts, so some of those genes have to be passed on to me, right?), but more so because none of the other girls in my class showed much enthusiasm for it either. I didn’t want to be the only girl. The teachers also furthered the ideal that boys are more attuned to the rough-and-tough games in P.E. while my coordination skills were more directed to dance, in particular, ballet.

What’s Wrong with Media Coverage of Women Olympians? [Sarah J. Jackson]

Which brings me to the next, but related topic. – Women have made strides in sports in that they now can compete publicly (yay for women’s boxing in the Olympics for the first time!), but they still face a lot of sexism. People accept that women can play just as hard as men in sports, but their bodies are still being objectified and their worth is still very much dependent on their looks. In this article by Sarah Jackson, she criticizes how the media plays a role in perpetuating sexism in sports — it’s obvious through outfits/uniforms that women wear compared to men as well as how quick people are to criticize an accomplished woman athlete’s make-up or hairstyle.

Women have got their foot in the door in sports, but society still has a long way to go in rewiring ideals about gender.

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Protected: Female boxer breaks Olympic glass ceiling

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Rise of stay at home fathers

In the past, a traditional household were women in families are usually the one staying at home taking care of children while the husband works for money. Women were rarely in the work force, and if there were, they would be discriminated against by having lower wages than the male counterpart working the same job. This was common until several decades ago. Women were making an appearance in the work force more frequently and some even climbed their way to the top of the chain of commands.

As women are starting to earn higher paying careers than men, there has been an increase of stay at home fathers. In this article from CBS, it has been reported that the number of stay at home fathers has more than doubled in the United States in the past 10 years. In one scenario, while Erica Howard Potter works as a tax attorney, her husband Jake Howard Potter stays at home and take her of their 2 year old daughter Skylar. Jake is a sculptor and his daily life involves getting fit at home and changing diapers. The couple does not seem to have any problems with this except the wife tends to feel jealousy towards the fun they are having at home.

I feel that choosing to be a stay at home father is a choice. Although some people feel that it is unethical that a women has to work for money, I feel that as long as it’s in the best interest of the family and if theres no conflict between the couples there should be no problem. It is rational to say that whoever earns more money should be the bread winners because at the end of the day, only money will put food on the table. Although some men might feel they are emasculated, they should put their short term interests to the side and look at the bigger picture.

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No Child Left Behind

Proposed during George W. Bush’s administration during 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act has reformed the United States public education. This act calls upon four pillars that attribute to its success: stronger accountability, more freedom for states and communities, more parental involvement, and utilizing proven teaching methods.

Ever since the program has been enacted, there has been dramatic improvements to the US public education system. The overall standardized test scores have improved over the years and the achievement gap in schools are beginning to close. However, recent stories have been published about the act becoming “defective” and “broken.” In this article from USA today, reports have shown that half of U.S. schools fail federal standards and this also became the largest failure rate  since NCLB was enacted. According to a report from the Center on Education Policy, 43,000 schools or 48% did not make “adequate yearly progress.” The failure rates ranged from a low of 11% in Wisconsin to a high of 89% in Florida. There were also discrepancies with States’ scores: In Georgia, 27% of schools did not meet target marks, while in compared to 81% in Massachusetts and 16% in Kansas. One possible explanation for these discrepancies is that states sometimes administer harder tests or have a large population of immigrants and low income children. It was also said this year states increased the bar for how many children must pass the test and some states have the highest increased this year to avoid sanctions. One solution for the rising failure rates was administering waivers to be exempted from the acts rigorous testing system and the punishment system that enforces the act based on the test scores.

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