Monday, April 28, 2014

Teens Talk Back

Teens Talk Back
Blog - Research

Happy last blog everyone!!!!! soooooo to begin....I have currently been researching for an hour and thirty two minutes and found this topic extremely hard to research.  I was trying to find something interesting and different to talk about other than our everyday topics but I wasn't as successful as I thought I was going to be.  Everything I am finding is teens talking back about how media affects their looks and health and also how adults view teens so I'm rolling with that... Here is a short video I found of teens speaking their minds about the media, they share with us the negative impact that media has on themselves and their peers and how that controls what society thinks of them.

One girl really caught my attention in this film.  she states, "I think people aren't really given the chance to act how they want to, because everyone is given a label but, we aren't cans of soup, we don't have a proper label" -- "I don't really want to conform to anything, I don't think a social norm is something to aspire to, I think everyone should have the chance to be an individual, because I am not the same as everyone else".

This YouTube film shows you that young teens hate the label that society automatically gives every single one of them, even though every teen lives a completely different life.  If one pregnant teen walked by an older person, that one girl will set a label from there on out for all teen girls to that person. Hormone-raging, sex crazy, drug abusing teen.  Teens feel as though adults look at them and judge them from their first look without giving them a chance to show who they really are.  Although some teens may really act the way some people label and view them doesn't mean every single person acts the same.  Teens today are dying in the inside to just set a knew path for themselves and to make the media look past all the stereotypes and labels that they have been given.

Watching this film and hearing these young girls speak about how they are viewed, I definitely felt some sort of guilt.  There has been times where I have seen a teenage girl and labeled her just by looking at her.  I don't know her story, I don't know what she goes through on an everyday basis, and I sure as hell probably acted the same exact way she was/did when I was her age.  Which reminds me of the Raby article, when one of the young girl states that she believes teens rebel because thats what society expects them to do.  I agree with that statement to a certain extent.  I was once that girl who rebelled because I was always being accused of doing things I wasn't....was it smart of me to do, no.  But I never got questioned again from my parents, and I also didnt repeat the action.

I am not saying teens rebelling is a good thing, but if its harmless and can teach a lesson to society and not automatically stamping labels -  than so be it.  

Here I have found a website, sort of  like a wikipedia but its called "unclyclopedia" about teenagers. This website literally gives a label for every aspect of a teens life....How does this website make you feel?? Any sympathy for the troubles of being a teen today??

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tricia Rose - Hip-hop Culture

Dr. Tricia Rose received her Ph.D from Brown University in American Studies.  Born and raised in New York she spent her childhood growing up in Harlem and the Bronx, which I’m sure intrigued her to focus on studying African American culture and hip-hop culture.  Dr Tricia Rose is most well known for her book called, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, which is based on the study of hiphop.  She covers many issues of race, inequality, popular culture, mass media, gender, sexuality, etc.  Another book she wrote is called The Hip Hop Wars.  In this book she basically describes and defends the arguments of why the genre is bad to some, and why it’s still great to others.

These issues she speaks of are about the notion of our society, being a multiracial society, and how we all exchange our ideas about other races virtually.  Her biggest concern is we do not include the subjects and issues we should be speaking of that truly matter.  She stresses the fact that different races and gender do not share lived experiences as much as we think we do, but we all share one thing in common and share the most knowledge in one thing - pop culture. 

The thing I agree most with Tricia Rose would be her concept about rappers including all these sexual slurs and racial stereotypes because they need them to sell.  Also, sexist images, which hip-hop has a lot of, seem to do very well across the cultural spectrum. So sexuality and sexual domination sell. Racial stereotypes sell. The market is more consolidated, which makes it easier for those images to perpetuate themselves.”  These artists at one point used to be very creative in there choice of words and verses, and now they have “dumbed” their music down to what society wants to hear and will buy and they are okay with doing that.  The thing that bothers me the most about hip-hop today is that it used to be so versatile, any age group could listen to it, it was clean (for the most part), but now you have artist talking about rape, shooting each other, blowing coke, using molly, and sex, sex, and more sex.  Their lines are clever, but the word choice is horrific.  I actually get a little embarrassed when they start screaming “pussy”, and “hoes” on the radio and I am in the car with my 70 year old grandmother or mother.  Music has changed and for the worst.  Not all of it, but the majority.  Its sad to see this happen, and I believe violence does come out of music, I don’t think everyone would agree with that, but with all the gang, shooting, and robbing songs, gives some people(weak people) ideas, and makes them feel it’s the right thing to do so they do it.

