You Are Never Alone and You Have a Voice. Use It!!!

Grey’s Anatomy is one of my favorite TV shows, if not my favorite TV show. I like the drama and the medical things that go on in the show. The medical field fascinates me and I plan on having a career in the medical field. I do not only watch the show for the drama and medical related things that go on. I mainly watch it because of its messages in the show. They have episodes that cover the topics of acceptance of sexuality and love, racial injustice, social class, and most importantly, women empowerment. On Season 14, Episodes 20 and 21 have a message about women empowerment. Women have been manipulated at work or even in other places with men that have a lot of money and the power to do what they please. Women were not allowed to have a voice and/or they were too afraid to speak up about what goes on behind closed doors. They would be paid a lot of money and sign an agreement for their silence. In the show specifically, there was a powerful man named Harper Avery who owned meany hospitals all over the world and worked with women for many years. It has recently came up that 13 women have filed sexual harassment complaints against him many years ago but he couldn’t let that go to public so him and his daughter-in-law Catherine Avery made these 13 women sign an agreement that they cannot speak about the situation or work in any Harper Avery owned hospital as long as the agreement stands. They payed them a lot of money for their silence.

Harper Avery died some time ago in the show but his grandson Jackson Avery was never aware of what Harper Avery because he swept it under the rug. He needed a very talented female neurosurgeon to come to Grey Sloan Hospital to come help Amelia Shepard with research on ultrasound waves to kill brain tumors. She would not come because she found out that Grey Sloan was owned by Harper Avery and turns out she was one of the 13 women who filed the complaint. He worked his magic and got the agreement lifted. He still did not know the whole story but lifted it anyways. Now, all 13 women are no longer going to be silent and by the time his mom told him the whole truth, it was already too late. The hospital that they work at is at risk. In the next episode, Catherine Avery is ashamed of what Harper Avery has done and wants to change the legacy of the Harper Avery Foundation. She publicly supported all of the women that were affected by the agreement, gave the women who were silenced, a voice and she changed the name of the foundation to the Catherine Fox Foundation. It cannot undo everything that happened but it is most definitely a start.

In this course, sometime in February, we discussed men’s definition of inequality. We talked about how some men do not see women as nothing more than sexual objects that they can use however they want. They believe that because they have money and power that it exempts them from having to deal with the consequences of their actions. Since women were viewed as less than, whenever they would want to come out and speak about what has been going on, no one would believe them. Up to this day, we still live in a society that has this mindset. It was not as bad as the 1900s but it is sad that it still exists. In a way, I believe that Harper Avery’s death happened as a result of his past actions. You may be able to avoid consequences with your gender, money, and power but not forever. How long until your past catches up with you? You cannot escape the inevitable.

Blog Post 4: Watch a Movie By Ramy Mohamed

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris

I decided for this post that i’d watch one of my favorite series, Mad men. Mad men takes place during the 60’s and highlights the social upheaval for both men and women at the time. One of the characters that really stuck out to me in this series was Joan, she started off as a office manager and initially believed that she wanted to find a husband and quit her job so that she could be a “respectable” housewife. Of course many women at the time were expected to do so. In fact in the 60’s people assumed that the only reason a women would work is if they failed to find a man to support them. The reason why I like Joan’s character is because she rejected these expectations and decided to work anyways. As I stated earlier Joan started off thinking she wanted what was expected of her from society, however as time passed and responsibilities grew so did she. She turned out to be a strong individual that didn’t need a man to lead a happy life. In fact she eventually divorced her husband and it didn’t effect her negatively one bit. I think what would have been the most damaging thing that could have happened to Joan was not working. Not working would have meant that she would have lost the excitement and validation she got from running the administrative side of the advertising agency. Not only that but, without her job she wouldn’t have had been able to leave her husband in the first place, thus no independence or freedom. It goes to show that the societal norms in the 60’s actually held women back from being financially independent / individually free. Those brave women that chose to work despite the stigma learned this truth firsthand and were better for it.

