Friday, April 25, 2008

omg kidz 2day inc txt tawk in skul wrk

Electronic Informalities v. Academic Tradition

Okay, so text language is clearly not my native writing tongue. But it is becoming the first language of the wired generation of young folks in school today, as the NYTimes reports. And this does create quite an interesting situation for educators - when to insist on "standard English" and when to let a few LOLZ slide by...that is the question.

While I find it very interesting to consider how emerging technologies evolve language and communication (like silent reading and the printing press), the statement in this article that really caught my attention was,
More than half of the teenagers surveyed had a profile on a social networking site like Facebook or MySpace, 27 percent had an online journal or blog and 11 percent had a personal Web site. Generally, girls dominated the teenage blogosphere and social networks.*


So, where are all the girl bloggers? Where are the women online? Like the proliferation of txt-style writing across mediums, forms, and spaces, it seems that tech-savvy women are everywhere - if we just recognize them.


*Emphasis mine.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

OMFG


The Gossip About Those GossipGirl Ads

I was taking a leisurely jaunt in Manhattan when I first came across the controversial GossipGirl ads that have created so much buzz for this CW show. Promoting this TV series based on the popular teen books about an elite prep school, the advertisements I saw were poster-size and plastered all over a construction site. My response? OMFG, for sure. And WTF, too.

Now my reaction to these ads is not negative because I am prudish or "sex-shaming." I'm just struck by how "soft-core" these mainstream images are. Like Ariel Levy, I'm concerned about how "pornified" society seems to be these days. But my take on the consequences of this "pop culture gone wild" is more in line with the views of Jessica Valenti. As Jessica smartly states in her book Full Frontal Feminism,
I think that while the fast-growing focus on sexuality [in popular culture] certainly has the potential to be dangerous for young women, it's not necessarily all bad. What is bad is that young women seem to be confronted with too few choices and too many wagging fingers...We're all trapped by the limiting version of sexuality that's put out there - a sexuality that caters almost exclusively to men.
Jessica goes on to make a call for young women to critically engage with mainstream images promoting an impossible and often unattractive version of female sexuality and to then make informed decisions about their own sexual lives.

I think that the GossipGirl ad campaign is a perfect example of the type of analysis Jessica advocates. What is going on in these ads? Is it just a shameless use of sex to sell an already racy series? Is female pleasure exploited or privileged by featuring an actress's "o-face"? What's up with the social mores contradiction of this television show being marketed to the very same American teenagers who are being taught abstinence-only sex ed. in school? WTF, you know?

Luckily, feminist scholars/thinkers like Levy, Valenti, Kathleen Sweeney, and Deborah Siegel are writing about these issues - and brining more to the conversation than just WTF.

Some Recommended Reads:
-On "raunch" culture: Ariel Levy's Female Chauvanist Pigs
-On feminism and activism today: Jessica Valenti's Full Frontal Feminism
-Girls, girls, girls: Kathleen Sweeney's Maiden USA: Girl Icons Come of Age
-Blogging about girlhood: Patti Binder's What's Good for Girls
-For some female-friendly, sex-positive inspiration: Rachel Krammer Brussel's Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women

Share your recs and takes in the comments section, too!

Cross-posted at Girl With Pen

Image Cred


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Carnival of Feminists #57

Some great weekend reading...


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Misogyny v. Sexism

Misogyny:Sexism::Institutions:Individuals

I think this NYTimes article provides an excellent argument for why women's and gender studies courses should be required curriculum...or at least for NYTimes writers.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Chocolate Cake...Marital Rape...I Fail to See the Similarities

I think Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog's (trigger warning) March 18th post completely debunks the horrifying comments made by the British National Party member Nick Eriksen comparing marital rape to being forced to eat chocolate cake.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Cool Women, Hot Jobs

I spent today at the Young Women's Leadership School, Bronx Campus participating in their "Cool Women, Hot Jobs" career day. I can't say enough about the wonderful young women I met there - I was so impressed by their professionalism, poise, and passion for doing their research about their career possibilities. The TWYLS program definitely puts its students a step ahead; when I was 13, I don't think I was contemplating my professional path as seriously as these young women students are at this progressive public school.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.