Category Archives: Blog Group 2: Oct. 26 final

css.php

What does religion say about being gay?

The majority of major religions around the world condemn being gay and believe being gay will send you to hell. With major religions comes religious culture and many religious cultures encourage homophobia and transphobia. Religious culture is a culture that is built around the beliefs of religion but is not an actual following or rule within a religion. An idea many people who believe in religion seem to believe is that people are not born gay, they choose to be gay.  A simple yet effective argument to refute this is to mention how people in many countries are stoned to death for being gay, and even in recent history people were sent to mental institutions for being gay, so why would anyone willingly choose to struggle? We must ask ourselves how can we understand and empathize with those who are facing religious abuse because of their sexuality, and what can we do to help? 

 

Young adults apart of the LGBTQ community are at high risk of facing religious abuse. A recent meta-analysis by Friedman et al. (2011) found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents report higher rates of abuse, victimization, and bullying than their heterosexual peers. LGBT young adults also report higher rates of mental illness, suicidal ideation, and self-harm when compared to their non-LGBT peers. When living with religious families many children never come out to their parents because they are afraid of the risk of being kicked out, disowned, or even physically assaulted, and for those who do come out to their families these risks become their reality. 

 

Besides not being able to come out to their families many religious people do not believe in struggling with mental health and suicidal thoughts, they believe turning to God and praying will solve all your problems. “The majority of Americans (57%) identify religious belief (belief in God) as a requisite for moral judgment (Kohut, Wike, & Horowitz, 2007). Due to these factors, LGBT persons who mature in a religious community context report experiencing increased discrimination and internalized homophobia (i.e., negative attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and stereotypes about LGBT people that is directed inward by someone with same-sex attraction or feelings of discontent with one’s biological gender.” In western countries, many religions have made exceptions to accepting the LGBTQ community and are in support of gay marriage, but this is not the reality for many third world countries where it remains legal for someone to be killed because they are gay. The aim of a study that was conducted was to investigate how religious upbringing impacts suicide and internalized homophobia. “The purpose of this study was threefold: 1) to determine if religious and LGBT identity conflict indicators are associated with suicidality, 2) to investigate if internalized homophobia mediates this relationship, and 3) to determine if a religious upbringing is associated with suicidality.” The data indicated that identity conflict that comes from dissonance felt between religious beliefs and LGBT identity was associated with a higher risk of suicide. All three indicators were associated with suicidal thoughts in the last month, parental anti-homosexual religious beliefs were associated with chronic suicidal thoughts in the last month and two indicators (i.e., leaving one’s religion and parents’ religious beliefs about homosexuality) were associated with suicide attempts in the last year. There are countless things we as a society can do to assist those who are suffering at the hands of religious abuse, we can open shelters for runaways, provide more government-aided therapy, build community centers, and most importantly educate ourselves. 

 

Homophobia within religious communities is strictly religious culture as no religion encourages targetting people apart of the LGBTQ community or murdering them, these horrific actions are justified with religion. As newer generations become more westernized, acceptance of persons of LGBTQ has become more prominent, even with religion. There are endless sources and means of education for one to learn about what it means to be gay and how it is not a choice. We as adults in this generation must make changes that previous generations did not make. Regardless of what one might believe in, we must empathize with people especially when we do not know what they are going through. We must stop speaking on their behalf and start giving them platforms to teach us how we can become better allies. We must stop justifying violence towards the community because of religion because no God who is supposed to be merciful and loving would ever condone the actions of those who inflict pain on others simply because of love and attraction. Mental health resources must be more accessible so that those who can’t be open to their families can at least have someone they can talk to about what they are experiencing. 

 

References 

Gibbs, J. J. (2015). Religious conflict, sexual identity, and suicidal behaviors among LGBT young adults. Archives of suicide research: official journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4706071/. 

The Loop of Gender and Religion Social Constructs

What makes a man, a man? What makes a woman, a woman? Why is it that we are assigned to these categories since the moment we are born? And why are we expected to play roles in society that deems as feminine or masculine? 

Gender stereotyping has a massive part in the social construct of gender and deems certain things as being masculine or feminine. Stemming from the idea that sex and gender are connected: “Gender, specified as masculine or feminine, denotes the psychosocial attributes and behaviors people develop as a result of what society expects of them, depending on whether they are born female or male”(Hubbard, 157). 

