Response to Solomon, Portelli, Daniel, and Campbell

After reading this article I understood the Peggy McIntosh article in more depth. Many of the findings are themes that I see even today such as ” to deny the existence of white privilege and its attendant capital and material benefits.”

This article was written in 2006 whereas the Peggy McIntosh was written in 1989. I can see how the participants could have seen the article as being somewhat outdated due to Canadian society continuously changing.

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Brock Turner Response Question

(Q) What story is told if we think gender-neutral washrooms will lead to rape?

The story is being told is that if there are gender neutral washroom that rape will be more likely to happen because it will be allowing men and women to be in the same place at the same time with their genitalia out.

ECS 110 Out of Class Group Questions

(1) How is “seeing whiteness” difficult? Why?

Seeing whiteness is difficult because it is so common in our society that it doesn’t stand out to the naked eye.

(2) What could be the purpose of looking for whiteness? What if you’re not white?

It would be good for a white person to look for whiteness is to bring awareness and to see how prominent whiteness really is.

For a person who is not white,

(3) Would you suggest any additions/revisions to the list of Peggy McIntosh’s privileges, to help us to “see” whiteness as a construction that is often “neutralized and naturalized.” 

I think that the list should be revised as society changes over time. Some of the items in the list could be changed or added in order to explain furthering factors.

 

A Settler’s Guide to the Universe

Activity 1:

  1. Check the ones that you think are part of the national common sense.
  • You must not question your ancestry
  • You may travel anywhere you like (as long as you have the money and appropriate documents)
  • You may acquire whatever you like from wherever you go (as long as you have the money)
  • You must not stand in the way of “progress”
  • You must be rational and logical
  • Humans are the pinnacle of evolution
  • Earth is prosperity and can be bought and sold
  • The individual is more important than the collective

2. Go through the list again, why didn’t you check those ones?

  • “You must never question the legitimacy of your nation” – I didn’t check this one because I think it’s okay to question things
  • “You must value work and money above all else” – I didn’t check this one because I don’t believe that these are above everything. Of course, around the world you need to work in order to obtain money, however, it’s not my number one priority.
  • “Your father is your first authority” – I disagree with this because I always felt that my mother always had more authority over my father because for the longest time I didn’t really feel like I had a father figure. I was also taught to respect and listen to anyone older than you, no matter their gender.
  • “You must marry and contribute to the economy” – I just don’t think a person should have to marry in order to be a part of the economy.
  • “You can and should move wherever in our greatest nation to work” – I think anyone should be able to move anywhere, and shouldn’t only be able to travel within their given nation/country.
  • “Working, in general, is most important, not what you do in particular” – I don’t think working is most important. I think experiences and happiness are most important in life.
  • “Nature is an object” – I think we all have a part of nature in us.
  • “There is no such thing as spirit” – I think we all have something inside us, whether or not it’s necessarily called spirit, but I think there is something in there.
  • “You must speak English”– I disagree with this because if I saw a person at the grocery store speaking to their child in their native language, I would think that’s cool and I wouldn’t get mad at them for not speaking English. The same goes for if I went to a different country that doesn’t speak English, I wouldn’t expect them to only know English just to benefit me.
  • “You must conform to specified gender roles according to what your genitals look like; there are two genders and you must pick one” – I think anyone should be able to be who they want to be without gender constraints
  • “You must procreate if you can”– If I don’t want to have a kid then I don’t have to have a kid
  • “You must worship the young, skinny, and famous” – I’m young, but I ain’t skinny and famous. Famous people are just people and shouldn’t be treated differently.
  • “You must fear aging.” – I disagree. To quote Nick from New Girl, I like getting older. I feel like I’m finally aging into my personality.
  • “You must put settler well-being and interest over all other forms of life” – I think all forms of life are important
  • “You must treat foreign ideas and concepts with fear” – I think many foreign ideas and concepts are brilliant and I think that western society should embrace their way of thinking.
  • “You must not jeopardize our global economic system” – Why not? If a person can question the legitimacy of their nation then they should be able to jeopardize our global economic system, but for the good.
  • “You must believe that newer is better” – I disagree because, from personal experience, older things seem to last much longer compared to newer things.
  • “You must believe that faster is better” – I disagree with this because compared to Eastern societies, Western societies are way faster and in the west mental illness as well as other illnesses are very common compared to the east.
  • “it is okay to use violence if it protects your interests” – I don’t think that violence is ever the answer, however, I do think that people who go into fight or flight mode or have adrenaline pumping in their veins are more subject to being violent in order to protect their interests. You cannot fight human nature.
  • Don’t think about the people Indigenous to this place”– I think that we should think about it because it affects all of us, however, I don’t think it needs to be an everyday reminder.
  • “You must believe that settler culture, beliefs, and knowledge is the pinnacle of human ingenuity”– I think that this is changing over time.
  • Value male over female, and white over all the other race categories we construct – Everyone should be equal
  • “Ignore your instincts”  – Humans are instinctual, much like animals, and I think humans should follow their instincts
  • “Humans are separate from and superior to nature”– I think humans should respect nature
  • “Technology is progress. Those with less technology are inferior” – I disagree with this because seeing how people are always on their phones and don’t know how to deal with things face to face, I think the way people communicate with each other is going downhill.
  • “Compete, don’t collaborate or cooperate” – I think people need to collaborate or cooperate in order to fix certain problems and topics
  • “The world is simple, mechanistic, knowable, and concrete” – There is many things in this world that people still don’t know how. Historical sites that we still don’t know the truth about. How can the world be concrete when there are still things that we don’t know or will ever know?

