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Unit Post: Childhood Socialization

Men, whatever would my life be without them? Well according to Disney, my life would just be a piece of poop without a man in it. As we have seen in this unit of Childhood socialization, companies like Disney create the archetypes of gender, race and sexuality that our children consume. It is through their characters that children learn about gender roles and relationships.

Most often in Disney movies, especially their princess movies, the women are shown as  the most beautiful girl that makes every man fall in love with them with just one look. They are most often in on a mission to accomplish their dream of falling in love, preferably with a nice young prince. Men are depicted as buff, tough, smart and just the ‘perfect man’.

Now one movie that breaks from this stereotype is Mulan, which depicts a Chinese girl whose dream is to just honor her family. Now, at first, she does just want to be chosen as the girl that matchmaker finds worthy of being paired with someone. However, here we have to question does she really do this for herself or just to please her family. Then once her Dad is called back into the army, we see Mulan take on the role of what she and her trusty dragon think is how a man should act. The scenes of training in the camp is where we see hegemony enforced as well as broken. In the classic “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” song, the male soldier’s ability is questioned by asking if they were girls just because they had no fighting ability. This enforces that notion that women are inferior to men physically. However, when Mulan rises to the challenge, learns all the skills and retrieves the arrow, this idea of male superiority is then disrupted. Mulan continues to disrupt the common stereotypes of the damsel in distress archetype of many Disney Princess movies, through her fighting style. She not only uses her head to save her troops and her superior officer, but she comes up with the plan to save the rest of the country from the Hun’s take over. Mulan in the end, does fall in love, but this IS a Disney movie what more can we expect. However, unlike her other Disney counterparts’, falling in love was not her goal the entire time. Mulan may enforce hegemony by teaching children that being a man does mean being tough, but it also disrupts it by showing that women are tough, smart and not only focused on getting a man.

The constructs of gender that companies like Disney portray through their characters serves as learning tools for the socialization of our children. So I think that these companies need to keep in mind when they make their story lines that many women want to be more than just someone’s wife.

Relavent Reblog: comic books and women superheros

In comic books, women superheroes are rarely depicted. However, if they are shown, their womanly figure is over emphasized with huge boobs, big hips, butts and supper thin waists. Not like that isn’t bad enough, but the outfits that the women are shown in are always very small and barely even cover their women parts.

 Even though most of these characters are very unrealistic, there is one out there that is based off a real person: CoCo Austin. CoCo Austin (depicted below) is the wife of Ice-T and was made famous for her very curvaceous body.

Now if anyone in real life takes on the shape of these comic book characters, it would be Coco. So of course someone wants to make her into a comic book character. (watch clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYvNzrKlTBc)When offered the opportunity on her show Ice Loves Coco on E!, we see her want be shown as someone that kicks butt and “represents power”. However, her husband, who even suggest that she be the superhero and not the “super-victim”, says that her superhero power be based purely off the sexual features of her body, her butt. Not only that in the comic book, her character is given this very small costume that consists of a white bra and a gold thong. Now, with all that boobs and butt, coco ain’t going to be kicking no butt without some type of wardrobe malfunctions happening.    

Unit Post: Race and Cyberspace

one’s identity through topics that you search for. Even though the internet can be a place to be free in your identity, it can also ground you in the realities of cultural norms. This grounding can either strengthen the chains of the norms that bind your identity, or it can give you the tools to break them.

If you want to find people spewing offensive and ignorant opinions look no further than Twitter:

I mean come one now, people have lost their lives, have some respect. I believe that people think they can say whatever they feel like on Twitter because it only loosely connected their identity. Unlike Facebook, nothing on your Twitter has to be connected to you. Your handle, you picture, and your tweets could represent someone other than yourself, or as some might say your twitter personality. This disembodiment gives people the feeling of anonymity, where they feel free of judgment and consequences.

On the other hand, the internet can be freeing. It can provide an outlet or information to let someone know that they are not alone in this world; that someone else is just like them. A great example of this is The Mis-Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl(ABG) or what I like to call my life’s story.

This web-series is not only funny, but it also exposes the daily struggle of being awkward. It lets people know that we are not the only ones that find themselves in some really awkward situations. The series is about a woman in her mid-20s, Jay, who is African-American and is self-proclaimed awkward. We follow her daily life where she tries to find a man and make it through her days at her job, Gutbusters. ABG is so loved and relatable because it exaggerates situations that either happen socially or racially. If you don’t relate to Jay because your aren’t African-American, you might relate to her because you have been in the same awkward situation as her. The reason why I love this series is because I feel like it mirrors my life and allows me to live vicariously through its characters. When Jay writes her angry, yet very funny, raps about some mishap or situation, it is not only catharsis for her character, but for me as well.

The internet can be a place to find yourself, but you can also get lost in a lot of junk.

(For you viewing pleasure, here is season 2 episode one of ABG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFmLGlVx7hc&list=PL9A1B63A1A44E95FD )

Watch on alexpopculture.tumblr.com

Mini Media: Disney and its representation of Women of Color

When you look at the Disney line up of characters, you see a sea of white. However, there are two movies that come to mind when I think about Disney’s representations of people of color in a positive light; one being of course Princess and the Frog and the other the Disney channel original movie The Cheetah Girls. In both of these movies, we have the lead characters being strong women of color who are working hard to reach their dreams. They show determination and perseverance, which undoubtedly are good traits to teach our young girls. But…. my question is why the women of color got to work so hard?  I mean DANG, can a sista get a break! Why can’t she, just like her white princess counterparts, just sit there or even play dead and still come out on top?  

            As in the Cheetah Girls song shown above, many women of color aren’t like Cinderella waiting for man to rescue them to make their life perfect. As the song states in the beginning, in our youth we are told these princess stories of how prince charming will come in and marry you and you will live happily ever after. However, as many women of color come to find out when they grow up, prince charming probably isn’t coming anytime soon. This stems from the fact man of color make up for the majority of males incarcerated and the lack of proper education in the urban community leads to fewer men of color going to college. Which, ergo, decreases the number of men of color that we women of color would consider to be a ‘prince charming’. Therefore, finding the Barack to compliment your Michelle becomes very hard (trust me I know from experience). So in many cases of the upbringing of little girls of color, they are taught that if you want something in life, the only person you can depend on to give it to you is yourself.  Independence is ingrained and as the song points out, many women of color look for a man that respects this independence. Now I know Tiana got married to the guy in the end. But… did she do like Belle or Cinderella and just become some type of queen housewife? NO! That women got out there and worked; she opened her own restaurant. So I guess what I am trying to say here is that I’m glad that even in the fictional world that Disney creates, its characters are not giving a false sense of hope to our young girls of color.  Through characters and role models like the Cheetah Girls and Tiana, Disney deals in the reality that as a woman of color you will probably have to work for your success.