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Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Happy Halloween!

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

 

 

Given that this post is going up on the spookiest day of the year, I thought I would take this time to look at Halloween costumes. The over-sexualized costumes that many individuals have taken to wearing often degrade those who wear them, and in the case of cultural costumes, the cultures they represent.

The Party City website has noticed this trend and created an entire section for “Sexy Costumes”. These costumes seem to barely cover enough to be considered decent, let alone to have an obvious costume aspect! The movie “Mean Girls” observes this trend, noting, “In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.” The increasing trend to show more and more skin worries me because I fear that teenagers are sending the wrong message to those younger than them. In dressing up as a “sexy (insert profession here)” it makes it seem as if women are incapable of being doctors, police officers, or nurses.

Why do we as young women allow ourselves to be objectified in this way? And why do we allow ourselves to objectify other cultures as well?

When one of the first images that come up when I Google “Native American” or “Indian” Halloween costume is this, what message are we sending? One that respects the culture that the costume is meant to represnet, or one that twists it?

 

The general thought at this time is so focused on making a sexual statement through these Halloween costumes that it neglects to see the cultural insensitivity being exhibited through them. Some may argue that these types of costumes are all in good fun, but I would argue that although the intent may not be to disrespect another culture, the subliminal message is not a positive one.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377092/quotes

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America, the Land of the Free

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them — and then, the opportunity to choose. — C. Wright Mills

According to dictionary.com, freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. But is that what freedom really is? Does freedom mean that we can do whatever we want and get away with it even if it hurts someone else just because we are “free”? No, freedom has limits which means we have to make the right decisions to earn what was given to us through war and sacrifice.

Everyone has a different opinion of what they believe freedom is, but I’m just going to voice my own beliefs on freedom. When I was younger, if someone would ask me what freedom meant to me I would simply say “to do whatever I want to do just because I can”. However, as I matured, I soon learned that the meaning of freedom is much deeper than just a couple of words on a piece of paper; instead it links back to the Constitution and all that it represented.

When the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, they took in mind all that had happened between America and Britain and built the new nation with the foundation that would prohibit the government to restrict the rights of the people. Amendment 1 states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” My interpretation of Amendment 1 is that as American citizens we have the ability to practice any religion, express and publicize thoughts and opinions, cooperate with the government, and peacefully gather. However there are repercussions if our freedoms are abused. For example, if a law is broken there are consequences depending on the severity of the action. Also, while the press and media have the ability to publicize news or tabloids, if they mislead their readers to believe false accusations or severely defame a person to an extreme extent there are often penalties which causes the author to perform a public apology. Freedom is a gift that shouldn’t be tested or taken for granted and as Madonna said “never forget how lucky you are to live where you live and to have the freedom that you have.”

fighting-for-your-freedom.gif

There are always limitations to freedom especially when your freedom impedes on the freedom of another person’s freedom. With freedom comes a price as well as responsibility, and it is up to you to make the right choice.

http://www.strike-the-root.com/content/what-exactly-freedom

How is there poverty? I thought we were a rich country?

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2012 at 12:33 am

Now most people do not connect poverty with the Untied States.  Although we are one of the wealthier nations, we still face poverty.   The 15 percent poverty rate is the highest it has been since the 1960s.  46 million people are lacking food security, access to health care and basic shelter.

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/media/blogs/blog/15/american_poverty.jpg

In 2010 2.6 million people slipped into poverty.  It is the first time since the Great Depression that median household incomes have not risen over a long period of time.  The 15 percent of Americans in poverty make below the poverty line which is $22,314 for a household of 4.  27 percent of blacks are in poverty, 26 percent for Hispanics and 9.9 percent for whites.  In 2010 kids 18 and under in poverty went from 20.7 percent to 22 percent.  Out of the 46 million people in poverty 20 million are in extreme poverty which means they make $10,000 per year for a household of 4.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/11/poverty-in-the-50-years-since-the-other-america-in-five-charts/
There are many ideas of the cause of poverty.  A person who works full time on minimum wage live below the poverty line by $3000. There is some controversy on the ideas of some causes of poverty.  Some say that the mentally ill are a main cause of why people are in poverty but then others say that poverty causes mental illness.  Most people believe that social structuring, the lack of knowledge, and the lack of education or resources.

