Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Resilient Kids

Watching the RK videos, makes me believe that there is hope for the next generation. When I was in elementary school, middle school, and high school all my teachers would do one thing to get attention. Yell. If there were not yelling, there were making an example out of someone. That led to two or three days of detention. All yelling does is install fear not respect. The methods used with resident kids can be used on all levels. Youth of all ages experience stress. I think some adults tend to forget that. If we can incorporate methods like the methods used with resilient kids, we can lower the "truancy rate".

Monday, November 16, 2015

1st Event- Documentary Screening

         For one of my required events, I decided to participate in the screening of Unslut hosted by the Gender and Women’s studies department located in suite 1B in the Adams library. This documentary had a plethora of interviews, true life stories and specialists speaking on the topic of slut shaming and the use of the word “slut”. The word holds fear, shame, sadness, hurt, anger and so much more; and the fact that people throw this word around labeling women without the knowledge of how damning this word is, is sad.  
A woman in the movie said “All it takes is a rumor of a girl that has sexual activity and she is labelled a slut”. The quote goes directly with a true life story another woman talked about in the movie about a young lady named Rehtaeh Parsons who committed suicide due to being sexually bullied. They showed a cartoon reenactment on how the pictures of Rehtaeh were spread throughout the school. She was unable to defend herself, so obviously the story of the initial sender of the pictures was the “accurate” and “true” story. She was labelled a slut, because the story that was told made it seem as though Rehtaeh wanted to sleep with both abusers, but the truth being that she was gang raped. Rehtaeh was eventually sexually bullied, being called slut among other names, which unfortunately ended in her suicide. This cruel story shows how one rumor can affect someone. 
 To conclude, I think there should be more places that women have available just to help if things like sexual assault happen. But to get back to the word slut, there are a lot of slutshaming movements happening throughout the US today. I think it will take a lot more than protests to get rid of that nasty stigma associated with that word. Things such as: educating people on the history of the word, like in Gender classes and planning events that can take these negative words used to describe women and men and trying to get to the root of why people feel the way they do about the words.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The danger of a single story

I for one, will admit that I have been told  certain stories about youth. Particularly stories about privileged youth. When I was growing up, my mom and her sisters would always become upset when family friends or grandparents would give their children expensive gifts. Expensive gifts such as: name brand shoes, jewelry, clothes, or electronics.  They would always tell us, "If someone gives you a gift, say no thank you". They were against us becoming spoiled. Older generations of my family would often say,"When you're spoiled, you have an attitude of entitlement. You will step over other people to get whatever you want. You will never work for anything. All you care about is ME, ME, ME". I heard these stories or sayings from the time I was in elementary school until I graduated from high school. I still hear it today. After a while, I began to agree with my family. I apologize if this sounds harsh, but I did look at kids who came from money as spoiled and self-centered. I began making judgements based on encounters I had.

Flashback- I was a senior in high school. I was in my second period math class waiting for class to begin. In walks a couple of my classmates. It was January. Prom and dresses were the subject matters every day.  A group of girls walk in and start talking about what they were going to wear for prom. One of the girls starts to say,"I'm going to get my dress custom made, it costs around $500 but it doesn't matter because my dad's paying for it. I can't wear a cheap dress like some other people. 

When she made her comment, I automatically formed my judgements about her. At that point in time, I couldn't say, my family said this or my family said that. Yes they told me stories about privileged youth but during this time, I had formed my own perceptions on privileged youth. Before I graduated, I did find out that she did not have good relationships with certain family members. I had to reevaluate my stereotypes and say to myself, "When people act or talk a certain way, there is probably a good reason behind it. 

Chimamanda Adichie's Ted Talk can be applied to how we view certain communities, people who have been incarcerated or certain school districts. If you have only heard one side of a story, you have closed your mind to see one side of a story that may not be true.