Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Point Exactly

Object Lessons: Romance, Violation, and Adolescent Sexual Desire

Deborah L. Tolman
Wellesley College

This article was my favorite so far. I have always had a keen interest in sexual desires and where they originate from. I understood how she incorporated her closing statement into this piece and by giving the two examples of the girls she interviewed. I understood completely her intent of this research :"By speaking to boys and girls about girls' entitlement to their sexual desire, we demand a rewrite of the romance narrative in which girls Will be sexual subject rather than sexual objects." Here she takes a whole new approach, one of which has never been brought to my attention. I always knew that a woman's sexual desire can be changed by past childhood negative sexual abuse such as molestation, rape, etc. However, by educating young women on the importance of their bodies and the actual ways in which their bodies are "supposed" to be used, and the feelings that they are holding back to experience are normal, we can possibly make some progress. We tend to teach society so much as to how sex is bad, don't do it. Then society contradicts this by things displayed to our youth through the media. But teenagers out there are going to go ahead and do it anyways. We need to explain to them that they can be loved for their inner beauty as well as their outer. They need to be informed on how it is natural and that they need to love themselves before anyone else can love them back. This quote was perfect for the issue. "Following a social constructivist perspective (Gergen,1985) the ways in which we do and do not "story" sexuality into being are definitive in how we make meaning out of our bodies and our relationships, and so the ways in which we do and do not speak about sexuality are crucial."

I understood Tolman's new approach on how speaking up more about sexual desire will enable us to teach these adolescents to speak up when making the right decisions. This will make them more comfortable with themselves to where they can say no at the right times. Helping educate these women and why they may not be connecting to themselves may help these adolescents and young women to change. They can come to realization that they may have been used as a sexual object in the past but they are not a sexual object they are who they are and thats someone who is beautiful. Sexual desire is also beautiful so we need to somehow get therapy to these young girls to let them know they are in charge now but they need to do it with respect because they deserve it. We need to show them the beauty of sexual desire. I always was interested in the statistics on prostitution and how a huge percentage of them were sexually abused as children. At first I thought to myself, wouldn't they hate men and not want to be touched? Some, yes. However most of them who prostitute if not for drugs which can ease their past pain and frustrations but to be in control. Its not for themselves of their own sexual desire, they ignore this, instead they do it for control purposes. They want to be able to control who touches them because in the past they were not able to, there is some kind of void being filled but it is not a healthy one and it sure isnt for sexual desire. I think Tolman has found a new intervention to teach our you on sexual desire, wonderful.

I understood her point made but I think there may be some difficulty in trying to get all teens to actually get through their past and move onto their true selves. I think it is something that lives with a person forever but it is a first step in helping these teens to reteach them what someone else has taken away. Possibly through some psychoanalysis and some long term intense therapy sessions it is a good approach for those who were victims to possibly change their views of themselves. However this is sort of out of the reach for most youths financially and medically. Prevention would be the key word here, motivational speakers, guidance counselors, support systems. I dont know if the media will ever change its capitalistic ways so that may be out of our control but there are other ways to prevent and fix future damage.

I would have to say it is hard to relate this article to most articles we have read. However I could see the connection between society and the media in general. Our class is all about teen media, media playing a role in almost every article we have read. The media shows these young adults off as sexual objects. We see this in rap videos, clothing commercials, etc. It is rare we see the brain and the beauty all in one and rarely if so its the "cool thing". And we wonder why these young adults lost this connection between sexual desire and sexual objectivity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This Video gives us a great representation on Miller's article on New Media, Networking and Phatic Culture. Great Stats!

New Media, Networking, and Phatic Culture

By: Vincent Miller

I understand how Miller is trying to inform us that society has gone into a "networked society" where people are starting to record their daily activities and voice themselves and their emotions through the internet and media. He begins with blogging and within his opinion on blogging states "Because of the increasingly disembedded nature of late modern life, a major task of the individual is to continually rebuild and maintain social bonds, making individualization by its nature non-linear, open ended and highly ambibvalent (Beck and Beck Gernsheim, 2002)." This tells us that people have began using the blogs to express themselves and their emotions in ways they otherwise wouldn't be able to do. In social networking and database culture Andreas Wittel (2001) had come up with what he called "network sociality". I agree with his approach on this. "Instead of gaining security through "trust" and self disclosure within the late modern context of mobility and disembeddedness, network sociality is an instrumental or commodified form of social bonding based on the continual construction and reconstruction of personal networks or contacts." This is saying that people are now building socially within these social networks. They are networking and meeting their friends and possible business partners now online. I would say most people want to have as many friends as they can, also to have a great population to advertise their product to, or even just to feel more secure about having friends and people to talk to in time of need. I have facebook and it nice to voice that when I have had a bad day and post it up and open my facebook later on and see that people actually care and try to cheer me up. This would not happen otherwise because I am not a big phone talker and don't open up to just anyone. This leads to the next argument on microblogging, connectes presence and the ascendancy of phatic culture.

