United in Anger Today.

This film brought a lot to my eyes that history lessons and many years of schooling never did. From the way the government failed to lead with any form of humanity, to the ways that people had to band together to literally fight for their RIGHT TO LIVE. ACT UP’s actions saved countless lives and without in their might have never been FDA approved drugs that anyone suffering from AID’s would be able to take. This method that the Government continues to use with FDA approval times is absolutely abhorrent. It has and will continue to get people killed until there are the kind of rallies that ACT UP performed during the AID’s epidemic. During the film we were shown what a rally looks like today, and by far what was done in the past was definitely more striking. We have become complacent in certain respects in the interest of keeping ourselves safe, this is not a bad thing considering how police now deal with protesters. Our country is currently in a bit of a whirlwind that horrifyingly could put us in a position of no power at all over our well being (when is a different story). I think that mentalities will change once we have no other options but to  act up.

Born In Flames, a Couple of Thoughts

After watching Born In Flames I wasn’t exactly sure what to feel the story is left open ended, we don’t know if their plan succeeded or if even after the bombing they were persecuted and held down by the oppression against them. Then after carefully considering what we watched I realized the latter couldn’t have even happened. These women within this film were so beyond dedicated to their cause that nothing, not even the death could stop them.

Another thing that piqued my interest was how (I’m not sure how to say this) some parts of this film were created in a way that could be seen as dark (very dark) humor. The transitional scenes where we saw the progression of what women were doing at the beginning of the film were seen as true, but also something that we should see comically. If we were in Lizzie Borden’s shoes when she was putting this movie together in post-production, I could have seen her say “alright, time to do the montage lets show the audience how ridiculously we are treated”. I’m not saying this film was comical, far from it, It’s just how certain scenes had to be thought up by someone who was laughing at the absurdity of the era’s reality.

Representation

In class, we discussed how self-representation was perceived. Women’s comics perceived women not to be taken seriously and that their main purpose was to assist. For instance, the voices of technological operating systems were the voices of women which signified how women’s voices make us feel more at home. This ignored the labor of women at home and didn’t give them any credit.

Demon Mothers and The Pill (Post 2)

This article bought up a number of issues. One of them being the treatment of women. Testing a product is one thing, but to test the product on a minority for undisclosed reasoning is quite disgusting. Many questions need to be asked such as why the women of puertorico were teh test subject? Was it because of their perceived image? Why is it the case? The women were taken advantage of due to their lack of knowledge behind of what was going on. It is also disturbing how the PuertoRican women were dehumanized and seen as monsters, selfish, greedy, etc.

The Birds (Post 1)

This was an interesting film to watch in class. I had to finish the rest at home, but it was a good film that was able to keep my attention for its duration. The storyline was interesting with the plot almost always surrounding birds. The story of how the two main characters of interest met at a bird shop. The part of the movie that causes the most questions is why are there multiple bird attacks throughout the movie. Why are the birds causing a disturbance? Why are the birds taking lives? I mean after all, they are birds. The relationship between humans and birds is pretty stable aside from the fact that they will leave an unpleasant surprise on your car from time to time. Birds can even be domesticated, so again I ask simply, why? Why would they live in an area for so long to never have angry bird attacks until now? This leads up to questioning on whether or not the birds represent something. Watching the movie upon first glance, I would have never thought that the birds may have potentially represented something. I used a narrow mind and said “ok these are just angry birds, it’s a cool aspect to a horror story”. Upon a second look, you can gather many possible meanings to behind why the birds wanted to attack.

We Like Our Apartment

An interesting aspect to Wojiciks article for me was how Playboy glamorizing bachelorhood led to a lifestyle that counteracted the idea of women being maids of the home and questioned the masculinity of men. Instead of Men living in suburbanized homes and settling down with a wife to have kids, they were instead encouraged to have an apartment and live a less tied down life. Through men living more carefree lives, women also became more liberated in some ways, instead of living for their husband women were guests in these upscale apartments. They weren’t the ones cooking in this dating scene, instead men provided the drinks and the labor, in this lifestyle people became more independent. Now the men also had to learn how to cook and it wasn’t just seen as a job for women, the lines between the genders begin to blur. Along with this blurring of gender lines, homosexuality became label associated with bachelors. In being more independent and trying to live a different lifestyle, men are faced with the problem of having their sexual preference assumed. This brings up the problem of anyone trying to live outside the norm; by living your life independently must be associated as X, if you gravitate to traditional feminine stereotypes you are Y, and if you enjoy interior decorating you are Z.