There is the idea that men are meant to be the breadwinners and women are meant to be the homemakers. Some other gender stereotypes are that women are emotional, men are tough and they are not supposed to show emotions, hence the saying boys shouldn’t cry. Stereotypes can also apply to jobs like nursing is a heavily female-dominated area of study, which relates to another stereotype that says women are naturally more nurturing therefore they are nurses or teachers. On the other hand, STEM fields are more likely to be dominated by men because they are more logical. Women that pursue careers in STEM are discriminated against by their male peers, professors, etc, and this is the same as men pursuing careers that contain mainly women.  

Religious institutions also have a part in furthering these stereotypes of men being breadwinners and women as homemakers. “In the US, religious ideology and gender role attitudes are deeply intertwined and interdependent institutions”(Siordia, 231). By promoting the idea of men and women being fundamentally different, religious institutions go on to cultivate men being a part of the public sphere and women in the private sphere, hence solidifying the previously mentioned stereotypes. In addition mainstream religious institutions have a strong bias with the idea of monogamous heterosexual marriage as being the norm(Siordia, 231). Gender becomes a man and woman, a perpetuated idea that there will always and ever be two genders. 

The Western assumption is the root cause of there being only two kinds of people. This is a result of there being two sexes that form coupling which leads to producing offspring. “That coupling, if it does not grow out of the teachings of Western religions, it is surely reinforced by them”(Hubbard, 158). Furthermore, Western colonization is the reason why many groups of people in different countries have been shunned for having a third gender. In many cases, prior to this, there have been instances where groups of people such as Native Americans of having a third gender. They were known as nadles or berdaches and were honored despite being neither male nor female(Hubbard, 160). 

Society strives to control the common person. By enforcing these ideas, it becomes easier to control people, restrict their expression and redirect their attention to things that benefit society for itself and those in power.

Citations:

Hubbard, Ruth. (1996). Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender. Social Text, 46/47, 157–165. https://doi.org/10.2307/466851

Siordia, Carlos (2016). On the Relationship between Gender Roles Attitudes, Religious Ideology and Familism in a Sample of Adults in the United States. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 17(4), 229-244. https://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1895&context=jiws.

Radicalism Behind TERF – Valerie Kominer

Radicalism Behind TERF

Throughout time, people have clung to the idea of normalcy. People often treated normalcy as a standard, a sort of ingroup sense of belonging. While this may seem like a positive attribute in society, the reality is the completely opposite. Normalcy, as an idea, was set by the straight white wealthy man. As a result, it was in their favor to set the norm to fit their template. Therefore, anyone who did not fit that same template was left not only in the outgroup, but facing all sorts of discrimination. One community that has faced and continues to face scrutiny is the transgender community. For years, the trans community was not able to even be considered a thriving part of society, with their existence marked as unworthy of a seat at the table. From a twenty-first century progressive perspective, it may seem insane to think that people were seen as “not human” simply because of their sexuality, yet transphobia has been and continues to be a huge issue in our society.

In Julia Serano’s article, “Thoughts about transphobia, TERFs, and TUMFs,” Serano goes into great detail discussing the various types of transphobias and how they affect society as a whole. That being said, it was shocking to hear how the very movement that credits itself with societal progression, is the one that is feeding into transphobia. TERF is “an acronym for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists,” a subgroup of radical feminists (who sometimes self-identify as “gender critical” feminists) that are strongly opposed to transgender identities, experiences, and rights” (Serano 7). It was very interesting to hear how their reasoning for their inherent transphobia juxtaposes the one used by the alt-right community. Rather than using religion or societal norms as their justification, they reinterpreted progressive ideals to fit their own narrative. They believe that gender is a man-made class system that thrives through the oppression of women. While the toxic nature behind gender is an idea that is common in the progressive community, they managed to twist it to make trans people the oppressors rather than the victims. They believe that the transgender community reinforces the class system, specifically trans women who infiltrate the “women’s spaces” (Serano 4).

I have always known there are exceptions to every rule. We, as a society, do not have a definitive mold on how a group of people think. The right can have left-leaning views and the same can be said vice versa. However, the ideology behind the TERF movement was so bothersome to me, as it was yet another example of how people act high and mighty strictly for the sake of pushing their viewpoint forward. It is so disheartening to hear how women who stand up for gender-based injustices are not willing to do the same for people who go through the same issues. You would think that there would be some sort of compassion towards people who are clearly suffering, especially in the progressive circle. One mainstream feminist even went as far to say, “trans women are not women,” it is not because they adhere to a unilateral radical feminist perspective that asserts that the goal of feminism is to bring an “end to gender,” and that trans women (as well as sex workers, feminine women, sex-positive feminists, etc.) are “reinforcing gender.” (Serano 5). As discussed in class, there is a spectrum of thought when it comes to progressivity. However, saying that trans women are any less of a woman due to their genitalia goes against all ideas of inclusivity. Additionally, making these claims about sex workers and feminine workers is ironic given that these women are embracing their femininity/sexuality, which is exactly what started the feminist movement to begin with.