Watch A Movie

HBO’s “Insecure” is the perfect depiction of modern day womanhood. This show not only gave a voice to women of color, but also opened up honest conversations about dating, colorism, navigating life in a city and so much more. The main character Issa, who has her natural hair, is one of the most desirble characters on the show. For that to be shown on TV, a woman to be desirable with natural hair is a big step up. Oftentimes on television, we are shown that women with long and flowy hair are the only ones considered desirable and especially within the black community, television often tries to conform women that they are only desirable with a specific hair type, when in reality that is not the case. With two female protagonists, we see how each of them try to navigate their lives in very relatable ways. Each character has different experiences and work lives but we still are able to see their similar experiences with sexism and racism at the workplace. Both protagonists who are extremely intelligent go through very real experiences and sometimes handle them better than other times but it feels so genuine to how real women experience life. The show takes a really interesting take on relationships and shows how a relationsip lives after the honeymoon phase and how media influences like pornography and music videos can really take a toll on a relationship. These are relatively newer issues in today’s world and the show’s way of highlighting these issues and legitimizing them is a big deal for everyone. Not only is it an accurate depiction of womanhood, it shows the genuine awkwardness that many people deal with. It’s the most real way of depicting a woman, especially in Hollywood. We are always taught through the media that women should be poised, not too loud, not awkward, not outgoing and not in control of their romantic relationships. We are taught women shouldn’t have sexual desires nonetheless verbalize them. The two protagonists, Issa and Molly do have awkward moments, they are outgoing, they are in control of their relationships. This show is just such a healthy depiction of real life. The characters have healthy relationships with themselves while also showing some dark moments, but they do not let their struggles define them. Issa’s form of self expression is through rap songs she sings to herself in the mirror, they are sometimes an uplifting pep talk, or sometimes a run down of her current emotions. It’s healthy to see when she has issues, she does not have to run to someone to fix them and she has a healthy relationship with herself in order to express her feelings.

Insecure”: Issa Rae's vibrant south Los Angeles - Highlander

Blog Post #4: movie review (~spoiler warning~)

Mad Money starring Queen Latifah (Nina), Diane Keaton (Bridget), and Katie Holmes (Jackie)

The film Mad Money is a film that follows three woman and their attempts to scam and steal money from the United States Federal Reserve. The heist goes awry when they begin to get greedy and rash with their strategies.

The film relates to women’s, gender, and/or sexuality studies because it follows the plot of three women leading and engaging in criminal activity; such roles are usually held for men. The women involved also come from different worlds. The ring leader, Bridget is an older upper-middle-class white woman, Nina is a lower class single mother with two children, and Jackie is a ditzy diabetic living in a trailer with her boyfriend. *Bridget does not fit the typical lead female role, because she is on the older side and she doesn’t dress provocatively*.

Bridget has to begin finding a job and make money after her husband’s business gets downsized. Since he is no longer the breadwinner and they are now $286,000 in debt, they must sell their home. Her husband, Don, gets discouraged and lazy, but Bridget remains levelheaded, attempting to find a problem to a solution. Women in hindsight are usually the ones portrayed as being dramatic and hysterical but here is the first instance in role reversal. She attempts to find work but hasn’t worked in years as she’s been busy raising a family. She has a college degree in comparative literature and no software skills. Her housekeeper Selena suggests a position for her at the US federal reserve bank as a janitor after her check bounced.

In the US Federal Reserve bank, those in charge are men in suits, who’s duties involve keeping track of the bank’s security. Bridget soon meets Nina as she is shredding the old worn-out money by the tons.

Nina shredding money.

While seeing a master lock while shopping, Bridget gets an outrageous idea to steal from the bank. She then begins to plot out her course of action by assessing a cash movement chronology. She begins to befriend those closest to the money. The greed and desperation of her situation consume her sensibility, forcing Bridget to want more, but she can’t do it on her own so she recruits a few friends and her husband. To scope out who she could trust to keep their lips sealed she drops a $10 bill by a vending machine and asks if a guy had dropped his money, he says “no, I better return it”.

In the next scene, Nina gets harassed by a security guard. He calls her baby and says how he’s cuckoo for her coco puffs while looking down at her chest. Nina turns the table and disses the guard and he retaliates by speaking derogatorily about women by saying “You gotta howl at the bitches”. He then proceeds to catcall the next women in line.

