Friday, April 17, 2009

Confederate States of America

This movie was simultaneously funny, enlightening, and a little scary. For one thing, straight off the bat, the entire movie is put together in such a way that you are thinking that it is eerily possible things could have come out in that timeline of events if the South had gotten international support for the civil war. At the same time, though, you see commercials and parts that are more funny than informative, and you think "hey, there's no need to take this THAT seriously." Things for items like "N*ggerhair Cigarettes" (I don't know if Blogspot is going to take down the blog or anything if I say the whole thing) and a smorgasbord of other racist paraphernalia make you laugh at the absurdity of such items being advertised nowadays. At the end of the movie, though, when you find out most if not all of the items advertised were actually real products, some of which lasted until the late 1900's then your mind is blown and many preconditioned feelings towards society are overturned.
I cannot even comprehend a situation where we would be that intolerant of African American people; I guess that is just a testament to where we are as a society now in comparison to where we would presumably be had the North lost the civil war.
I also wanted to say that Canada beating everyone in the Olympics because they had free black citizens is hilarious, and I couldn't stop laughing when the narrator mentioned that.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How women are viewed in sports

I feel like Erin Striff's lecture on pain throughout sports was extremely interesting. The focus on how women are portrayed actually struck me as the most interesting part, because I honestly had no idea (even as a communication student) that the depiction of women in situations like sports had been taken to such a level of flagrant sexism. The double standards in society are despicable, and there have been times in my life where I have noticed them and times in my life where I have not.
Seeing the women modeling the triathlon clothing made me laugh, because it seemed like an ad designed for men even though it was a woman's product. Granted I can see the whole "look how beautiful you'll be when you buy our product" angle, but I can't help but think that most women are smart enough to see right through the blatant manipulation. When you have a woman standing in front of a screen with her ass sticking straight out at the camera, I don't think to myself "oh ok she's clearly about to run/swim/bike a million miles."
The other stuff I hadn't really noticed was how much women are portrayed as the maternal figure, even in moments where they are victorious in some kind of monumental sporting event. Like the woman who won the olympic triathlon, and the most popular picture they had of her was of her holding her daughter after she won, not during and not immediately after the race, but only after enough time had gone by so they had a shot set up. Whereas with Michael Phelps, it was nonstop focus on him when he was in and out of the pool, and they would shoot the camera over to his parents but they didn't really depict him with any emotion other than happiness after he won all of his Olympic medals.
Sometimes the double standards aren't as obvious, but hopefully as they become more and more noticeable then the stereotypes and the different gender roles will be fully flexible.