http://www.dailyyonder.com/files/images/2009Povertyfull.jpg

Fixing poverty is not only a moral issue but a long term economic investment.  In order to try to fix poverty policies  need to be created to fix under lying issues.  These will help create opportunities for people which can begin to help improve the quality of life.  People’s quality of life and poverty levels may go down if people are empowered and inspired by social opportunities, education and growth overall.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/why-cant-we-end-poverty-in-america.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://prospect.org/article/state-poverty-america

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/11/poverty-in-the-50-years-since-the-other-america-in-five-charts/

Money: Profession or Religion?

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

The dictionary definition of “Religion” is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. However, if religion is a way that someone looks at the world, then it also forces the definition to broaden to the set of values a person has and how that person lives his or her life. Typical “religious” connotations are specific practices such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Catholicism, but everyone has a set of values of some sort. Some people value the spiritual belief in a higher power, some choose to believe that there is no higher power but they still have a set of values and priorities in their life that are most important to them (whether it be family, friends, charity, social life, partying, work, school etc.). Religion, then, is something you base your life around. Which brings up the question:  Have people of today’s international society made money their religion?

As a high school student, I can vouch that there are large pressures to ensure a good future for the rest of my life. I am constantly asked by parents, teachers, and even fellow students what career I want to pursue, what college I want to attend, and what I want to study. My classmates and I are consistently reminded of the importance of obtaining good grades, test scores, and community service in order to get into a respectable college. People seem to hold the college process and career choice to a very high importance. Is this because of the sole fact that a “successful” career or an Ivy League degree will ultimately lead to riches? I have been guilty of asking people such questions about college and what they what to study, and I found that my classmates often respond, “I want to be a doctor, they make a lot of money,” or, “I want to be a lawyer because it pays well.” I like to think that the reason I strive to get into a good college and work hard in school is so I can eventually find out what my passion is, in an environment that makes me happy. But I must admit my future career is always lurking in the back of my mind, and with that, how much money I’ll be making. Since college, and therefore our future, is so important to me and to kids my age, it is arguable that we hold it as one of our core values, and work towards it “religiously.”

In Japan, the developing economy has greatly increased industrial jobs for men and women. The increase of industrial activity has created a demand for low-paying jobs with long hours and strenuous conditions, even for the higher-paying jobs. Sometimes the working conditions are so harsh that workers will literally drop dead while on the job or shortly afterwards. Sudden death due to over-working has become so frequent that they developed a name for these deaths: “karoshi”. Statistics show that one in three men aged 30 to 40 works over 60 hours a week. Kenichi Uchino, former manager of quality control at Toyota in Japan, died in 2002 at the age of 30, leaving a wife and two kids behind. On November 30, 2007 the Nagoya District Court accepted his wife’s claim that he was a victim of karoshi. He collapsed at 4 A.M. while working, having put in 80 hours overtime every month for six months leading up to his death. Right before his death, he told his wife that he is “happiest when he gets to sleep”. Mr. Uchino, like many other men his age around the world, sacrificed almost every aspect of his life to work. Since it is clear that he didn’t achieve happiness from his job, I am left to conclude that the reason he worked so hard was to make money and support his family. Suddenly his whole life started revolving around his paycheck. But my question is this: were his final thoughts ones of wishing he had worked more or made more money? Or, perhaps, were they wishes of spending more time with his family and being happy? If they were the latter, then why do people strive so longingly for money?

The New Testament contains a speech by Jesus in Matthews 10:37 that reads: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Jesus goes on to say in Luke 14:25-27 that you must “hate” your family in order to be a follower of Christ (often because families back then would no longer accept you if you were a follower or Christ). Therefore, you must be willing to choose him over your family. I can’t help but compare this with Kenichi Uchino. I’m fairly certain that his intentions for working so often were to make a good life for his children and wife. But, along the way, the sacrifices created the opposite effect. His efforts to support his children financially undoubtedly led to him neglecting them emotionally. As soon as he began to choose making money over being there for his children, he subconsciously made money a higher priority than his family. In the same way Christians must worship Jesus Christ over their family, Mr. Uchino may have thought he needed to worship his job over his family.