Reading this type of material only reinforces the idea that victims of inequality, such as the transgender community, face hardships that are very difficult to overcome. When you are scapegoated by the public from every side, it is difficult to find a safe haven to belong to. Therefore, it is important to remember that despite radical opinions, a human being needs to be treated with the utmost compassion and respect, no matter the genitalia.

Work Cited:

 

Serano, Julia. “Thoughts about Transphobia, Terfs, and Tumfs.” Medium, Medium, 23 Oct. 2019, https://juliaserano.medium.com/thoughts-about-transphobia-terfs-and-tumfs-b77a18c1a225.

Hidden Rage – Eliza Gonzalez

Hidden Rage

Women for so long have had to burrow and suppress their rage. To be angry is to be impolite. To be rageful as a woman is disagreeable. It’s controversial and almost always never taken seriously. While men are acclaimed and respected for raising their voices on topics they’re passionate about, women are viewed as crazy and unstable. While anger in men is seen as decisive or done with purpose the opposite can be said of women. Why is it that when women express such an important emotion they are seen in a negative light? “Because we expect women to be kind and communal, we sometimes like them less when they’re assertive or forceful. In contrast, we expect men to act like this, so they don’t face the same pushback.” This is most often observed in women that run for government positions. When anger is displayed the candidate is told she is uncontrollable and unfit to uphold such an influential position of authority. While on the other hand, men are encouraged to have such emotions. If they did not they would be seen as weak.

They would be seen as a woman.

The worst horror for men, something that keeps them awake at night, is the thought of being compared to a woman. To lack anger is to be feminine and to be feminine to men is the most shameful thing in the world. Men frequently declare that women are too emotional, then go on to complain that as men they are not allowed to show emotions. What many of them forget is that anger is also an emotion. A strong and compelling one at that. Countless men use anger as a substitute for all and any emotions they feel. While they have had full reign over the emotion women have had no opportunity to make use of it. Anger and rage have been the leading cause of so much change in the world when used correctly. In the 1960s, women of the time used their anger and rage to push forward in their fight for equality. Anger and outrage are such important tools that when used correctly they can change the outcome of almost any situation.

While women are taught to shy away from anger, women of color are the most affected when showing even the slightest form of it. Hurtful and harmful stereotypes begin to develop in communities that still exist today. Like the feisty Latina or the angry black woman. Each stereotype demeans the woman’s anger and puts their feelings or emotions on the backburner. They are seen as a joke and something to be wary of.

It’s important to not only feel all emotions but have them heard by the people around you. Anger and rage are common emotions that all people feel and should be taken seriously no matter what gender one identifies with.

Abrams, Allison. “The Power and Shame of Women’s Anger.” Psychology Today, Sussex            Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/202002/the-power-and-shame-women-s-anger.

Chemaly, Soraya. “How Women and Minorities Are Claiming Their Right to Rage.” The   Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 May 2019, www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/may/11/women-and-minorities-claiming-right-to-rage.

DeANGELIS, TORI. “When Anger’s A Plus.” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological              Association, Mar. 2003, www.apa.org/monitor/mar03/whenanger.

What Makes Them Any Less Human?

The term Hijra has roots from the Arabic term “hjr” but has been borrowed by Hindi and it translates to “eunuch” or “hermaphrodite” however it is an umbrella term, often used to refer to the transgender, intersex, homosexual, asexual, eunuch, and hermaphrodite communities of South Asia, specifically India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Hijras have officially been given the status of the third gender and are not recognized as either male or female. In Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender, Hubbard also mentions how hijras are able to live as a third group rather than being categorized with the typical form of recognition for gender identity. Although Hubbard writes that there is acceptance of the third gender in non-western countries, there is also a downside to this acceptance. Life has not become any easier for them despite being recognized as a third gender. In fact, their gender identity creates more problems for them because of societal norms. In this piece, I will be writing about some of the struggles that are experienced by the hijra community in South Asia.   

