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Photo Voice Essay

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Caitlin Stone

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Photo Voice Essay

Photo Voice Essay
Moving to the Margins
“As I choose to move to the margin, I try to take other progressive people, specifically in my case the well-intentioned white people, with me into more progressive politics, living a more progressive agenda, choosing the margin.” (132)
“Wealth consists of what one owns (cars, stocks or securities, homes) minus what one owes (credit card or school debt, home mortgages). Despite the simplicity of this equation, it is confusing to keep track of the various indicators of class location, which include but are not limited to wealth, and are complicated by the social, intellectual, political, and economic networks into which class privilege provides ready access” (144).
Masculinity and Homophobia
“As young men we are constantly riding those gender boundaries, checking the fences we have constructed on the perimeter, making sure that nothing even remotely feminine might show through. The possibilities of being unmasked are everywhere.” (331)
“We can start by building a real sense of wholeness within the queer community. While our oppressors would like us to remain separate and at odds with each other, we can use our queer oppression to bind us into making connections and understanding the nature of oppression itself.” (390)
Marriage Equality
“Yes, and then the past will seem as preposterous and mean-spirited as the events leading up to the Loving decision do today.” After all, this is about one of the most powerful forces for good on earth, the determination of two human beings to tether their lives together.” (405)
Transgender Oppression
“Indeed, more often than not it is our expressions of femininity and our desire to be female that become sensationalized, sexualized, and trivialized by others.” (445)
“Stereotypes of disabled people as dependent morally depraved, superhumanly heroic, asexual, and/or pitiful are still the most common cultural portrayals of people with disabilities. Stereotypes repeatedly get in the way of full participation in work and social life.” (485)
“You also find blacks and other minorities in prison. Police officers in large cities, pressured to show results in the drive against drugs, lack the resources to effectively enforce the law everywhere… These officers know that it is easier to make arrests and to secure convictions by confronting drug users in areas that have conspicuous street corner sales, that have more people out on the street with no place to go, and have residents more likely to plead guilty and less likely to secure the services of attorneys…” (82)
By Caitlin Stone
“No matter what privileged group you belong to, if you want to understand the problem of privilege and difference, the first stumbling block is usually the idea of privilege itself.” (17)
Since taking this class and other classes within the Diversity Studies Certificate, privelege has become more obvious to me. What I mean by that is that I recognize it in other people, but even more in myself. I see where not recognizing privilege is hinders relationships with other people. But what I have noticed the most is people not understanding their privilege at all. The game Cards Against Humanity has a White Privilege card, which I find humorous in so many ways. But I have noticed that when I play that card there have been many people who don't even understand what that means. Which highlights a major problem in the journey toward progressiveness.
This section in the textbook really spoke to me, as it reminded me of some of the relationships that I have with other people. I also saw it as great advice, which is why this line in particular stuck out to me. It made me recognize that to be more progressive it is important to move to the margins, and gain an understanding or show support for those who are already there. I would like to believe that I do move to the margins in some situations, and sometimes more than my colleagues, so it is important for me to take others to the margins with me. I don't think that I do this on a grand scale yet, but if there was a way that I would be doing that it is through REACT to FILM. This pictures show the pamphlets, flyers, sticker, and pens that we use to promote our documentaries that often depict life on the margins. This a very small way of influencing other people, but I aspire to do more in the future.
In the film that we watched where they said that we can see class in what kind of bread we eat, I was very affected. I buy 6-grain bread and sometimes ciabatta but I would never consider myself in a higher class. I began to look at everything I had as status symbols, in a way where I became more appreciative of them and at the same time a little bit guilty. A representation of this is my record collection, some of which are pictured here. Just like bread, different classes consume different forms of music. Like most, I also download most of my music, but I really like to buy records of some of my favorite albums. This is a privilege of the class that I am in, that I am financially able to do so every now and then.
But I like that this quote identifies "wealth" as being a complicated term, because that is how I felt about it. I have the luxuries of going to college, of having an off-campus house, of studying abroad over winter break. But at the same time I am going to be in so much student debt, I can't afford to do a lot of the things that I see my peers do, and there are other factors that make it difficult for me to know exactly where I stand in terms of wealth.