People often use the word “religiously” to describe how you should do something with dedication, for example “Wear your rubber bands religiously so you can get your braces off in time,” or, “Practice with your SAT prep book religiously to get a good grade.” As I said before, “religion” seems to have a more complex meaning then a routine of expressing your beliefs towards a higher power. Religion can simply mean what you base your life around, what you practice every day, and how you set your priorities in life. If the average working American works about 40-50 hours a week, then how much time do they dedicate to their faith, loved ones, or anything else they consider a priority? My idea is that there is a way to create balance. People around the world must bring this subconscious longing for money to their conscious, and address it head on. That way they can evaluate their reasoning for holding it to such high importance, and soberly identify what their true priorities are. If we openly recognize that we all have a pulling feeling in the back of our minds to be financially successful, then we can more clearly identify the things that mean more to us. We can then confront our values. On the day that our lives flash before our eyes, what will matter the most? If money has, in fact, become religion for some people around the world, finding a happy medium could be the way to distinguish or avoid it.

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“The Economist Newspaper Limited 2012.” Economist Newspaper Limited 2012. (2007): n. page. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.economist.com/node/10329261&gt;.

“Matthew 10: Jesus Sends Out the Twelve.” Bible Gateway. Holy Bible, new international version. Web. 22 Oct 2012. <http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew 10&version=NIV>.

“Economic News Release: American Time Use Survey Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012): n.pag. Web. 22 Oct 2012. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm&gt;.

The Feminist

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I am a feminist.  Yes, it is true that in the U.S. we do have advantages and women receive more rights than in other countries, especially those that are less developed.  But the question still stands, are we really equal?  I would like to believe that every man and every woman in the world is considered equal to one another, but that is not true.  The examples I have given about Women’s Rights are very different and are not comparable because of they’re magnitude, but they are two critical issues for women around the world.

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Women and Their Stance in the U.S.

My mother always shares this riddle:

A father and his son were in a car crash. The father died, but the son was critically injured and rushed to hospital. When he reached the operating table, the doctor walks in and says “I cannot operate on this child, he is my son.”  How can this be?

You are probably able to figure out that the doctor is the son’smother mainly because I already gave away that I am a feminist, but when I approached my friends(mostly girls) with this riddle, none of them were able to figure out that the doctor was the mother.  Many professions are still considered a “man’s job” including medicine, law, and news anchors.Image

In America, women have evolved in their involvement in the workplace by proving that they are capable of doing a “man’s job”.  The movie Anchorman, although a slapstick comedy, shows the seriousness of the effect of having a women as a news anchor and how the public perceived it.Image

Female news correspondents have spoken out about the issue.  Meredith Vieira from ABC News has explained her view on the topic. She has “had the opportunity to do most of the stories a man could do, except for one thing. [She] wanted to go overseas for a long time. [She] wanted to cover the Middle East, and was never given the chance.”  Vieira, who has been in TV news for 12 years, says that an executive told her, “I just don’t want you to get killed over there.”  If a man were to propose the same question, they would have not received this answer.  “It’s assumed that a man knows how to take care of himself.” (scholastic.com)

The Safety of Women Around the World

Although the U.S. and other developed countries around the world feel that the equality barrier, in the work place especially, between men and women has weakened and we are closer to becoming to be treated as equal, the developing world has been dealing with much larger issues.  Women in Africa and Middle Eastern countries have been forced into prostitution, early marriage, honor killings, and FGM.  The topic of FGM (Female Genital Mutation) is a very difficult issue to discuss and read about, but I feel it has a huge impact on women and should be fixed.

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FGM are surgical procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons with no health benefits for the girls.  The procedures are performed usually when the girl is between the ages of infancy and 15, meaning they probably do not remember it happening and were too young to comprehend what was happening.  If anything, they are extremely harmful and fatal.  Majority of these cases have included severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility, complications in childbirth, and increased risk of newborn deaths.  Around the world, about 140 million girls and women are dealing with the consequences of FGM.  In Africa specifically, about 92 million girls have undergone this procedure.