To survive in any society, it is important for an individual to be socially accepted for who they are but considering the universal treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, it is obvious that not many countries are interested in advocating for their social acceptance. Even though hijras have been legally recognized as a third gender for being “different” yet they have to live as an outcast regardless because the norm does not allow for them to be respected in ways that other members of society are able to do so because of their heterosexuality. Hijras have been recognized in South Asia since even before the Mughal empire. They held highly respectable positions during the Mughal empire serving “as caretakers of royal harems, masters of art and culture, and trusted as messengers, watchmen and guardians” (Chaudhry et al, 2553). However, sadly this is not the case anymore as many hijras have to struggle to just make a decent living. Most of them are left with no choice but to take to the street for begging or prostitution. They have to take all sorts of risks with their bodies because their work requires them to do so. This is because the governments may recognize them as a third gender but do not necessarily provide them with any resources and no one seems to respect them enough to give them a job. This is so disgusting and infuriating considering how there was once a time when they were able to hold a respectable position but due to colonization and other factors, they have to live as outcasts.   

Furthermore, not only are hijras forced to live in poor conditions but they are also abandoned by their own families as societal acceptance is prioritized over one’s child. Hence the reason why it is so difficult for hijras to live in South Asian communities especially in Pakistan which is the Islamic Republic and often people use self-interpreted religious beliefs to excuse the hateful behavior towards the hijra community. Although in countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, hijras have officially been given the right to vote, the reality is that despite government recognition, they have not received any official ID cards (Jain & Rhoten, 11). Nonetheless, voting is one of their last concerns as most of them struggle to even feed themselves. Hijras are not only deprived of employment but also education which is a basic need for anyone to function in today’s societies (e.g., jobs) and it is also considered one of the basic human rights by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hijras like other people should be allowed to attend schools to attain education which could potentially create more opportunities for jobs in the future. It is so vile and inhumane to even think of treating a human being the way hijras are treated. They are unable to have a normal childhood because they don’t “fit in” and struggle their entire adulthood just trying to survive. “If my fate were in my own hands then I would have been someone like my brothers, if it was in my hands then I’d be happy to be an animal just so I could live with my mother,” says Chahat, a member of the hijra community in Karachi, Pakistan.  

Why is it so hard for us as humans to be accepting of people who do not fall into the set social constructs made by us? Why is it so easy to be an aggressor than being thoughtful of one another? The things that “normal” humans are often able to do without much hindrance and are of as much importance for hijras but people think they don’t deserve to live like that. Thus, marriage is also an obstacle; the truth is that they often have to leave their partners because of cultural principles. They are treated way worse than a human being should be and people blame them for their situations. It is so sickening and the only reason they are tolerated by society is because of the superstitious beliefs. The idea of being “different” is so hated by society that they don’t realize the extent of their actions and how it hurts people. As someone who has personally witnessed the inhumane treatment of hijras, my heart breaks whenever I talk about this. Why can’t society acknowledge hijras as human beings just like everyone else? Just because they choose to lead a different lifestyle than what’s normalized, it should be not an invitation for them to be seen as someone less worthy of respect. In every aspect of life, they are met with unbeatable obstacles.   

1 2 3 4

Housework: The idea that it’s just a “woman’s” job

For years, women have been looked down upon as just a person who has to stay home, cook and clean and watch the kids. But, even with that statement, they’re just someone who is meant for that job while men aren’t. No matter what a woman’s choice, inclination, ability, education, employment, or financial or social status, tending to the home and family almost always falls in her life. Why is that? Just because of the gender we are that we have to do these things while the men just sits and relax because they’ve had a day at work? In Angela Davis’s “Women, Race and Class” she discusses this topic thoroughly along with other points of women suffrage through history. Davis discuses the difficulties women had in history and as unfortunate as it today, we still are going through today. “The countless chores collectively known as “housework”—cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, making beds, sweeping, shopping, etc.—apparently consume some three to four thousand hours of the average housewife’s year. As startling as this statistic may be, it does not even account for the constant and unquantifiable attention mothers must give to their children. Just as a woman’s maternal duties are always taken for granted, her never-ending toil as a housewife rarely occasions expressions of appreciation within her family. (Chap.13) Being a woman means more than just taking care of the house and the children and still having to be there to attend for children’s attention.

Women have the right to be able to go to work and get an education because they weren’t born to just be “slaves” in the house. Yes, I said slaves. Are women any different from a slave if they’re confided to doing one thing? Why should a man be able to go to work and kick back with his friends while their wife is doing majority of the main work in the house, trying to upkeep the cleanliness, food and children. Just the idea of a woman being a housewife has never changed over the years because even now the idea is still fresh and woke. Men truly believe that if they go to work and make their income then they have every right not to be able to help around the house  or with the kids because they go to work. Isn’t that what a woman does all day as well too though? Except without the income. If a man were to be a househusband, that would be a total shock to society because that’s not how it “supposed to be” but in that case, it should play the same role for men. Of course not, we’ve been labeled and that is something that still lives on till today.