Just as in Cinderella Ate My Daughter, I believe there was a quote along the lines of “not being able to stop things from happening in society and changing the way people think about things” and people  - all you can do is try your hardest to steer your children in the right direction so they are not effected by the unfortunate changes in our pop culture

After readin this article, does anyone feel differently about hip-hop. And what is your take on violence that you hear in these songs? Do you also agree its bad for youth??

Monday, April 7, 2014

Queer Representation

Queer Representation in the Media

So here is the question I kinda/sorta based my blog on…

Whose voices and interests are being represented? Whose are absent? Who has control over meaning and identity? Is queerness being represented from its own perspective or is it being represented as it appears to an outsider?

Homosexuals( or in this case described as “queers”), once labeled as a minority group, are viewed very differently by society. Though many people think there is nothing wrong with being gay, there are many who still believe it is immoral and unnatural.  Having a sibling who is gay this topic interests me/frustrates me - even thought television shows are not as hesitant as they were in the eighties and nineties to show gay content it is so badly interpreted.

You now are exposed to society and their opinions, how they view, interpret, and feel about homosexual relationships and friendships.  At first when they started introducing gay characters into media, they limited it to strictcly movies and not live television - using homosexuals as comic relief or characters in the background, and now recently their characters are coming more common on television programs as main characters. (Emily, on Pretty Little Liars)

What bothers me the most about this topic is that the only characterization gay actors/actresses get is the fact that they are indeed gay.  They make that the main focus of their role. Why? Because I believe the straight people that make the role for the gay characters in most cases do not have the slightest clue whatsoever what is it like to be gay. To an outsider and the heterosexual community they have a bad habit of labeling, perceiving, and judging all gay characters as overly affectionate, super flamboyant (if male), obsessed with sex, not loyal in relationships, etc.  This exposes an untrue/fake description of homosexuality.  In a way this is a reason why younger people do not express their true sexuality because they will feel they will be judged and made fun of. As American Television continues to evolve, and as homosexuals become increasingly more open about their identities there needs to be a way others are educated correctly about what it is to be gay, and the actual struggles some have to go through in order to love a person of the same sex or even find someone of the same sex that is truthful and confident in their sexuality.  I witness the struggles on a daily basis.

For some reason I link this to the Raby article about discourses, almost as if a person knowingly feels in their heart they are gay from a very young age but they still have to go through so many steps before they feel confident enough to come out and say it.  I personally knew my sister was gay from a very young age, but throughout middle school and the beginning of high school she went through the whole faking straight and denial phase because she didn’t want to do what was considered different form her peers, and not feel unaccepted at the time when she knew.

Heres a quote I found…"Younger lesbians at the beginning of their careers in music are told not to tell anyone that they're a lesbian – that's not commercial," - "You need to present yourself as being fuckable by men, and you'll sell more records that way." …ok so lets be a fake idol to all that look up to us for years on end, and then be a huge disappointment (in their eyes) because your true sexuality finally came out????? How is this in anyway morally correct?

I HATE how “queer” is portrayed in the media, I HATE how people, religions, and society view gay as wrong.  People have the right to emotionally and physically love whom they want, how they want, at anytime in their life that they want -- without being judged. THE END.

How do you think queer is represented in the media?  Accurate or not?  

Ps - On a serious note there are so many suicides and murders due to homosexuality...  One example - I don’t know if anyone has heard of Matthew Shepard but it is completely awful what happened to him. I suggest watching the movie based on his life called, “The Laramie Project”.