Daily Archives: April 16, 2012

Feminism is about equality for sexes

The term “feminist” often has a negative connotation. Many associate feminists with hairy armpits, burly women and man-haters.

There are many myths when it comes to the complex movement called feminism. First, many assume feminism is only for women. Second, some believe that all feminists must be lesbians. Third, they all hate men. And it is sometimes assumed that all feminists want female supremacy, and they will go after it in angry, violent ways.

Some believe that feminists are “slut-shamers.” Slut-shaming is attacking or targeting a woman for having multiple sexual partners, wearing revealing clothing or expressing sexuality. It implies that a woman who does anything of this nature should feel inferior, unworthy or guilty.

Although they do not believe in trying to gain male approval, they don’t shame women for being strippers or porn stars. Feminists believe in the freedom of sexual expression. Women should be allowed to dress how they wish without fear of being assaulted or insulted.

Feminists believe in equal rights for women and men. It isn’t about women getting higher pay than men. It’s about men and women receiving the same amount. It’s not about women being better than men. It’s about the equality of everyone.

They believe in dissolving the patriarchal system with the equal rights of everyone. You cannot simply be a man or a woman, gay or straight, white or Latino. We are all unique in how we’re made up.

Most think feminism means hating men. In reality, it will take the support of men to make headway on the issue. Many feminists are actually in relationships with men.

Similarly, men can be oppressed by women and other men. Feminists recognize this. They encourage men to share their stories about abuse, assault or oppression, and to then take action.

Stereotypes are instilled in all of us early on through societal institutions such as religion, family, marriage or school.

Feminism doesn’t just benefit women. Improving the quality of life for women betters the lives of everyone.

When we can stop perpetuating myths like these and begin to recognize our subconscious stereotypes, we can start to work together toward equality.

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Kelsey Sutton
/Copy chief
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com

 

‘Hunger Games’ fans shed light on racism issues

Recent comments made by ignorant fans of “The Hunger Games” shed light on the racism which is still alive in our country today.

When some readers found out that Rue and Thresh, who are described in the book as having “dark brown skin,” are played by African-Americans, they shared their feelings on Twitter.

One Twitter fan posted: “Why does Rue have to be black, not gonna lie, kinda ruined the movie.”

Another fan posted: “Why is Rue a little black girl?”

Posts like this are disturbing, inferring that just because Rue is a little black girl instead of a little white girl, her life isn’t as valuable.

Unsurprisingly, many people found these comments to be offensive, retaliating to the point where a few of the fans who posted these racist comments deleted their Twitter accounts.

It’s great that people are willing to speak up against these comments, but attacking the people who make these racist comments is the wrong way to go about it.

Telling people that they are wrong won’t change their opinions, it will only make them keep their thoughts to themselves.

As Professor Jean Moule said in her speech about unconscious racism at Linfield, she would rather deal with someone who acknowledges that they have race issues than someone who hides it.

People who hide their racism are still going to treat people of other races unfairly. The difference is that it will be in a more passive-aggressive way, which can be much more difficult to handle than someone who is upfront about how they feel.

The racist comments made by these “Hunger Games” fans provides the perfect opportunity to confront the racist thoughts that still remain in our country. Rather than attacking these people and turning them into passive-aggressive racists, we should ask them why they feel the way they do, forcing them to think about their racism.

“Kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad,” wrote one Twitter fan, with the hashtag #ihatemyself.

This disturbing quote proves that some people are racist, despite knowing that their feelings are wrong. For this reason, we need to get these people to consider where their racist thoughts come from, helping them work toward becoming more racially accepting people.

I personally thought that the actors chosen to play Rue and Thresh were spot-on choices, and it surprised me to learn otherwise.

I am upset that there are actually people who don’t find Rue’s death to be sad simply because she is black.

Not feeling sad at a child’s death because of that child’s race is how horrifying events like the Holocaust happen. For this reason, we need to work on changing racist views by being understanding and listening to where people’s racism stems from.

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Meghan O’Rourke/Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Bully’ documentary should keep offensive language

I came across the petition to change the rating of a new documentary when I was on Tumblr. Usually, when I encounter petitions on social networking sites, I scroll past them on the grounds that they’re silly or not something I agree with, or that there are a billion other petitions with the same goal. This one, though, caught my attention.

The documentary in question is called “Bully” and is directed by Lee Hirsch. It follows five kids and their families, recording the impact of bullying on their lives.

The trailer makes it clear that the goal of “Bully” is not only to expose the effects of bullying and show exactly how damaging it is, but also to motivate people to do something about it.

Originally, the Motion Picture Association of America gave the documentary an “R” rating, which would have made it hard for anyone under 17 to see it. And, since the film aims to change the way middle and high school students treat each other, an “R” rating would effectively prevent the documentary from reaching its target audience.

The petition was to change the rating to “PG-13” so that kids could see it. According to Change.org, more than 500,000 people signed the petition, and now, after some minor edits, the film has been rated “PG-13.”

An article on The Vancouver Sun’s website describes how six uses of the f-bomb in the movie had resulted in the “R” rating, and how Hirsch agreed to edit out three of those in return for the rating of “PG-13.”

There never should have been a question about the rating. According to The Vancouver Sun, multiple uses of that particular curse word in a movie gets an automatic “R” rating from the MPAA, and I would agree with that in the case of any other movie.