Demon Mothers & The Pill

I had no clue that this had happened to the women of Puerto Rico! Being half puerto rican myself, I couldn’t believe I never knew about this disgusting use of experimentation of women’s bodies.

I was pretty overwhelmed with the fact that these people looked down on these women and blamed their “demonic” “greed” for having so many children in poor estates. Using people who are not white to experiment with scary medication/harmful bio-medicine studies in order to find a finalized, safe pill for whites to use is a flabbergasting thought.

I also just recently googled more about this birth control trial and on wikipedia (I know – not the best source…) it even says: “The Puerto Rican women did not know they were experimental subjects. Contraceptives were illegal in the United States but not in the occupied territory so experiments were not regulated in the Island as it was in the mainland. The experimental dosages were many times higher than the legal dose today. Puerto Rican women were poor and many illiterate. This made it easier for researchers to conduct the experiment without the subjects understanding the risks.” It’s just so crazy to me that these women had no idea how dangerous this research was – They weren’t informed at all (birth control side effects can be deadly!) and how the US looked at these people as guinea pigs rather than actual human beings is terrible. This was slightly mentioned at the Teach-In and it also reminded me of what was mentioned about Dr. Marion Sim (how does he still have a statue in central park?!).

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“The real kicker? Women of color continued to be used as “guinea pigs” because the FDA, Preciado writes, “felt it threw doubt on the femininity of American women by suppressing their periods altogether.””

^^^^ Great read! 🙂

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(New York Times; May 10, 1960)

Million Dollar Legs

I will be honest: before reading this article, I had no idea who Ann Miller was. But right after looking up youtube videos and reading this article, I instantly saw just how talented she was at everything that she did. It was interesting to read the comparison between her and Eleanor Powell. Eleanor was more gentle and formal in her dancing and Ann was very striking and bold (which was probably why she was so famous). I did agree with Catherine Haworth on how Ann was very energized and less “feminine” than the regular female tap dancers — & I personally think that is what her made her super awesome.

I loved how she looked in the mirror to admire herself in the Too Darn Hot skit because it goes to show just how confident she is, too. With the camera trying to sexualize her body and rhythm, it is just so satisfying to watch her glance at her talented self and see her take control of her own body (and not be controlled by anyone else – everything is under her own command).

She also may have been seen as intimidating (with her exotic fearlessness and strong spirit) – hence why she was put into ridiculous roles, such as the Primitive Man, to keep her in check so that she is “reminded” that she isn’t as powerful as the men directing her every move. For example: her character in this particular movie had a very intelligent career that many women were not able to achieve (which is very empowering) – but then it is diminished to a sexually driven, objectified approach when she states that it’s because she is “obsessed with man” and that she cannot control her desire for them; she doesn’t go into this profession because she wants to study and excel as a liberated female achiever, but because she wanted to shift her unstoppable fascination of men to something more productive. PS… that scene where she is being dragged across the floor by the hair.. uh no…

Ann was casted as supporting roles so that she never took too much attention away from the leading (usually male) roles; hollywood never treated woman as superior, independent or even individually sophisticated way back during this era, and Ann challenged this notion to its very best (making her a threat to the media/movie industry but also making her an inspiration to the female audience).

The Birds, Who Are They?

At first when I was watching The Birds, the only question that really stood strong in my mind was “why?”. Why are the birds attacking the people? Are they hungry? Did we destroy their habitat (Which doesn’t seem likely in this case because this town was fine for years)? These questions were flying at me just as fast as the birds were in the film, but eventually as the class discussion became more and more heated and Mulvey’s work was brought in to help us, our understanding of the birds change. Instead of asking why the birds are attacking, we have to ask who or what are the birds are supposed to represent. I initially thought that the birds represented the mother and her closeness to her son, and the birds were in some way connected to her. Now this all seems a little crazy after the fact because the actual answer doesn’t have to include science fiction rules. From what I’m seeing the birds represent us as society, in the way that they gaze at the characters below, as if what they are doing is against our ideological standards and we must put them in there place. Kind of messed up considering we’re supposed to root for the people.