Image These practices are in violation of a person’s rights to health, security, physical integrity.  These girls are denied the right to be free from torture and the right to life when the procedure results in death.  But this is all being overseen because the reasoning behind FGM is that it is a mix of cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities.  Culturally, girls are told to be very feminine and modist, meaning they must be “clean” and “beautiful” and the only way for that to be possible is after the “unclean” body parts are removed from them.

ImageWHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and other associations around the world have been working to end FGM.  They have been creating statements earn more support over the last 15 years to abolish this act of harm and torture for good. (who.int)

Sources:

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4975

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

http://images.zap2it.com/images/movie-34589/anchorman-the-legend-of-ron-burgundy-13.jpg

http://www.washingtonspeakers.com/images/photos/sp1/3963.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CnDlfUMJ3_0/T30iVWoSxII/AAAAAAAAAFY/TTlOAKjF5xU/s1600/feminism_202b.jpg

http://www.friendsofunfpa.org/NetCommunity/view.image?Id=822

http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/africa_fgm.jpg

http://mangojuicer.co.uk/FGM/eradication.gif

Who Wants to be a President?

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

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            In our current political system it almost seems as if politicians are on a game show, competing to see who makes it to the end and gets the final vote. Each seems to be playing a game that involves tugging on heartstrings, telling people what they want to hear, and inevitably, bashing the other candidate.

Imagehttp://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/Mitt%20Romney%20Meme%202%20Ready.jpgImagehttp://www.bet.com/news/features/vote-2012/news/politics/photos/2012/09/the-best-and-worst-obama-and-romney-memes/_jcr_content/leftcol/flipbook/flipbookimage_2.flipfeature.dimg/092012-politic-best-and-worst-romney-obama-memes-obama-2.jpg

            Negative political ads, while still too common, have recently become considered to be less effective. These ads work best among individuals who “already think government works”, a group of people whose numbers are steadily declining in the American population (www.thefiscaltimes.com). In recent years, many Americans have become more distrustful of the government, possibly as a result of failed policies or because of examples of corruption within the government. On a disconcerting note, more people are affected by political ads that attack the personal decisions of the candidate, rather than their political decisions (www.thefiscaltimes.com).  The focus in our political discussion has shifted away from policy to personality.

            Is this really the type of society in which we want to live? One in which politicians will say whatever it takes to win an office and the hearts of the people? I think that politicians should focus on the ways in which their policies would be better than another individuals, rather than disrespecting them as a human being.  Each candidate deserves the respect of the their opponent and of the people. Not only is the discourse of this system toxic, but the way in which is it carried out detract from the candidate’s messages. The excessive amounts of money spent on political campaigning in this election alone are shown below.

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http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance

            Rather than the candidates using over $300,000,000 combined to fuel their campaign, might it be better to donate that money to the people they are supposedly trying to help? For example, the money these politicians are spending simply to get into office could be used to help the many unemployed individuals they talk about helping if they were to be elected. These exorbitant amounts of cash could be used to fund education programs in inner city schools or feed almost 25,000 American families for a year (www.cnpp.usda.gov). I worry that candidates spend their terms in office thinking about how to get reelected rather than focusing on the changes they want to see occur. The future of America depends on voters becoming truly informed about the issues of the campaign and on politicians regaining the trust of the people by working truly towards the good of the people.

 

Sources:

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/09/21/Think-Negative-Campaign-Ads-Work-Think-Again.aspx#page1

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/usdafoodcost-home.htm

“I hate my body!” – Societal Beliefs on Body Image

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

“Does this make me look fat?” “I need to go on a diet!” “I wish I had her body!” Sound familiar? That is the sound of negative body image. Going to an all-girl school, I hear this almost every day. It needs to stop. Research shows that 9 out of 10 girls hate the way their body looks. Poor body image can start as young as 5 years old and can last indefinitely.