3.  Star the ones that make you mad, or feel something (in your body) in particular – why? Can you counter these?

  • Number 14 (You must speak English) angers me the most because I think Canada, as a country that prides itself on being multicultural, should embrace all languages. Yes, there are two national languages, however, if a person if talking to a family member in their native language, then I don’t see a problem with it.

4. Add one or two to the list

  • Self-worth is only based off of what people tell you about yourself

Activity 2:

Look for these discourses in magazines, etc. or in daily conversations and interactions. Which ones do you notice (often as hidden normative narratives)? How do they demonstrate particular forms of hegemony?

  • One of the most prominent things I see in the media is the idea that we, as people, should worship the young, skinny, and famous. Famous people are being photoshopped on magazine covers. The biggest example of this is Kim Kardashian photoshopping her own pictures because she doesn’t like the way she looks. The media is constantly sexualizing women. These demonstrate particular forms of hegemony by teaching people (particularly youth) that the unrealistic body proportions and skin textures are the ideal image that they should have.

Self in Relation to Others

Part i) Normative Narratives

For this assignment, I decided to focus on the race blogs of Olivia (https://oliviastasiuk.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/race-a-hot-topic/)  and Kendall (https://kendalljrl.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/self-story-3-reverse-racism/). I decided to do this assignment based on someone I know and someone I don’t know because I think that it would be good for me to get some kind of outside perspective on the topic.

Both of these stories show a certain normative narrative that I can say that I have noticed myself, they are just shown in different ways. Olivia’s post brings forward the narrative of the clear divide between white people and Indigenous people (especially in Saskatchewan) and what the societal differences between the two races are. On the other hand, Kendall brings forward the narrative that within social media there is a clear divide between white people and visible minorities.

Each of these stories demonstrates how, even though we may not notice it in our everyday lives, there is a racial divide within North American society. I relate to both of these stories because I agree with the premise of each of these stories. Each story brings out the idea that it is normal for there to be a racial divide between people, and I believe that even my own says that. Olivia’s bringing in of Peggy McIntosh’s article made me think about the different things that I do that may go noticed to someone else that I may think are normal. And going along with Peggy McIntosh I do believe that we need to stop taking the normal everyday things for granted and that we need a “more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege for some of these conditions are only what
one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant and destructive.”

Part ii) Creating Counter Stories

For this section, I read Samara’s blog. (https://samiramackenziesblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/ecs-110-self-story-3-race/)

The reason why I chose Samara’s blog is that there was one part of her post that made me not necessarily angry, not uncomfortable, just quiet. This part was at the end where she starts listing reasons “How to create white racists”. I am conflicted with this part of her blog post. I disagreed with it because I believe that racism is taught within society. However, I understand her point of why she added this to her post. I disagree with Samara saying that “The idea that white people are automatically born into privilege is just another way of segregating.” I disagree with this because it’s not segregating, it’s understanding that white people do have a certain power, historically, and even now. I agree that not all white people are as privileged as others, but people don’t realize that there is a societal structure where the white people are on top of the food chain and the lower classes (or races) are at the bottom. This is stated in Peggy McIntosh’s article where she states, “Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower certain groups.” A prime example of this is on my race blog where I talked about how the African American population in the United States having an increased chance of having hypertension.

