Wrap It Up

As this semester wraps up, it is time for all of us to reflect on our experiences with the WGSST class.  I enjoyed taking the class, because it really helped me open my mind, my eyes, and my heart.  Before I took the class, I do not think I was narrow minded, I think I was just oblivious to what actually goes on in the “real world.”  What did I learn in this class? 

Before the class, I thought everyone was treated the same and that everyone had a voice.  However, I now know that is not the case.  Women are often not treated the same.  They have less of a voice, receive less pay, and are seen as weak compared to men.  Women are not the only ones that are deprived in today’s society, but so are other minorities, such as African Americans, homosexuals, or the poor.  I thought that all neighborhoods were created equally as far as the area goes, but some people are put at an automatic disadvantage by being exposed to pollutants and toxins.  This class was beneficial, because now I am much more aware of the differences in how people are treated. 

If this class has taught me anything, it has taught me that people are always going to have to work at being considered the same as someone else.  It is never going to be easy, but fighting for equality is one of the most important fights a person will ever go face.  People are rarely seen as equals and I am not sure why.  I know that in order to fix this problem, I can stand up and speak out against the inequalities people face.   I can voice my opinion if my workplace ever has pay discrepancies.  I can participate in the brides march and speak out against domestic violence.  I can support breast cancer research by participating in the Race for the Cure or by buying products that support the cause.  If a company does something that I do not agree with, such as have workers work in a sweatshop, then I can stop buying their products and let others know.  No matter the inequality this country presents us with, we will always have the opportunity to stand up against it. 

Having a voice is the best way to stand up for what we believe in.  I will always voice my opinion and stand up for what I believe especially when it pertains to issues regarding equality.  There is not one thing that makes one person superior to the other.  Even with all of the adversity we are faced with, we can always persevere and overcome this to make people of all genders, races, socioeconomic statuses, and sexual orientations equal.  That is what I learned this semester in the WGSST class. 

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Brides March

Domestic violence is something happens to more women and children than it should. Odds are, we each know someone that has been affected by violence, whether it is sexual, verbal, physical, or any other type. Domestic violence is a societal problem, not just a personal problem. It affects everyone. It keeps children from going to school or mothers from going to work. In order to overcome this, it is important for the ones being abused to stand up, find their voice, and speak out.

In an aim to overcome violence, people are finding that voice and they are speaking out. They are using their voice for their struggles and battles and they are also using their voice for other people who have not yet found it in them to stand up. It is important to speak on behalf of others who have not quite found their voice or have made changes in their lives. If we do not speak out for them, then who will?

In 2006, Mary Kay and Women’s eNews worked together to help women stand up and speak out against the abuse they were facing. In order to make this happen, women marched against domestic violence and voiced their opinions in New York. Women either wore wedding dresses or wore all white, while men wore all black. They carried signs that had many different sayings, such as, “Love should not hurt,” or “Domestic violence kills.” This march had men and women of all ages and races marching to fight against domestic violence. It is significant that people of all races, gender, and sexual orientation participate in these types of marches or events. As a country, we are not always on the same page or have the same beliefs, but I think ending domestic violence is one of the topics that everyone agrees on. For more information regarding the Brides March: http://www.bridesmarch.com/mainpage.html

Domestic violence is something that happens every day in our country and all over the world. That is why it is important for people to learn to speak out. The more people learn to find their voices and speak out against such tragedies, the more we will work together to overcome adversities such as these. Women are finding their voice on a daily basis, which is so reassuring to the people of tomorrow. Women have always overcome problems, such as not being allowed to work or vote or make less money than men. This is just one more obstacle that women will have to persevere through in order to make society a better tomorrow. Women can and will do it.

Brides March

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4365heLSMXM&feature=player_embedded#t=0s

Domestic violence is something happens to more women and children than it should. Odds are, we each know someone that has been affected by violence, whether it is sexual, verbal, physical, or any other type. Domestic violence is a societal problem, not just a personal problem. It affects everyone. It keeps children from going to school or mothers from going to work. In order to overcome this, it is important for the ones being abused to stand up, find their voice, and speak out.

In an aim to overcome violence, people are finding that voice and they are speaking out. They are using their voice for their struggles and battles and they are also using their voice for other people who have not yet found it in them to stand up. It is important to speak on behalf of others who have not quite found their voice or have made changes in their lives. If we do not speak out for them, then who will?