What causes negative body image? Well, a large part of it is due to media; it has influenced the ways girls look at their bodies today. Anywhere you look- T.V, magazines, billboards, the internet- you always find yourself looking at a size two model with a perfect body and airbrushed face. You can’t help but compare yourself to her and feel a little depressed about your own looks afterwards (I am guilty of this as well). It doesn’t help that the standards for beauty have become increasingly harder if not impossible to attain in today’s society. “In 1917, the physically perfect woman was about 5ft 4in tall and weighed nearly 10 stone. Even 25 years ago, top models and beauty queens weighed only 8% less than the average woman, now they weigh 23% less.”

What is with the obsession on looks? Body image and physical attractiveness affects the way people see you or the way you view others. According to statistics:

– Attractive children are more popular, both with classmates and teachers. Teachers give higher evaluations to the work of attractive children and have higher expectations of them (which have been shown to improve performance).

– Attractive applicants have a better chance of getting jobs, and of receiving higher salaries. (one US study found that taller men earned around $600 per inch more than shorter executives.)

– In court, attractive people are found guilty less often. When found guilty, they receive less severe sentences.

– The ‘bias for beauty’ operates in almost all social situations – all experiments show we react more favorably to physically attractive people.

– We also believe in the ‘what is beautiful is good’ stereotype – an irrational but deep-seated belief that physically attractive people possess other desirable characteristics such as intelligence, competence, social skills, confidence – even moral virtue.

So where does this leave the “normal looking” people?

The importance on looks has been imprinted into our brains from a young age. Ever notice that the good fairy/princess is always beautiful; the wicked stepmother is always ugly? Or that young girls love to play and want to look like Barbies because they think they are beautiful? Some would argue that it is just the way society works; however, I believe that society has the ability to change and improve for the better.

                                         Barbie’s Proportions in Real Life

Barbie's Proportions in Real Life

In many ways we encourage the importance of physical appearance daily through simple, unknowing acts. However, in order to improve the standards of society’s value on beauty, we must first love our own bodies and stop comparing our looks to others. So don’t hate, appreciate.

http://www.sirc.org/publik/mirror.html

The Perniciousness of Pageantry

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm

When it comes to the matter of collective issues in our society today, the feminist in me cannot resist discussing the corrupt social conventions for women. In a recent discussion within my Global Issues class, a classmate of mine brought up the equality of gender within the U.S. in comparison to developing countries. Although the foundations of her comment were unarguable, her observation began to evolve into more subjective analysis. Without saying, it is very evident that American women are fortunate in comparison to those in tyrannical countries, but in comparison to the rights of men, how fortunate are we? As I began to further ponder female limitations—our inability to choose whether or not we can have an abortion, the prejudices of women in the workplace, and how sexual assault seems to still be a essential issue for female safety—I began to wonder what are the leading causes of these oppressive female stereotypes. While responding to my classmate’s comment, I was interrupted by the unnecessarily loud television in the next room. When I asked my sister to turn the volume down, I became entranced by the content on the screen. No matter how repulsed I was by what I was seeing, I seemed to be unable to look away from the flipper wearing, orange coated pageant girls on the hit reality TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras.” What made the show irresistible was its shock factor; its grotesque promotion of these geisha-painted children made me realize what keeps that glass ceiling from ever breaking: our social compulsion to over sexualize women.

With the help of the media and shallow traditions like beauty pageants, women have been demoted to a superficial level which detracts from the dimensionality of female attributes. For women, the overemphasized need for society’s perception of beauty has had serious negative consequences on our culture as a whole. Our sexualized media that celebrates and rewards external beauty distorts the view of women and women’s views of themselves to a state that virtually assures endless insecurity and dissatisfaction with one’s self. Beauty pageants have been an agent to our society’s corrupt belief of beauty by promoting all the wrong lessons for women. Reliance on looks, degrading your body for sexual appeal, are just the beginnings of what girls—some even as young as 8 months—will learn to do to earn the tiara of “Grand Supreme.”

While watching a show like “Toddlers and Tiaras,” it is doubtful the average viewer is watching the show for sexual pleasure but the subliminal messaging child pageantry contains instills long-lasting effects these young contestants will internalize. This romanticized fantasy of the winner’s beauty becomes infected by the undeniable reality. Encouraging young girls to sexualize themselves, before they’re even developed, serves to objectify these girls and instill a sense of weakness by making them believe they are less of a being and more of a thing.