Bridget successfully convinces Nina by showing her what she could do with the money. Since mothers want the best for their children, Bridget sends Nina pamphlets on good schools because she wants her sons to attend a school that prioritizes education so they have the opportunity to escape their rowdy and violence-stricken neighborhood. A final pawn in this operation is a ditzy, diabetic woman named Jackie. She is the easiest to convince.

Their plan works and they are able to leave with a lot of money. Nina uses her feminine charm on the second security guard that likes her. Her body is convincing as she raises her pitch, smiles, and compliments him. After she gets what she wants she denies him and walks away when he asks her on a date.

The next scene shows them counting money and celebrating because they successfully intercepted one of the toughest federal institutions in the country.

Bridget goes off the deep end and gets greedy, straying from their original plan of getting what they need and getting out. Suspicions run high.

To get the second security guard on their side Nina’s friends convince her to date him and use him, but he doesn’t want her for sex because she’s worth more than that. Bridget’s husband, Don, gets involved because he feels he’s losing his wife and he wanted to feel needed because she’s was relying less on him but more on herself.

Although they get caught in the end they all have each others’ back and since there’s no tangible evidence that they stole the money they are released under the condition that they walk away empty-handed.

The women celebrating towards the end of the movie after it’s revealed that Bridget hid more money elsewhere.

This movie was an excellent depiction of how money and the love of it can change a person, but their friendship was strong and these women stayed with one another through it all. Relating to women’s studies, the lead characters faced objectification and were doubted for their abilities but used what was available against the men around them as a way to regain control of the situation and find success in the grand schemes of things.

Watch a movie

I watched the movie in The Time of the butterflies by Julia Alvarez which Is about three sisters in the Dominican Republic. They went against the president at that time which was Rafael Leonidas Trujillo who was a dictator that most people hated. There is a particular scene that relates to the class, one of the sister tells her friend that she wants to become a lawyer. But at that time a women could not be a lawyer because the president did not allow. It. The sister that wanted to become a lawyer found a way to go to law school.  In the movie it shows how the sisters are part of an activist group which at the end gets them killed by the Dictator who killed everyone that was against him. The sisters became the symbol for women days.

Blog Post #4

I personally was always fascinated by the societal creation, that women are always dependent on men and without them success will never be had. Although, in some cases this holds true, because some women might choose that that’s the life they want to live, which is just valid, being dependent on someone other than yourself especially a man should be a choice a women makes versus a stigma and judgment women have. The movie I decided to watch is called “Someone Great”, a basic chick flick that I have watched before, except with no previous idea in my mind about the underlying roots of the movie. As I watched this film, I went into it thinking this relates to our women’s class of course because the three main characters are women, all with different ethnicities, seuxalitys, places of work, backgrounds etc. However, as I continued to watch the movie I soon realized there’s so much more to these women and to this story then just their diversity. Interestingly enough, what made these females stand out to me and really impact me wasn’t the diversity they all held from each other, but it was the one similarity the movie shed a light on. The idea that these women didn’t need anyone including a man to succeed, to get what they want, and most of all to feel happy and content with their lives. 

The film follows the main character Jenny, and her two friends Blair and Erin while they’re each going through a rough time in their life. Jenny’s boyfriend, Nate, had just broken up with her because she got her dream job at the Rolling Stones magazine but had to move from New York to San Francisco for it. Blair is trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s not happy in her relationship with her boyfriend and needs to figure out how to end it. Erin struggles with revealing her true feelings to her girlfriend, and is scared that if she does, all the happy times will shatter. With those three plots, it would be easy and predictable to make these females depend on their significant others and hold on to them just for the sake of thinking they’re not good enough to be on their own. However, this movie portrays these women as independent and separate assets than their partners. Evidently, there’s many emotions and hard conversations that lead up to having those realizations and the stability to be okay, but what impressed me was the will power they all had. There were no points in the film where these women denied the fact that they could be okay without these men and significant others, there were no points in the film where these women thought they were less than because a man wasn’t there beside them. It’s not a man, or another human being that’s going to make you feel powerful, equal and most of all able, but it’s the concept that us women are capable of absolutely everything anyone else is, and if we work for what we want, we will be able to achieve our goals.