“The pervasiveness of gender as a way of structuring social life demands that gender statuses be clearly differentiated. Varied talents, sexual preferences, identities, personalities, interests and way of interaction fragment the individual’s bodily and social experiences. Nonetheless, these are organized in Western cultures into two and only two socially and legally recognized gender statuses, “man” and “woman.” (326)
I chose this quote because I think it gets down to the core issue with gender in our society, and that is the dichotomy of male and female. To be normal you have to establish yourself as one or the other. I went to search in a magazine to find images of feminine things that only appeal to women, or the opposite for men. Instead I found that this particular magazine showed a lot of women in what would be considered more masculine attire, and this made me think of a few things. One, that there has been some progression, if not much. Perhaps women aren't being held to the standard of skimpy dresses and high heels anymore. The next thing I noticed was that even though both the man and woman in this picture are wearing similar things, they still mark the woman with a pink shirt. And finally I realize that this article would not exist if it were a man and woman both dressing up in more feminine clothing. So the dichotomy is still very very present, but at lease there is some progress.
I was listening to this song the other day and was thinking about the slight irony of it. The lyrics describe how people always think that Frank was writing his songs to steal their women, and he often denies it until the end where he says something along the lines of "Yeah I guess I do." And I thought about this article about masculinity as homophobia in relation to this song and Frank Ocean, because it seems like by the end of the song he conforms to the idea of writing songs for women so as not to blow his cover as a heterosexual. That is probably looking too far into it, but I think that Frank Ocean represents a step towards progression in that he is a part of the hip hop scene, which is a very masculine community, and he found the strength to unmask himself. Obciously there are many more steps to take, especially in the hip hop community.
The piece about the Loving decision was one of my favorites in the textbook. This is a picture of me and my friend, and we were joking about us holding hands being "racial unity," when not too long ago this would not have been acceptable. Especially to post on whatever the equivalent of instagram could have been. What this quote and this passage say in respects to this picture is that there are some friends, couples, acquaintances who would not be able to hold hands, even jokingly on a public platform. It seems ridiculous that myself and my friend would be ridiculed for such a thing, and I like that this article provides a hopeful message that one day the hate cast toward LGBT rights and love will seem ridiculous too.
I will admit to having a moment where you meet a transgendered person and are shocked because you actually cannot tell that they were transgendered. This is a result of the way that the trans community is portrayed in the media. We only see the drag queen, over sexualized, male to female version of transgender which is not very representative. I was trying to decide what kind of photo I should use for this, and the TV happened to be on the Friends episode where we are introduced to Chandler's "Dad." She is first shown in a drag performance setting, and then later at Chandler's wedding wearing somewhat revealing clothes. Images like this suggest that transgender people are only trans because of their sexual preferences or desires, which is not representative of the trans population.
Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows, and one of the few that have an actor with a disability. Peter Dinklage was born with achondroplasia which often causes dwarfism. I chose this picture because in the show he really defies all of these stereotypes. He is not entirely morally depraved (no more than the rest of the characters), he is not superhuman, he is very sexual, and definitely not pitiful. In this particular scene he proves himself to be the only character who will stand up to the tyranny of the young King Joffrey, as he has just slapped him twice. Like in every subject, there is progress to be made in the media representation of disabled people, but at least Game of Thrones and Peter Dinklange provide us with one character who breaks the stereotypes and often discusses his disability in the show.
The situation described in this quote is something that I have taken much interest in lately. The war on drugs, stop and frisk, it has all really angered me over the past year because I do not understand how it can go unnoticed, and now that it is more noticed, how it can go unchanged. I immediately connected the quote to the film
How to Make Money Selling Drugs
which was the first film that really informed me about the issues revolving around people of color in relation to the drug war, and it was the first thing that really got me fired up about it.
I really like this quote and this section within the text because I think that it really demonstrates how all minority and oppressed groups can overcome many of their issues. I chose this image for a couple of reasons. The first being that it represent the LGBT movement, which is almost encompassing of all "queer" identifications. I think they are in spirit they are just missing a few letters. But second is that it is a bit ironic. Barrack Obama is a symbol of the government that is forcing these communities to stay at odds with each other. The irony is that he as an individual is supporting LGBT equality, as is shown by this stick that was sent in the mail during his campaign. But I do think that Obama saying that he is in support of LGBT marriage probably helped to unite some intersection within the LGBT community.
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