Today’s society a woman is expected to live both roles, be a working woman and maintain the house and children. Apparently, men aren’t supposed to help out with that when they come home from work because of their own mentality. Personally, I know a lot of women who were forced to  marry and become housewife’s even after having a job and getting a degree just because their husband believed it would be better for their family in the long run. It’s disgusting how women are portrayed as in a man’s mind. Men are just as capable of cleaning, cooking and being there for their children as much as a woman is. “We must reject the home, because we want to unite with other women, to struggle against all situations which presume that women will stay at home … To abandon the home is already a form of struggle, since the social services we perform there would then cease to be carried out in those conditions.” This quote was said by Dalla Costa who advocated on the housewife’s strike. In this time period, women were so oppressed to being submitted to four walls all day, just being the title of a housewife with no type of income, which led them to advocating for their rights. Just because we are women, it doesn’t give anyone the right to label us and decide what our future is. Women have just the same abilities to do what men do like business, entrepreneurship, law, medicine, teaching, politics and so on.

Growing up and watching certain women in my family confide to this certain type of mentality raised me to be the woman that they could never be. I say this because I’ve watched them not want to do it and be miserable while doing it, spending their life in misery because a man told them how to live their life and that they weren’t able to work. Even though times haven’t completely changed with this mentality, we still have some kind of leverage living in a time like this to accomplish more than just being a housewife.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Citation: Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983. 

Misogynistic Music Industry

Throughout history, women have struggled across different aspects of life to establish equality or become the dominant figure. In the United States today, life experiences from women are not held to the same standard as men. Examples of this can be demonstrated through sports, art, politics, and especially music. According to the article, Life and Hip-Hop: How women’s role in the industry allows for empowerment, breaking norms, it states “success was more challenging to achieve for women compared to their male counterparts. Los Angeles Southwest College sociology professor Kristine Wright said the genre of hip-hop’s treatment of women draws parallels to the world of sports – specifically basketball. Much like the WNBA, she said women in hip-hop have traditionally been paid less and receive less attention than their male peers, like those in the NBA. With female artists historically receiving less attention, Wright said there is a conception among industry executives and popular artists that promoting female sexuality can result in greater industry success. Some female rappers like Nicki Minaj have been pressured by these ideals to change their looks as a result, Wright said.” (Wright, 2021). This quote is important because it describes how women were able to rise to success and overcome misogynistic hardships in the music industry. Unfortunately, since hip-hop can be seen as a reflection of how our society is today, this patriarchy-based world we live in applies to the industry and its promotion tactics. If the industry believes sales will increase if the artist is provocatively dressed, then that is what they will try to promote. In my opinion, this is disgusting. I have never heard multiple accounts of men being coerced into nudity exposure just to become successful. Although it can be seen as empowering to take control of your own body, it should not feel like the path to success requires you to expose your own body. This relates to our class as we dig deeper into learning about how women and men are treated differently and where this stemmed from. According to Women Race & Class by Angela Davis, it states “ Men and women were created equal: they are both moral and accountable human beings” (Davis, 42). I like this quote a lot because I feel like it relates to the music industry in an interesting way. If we were created equal with morals and a sense of accountability, how is it that we live in a society that justifies immoral actions to succeed when committed by a woman? Is nudity for money not immoral? The bigger picture of this all can be seen when men rise to success in the hip-hop industry pretty much by making songs with explicit lyrics related to female encounters meanwhile females have to actually do these explicit things. Until recently, you’ve probably never heard of women making an attempt to sexualize men the way they do. Again, it can be seen as empowering because it shows how women can play the same game men play, and sometimes do it even better. It also shows dominance because if they know they have something the industry wants, it gives them leverage and an understanding of how to use it to their advantage. I’m sure the society we live in today is familiar with the term “Pussy Power”.

 

Citations

Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983.

Brown, Natalie. “Life and Hip-Hop: How Women’s Role in the Industry Allows for Empowerment, Breaking Norms.” Daily Bruin, 12 Nov. 2020, https://dailybruin.com/2020/11/12/life-and-hip-hop-how-womens-role-in-the-industry-allows-for-empowerment-breaking-norms.

Why is “Housewife” A Thing?