Post 4: Watch a movie

I choose to watch the HBO series Big Little Lies, which was written/produced for television by David E. Kelley; the show isbased on the same titled bestseller by Liane Moriarty. One of my reasons for picking this series is because of the amazing female cast which includes Reese Witherspoon as Madeline, Nicole Kidman as Celeste, Laura Dern as Renata, Shailene Woodley as Jane, and Zoe Kravitz as Bonnie. Yes, the cast is amazing, but I’ll be focusing on Nicole Kidman’s character Celeste and her relationship with her husband Perry played by Alexander Skarsgard.

I really hate to give away spoilers, but it’s hard to discuss the relationship between Celeste and Perry without giving away a few spoilers, so please if you haven’t watched the show and are interested in watching STOP READING NOW!

At first, it seems like Celeste and Perry have this ideal life and marriage, but it’s far from ideal because he is physically abusing her. I picked these characters because domestic violence is a real issue that effects many women throughout the world. I love how when the show begins Perry seems like devoted husband who is crazy about his wife, but you soon realize that he is controlling. We first see this side of Perry when he and Celeste are discussing a bullying incident that happened during orientation at their twins school, Perry tells Celeste that he doesn’t want their sons hanging out with this bully and she explains to him that she doesn’t think that’s necessary when she turns to walk away he gets up, grabs her roughly by the arm and basically demands that she listen to him. The following day they go together to drop off their sons for their first day of school, which leads to an argument because Perry doesn’t get to meet the teacher. When they get home Celeste approaches Perry to try and make peace, but it turns violent. He slaps her across the face, and they fight, but the fight leads to sex. After this incident in the series they end up seeing a marriage counselor who sees right through Perry.

The interactions between the counselor and Celeste were difficult to watch because Celeste attempts to make up excuses for Perry’s abuse. In class we have had discussions regarding domestic violence and how some women make up excuses for their abuser because they feel like they have nothing without him, and I saw this with Celeste.  

In my opinion, what we see Celeste deal with is true for many women in similar situations. Being scared of breaking up their family, being alone, and believing that their abuser can change.

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Blog Post 4: Watch a Movie – Mudbound

The women in Mudbound relate to women and gender studies. The women in the film are examples of a women’s place in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era post war. Laura McAllan depicts a white woman’s role in being complicit with racism and the general role of a woman during those times. Florence Jackson gives us the point of view of a black woman whos family lives on the McAllan’s land. She is hired by Laura to take care of her children while her son returns from war. Vera another woman’s family sharecrops on the land like the Jacksons ,she shows a woman that has gone mad over her situation in life.

Laura a woman whos life wasn’t going anywhere before she met Henry -her husband -who “saved her” from her life before. She is grateful towards him for removing her from her situation but she does not love him. She is subordinate to what her husband wants. An example of this is when she states that she “loved domestic life yielding and waiting for him to come home . that what she was put on the Earth to do”. Also, she never denies his advances because it makes her feel like a wife. Her role as wife she places herself as lesser to make him feel like a man.

Laura sees the unjust treatment of the Jacksons throughout the movie. An example of this was when Pappy was speaking to Florence when she was cutting up food to cook. She held the knife to her side and Pappy threatened her. Laura stayed silently watching this happen even though she herself dose not like Pappy. She had silently coddled his racism and when she placed herself in a wife’s role, she had no power to do anything.

Vera the white sharecropper had been struggling to pay the sues. She constantly demands that Laura gives them work and to let her family stay on the land. She threatens and begs Laura to stay. But, that decision is ultimately up to her husband not hers to make. Vera’s actions would have gotten a black woman and her family killed if they had done that. which shows her white privilege.

. Florence goes to work for this white family which was a difficult decision for her to make because her mothers have done the same. She wanted to raise and love her own instead of a white woman’s children to the fullest wanting to break the generational job. She agreed to further her family in their goals of owning their own land and making ends meet.