In 2006, Mary Kay and Women’s eNews worked together to help women stand up and speak out against the abuse they were facing. In order to make this happen, women marched against domestic violence and voiced their opinions in New York. Women either wore wedding dresses or wore all white, while men wore all black. They carried signs that had many different sayings, such as, “Love should not hurt,” or “Domestic violence kills.” This march had men and women of all ages and races marching to fight against domestic violence. It is significant that people of all races, gender, and sexual orientation participate in these types of marches or events. As a country, we are not always on the same page or have the same beliefs, but I think ending domestic violence is one of the topics that everyone agrees on. For more information regarding the Brides March: http://www.bridesmarch.com/mainpage.html

Domestic violence is something that happens every day in our country and all over the world. That is why it is important for people to learn to speak out. The more people learn to find their voices and speak out against such tragedies, the more we will work together to overcome adversities such as these. Women are finding their voice on a daily basis, which is so reassuring to the people of tomorrow. Women have always overcome problems, such as not being allowed to work or vote or make less money than men. This is just one more obstacle that women will have to persevere through in order to make society a better tomorrow. Women can and will do it.
To view the Brides March against Domestic Violence video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4365heLSMXM&feature=player_embedded#t=0s

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In today’s society, it is important for both people in a household to hold an occupation to pay for the doctor’s bills, electricity, water, and other living expenses.  Even with all of these responsibilities that are costly, we complain about our jobs that put food on the table.  We don’t get paid enough, we don’t work the hours we want, we don’t get long enough breaks, and the working conditions are awful.  How much of this is true and how much of it is exaggeration?  There are many people throughout the world that face horrid working conditions such as these without any other option.  They are known as sweatshops.  Surprisingly enough, we still have them in today’s society in America. 

An example of a sweatshop in America is Hershey’s in Pennsylvania.  Every summer, they hire international students for minimal pay and unwanted hours.  The pay rate for these jobs used to start at $18/hour, but as soon as Hershey’s realized what they could do, they dropped the starting pay to $8/hour.  However, that is virtually nothing once all of their taxes and other deduction are taken out.  So, these students receive a maximum of $3.50 an hour after all of these deductions are taken away.  In addition to the low paychecks, these students also had to pay a minimum of $3,000 to come to America for this low paying, nonunion job.  Hershey’s is one of the many sweatshops that still exist today in America. 

Typically, certain people work in sweatshops.  In the infamous factory fire, it was low class women.  In the Hershey’s example, it is international students that are poor college kids.  In addition to these types of people, others could be young children, people without an education, or people that cannot work their selves out of poverty.  How often do we see white men working in a sweatshop?  Almost never. 

Sweatshops in America are typically unheard of heard of in today’s society, but they do still exist.  When someone thinks of a sweatshop, they think overseas in China or India.  People need to open their eyes and sweatshops need to get attention in the media.  People can show they do not support sweatshops by not purchasing their products, speaking out against them, or making the public aware of the company.  We need to create more jobs, give people a better wage for it, and they should be unionized.  Today’s society does not make it any easier for people to overcome poverty and get out of sweatshops.  However, a job is a job, even at a sweatshop, but it forces people to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/americas-sweatshop-diplomacy.html

This link is a video about sweatshops in today’s society and how we would rather pay less overseas than more in America.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY0MiJl0gcw

Invisible work

According to national surveys, the number of women that work in some countries is considered to be almost nonexistent or even invisible.  This is because those surveys have different definitions that they qualify for working and what they do not.  Women are stuck with the jobs that do not require technology or an advanced education since they are deprived of both.  Women are left with making dung pies for fires, housing, and other jobs that do not require high qualifications, while the men sit and ride tractors.  Men are given the jobs that make them appear as stronger members of society, while women are given the little, tedious tasks that are sometimes insignificant.  This obviously shows the inequality in the workplace that women are faced with. 

Invisible work is the job tasks that women are given that help them blend into the background.  They are given tasks that are irrelevant and do not get the pay or benefits they deserve.  Invisible work is also work that men are seen as superior or too good to do.  Men are thought of as too “important” to touch dung or to pick cotton, but instead they can drive huge machines around to do similar jobs for them. 

Allowing women to continue to be treated as unequal in their jobs will lead to many changes.  For one, women will quit because they are aware of the issue and are determined to make a stand for themselves and for others.  The businesses will also lose customers if “women are not treated as equal and knowledgeable partners.”  This would be detrimental to the business and would cause a decrease in their income.  This would also make for a much more hostile and stressful work environment.  Women will be upset at the way they are being treated.  Women also have to care for much more than their jobs while they’re working.  They have to look after their children and their house while making less than their male counterparts.   It makes women less inclined to work and help out and increases the opportunity for turmoil among countries. 