Women are already given so many titles in this world; mother, grandmother, aunt, wife and sister. In addition to this, they were also given the title of “Housewife”. As Angela Davis discusses in “Women, Race and Class”, women are placed into a stigma where they are the “maids” of the household . In the book, she states “The Countless chores collectively known as “housework”–cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry …consume some three to four thousand hours of the average housewife’s year” (page 260). Davis explains that with all the chores like washing dishes and laundry, it can take up most of their time. On top of all this, women are also supposed to be a wife to their spouse, and take care of a baby. This can be exhausting for women, especially if they don’t receive any help from their spouse. These are all expectations placed on women from the beginning of time. 

The idea of a housewife has become much more prominent because of the fact that men believe housework is a women’s responsibility. Most men in society believe that women are supposed to stay home, while they go out, and come home to a cooked meal. I’m pretty sure if you ask most men to do certain chores such as laundry, they probably wouldn’t know where to start. But why does it have to be this way? Why can’t men pick up the broom or do the laundry every once in a while, why does it always have to be the women? I believe that men are just as capable of getting housework done, just as a woman is able to do. I also believe that if men were to help with the chores around the house to keep it clean and tidy, it would give the women a break. It would also help them feel like they are appreciated by their spouse, if they help out, or at least acknowledge the heavy work. Davis points out the idea of how household work can be invisible and is only noticed if something isn’t done. She states, “No one notices it until it isn’t done–we notice the unmade bed, not the scrubbed and polished floor” (page 260). Instead of men pointing out what isn’t done, men should help out with finishing the chores. After all, it would make the chores around the house feel equal, being that both the man and women are contributing their part. 

I believe that the “housewife” title restricts the idea that women can be more than just that. Women can be lawyers, doctors, nurses, electricians, just to name a few, but because of this specific title, they aren’t seen as being capable of becoming that. 

In today’s society, the title of “housewife” often comes with a negative meaning behind it and has changed since being used during the Industrial Revolution. There is a look of disgust when a woman mentions that she is a housewife, they see her as idle or may think that her spouse is rich, which allows her to be one. In today’s era, if someone mentioned that they were a housewife, it may lead to a discussion of “Is that all you do?.” We see women that have progressed throughout time and are capable of balancing the idea of looking after the house and having a regular job. This helps bring extra revenue into the household, instead of it always being the husband. I also believe that many more women in today’s world are independent and don’t want to depend on a man for money, making them more motivated to go out and work. In today’s world, we have television reality shows that mock the idea of being a “housewife”. The ladies on the show are basically depicted as women who have issues within their marriage, such as financial issues or infidelity. Most of the time, the ladies in the show aren’t shown constantly cooking, cleaning, doing laundry. Instead, they are gossiping or hanging out. These reality shows prove how the meaning of “housewife” has changed over the years.Women have gone from being in the house all day to now living their best life, outside of the house. Not only this, but I, as a woman, aspire to be a woman that doesn’t need to depend on a man for anything, whether married or not. I don’t wish to hear a man try to belittle me either, as to only being a housewife and nothing more. I can’t speak for all men, but luckily, there are some men who help their wives with chores around the house and don’t leave it all to them. In all honesty, I wish the term “housewife” wasn’t a thing because it degrades women’s capabilities as a wife, especially since the word came from a man. 

 

Citation 

Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983.

The Role(s) of Marriage

The Role(s) of Marriage 

By: Shannon Dyett 

The idea of marriage is for two people who are deeply and irrevocably in love with each other to realize that one day they are no longer one individual person but a part of something more, something greater, half of one heart. With marriage comes compromise and sacrifice that both you and your partner must be willing to do and accept in order for your partnership to work. Now the role of marriage that society has implanted in us for decades and centuries that came before was that women were ‘designed’ to fulfill their duties as wives by taking care of the house that she and her husband live in. Cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, taking care of the children(if there are any) and basically being a slave and doing slavery work while all her husband does is go to work, come home and expect dinner to be done, the house to be cleaned and not a problem in site. In the excerpt from ‘The Feminine Mystique’ by Betty Friedan she stated “Their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers; their highest ambition was to have five children and a beautiful house. They only fight to get and keep their husbands. They had no thought for the unfeminine problems of the world outside the home; they wanted the men to make the major decisions”. Some women are so blinded by the idea that they must keep their man or they would be looked upon as a woman that isn’t capable of marriage or isn’t worthy enough or good enough to be someone’s wife. Not realizing that it’s better to keep a man that doesn’t treat you like a slave than to keep one that does. 

