The latest example is the one and only, Nicki Minaj, who joined the mainstream rap game less than 5 years ago, and has already become a whole new person (or if you let her tell it, she’s 5 other people). Maybe my frustration stems from the fact that I’m a singer and rapper my self, or maybe it’s just because I’m a true music lover. However, besides the fact that her butt is 60 pounds heaver than it should be because of her butt job, she acts as if she has no intelligence, and this the new role model for many young girls around the world.
A few days ago my facebook newsfeed was bombarded with angry military men (friends of mine) stating that there was no way they would go into combat with a woman. These concerns were expressed due to a recent pentagon decision to lift the ban on women in combat. My first thought was “military men, of course they would feel this way, they are surrounded by sexism!”, but as I thought about the subject matter more, and researched some of the actions that will be taken by the military I realized, there is a pros and cons list that one must consider.
How I see it: As long as one is able to perform the duties required for a given position, gender is irrelevant. As long as the military is not lowering its current standards and is instead requiring women to reach those standards, lifting the ban on women in combat is a great idea. Based on this proposal, the military will not be lowering its standards; it will be increasing opportunity for both women and the military system as a whole.
Pros: Women who are in better shape than men can be sent into combat. In modern day combat, more than just physical strength is required and valuable technical expertise and skills can be provided by both women and men. Women are more successful than men in different aspects of military operations. Women in combat can diversify the talent in combat units which can better resolve issues and end conflict. Mixed gender forces keep the military strong by increasing the opportunity gap for applicants. Military forces are less effective when they do not appoint the most capable person for a job, which may be a woman. The opportunity to appoint women to the most capable positions increases military effectiveness. Serving in combat is often a requirement for promotion to senior office position. Making this available to women allows them to reach the higher branches of the military which indirectly helps decrease sexism in the military.
2013 could be one of the most progressive years for LGBT rights in American history. With many states and the Supreme Court considering creating greater equality for Americans, this year will be one of the most decisive and historical in decades, regardless of what decisions are reached.
Confronted with change, sometimes desperate resistance is a natural reaction when one’s inherited values seem threatened. Homophobia, however, is not a natural or logical reply.
Prejudice is not natural, because it is not based on fact but on stereotypes, and stereotypes are not based on genuine understanding but a misunderstanding often produced by a lack of interaction or an abundance of seclusion. These beliefs are also spread by a national media with an affinity for the dramatic.
In response to the coming changes in many countries, not just the United States, Pope Joseph Ratzinger, the leading voice of the Catholic Church, lashed out frantically at the LGBT community and their allies in his Christmas address in December 2012.
“The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization (VAWA) is moving in both the Senate (S.47) with 50 cosponsors and in the House (H.R.11) with 157 cosponsors. The Senate could vote on VAWA as early as this week. ” – Feminist Majority Foundation
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been traveling to promote sales of his new book, but has drawn more attention toward his antiquated attitude toward homosexuality. Scalia’s most divisive comments were given in a speech made at Princeton University, “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
According to Geoff Mulvihill of The Huffington Post, “Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.” Despite the attempt to disguise his intolerance as philosophical pondering, Scalia is drawing connections between consensual homosexuality and non-consensual attacks against other persons.
The “slippery slope” argument being used by Scalia to defend his obstinate and degrading views on homosexuals is without reasonable justification. There are distinct motivations to be opposed to murder, which is harmful and against the will of everyone who suffers it. Read more
Despite losing the WPS, an elite league for women’s soccer, one of the few professional sports leagues for women in the United States, the year has been filled with bright spots and landmark events for female athletes.
The 2012 London Summer Olympics had female athletes compete in every event for the first time in its history. The United States also sent more female athletes than male to the competition for the first time.
Rhonda Rousey, the first American woman to win a medal in Olympic Judo, became the first female fighter to sign with the UFC.
ESPN writer Josh Gross explains, “The UFC had long balked at the prospect of adding women into its fold because of the perception that there wasn’t enough depth to create meaningful weight classes. Rousey’s rising stardom had a significant impact on the way White viewed the potential for female fighters in the UFC.”
Skier Lindsey Vonn is attempting to enter a men’s skiing event in Canada to find stronger competition to develop her skills against. Vonn told the associated press, “I am just trying to push myself and push my skiing forward to where the men are.”
Vonn isn’t the only female athlete challenging men in traditionally male-dominated sports, internet sensation Samantha Gordon has also gained significant attention for her phenomenal football athletics and has drawn many to consider the future women have in the contact sport.
Republicans spent 2012 trying endlessly to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides health services like cancer screenings to women in need. The GOP’s efforts were also focused on finding ways to evade laws which prevented employers from denying insurance coverage for birth control based on a belief that women’s reproductive rights are choice only men could possibly understand.
In 2011 and early 2012, the Republican primary debates appeared across the country the country as a traveling circus of candidates featuring a homophobe (Rick Santorum) who believes states have the right to outlaw birth control, an ironic misogynist (Michelle Bachmann) and cowboy (Rick Perry) who hope to ban abortions in all circumstances including rape and incest.
Surprisingly, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who failed to remove himself from this train wreck of sexism, homophobia, and intolerance toward minorities, lost the presidential election and the vote among these mentioned interests which proved well sufficient to send Barack Obama to a second term. Read more
On November 13th at 5:00 PM in the Woodland Commons, the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality will be hosting a screening of Miss Representation, a 90 minute documentary about how women are presented in the media to mainstream culture and how this affects women’s role in society.
According to www.missrepresentation.org, the official website of the documentary, “While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.”
As of 2012, Women hold only 16.8% of the seats in the American Congress, and only 23% of positions in State Legislatures, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, at Rutgers University.
One of the messages contained in the film is that people cannot be something which they are not shown lies ahead as a possible achievement. When media shows women in derogatory roles, or absent prominent ones, such as in legislature or intellectual roles, then women are dissuaded from trying to strive for positive positions in society.