However, this is bullying we’re talking about. I think any documentary about bullying would be incomplete if it did not include the things that kids call each other, and if I recall correctly, middle school bullies are not exactly the cleanest-mouthed of people when it comes to verbal abuse.

It’s also clear that the target audience of “Bully” consists of kids who have experienced bullying, whether they are the bullies or the victims. These kids are likely to have heard cursing before in real-life bullying situations. Taking that into consideration, it seems pointless to try to protect them from language that they have probably heard already.

Even if the f-bomb is a shocker, I think that the importance of showing kids the effects of their actions far overrules the danger of hearing an offensive word. This is a documentary that needs to be seen to have the effect its director intended, which is not only widespread acceptance that bullying is a legitimate issue, but also a shift in the way kids treat each other.

Bullying is not something that we can stop by telling children to buck up and deal with it, or repeating bland sayings like “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

It’s a harsh reality, and a documentary about it is necessarily going to be harsh. That doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t be able to see it.

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Sharon Gollery
/Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

American grammar has never been right

As soon as we enter the school system, we are taught that there is only one proper way to speak English. Every day, grammar lessons are crammed into our heads, so that we are better prepared for our society.

Outside of the classroom, we expose ourselves to multiple dialects and slang that take a preference over what we learn in school.

There should not be so much emphasis on what we, as Americans, should sound like. The United States is known for its diversity, and the dialects within the country makes it that much more unique.

Many blame text messaging and slang for a student’s lack of grammar knowledge. However, this is just a small portion of the problem.

Slang and dialects have always existed. They are a part of the creation of world cultures. Without these playing an aspect in the culture, there would be less diversity.

Grammar seems to be a constant problem in the United States, but it is seen as more of a serious issue now with the new technological developments.

Many teenagers are using electronics to communicate and a new form of slang has developed because of it.

According to a survey in Pew Internet & American Life Project, 85 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds have reported to have used some sort of electronic communication.

These new advances are not hurting our grammar. The U.S. has had grammatical issues since someone decided that there was only one way to speak English.

English itself is a difficult language to learn. As Americans, we expect ourselves to know every aspect of the language, but in actuality, we know less than we think.

The way we talk on a daily basis does not reflect the perfect criteria we set for speaking grammatically correct.

In California, schools are now teaching children in classrooms the “proper” way of speaking English. They are teaching these children how bad their grammar is and then teaching them the correct way to speak.

Dialects are being seen as an unimportant part of our country. The voices of our diversity are slowly being lost.

The main dialects that are criticized are the African and Mexican-American dialects. These dialects are seen as naïve and incapable of communicating on the same level as those who pay close attention to their grammar.

Many people, such as African American comedian Steve Harvey, prove that this assumption is not true. He presents most of his shows using terms that fall into the category of “African American English.” Those who listen to him understand him and still know that he is still able to be successful.

Americans have never been spot on with their grammar. The expectations we build are extremely high and need to be more realistic. It’s understandable that we should try to better ourselves as a country, but we shouldn’t lose an aspect that makes us so diverse.

Every time that we speak, there will be some sort of grammatical error. The English language is so complicated that it is impossible for someone to completely understand every element of it.

Dialects have existed for a long time. There is no reason to try to force people to believe that they do not sound right unless they speak a certain way.

Knowing the basics is a good foundation, but those dialects developed shows a sense of individuality.

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Ivanna Tucker
/Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com

Colleges should be compared

Most students remembers taking standardized tests in high school. While we may not enjoy taking these tests, they provide a way to measure the quality of education that students in each school district receives.

Colleges, however, do not have these tests, making it more difficult to measure how well college students are performing across the country.

While there are many college ranking systems, most of these are determined by a school’s reputation and admissions-selectivity, not student improvement.

There are plans to develop some type of assessment for colleges to administer to determine how well students improve skills such as critical thinking and problem solving throughout their college years.

Although standardized tests are not a perfect measurement of how students are performing, they can provide a general idea of how well a school is doing to improve students’ critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

With college tuition rates steadily rising, it can be helpful to know how a school’s education compares to other schools across the nation. Going to college is a huge investment, and it would be beneficial to have a standardized way to compare the value of different schools.

According to a recent article published in The New York Times, there are three tests in use by more than 300 state colleges that are in a group called the Voluntary System of Accountability.

There is the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Proficiency Profile, the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency and the Collegiate Learning Assessment.

These assessments, similar to ones given in high school, test critical thinking, reading, writing and mathematics.

Not only can these assessments help to compare schools, but it can be a tool to show which area an institution needs to improve upon.

However, there can certainly be flaws in administering standardized tests to college students. Once students enter college, learning becomes more specialized as students declare areas of study.

As a result, some students end up taking more science and math courses, while others take more English and humanities courses.

At the same time, showing which areas students test stronger in at each school shows what types of students attend that school. Someone who wants to major in biology could look for a school that tested higher in critical thinking and mathematics.

Another potential problem is that it may be difficult for every four-year college in the country to administer these tests to their students on top of all the other exams they have to take.

While no assessment is perfect, it seems that some sort of standardized test could be helpful for students choosing a college and for educators to improve educational systems.

-The Review Editorial Board

 

linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com