Women since the 1800’s were always subjected to doing one thing and one thing only which was to always tend to her husband’s as well as her children’s needs and she could never object to doing so because in everyone’s eyes that was her one and only job. Women were always looked upon as people that should’ve been more than happy to be married to a man that was wealthy and had a good paying job and in return they do house work without complaining because ‘they should be more than grateful’ and ‘they’re lucky enough to have a man that pays for everything they need, the least they could do is obey and return the favor’.  In the book Women Race & Class written by Angela Y. Davis, it states two thing “Well – situated women began to denounce their unfulfilling domestic lives by defining marriage as a form of slavery” (Davis, 33) and “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). 

What turns marriage into an abusive relationship is when the women who are obligated to fulfill their duties as housewives get fed up and tired and start to do less work than usual around the house. Their husbands would come home and see either the house is clean and food isn’t cooked or vice versa and start verbally abusing them to do better and say ‘I come home from a long day at work to find the house untidy or no dinner on the table, so what are we supposed to eat?’. As time passes and the wives continue to slack at home due to the fact that they get tired all the time from cooking and cleaning and taking care of the children that will turn the husband’s verbal abuse into physical abuse to the point where it will no longer be a marriage for the both of them where they love each other dearly till death do them part, it will end up being miss treatment for her till death do her part. If she is getting physically abused by her husband daily because of her lack of work in the house that is displeasing him, she would end up with one of two choices: either leaving him and saving herself or staying there continuously getting abused by ‘the love of your life’ to the point where she ends up 10 feet in the grave. 

But some women are afraid to leave their husbands for four reasons; they’re afraid that the husband would either come after them while they’re on the run and try to kill them because in some men’s minds it’s “either I have you or no one can”. If they have kids with their husband they stay for their children’s sake and carry on getting abused. Sometimes their husbands are the only men that were ever in their lives intimately so to leave and start over would be foreign to them. Lastly, which is the most common one of all, they believe that their husbands who abuse them daily have the capability of changing back to the lover they once knew years ago, especially when the husband’s shower them hours after with gifts and apologies to let them know that ‘they’ll do better next time, they promise’ or ‘they can change, they will change for you’. 

When they first start abusing you, the first thing they say is ‘I’m sorry you know I’ll never hurt you, it was a one time thing I’ll never do it again’ until they do it a second time then a third, to the point where you stop counting and really start to feel it. As Jahmene Douglas once said “Women should know that love doesn’t abuse you. It shouldn’t hurt you. Love cannot be redefined into ‘He only hit me once, I’ll let it slide.’ Love is happiness, not being neglectful, caring, being respectful, providing, having standards, kindness, standing up for the right things”. Women should never lower their standards to be with a guy who can support them financially but in return treat them like they aren’t humans with feelings. They are supposed to be love companions that treat each other equally, not domestically, especially in front of children. Whether the wife feels enslaved taking care of the house or whether she’s physically getting abused it still isn’t acceptable to treat her like an animal or like a slave because once upon a time you did manage to say the words ‘I do’. 

Citation

  1. Jahmene Douglas – https://www.azquotes.com/author/41632-Jahmene_Douglas 
  2. Betty Friedan “The Feminine Mystique” – https://via.hypothes.is/https://wgst1001.commons.gc.cuny.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/17925/files/2021/08/Excerpt-From-The-Feminine-Mystique-The-New-York-Times.pdf  
  3. Angela Y. Davis “Women Race and Class” – https://legalform.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/davis-women-race-class.pdf

The Myth of the Black Rapist by Berna Kanay

In the United States, there are multiple crime rates that shoot up and down over the past
few decades. Sadly, one of those crimes happens to be rape. What is rape? Well, rape is unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body parts, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim. The keyword to focus on here is consent. Now rape is a horrible crime to commit, however, how many of the rapists actually committed the crime and how many victims have yet to speak up?