Miller argues that without the means to the products which allow us to communicate than there would be no means to network, there fore we have become dependent on these products. I liked how Miller describes how facebook, twitter, etc encourage phatic communication through social add-ons such as vamprie bites, farmville, and games like that etc. I think they do this not only to get the people hooked on the game which will get them hooked on the site but also to get the people to use these games to socialize with others. The only one I know of is facebook and on facebook these games allow you to play while interacting with other facebook friends. This may give the user a feelings of acceptance in some way.

Most of Millers points I agree on and there is nothing I do not understand in this article because he makes alot of valid points and backs them up.

I can relate this article to Coming of Age With the Internet By McMillan And Morrison because society is being taken to a whole new level when it comes to social networking, blogging, and using the internet. People are now becoming mroe adapated to their online social skills rather than their one on one personable skills.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Vagina Monologues At Rhode Island College

I finally have a few minutes to tell you about my experience attending the Vagina Monologues at Rhode Island College. I decided to bring my boyfriend. neither of us knew what was going to be experienced. He was mostly the nervous one but we were both surprised that we enjoyed it so much. He enjoyed it so much he even bought himself a t-shirt that he wears that says "I love Vaginas". This monolgue was informative, touching, and comedic all at the same time. It attracted a diverse croud of people to whom most got invloved from time to time. My favortie was the woman who mimicked all the different sorts of moans that woman have while having play. The one I was most touched about is the little girl who experienced a sexually abusive lifestyle. The names people gave Vaginas was hysterical, some of which I had never heard before. They made the croud scream cunt over and over again. This play allowed us to be more comfortable with discussing ourselves and our bodies in front of others. It gave us an informative view of the different women and how private they may be with their sexuality to how open others may be. I did learn that no matter what, a woman should not be ashamed of what she has. My most favorite part was talking about our favorite vagina names on the way home from the play. I think it helped us open up a little more, something I didnt even think needed to be done. I am glad I went and I am even more glad I brought my boyfriend. :)

To read more about Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" check out her site at:

This was my favorite part of the play .. HYSTERICLE! of course this is the you tube version perfored by a different actress but it is almost exactly the same as the one performed at RIC.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Touching Song on youth today

This song I found had relevance to Lauren's article titles "Fast Forward". When hearing the lyrics I think of the media and how they try to control our youths. We can teach our youths to have the strength to be who they are and not allow anyone else to control this.

Fast Forward by Lauren Greenfield

In Fast Forward, Lauren Attempts to go into a four year journey to analyze the world of L.A youths. In doing so she finds that there are many adolescents and children who admire materialism and money. One thing she also found much in common among teens was the fact of growing up quick. One teenager stated "You grow up really fast when you grow up in L.A. It seems like everyone is in a rush to be an adult. It's not cool to be a kid." She took pictures of a wide diversity of children and teens of all different ages. I understood how she was able to see which child was influenced by what environment by just looking at a picture. She also asked a few questions here and there to hear what they had to say. My favorite was when the little boy commented on how his mothers dresses too young, and that she always has to have a style of dress that hasn't even come out yet. These pictures and interview's were nice in seeing how children not only act, but how they really feel about what is "in" and what is not. I also learned by this how important environment is when it comes to a child's impression of the world. What we see in front of us is what we are going to compare ourselves to and subconciously compete with. If we are shown different values than we rely on happiness not for materialistic things but instead what we learn is supposed to make us happy. There was nothing I didn't understand in this article.

I can relate this article to Raby's discourses. In the storm you have growth of identity and the "sense of self". I believe we all do develop in stages like Erikson ()says but I also believe that our environment has an important role in who we are today. I am a firm believer of nurture vs nature. And Raby's article along with Eriksons makes sense, however, by Greenfields interviews and pictures, society plays an important role on self identity. Maybe if children didn't see what society shows them to the extent it does as so important then maybe they wouldn't have social problems like Raby talks about. This article links social problems with what children see as "in". If a child doesn't fit in then they may act up because they don't fit in. Or they may even do what they need to do (eg commit crime) to get that nice pair of shoes or that 100 dollar bill.For ex one boy said in Lauren's interview "If you are doing a story about growing up in L.A, you have to show money. That's what its all about. He and two friends then held up bills for her to photograph(the bills were 100 dollar bills)" Do you see a social problem here or what?? I do... This leads into Rabys argument on pleasurable consumption how the media shows our children what to wear and whats cool to have. We cant leave out agency, because not everyone ends up the way their environment led them.

I would have to say I can relate this article to Morrison and McMillans article on coming of age with the Internet. In their article they describe the importance of relationships with self,family,real communities and virtual communities. The difference between these two articles is simply the absence of the direct concepts of the effects of the Internet. They relate however in terms of environment and media effecting the identity of our children's youth. Computers and being on the Internet is what a child sees more important these days then playing sports for example. The child is influenced by family and friends which impacts the self. Whatever they see to be the "in" thing (which is exposed through media and internet) then this can as a result effect the child's morals, values, and can in turn have a negative effect on the child's self image and identity.