For my final project, I decided to focus on the erasure of African American women. Of course, there are many who have been left out of the history books, but my main focus in this project was to shed some light on Sojourner Truth, Ella Baker and Shirley Chisholm. As I leaned about these women in a previous Women and Gender Studies class, I realized that for many of my classmates, it was the first time they had heard of them. That is to say, up until 22 years of age, many of them thought Jesse Jackson had been the first African American to run for president. The conversation of Shirley Chisholm was very interesting because though she wasn’t spoken of too many times, she had been brought up during Obama’s campaign in 2008. Yet and still, people did not know about her.
With this in mind, I wanted to make a project that is informative and allows us to rethink the material we read. As often echoed in class discussions, everything presented in front of us is through the male gaze, so unless we take action and start telling our stories, the generation after us is going to reach twenty-two, claiming to be feminists, yet not knowing anything about these three women, among others.
Accomando, Christina. “Demanding a Voice Among the Pettyfoggers: Sojourner Truth as Legal Actor.” : n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 9 May 2014.
Payne, Charles . “Ella Baker and Models of Social Change.” : n. pag. JSTOR. Web. May 9 2014
Chisholm ’72. Dir. Shola Lynch. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2004
“SNCC.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 9 May 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/sncc>.
Sojourner Truth (History.com)
My final project explores the way in which women are objectified in music videos, and points out the parallel between this and how women are treated in society. Through the various interviews that I conducted, I was able to conclude that the objectification of women in music videos is only getting worse. By compiling various clips of relevant music videos, I am able to show viewers just how rampant this issue is. In making the project, I wanted to explore how young women (the largest consumers of this media) are affected and influenced by this derogatory treatment of women. I did this by interviewing seven friends (some who live here, some in Georgia) and comparing the answers. I actually found through this that while the girls in New York claim to be unaffected by the objectification of women in media in their personal lives, the girls in Georgia pointed out several ways that the issue has influenced their lives.
The video is essentially a combination of various music video clips and interviews, with some interjections by me. I included in the video some quotes and ideas from a few of the writers we studied in class, including Jean Kilbourne, Douglas Kellner, and John Berger. I thought it was important to include this individuals because they are able to lend a more scholarly stance on the issue. By the end of the video, through the various media that I researched and interviews I conducted, I came to the conclusion that objectification can be stopped if artists focus more on equality than the putting down of one gender or another.
For my final project I chose to explore how current depictions of women in the media were built upon past portrayals of women. In most cases the basic representation of women remains male-oriented and secondary because traditional ideas of gender roles haven’t become obsolete. Using examples of how images used in religion and mythology continue to exist another form today, in my paper, I argued that because our understanding of images today is built upon past representations, most portrayals of women continue to express the same attitudes regarding the views on their bodies, independence, and success.
These attitudes are expressed through metaphors, anecdotes and fiction. All of these formats use the image on some level. To understand or see things from a different perspective, a different interpretation is needed. This means that symbols and classic story telling formats have to reflect the complexity of human cultures and not reduce female characters to examples of sin or submissiveness.
Harding, Elizabeth U. Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar. York Beach: Nicolas-Hays, 1993. Print.
Bronner, Stephen Eric. Twentieth Century Political Theory. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Douglas, Susan J. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. New York: Times Books, 1994. Print.
Gaiman, Neil. “Reflections on Myth.” Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art Dec. 1999: 75-84. Print.
Final Project Summary
The common depict of Miss America is about the beauty, glamour, how contestants look in gowns and swimsuits and then rewarding them with scholarships. The recent winner Nina Davuluri said, “Miss America is not only about that one night you see on television, which many people think it’s a glamorous job and I wear an evening gown all day. That’s very much not true, it’s very much a service-based job.” (Simone). “Her other duties entail public speaking and acting as National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She also is spokeswoman for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), since Davuluri is the first Miss America with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science and plans to attend medical school.” (Simone)
My project focuses on how Nina Devuluri was viewed and portrayed in the media right after she won the crown. Not only did she receive tons of twitter hate, calling her an “arab”, “terrorist”, and how Miss Kansas would have been a better winner because of her Caucasian features, but also how the main headlines on the news only focused on the derogatory comments she received. Not many people knew her background or academic success, or what she does outside the pageant if they did not bother to do the research.
I took the form of a PowerPoint to display screenshots of the twitter hate and headline news, and also specific arguments and facts about this issue.
Link to my project : https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=A56AA04A4DCA3810%21180
Video to an interview with Nina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHdOhvTQrG4
- “A Lot Of People Are Very Upset That An Indian-American Woman Won The Miss America Pageant” BuzzFeed. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
- Greenhouse, Emily. “Combatting Twitter Hate with Twitter Hate.” The New Yorker. N.p., 20 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
- Litman, Amanda. Why Aren’t We Protesting Miss America? Ms.Magazine. 14. January. 2011. Web.