Overall, I am conflicted with Samara’s blog post, but it was the only blog post I could find which I somewhat disagreed with. I think that society needs to stop teaching its children to be racist (anything that can be learned can be unlearned), and I also think that white people need to acknowledge that they do have a certain level of privilege, however, I also think that white people shouldn’t be shamed for having that certain level of privilege. Everyone needs to work together to solve our societal problems.

 

Citation:

McIntosh, Peggy. (1988). “White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack” White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account Of Coming To See Correspondences Through Work In Women’s Studies. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED355141.pdf#page=43

 

My Underarm Forests – Self Story #4

I don’t necessarily have a life-altering story concerning gender or topics concerning gender but here’s a little story about body hair.

Recently I was talking with a friend about how I shaved my legs and not my armpits. Why? Well for three reasons: (1) laziness, (2) I don’t care, and (3) I don’t got anyone to impress. Anyway, as I was having this conversation there was someone that was completely distraught by the fact that I don’t shave down my underarm forests. She asked me if I had any personal dignity. I said yes but what I really wanted to say was “yes and if I shave it it’ll go down the drain, literally and metaphorically.” But obviously, I didn’t say that.

This conversation got me thinking about body hair on the female body in 2018. What’s the big deal? Why am I being judged for not wanting to shave my underarm forests? Why am I going against the norm by not shaving my pits?

Of course, I am only a person and I cannot solve our societal expectations on women. But I can have an opinion on it. And this is that opinion:

I think that women can wear and do whatever the hell they want with their bodies. If I want to wear men’s clothing (which I often do due to lack of stores selling bigger sizes and men’s sizes tend to fit better on me) I sure as hell will. If I don’t want to shave my legs, my armpits, or even my vag, I really don’t think anyone can be the judge of that. If my head can be covered with hair then so can my body. I am unashamed. I am a hairy person. If a person has a problem with it and feels the need to be vocal, that’s a shame because no matter what anyone says, I will not be persuaded to shave my pits until I feel like I want to have hairless pits.

And although I know I am not the first woman to complain about the body hair standards that our society has, I’m pretty sure I won’t be the last. My not wanting to shave my armpits is not because I have a lack of respect for myself (I freaking LOVE myself, I am amazing), I just have better things to do in the shower (like washing my hair, my face, singing, ranting to myself about my problems, y’know, the normal stuff).

Anyway, I think people really need to rethink how we approach body hair in 2018. If it’s acceptable for guys to have body hair it needs to be acceptable for girls to have body hair. I went through high school thinking that women needed to be hairless goddesses in order to get anywhere in life and since I got out of that death trap I realized that that’s not really the case. I think the best movement was the one where ladies dyed their armpits blue just cause. I should do that, I should restart that. If you see me tomorrow showing off my blue armpits you’ll know why.

Thanks for listening to me,

Klair Karmazinuk

Guiding Questions for Wayne Martino Academic Reading

(1) What does Martino mean by “undoing gender”? Explain. 

Martino means by undoing gender, we wanted to destruct masculinity in the English classroom. He then gives the example of how Davies uses texts in order to disrupt binary thoughts about gender. The author (Martino) uses Davies’s technique to do the same thing.

(2) Attempt to pose at least one “critical and ethical question about what is to count as a viable, gendered personhood” (page 137) 

I don’t really understand what this is supposed to be, however, this is my attempt:

Should a gendered personhood be solely based on the gender one appears like or the gender one feels like?

(3) How might you, in your daily life and as a becoming teacher, “embrace a transgender social imaginary” (p. 137)?

I would try to normalize the idea of people being transgender. I would deal with transgender people the same way that I would treat anyone else and I would ask questions to try and make them feel welcome. In the classroom, I would bring different texts into my class that feature transgender characters or the problems which they face.

(4) Choose a significant quote from ‘Undoing’ Gender and Disrupting Hegemonic Masculinity

‘The basis for the second surgical intervention was Brenda’s own refusal to conform to traditional behaviours associated with being a girl – she simply refused the socialization that was imposed and rather found herself developing the desire to play with certain gender-differentiated toys, such as guns, and even preferred to urinate standing up despite the fact that she had no penis. Butler added that when she was caught urinating in this position, other girls at the school threatened to kill her! The detail highlights the politics of gender normalization and embodiment in terms of how it is policed and imposed in school contexts through regimes of violence.”

I think that his quote is important because it brings into context how transgendered people are really treated and that their transition (disregarding the case which is presented in the quote) is not being handled with care by their peers.