Nonetheless, before I go into the main topic of the myth of the black rapist, let’s
re-establish what rape actually is and its different forms. According to the internet, there are 10
different categories of rape. “1) Date rape. 2) Gang rape. 3) Spousal rape. 4) Rape of children. 5)
Statutory rape. 6) Prison rape. 7) Serial rape. 8) Payback rape. 9) War rape.10) Rape by deception” (Wikipedia, 2021)

First of all, there are some categories that are self-explanatory and some that need
explanation. Date rape is one that doesn’t include violence but involves drinking. If you are
drunk and wake up and see that you are in a stranger’s bed and you did have sex with them
because you were drunk, that is rape since you were not in the right state of mind to consent to
the person you had an affair with. Gang rape is non-consensual sex activity with not just one
person but with multiple people. Spousal rape is forcing your spouse to have sex when the other spouse clearly does not want to. The rape of children is usually incest or if it is not a family relative it is another adult figure in that child’s life, for example, a teacher, tutor, etc. Statutory rape is consensual sexual activity but between a minor and an adult. Prison rape is same-sex rape that is also not consensual. Serial rape is rape committed by a person over a relatively long period of time and committed on a number of victims. Payback rape is when a group of men wants to get revenge on either the girl’s father or brothers in the house so they rape the daughter or sister of that household as a form of embarrassment for the family. War rape is done by soldiers where they kidnap multiple women for the enemy side and rape them whenever they want to release sexual desires. Finally, rape by deception is when a man lies to the woman to get their consent. For instance, pretending to be someone else or a wealthy member of society to seduce the woman. Here and now that we established all the different types of rape, every single one of these is awful and I never wish on anyone. Furthermore, let us talk about how the rapists that get caught or supposedly got caught for a crime they did not commit.

Before I talk about the victims that do not even speak up, let us talk about the ones that
do. Rape has been an ongoing problem for many years, and before the rape laws were still
framed to protect men from the upper classes to do as they please to their daughters and wives. While this is happening in the upper-class ranks, when a working-women is raped it is the last thing the court cares about. Nonetheless, regardless if they cared or not the victims do get the justice they deserve. “While the rapists have seldom been brought to justice, the rape charge has been indiscriminately aimed at Black men, the guilty and innocent alike. Thus, of the 455 men executed between 1930 and 1967 on the basis of rape convictions, 405 of them were Black.” (Davis, 101) Pay attention to the part where it says guilty AND innocent alike. This is where the myth of the Black rapist comes alive.

Surely people have been falsely accused of crimes they have not committed in every
crime. Such as murder, robbery, and rape. Though the statistics that it tends to be the majority of the time for black men. Davis calls this frame-up of black men being accused as rapists as racist aggression. “Too many innocents have been offered sacrificially to gas chambers and lifer’s cells for Black women to join those who often seek relief from policemen and judges.” (Davis, 101)

Even though people search for relief from policemen and judges, women have lost a lot, if not
all, their respect for the men that wear the said uniforms and robes.
“Young activists often stated that nothing could protect Black women from being raped
by Birmingham police. As recently as December 1974, in Chicago, a 17-year old Black woman
reported that she was gang-raped by 10 policemen. Some of the men were suspended, but
ultimately the whole thing was swept under the rug.” (Davis, 101) Even though this is a horrible
situation that the young lady experience and didn’t even get proper justice for, it shows just how much the police and so-called judges had a hand in these situations. In spite of all this, black men still continually get accused and get lynched constantly.

You are not the only ones that noticed this problem though. Actually, feminists at that
time noticed this problem of black men being excused of rape multiple times and tried putting a
stop to the madness. Men during this time period felt the urge to establish their economic
domination over their female subordinates which leads to the sad solution of rape.
“Working-class men, whatever their color, can be motivated to rape by the belief that their
maleness accords them the privilege to dominate women. Yet since they do not possess the social or economic authority—unless it is a white man raping a woman of color—guaranteeing them immunity from prosecution, the incentive is not nearly as powerful as it is for the men of the capitalist class. When working-class men accept the invitation to rape extended by the ideology of male supremacy, they are accepting a bribe, an illusory compensation for their
powerlessness.” (Davis, 115)

Before I end this discussion, I must disclaim that I never had or ever will support rape
and rapists. I just wanted to bring to light that we should double-check if we actually captured
the right enemy and not fall into a different scheme. Because yes sometimes the victim was able to see her opposer and most of the times they didn’t get a clear view or suppress the memory so much that they forget the main details, which causes the wrong person to get evicted most of the time.

As this is upsetting to read, it is just as upsetting to write about as you can easily see the
racial oppression during this time. The hunger for power over women and the desire to eliminate men of color was at such a peak that these men went as far as excusing other men for their crimes. “The struggle against racism must be an ongoing theme of the anti-rape movement, which must not only defend women of color but the many victims of the racist manipulation of the rape charge as well.” (Davis, 116) Even though the anti-rape movement was not as successful as they thought it should have been. It was a big step in the right direction.

Citations
Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983.
Wikipedia “Types of Rape.”, Wikimedia Foundation, 2021.