It is important for women and men to be seen as equal.  In order to do this, women need find a way to be included in the political power and to dig deep and find their autonomy.  In America, women have not always had a voice, vote, or value equal to that of men.   Including all of that and more, women have always been considered as invisible, but have always risen up and overcame that disguise. 

https://carmen.osu.edu/content/1132/WGSST/1110/wgsst_1110_sp2013_19643/readings/waring.html?_&d2lSessionVal=pPB9z7nn4Wp5PvFCbhwPSpEby

Environmental Racism

On an everyday basis, people are faced with many types of racism: industrial, economic, and even environmental racism.  Environmental racism is where people in a certain area or community are automatically exposed to different pollutants, contaminants, and other toxins. Typically, this is associated with lower income or poverty stricken areas or can even be based off of race.  The exposure these people are forced into can cause different diseases, illness, or other health-related issues without the person even knowing.  It’s a different type of silent killer we need to watch out for. 

In my opinion, environmental racism has to be the one of the worst types of racism a person is exposed to.  The targeted people are constantly being discriminated against and sometimes they may not even be aware of it.  It can cause respiratory distress, asthma, or heart problems that people in a poorer area are exposed to that people in a richer community are not.  The poorer population is in some ways already disadvantaged, so why make it worse?  They may not be able to afford healthcare to correct the health problems the government is creating for them.   Or they may not be able to afford the transportation to the doctor or be able to afford the prescriptions. 

Is it ethical to subject certain races to a toxin on purpose?  What makes them the target instead of the richer population?  Why does this have to happen in general? 

An example of this type of racism can be seen in North Carolina.  They have more pigs in their state than they do people.  This is problematic, because of sanitation issues and their water system being affected.  What most people don’t know is this can lead to blue baby syndrome, which is an issue in the baby’s oxygen carrying capacity due to the amount of nitrites he or she is taking in.  Another problem North Carolina has experienced is they have a higher amount of hydrogen sulfides in their water as well.  This causes respiratory problems in the people around the area, which is normally seen in people in poverty stricken areas.  In North Carolina, the poorer populated areas are normally associated with certain races. 

Racism in general is something that should never, ever happen, but unfortunately it does.  People on a daily basis are discriminated against in their environments, workplaces, and other institutions.  This is not okay.  It is important for us as a society to figure out ways to overcome this and put everyone on an equal playing field. 

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/12/20/18555819.php

http://www.foodispower.org/environmental_racism.php

Catholicism and contraception

The recent dispute between Melinda Gates and the Vatican was regarding contraception use.  The catholic religion believes that contraception methods should not be utilized, where as Gates believe it should be allowed.  According to Gates, it is more important to prevent the pregnancy rather than have an abortion. 

Contraception is always a touchy topic no matter the age, sex, or religion.  I believe that women have the right to be 100% in control of their body.  They should dictate what goes in, how it goes in, what medications they take, what gets done, etc.  If they know they’re going to have sex but do not want to have children, then it’s up to them to use contraceptives.  That would make more sense than having unprotected sex and later having an abortion or possible STIs. 

As far as religion goes, it’s up to the person as to what they believe and how committed they are to their religion.  Some people are strict in their beliefs and follow the religion by the book, whereas, some are the complete opposite.  As a person, you have the right to choose your religion and how much of it or how little you follow.  If not everything in that religion makes sense to you or what you believe, then you can alter it so that it does.  As society changes, I think a little bit of religion inevitably changes as well.  When Catholicism was first made, it was a completely different time.  Now, people are out having intercourse more often and not just with their significant other.  In today’s society it would make more sense to use contraceptive methods than it did thousands of years ago.  We have to stay current and up-to-date with society’s needs whether or not it agrees with a religious standpoint.  In Africa “82% of Catholics believe contraception is morally acceptable.”  If the majority of women in Africa believe this, then why not just make contraceptives more accessible to them? 

At the end of the day, people are never going to agree on every subject, especially when you bring religion into the mix.  Melinda Gates believes that contraceptive methods should be more accessible to the public and be approved by the Vatican.   Although I do not know much about religion at all, I do believe that a person’s rights should be first.  In those rights, contraceptive methods are included.  Ultimately, it is their body and they should be allowed to decide what happens to it. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/melinda-gates-disagrees-with-vatican_n_1665160.html