- “Nina Davuluri.” Hollywood Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2014. <http://hollywoodlife.com/celeb/nina-davuluri/>.
- People & Events: The 1968 Protest. Pbs. Web.
- Sengupta, Somini. Outburst Highlights Conundrum for Twitter. New York Times. 16. Sept. 2013. Web.
- Simone, Stephanie. In Tenafly, Miss America has a message for students. Northern Valley Suburbanite.13. March. 2014. Web.
- “STEM Role Model Q&A with Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014 | JASON Learning.” STEM Role Model Q&A with Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014 | JASON Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2014. <http://www.jason.org/live/stem-role-model-qa-nina-davuluri-miss-america-2014>.
My final project discusses the social construction of body issues in the media: with a specific focus on idealization and glorification of achieving thinness in the advertising campaign of Special K commercials “What will you gain when you lose?”; and the hypocrisy of their “More Than Just A Number” and “Shh….Stop the Fat Talk campaign.” My project will focus on the function and primary purposes of the diet industry in these commercials, and how their advertisements project the ideological framework of thin privilege.
In addition to creating a Tumblr especially for this project to better demonstrate my purpose, I created an 18 minute film that I uploaded on Youtube, where I talk about how diet companies such as Special disguise their motives in their advertising campaigns and slogans that are geared towards women. I also define the meaning of thin privilege in our society, as well as its contributions to fat phobia. I deal with my own struggles with body image and equating the food I eat with guilt, so it is extremely important for me to address the pervasive message of these advertisements towards all women.
How can a lowly box of fake nutrition garner such hatred and annoying, ranting banter from me? Watch this video and find out!
Links to Youtube videos: on Tumblr.
For my project I wanted to focus on the status of women working in the media. I found lots of statistics showing the gender inequality of women employed and represented in film and television. I focused more on the “celluloid ceiling” in film and television production. I wanted to show the how many women contribute to the media. I found publications such as “The Status of Women in the US Media 2013″ and from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
With the information I gathered I created a info graphic type video. I intended on there being more graphics and animations but this is my first attempt at infographics. It is also the first time using Adobe After Effects (I watch many YouTube videos to learn how to use it).
Ali, Seher. “Where We Belong: On the Status of Women in US Media.” SPARK Movement. N.p., 25 Feb. 2014. Web. <http://www.sparksummit.com/2014/02/25/where-we-belong-on-the-status-of-women-in-us-media/>.
“Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film: SDSU.” Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film: SDSU. Web. <http://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/research.html>.
Klos, Diana M. The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2013. Rep. The Women’s Media Center, 2013. Web. <http://wmc.3cdn.net/51113ed5df3e0d0b79_zzzm6go0b.pdf>.
Lauzen, Martha M., Ph.D. “Celluloid Ceiling Behind the Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2013.” Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University, 2014. Web.
Lauzen, Martha M., Ph.D. “Boxed In: Employment of Behind – the – Scenes and On – Screen Women in 2012 – 13 Prime – Time Television.” Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University, 2013. Web.
Lauzen, Martha M., Ph.D. “Gender @ the Movies: On – Line Film Critics and Criticism.” Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University, 2013. Web. <http://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/files/2013_Gender_at_the_Movies_Exec_Summ.pdf>.
The media is a vehicle used to inform as well as entertain the public. The media is a carrier of information, ideas, thoughts and opinions. It is a powerful force in influencing peoples perceptions on a variety of issues. The media can be both positive as well as negative in terms of the position and views of women as well as a powerful mechanism for education and socialisation. Although the media has played an important role in highlighting women’s issues, it has also had negative impact, in terms of perpetrating violence against women through pornography and images of women as a female body that can be bought and sold. Overall, the media treatment of women is narrow and continually reinforces stereotyped gender roles and assumptions that women’s functions are that of a wife, mother and servant of men.” Arpita Sharma
Women are portrayed inhumanly in western media today. Edited images of women are posted on huge billboards in the busiest cities. Younger women see those “perfect” images — according to the advertisers — of what a woman should look like. This creates internal conflict inside these young women and reduces their self-esteem which in turn leads to depression and blind following of what they are presented with.
My final project is an analysis of the portrayal of women in western media landscape today. I focus on three major media components: advertising media, news media, and print media. I go in depth with each component explaining how women are portrayed and I share some media that help bring the point home. I also bring in Islamic views on the matter. I explain how Islam sees a woman and how Islam protects the woman from the evil that is around. I hope that this project brings useful insight to the reader and I hope that the reader is able to take away something of value for the future.