Another way this film is related to women and gender studies is that the producer of the film is a black woman named Dee Rees. She was the first black woman who was nominated for a Oscar fort the best adopted screenplay for this film. She is making advances for people of color in the way they are marketed towards, as well as putting out media for consumption. She also made the industry leaders pay attention to what black consumers enjoy.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel *Possible Spoilers* – Blog Post #4: Movie Review

Set in the 1950s-60, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a three series long sitcom that follows the life of Midge Maisel, a young upper class jewish woman growing up on the Upper West Side. Midge lives a seemingly “grand” lifestyle ; married, two kids, her own home, and no real financial woes for four years up until the day her husband decides to pack up and leave her. It is at this point that Midge turns to comedy as an outlet for her pain and as a way to shed light on the ways in which women are meant to feel, speak, and even act within society. At this particular period in time, women (especially those within the Jewish community) were expected to hold a place in the household as a wife and mother while their husbands worked hard to support their affluent lifestyles. This dynamic is clearly displayed throughout the series through the relationship shared between Midge’s parents Abe & Rose Weissman. A genuine (and hilariously entertaining) relationship/marriage indeed but, one that almost comes across as “tolerated” to a certain degree. Rose even attempted to leave Abe at a point and flee to Paris to which he responded by making his way to Paris to demand she return home to her position as his wife. Saying all this to say, Midge takes her own personal experiences and upbringing to make audiences aware of the unrealistic expectations set for women in the 1950s-60s.

Watch a movie- blog post 4

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I watched the movie “Iron Jawed Angels” which is a movie based on the year 1919-1920 situations happened regarding women’s right to vote. Fiery American suffragette Alice Paul lights a fire under the older women’s leaders in Washington DC. President Wilson refuses to give all women the vote, but Paul is prepared to go to prison for her cause. Along with her friend, Lucy Burns and other women, they fought for women’s rights and the ratification of the 19th Amendment. These activists showed their strong support by marching during President Wilson’s initiation and protesting in front of the White House during a war, which many men were angry about. The protests in front of the White House led to activists being arrested and charged them with “obstruction of traffic.” Inside the prison, Alice Paul and the other women went on a hunger strike and were forced fed by authorities with raw eggs and milk. Later, the harsh treatment of the authorities were published in newspapers which put pressure on the President that led to the ratification of 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. I think this is a good choice for us to look for details about the situations that women faced in those years. This is how it is related to women’s studies. This significant women’s movement is the key for knowing about how women should react in certain inequalities they face.

Carrie Chapman Catt is the chairman of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) who did not see protesting, marching, and hunger strike as the procedure that women should take in order to achieve their goals. She believed that the constitutional amendment that gives women the right to vote will only be vetoed in the Senate and will be a waste of time. In other words, she as well as the other women in their group prefer a state-by-state approach While Alice Paul, thought that in order to achieve their goal they must fight for it no matter what it will cost them. The different views from both, led to Alice Paul getting out of the NAWSA group, and creating her own that they called the Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage. 

According to my opinion, Alice Paul was not known too well by people as much as the other figures because she was not the only woman who fought for the voting rights for women. There were too many women that fought for it, therefore making it difficult for people to remember who exactly succeeded. Also, the fact that our country do not like to pay attention to what women did for our society, because some still do not agree with the decision that gave women the right to vote. Still, a few people believed that women should not have a voice in this country.

A Different Future

If a feminist and anti-racist activism succeeded and we live in a more egalitarian and less oppressive world, I would wake up to the birds singing. I would wake up even more gleeful to start in a world that I know if for me and not against me. I would be more optimistic and feel safer and so would many other people. My mornings would be normal, but I would wake up praying for it to never end. In this ideal world, I would not take anything for granted, knowing how much sacrifices and struggles it took to get to this state. I would imagine it being a world similar to how it was before Eve ate the apple-blind to our flaws and content with each other. Peaceful. My brother could go about his day without fearing for his life because of his race. My mom would no longer seek to shelter her only daughter. I would be more willing to experience new things.

My average day would consist of going to class with more hope and being able to focus and work harder without having to worry or stress over these social issues. CUNY would offer more intense and confrontational classes on these issues. However, these issues might be eliminated systematically, but it is hard to remove it mentally. I would still come home being annoyed about the ignorant minds, but I will feel better knowing that it cannot extend beyond their thoughts.

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