Category Archives: Blog Group 1: Oct. 5 draft

Blog post # 1 draft – Rukhshona Uktamova


by Rukhshona Uktamova 

           What is marriage? Two love birds’ living together? Escaping oppression or walking into oppression? A form of punishment? A form of freedom? Liberation? A form of slavery? The novel/book Women Race & Class written by Angela Y. Davis brought up many good important issues and topics about women’s history. Some topics are legacy of slavery, birth of women’s rights, racism during the women suffrage movement, women’s education and liberation, rape, women’s role in housework and more. Women throught history has faced many unfairness, they had to fight in order to have rights to education and to get job outside of their homes. In the book Women Race & Class written by Angela Y. Davis, it states “Well – situated women began to denounce their unfulfilling domestic lives by defining marriage as a form of slavery” (Davis, 33). I respectfully disagree to some extend with this statement because slavery is just more than working for less to no pay it is when one person is treated as property with no rights. Slaves are not free, women are. In the text it said “They seem to have ignored, however, the fact that their identification of the two institutions also implied that slavery was really no worse than marriage” (Davis, 34). Slavery in my opinion was so much worse than marriage, being taken away from your home getting seperated from your family, forcing to work in difficult conditions for long hours less pay and less food, getting raped by white men, and getting whipped and chained for trying to escape cruel treatment is not same as marriage. Yes, marriage can be challenging, diffucult especially when the wife is a full time employee, full time mother, and also a house worker but at least you are at your own home with your family. You chose to get married, to have kids, to work outside of home, slaves did not chose to be slaves.  

        During slavery, White women and Black women couldn’t really get a long because White women believed they were superior than Black women when they were really not. They tretaed them poorly, Black women were maids, and nannys. When White women started working outside of  home, they faced similar unfairs like Black women faced. Long hours of work but low pay. Because of the similar conditions white women compared their situation to slavery. Then they came together and fought for their rights. In 1833, Philadelphia Female Anti – Slavery Society was created and “…enough white women were manifesting their sympathetic attitudes toward the Black people’s cause to have established the basis for a bond between the two oppressed groups”(Davis, 34). You don’t know what somebody is feeling and going through untill you wear their shoes, so after experiencing similar treatment White women understood what Black women were going through. “….they learned how to challenge male supremacy within the anti – slavery movement” (Davis, 39). By helping others White women’s political involvemnet increased. 

        So, marriage is still not a form of slavery, it can be a blessing there are people who are out there who wants to have their own family, kids and loving parentners. There are women who are infertile, who can’t have kids and wanting to have kids. Taking care of your kids shouldn’t be a burden and shouldn’t only be the women’s responsibily. Men did take action in bringing the kids to life they shouldn’t say I am babysitting their own child or helping their wife when they are doing the home chorus. Because cooking and cleaning is basic life skills that everybody needs to learn and use. Women are hardworking, patient, strong individuals if they think marriage is a form of slavery because they are moms, wife, cleaning lady, cook, nanny, worker in factory all at the same time, they should look on the bright side. They are going to advance their multi-tasking skills, they can be role models for their kids, they can increase family income, enjoy their salary by spending on what they want they don’t need to ask for money. If they couldn’t handle this God wouldn’t give them all of this. God gave them all of this because he knows women are capable and strong enough to do all of this.  

For The Love of Men

When the world seems completely doomed, coming across glimpses of light provides the ultimate relief of hopefulness. Which is exactly what Liz Plank provides with her book: For the Love of Men, A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity

When considering the old fashion two gender norm, we have seen traces of toxic patriarchy influence both parties. “I’ve long focused on the numerous consequences of the patriarchy for women, because there’s no shortage of them.” (Pg 7)

There are countless of hills women face at the expense of the patriarchy to continue to thrive. However, miraculously, women have shown up to defend and represent what they are capable of. Even in the face of insurmountable battles, women come out in the end to uplift their community and the next generation. 

Now, in Planks words “take a moment to put a gender lens on men”, “although the news often focuses on the threats of terrorism, natural disasters, and nuclear war, there is no greater threat to humankind than our current definitions of masculinity.” In short, masculinity reeks of ego, power struggles and entitlement. Or what Twitter would like to call it “big dick energy”.

These three traits are intertwined to fuel global toxic masculinity. It is an unfortunate reality that starts at a young age for boys. “It presents intself in subtle ways, such as the way we raise boys differently from girls. It starts when we equate emotion with weakness and direct boys to display strength no matter what.” Meanwhile, young girls are openly encouraged to express their emotions. Being able to comfortably express ones emotion is not a bad thing at all. However it does become problematic when we don’t allow or encourage young boys to be vulnerable.

Plank also mentions the childhood behavior developments between young boys and girls with video games and Barbie dolls. While we spend a fair share of time discussing the harmful body expectations of young girls through dolls, we hardly ever pause to realize what first person shooter games could do for a young boys development. These behavior structures are implemented at such a young and impressionable age that ultimately create a bar for boys to live by. Ideologies for boys are to; not cry, supress feelings, and dominate. 

