Discussion Question #1
In popular culture, Goodykoontz is correct in that the majority of pop culture figures are white; there are many factors for this. First of all is the obvious remnants of racism that remain in today’s culture; white and black cultures have split to the point where it is difficult to balance the two. There are either “white” movies or “black” movies nowadays; most movies geared toward African-Americans have all-black casts (e.g. Tyler Perry movies), and most movies for white audiences will still have ethnic characters, but they are never the lead. There have been great strides so far in getting black characters in white culture, but black culture is still very resistant to white people usurping it or wanting to be included in it. Very few white rappers are listened to by black audiences, and there are few non-villainous roles for white people in black movies.
Re: response #1 – Mon 03/28/2011 05:34 AM Julia
I agree with you in that many portrayals of ethnicities in popular media are of stereotypes, even in films that are intended for those audiences. Many Tyler Perry films and the Barbership movies, as well as the Friday franchise, tend to paint a less-than-ideal picture of lower-income blacks. The emphasis, like you say, needs to be on the character itself rather than what race he or she is supposed to be – create good characters instead of using them to perpetuate stereotypes.
Re: response #2 – Tue 03/29/2011 02:21 PM Alexandria
The problem I have with that, Alexandria, is you seem to want to defend the ignorance of criticism placed on these types of shows and what they do – you wish we just “got past it,” which is akin to a bully saying that the victim should just get over the bullying and toughen up. It feels like an excuse to continue behavior that should be stopped; in this instance, that is inherent racism and cultural divides in pop culture.
Discussion Question #2
In her essay, Beck discusses her experiences with an eating disorder unit to give the reader anecdotal data about anorexics and bulimics – how they behave, how they think and feel, etc. Statistics were on her side in this case: she stated that, according to the American Anorexia/Bulimia Association, 5% of women will get an eating disorder, and 15% of them will come close to that. Four million women in America experienced domestic abuse, as well. More of her supporting evidence came from taking apart an opposing viewpoint – the article “In Defense of Hooters and the St. Pauli Girl” to showcase the objectification of women and demonstrate how societal attitudes toward women are turning men into potential rapists who do not respect women in the slightest and care about their feelings. They merely view them as conveniences and sexual playthings, because that is what popular culture has assigned them to be.
Re: Response #2 – Tue 03/29/2011 10:51 PM Angelina
I think your response to the supporting evidence is exactly right in that noting that the different kinds of information that Amy gave provided a “well rounded” case, especially when considering the opposing article that Amy critiqued. It helped to showcase her point that media stresses that we need to look perfect in order to be wanted, which you picked up on very well.
Re: Response #3 – Wed 03/30/2011 05:36 AM Christine
You put Amy’s supporting evidence in very good words, talking about how women in magazine ads are “displayed as sexual ornaments.” They are not meant to be considered as real people with their own desires; their role in men’s lives is serving the man’s sexual desire and need for companionship. You also, in my mind, pinned down the idea that women are brainwashed to sexualize themselves because culture tells them they need a man to go on living.