Henry A. Giroux argues that within these pageants “self-esteem is being defined within a very narrow standard of autonomy,” therefore these children are learning a false perception of their worth, hindering their ability to grow with solid and confident independence. Children of the beauty pageant culture are misled to believe they’re successful only within one aspect of our society: looks. They are obstructed from any ability to find a deeper understanding of themselves, keeping them at such a superficial existence, which can and will ultimately lead to their downfall. As the cliché most commonly goes “looks fade” and these pageant girls will lose any sense of their self-esteem as they age. Therefore, “self-esteem often becomes a euphemism for self- hatred, rigid gender roles, and powerlessness” as parents voluntarily insert their young daughters into this materialistic world, which will mold their everlasting sense of judgment and character.

In examining the young children on “Toddlers and Tiaras,” one of the most striking impressions is how unreal they look—a toy doll rather than a human being — this dehumanization is yet another damaging consequence of pageants. The natural state of these young girls have been painted over to create seemingly flawless skin, unrealistically long eyelashes, and artificially shaped eyebrows—all in pursuit of a false and unachievable version of beauty. It is very likely these girls in reality are very pretty, but apparently not pretty enough to win a beauty pageant. Since this is not a natural sense of beauty, without make-up, how will these children ever feel beautiful? Each girl will associate her sense of worthiness with an artificial version of beauty to a point that she is very likely unable to be content with how she really looks, or how she really is. The advocates of beauty pageants claim that young girls are learning self confidence, but as Henry A. Giroux asserts “little is said about what children are actually learning in pageants, how a child might see herself and mediate her relationship to society when her sense of self-worth is defined largely through a notion of beauty that is one-dimensional and demeaning.”

It isn’t enough that these young girls are beautiful; to satisfy the lust of the beauty pageant promoters, they must be sexy. This adds a whole other dimension to this insidious ritual. As Eileen Zurbriggen points out, sexualization influences the most severe adolescent problems today. Sexualization is one of the leading reasons for eating disorders, depression, and self loathing among adolescents because sexualization has programmed the women of our society to focus on how they look too much (Source D).  When parents put their children up on stage with an immense amount of makeup and revealing costumes, they are setting them up for sexual predation. One can’t help but refer to the real-life example of the notorious murder of Jon-Benet Ramsey, a young beauty contestant killed and molested in her own home—apparently by a predator attracted by her sexuality. Although the case still remains unsolved, the murder displays the worst possible scenario of what could happen.

There are several powerful objections to “pageant-its” but perhaps the most serious is the effect it has on our perception of beauty, which in turn shapes women’s concept of self worth. The shallow and narrow perspective of white teeth, big eyes, clear skin can lead to misery and insecurity for the vast majority of girls and women as only a small percentage of the female population actually possess these traits. Perhaps the competition itself is not what needs to be altered but how our society perceives beauty. The pageants would not be such a corrupt influence if they rewarded beauty by a different definition, one that overlooks artificial beauty to celebrate natural beauty. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but what the beholder thinks is beautiful is manipulated by our common culture which reveres skin-deep beauty. It is our job to altar what the “beholder” sees and what our culture defines as beautiful.  The standard of beauty must become attainable, accepting of human reality with all its imperfections and shortcomings. But until that time comes, parents should not permit their children to participate in beauty pageants or else this corrupt standard of beauty will never be changed for the better, for their sake and society’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Insource or outsource?

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

In the changing times jobs are becoming less frequent and more rare.  Job insourcing and outsourcing are now common practices in companies in the west.  Job outsourcing is when a company contracts out side of their company to complete tasks and services.  Job insourcing is well, the opposite of job outsourcing.  Job in sourcing is when work normally contracted outside of the company, is done by the company themselves.
http://blog.mcpc.com/Portals/31560/images/C–Users-pfuduric-Desktop-Misc.%20Images-post-it1.jpg
There are many reasons to outsource.  Outsourcing saves money because usually when companies outsource they contract businesses in third world countries because they can obtain cheaper labor.  They are able to have cheaper labor because they do not have to provide benefits for their employees.  Companies outsource because there are able to find companies that specialize in a skill which they need to create their product or support their business.  Because the company contracted is a expert in the field wanted, the provider can get quality products.