“When half the population gets trained to block emotions, they lose the ability for compassion.” Which snowballs into bigger issues overtime, most notably, multi-faceted violence (e.g. personal harm, domestic violence, neglectful behaviors or harmful actions on to others) Then we excuse any terrible thing done by boys with the term– boys will boys. So not only is there a supply of directions for young men to follow but there are excuses we apply for them to continue this lifestyle.

This concept of behavior equaling gender identity is toxic and a firm structure that maintains it’s shape by the same people who benefit from it. Planks book challenges the way we have been percieving masculinity and how we can keep an open mind about the way its been dominating our world. We have seen many humane victories by women for women, I believe it is time that we as women share a helping hand with men to encourage them to challenge this system that was enforced upon them. Much like the ones that their previous generations have inflicted onto our ancestors.

Draft Blog Post

As Stryker has said “Medical practitioners and institutions have the social power to determine what is considered sick or healthy, normal or pathological, sane or insane –and thus, often, to transform potentially neutral forms of human difference into unjust and oppressive social hierarchies”(pp. 51-52). We, as more progressive era of humans, have already started to blur the lines that separate humans into specific categories based on how we were biologically put together, in terms of sex, race, and body and how we present ourselves to the world after having experienced our version of life; while questioning, who gave the majority the power to enforce what is biologically right or wrong with human nature. We, as forward thinking people need to focus on “Dismantling a system that recklessly sorts all of us into biologically based categories of embodied personhood deemed more or less worthy of life” (Xii, Prologue). We tend to take on science as a fact without taking into account that scientists are humans with their own biases and perceptions which leak into the “impartial” data they are trying to convey to the public. However, science is not safe from the political nor how this “unprejudiced” data shapes our society and continues to be passed down through generations unquestioned. As Stryker has said, “Society tends to be organized in ways either that deliberately or unintentionally favor the majority, and ignorance or misinformation about a less common way of being in the world can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and mischaracterizations” (p. 7). Even if it were possible to create a study that would include every human difference, be it biological, cultural, sexual, etc., there is still a group of scientists driven by their own thoughts or agendas deciding how they want to interpret the data and present it. If in some possible way we could have completely unbiased results of studies or tests, how that neutral data would be presented to the public would still be leaning to appease the majority or risk being rejected, ignored, or tossed to the wayside regardless of factuality. My point being that medical science biases can make or break movements that lean toward inclusivity, to quote Stryker once more, “Medical science has always been a two-edged sword—its representatives’ willingness to intervene has gone hand in hand with their power to define and judge” (p. 52). In a society that profits off of exclusivity, it is necessary to break away from the social or cultural conforms, while focusing on pushing for the equity of all human nature rather than the equivalence of “lower” or “lesser” lives in terms of worth, be it class, race, sexuality, or gender also known as the minority being boosted up to the privileges of the “higher” or “better” or those more worthy of life, also known as the majority. Just as there are multiple perceptions, religions, and interpretations of the world we live in, there is also no way to measure which viewpoint is right or wrong or should be enforced or disregarded. As Stryker has said and which I agree with, “Because most people have great difficulty recognizing the humanity of another person if they cannot recognize that person’s gender, encounters with gender-changing or gender-challenging people can sometimes feel for others like an encounter with a monstrous and frightening unhumanness. That gut level reaction can manifest as panic, disgust, contempt, hatred, or outrage, which may then translate into physical or emotional violence–up to and including murder—being directed against the person who is perceived as not-quite human” (p. 8). I am not saying we should completely snub scientific fact, as we as a people crave recognition and understanding of the world around us, what I am saying is to use the information for inclusivity of all people, rather than to label, demean, or exclude any group or groups of people based on genetics, biology, psychology, or different ways we present our person. There is a historical pattern where science has been used to berate, disregard, or choose who is worthy of having the better quality of life, when we all begin with life and we all end with death and there should not be a need to categorize life, but learn about it and accept each other no matter the difference of person. Our goal moving forward should be to acquire acceptance of all through knowledge, be it scientific or experience based, and not to use this newfound knowledge for means of exclusion, politics, social agendas, the suppression or eradication of a people.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is having equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities for all genders. In the S.T.A.R interview, Sylvia Rivera mentions that she doesn’t believe that a transvestite or a woman should do all the washing or all the cooking and do everything that’s forced on by society and the establishment that woman have to do this (12). I agree with what Rivera believes because if you are in a relationship and you really love someone, you will support that person in every way that you can. Everything at home should be 50/50 like one day you will cook and the next day your spouse will cook. In many countries, people believe that all the housework should be done by women while men go to work. One of the first questions I get asked when I’m getting to know someone is, “Do you know how to cook?” I know many married couples who both the husband-and-wife handle all the responsibilities at home whether it’s cleaning, cooking or taking care of the kids. They don’t do it because someone told them they are supposed to, they do it because they love each other, and they are there to support one another. If we want to see change in the world, we must change the way we think.