The negative effects of outsourcing may out weigh the positive.  Language barriers can greatly affect product or service and can also effect the company that is contracting.  This barrier can also lead to misunderstanding which can hurt the company.  When outsourcing the workers contracted to might not have a solid understanding of the company which effects the quality of work.

https://www.ramprate.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/soucing_seesaw.jpg

Job insourcing is when a company performs a business function internally rather than externally.  In sourcing also companies to have more control over each worker and the production or services they are performing.  When working internally the employees usually better understand the nature of the company and the company its self.  Rather than outsourcing, in ourcing provides job for its people locally and nationally.

Insourcing also has its disadvantages.  When insourcing it is sometimes difficult to to find employees that can perform the task necessary or provide the desired service.  Usually when insourcing it is more expensive because of benefits for the workers and higher wages.  Employee turn over also is expensive because workers are not always reliable and when workers quit, new workers need to be hired and trained.


When comparing job outsourcing to job insourcing the benefits weigh out.  While one benefits less fortunate people, one provides for its own people. While one doesn’t guarantee consistency in products, one doesn’t guarantee consistent employees.  Outsourcing saves money and has contracted workers that specialize in a skill or service.  Out sourcing also sometimes doesn’t provide fair wages, requires more transportation of goods and often holds cultural differences.  Insourcing helps the local economy and allows more control over the workers and services.



I believe that there is not a better or more beneficial practice.  I believe that it depends on the company or service or product provided.  Some companies may save more money outsourcing and can guarantee a quality product while others may benefit from supporting their local economy and having workers that are dedicated and knowledgeable of the company.

Sources:

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba480

http://www.ehow.com/about_6586144_pros-cons-global-outsourcing-jobs.html

Media Manipulation

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Media has been a major source of receiving news for over a century.  In the last few decades, media has become even more vital for catching the latest news.  One of the issues with getting the news so efficiently is that it has turned more popular because of the fancy headings or griping details, but not for the story itself.  This has become a global issue because the stories that need to be printed and spread by the media have either been altered to appeal to the overall public, or completely cut because media corporations feel the stories will not be as interesting to the people.

The following percentages from dailysource.org, are mainly focused on Americans and their perspective on the media’s effect on global and national issues.

  • 36% of Americans believe news organizations get the facts straight
  • In a 1992 study, 23% of people found factual errors in news stories in their daily paper at least once a week, 35% see grammar mistakes in their newspaper more than once a week, and 73% if adults have become more skeptical about the accuracy of their newspaper
  • In a 1999 questionare, a group of senior journalists from around the country were asked if they ever suspected a colleague to create their own story, events, and quotes; 38% said yes
  • 80% of people believe sensational stories receive lots of news coverage simply because they are exciting, not for their level of importance
  • 48% of the public see misleading headlines in their paper more than once a week

It has been proven that the majority of Americans want to improve the environment, but they are still not given the news they want to hear.  In 2003, Dan Fagin, President of the Independent Society of Environmental Journalists responded to the people.  “Whether the subject is global climate change or local sprawl, aging power plants or newborn salmon, debating over environmental issues has never been…so obfuscated by misleading claims.  Meanwhile, getting environmental stories into print, or on the air, has never been more difficult.”  He is right.  The people want to know what is really going on in the world and are not given the complete facts or the information they really want.

As you know, the mass media takes pieces of information out of context to create the story or advertisement that will attract positive and negative attention.  United Colors of Benetton released a campaign where many world leaders were featured in edited pictures where it seems as if the leaders were kissing.  The “Unhate” campaign caused much controversy on the subject mainly because it was false advertisement.   Below are two examples of world leaders featured in the campaigns.  On the left is China’s leader Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama.  The image on the right features Pope Benedict XVI with Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailysource.org/about/problems#.UG5S4vk5x58

http://www.globalresearch.ca/human-rights-and-media-manipulation/

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