Semiotics of the Kitchen

Martha Rosler demonstrates the function of multiple kitchen implements (sometimes in rather violent ways) like an anti-Julia Child in her darkly humorous 1975 video, Semiotics of the Kitchen.

” … First of all, it took on television … and that’s why it’s preferentially shown in a monitor, a little box. And it is about a kind of framing of women as the creature in the kitchen. And so the box serves that function of the frame, or the cage, again. And it is … I purposely went for only hand tools, because I wanted it very much to be the idea of the tool as the extension of the person. So it was the woman’s hand, and then it becomes the woman’s body in a number of gestures.”


“Saving Private Ryan”

I was watching the movie “Saving Private Ryan” with a few people from my floor late last night, and I couldn’t help but notice that throughout the movie, all the male soldier characters, (minus one miniscule character), try hard not to cry. Tom Hanks’ character was under a lot of pressure as the captain of the rescue mission, and when he couldn’t take it anymore, he wandered away from the group to cry over the two deaths his team suffered, the stress of being in charge of such a mission, and all the trials that come with being in the military. Tom Hank’s character, Captain Miller, even went so far as to look over his shoulder a couple of times, to see if anybody was watching him or if anybody could see him crying. After he felt he was composed again, he went back to his team and they moved on with their mission. And when Private Ryan was informed that all three of his brothers were K.I.A. (Killed in Action), he only let one or two tears fall. Most of his response was focused on not the pain and saddness he probably felt after he heard the news, but rather that he couldn’t leave his team, “the only brothers (he had left).” Most people probably felt that his response to his brothers’ deaths showed how strong he was, how “well” he could take the news. I on the other hand felt he was holding back for two reasons: because he was in front of his superiors and fellow soldiers, but also because he was in front of fellow men and he didn’t want to be viewed as weak.

Watching this movie, I couldn’t help but refer back to Tony Porter, and the “Man Box,” and how men are so trapped in it, that they can’t let others see them cry, or see them “weak” and “vulnerable.”



“Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child’s play. They are the secret to the feminine heart.” This is what I will (hopefully) be bringing into class for show and tell. It’s a Christian book for women that I’m currently in love with, and I understand with the faith aspect it’s slightly off topic, but here’s what I’m hoping to discuss:
1) How many of the ideas in this book are socially constructed ideas of our gender, and how many are truly naturally part of being a woman?
2) How do the members of the class feel like their religions address gender?
3) Do the members in the class feel the ideas professed in this specific book are sexist in any way/present women in a subservient light?
4) If we have a problem with the desires of a woman’s heart are they 1) true for every woman? 2) if so, why do we all feel them? 3) why do we feel the way we do?

Confidence is Key

This is a video I found through the Dove Campaign. I think it sends a great message about how women perceive themselves. This video opened my eyes up to how important it is to carry yourself confidently through your personal and professional life.

Laverne Cox on Totally Biased

So I’m not sure if anyone else has watched the new netflix show Orange is the New Black, but it’s a great show that is based on Piper Kerman’s memoirs from her time in a women’s prison. The show also stars Laverne Cox and she is the first African American transgender woman to star in a TV series. This is a really interesting interview that she did on Totally Biased where she talks about her role models and her life experiences as she went through the transition to becoming biologically female. I thought it fit is really well with our readings for this week on the social constructions of gender and is definitely worth watching.

Switched Roles

Switched Roles

I was scrolling through Tumblr and came across these images that are what I’m assuming to be advertising clothing.. I found it interesting that instead of having half naked women drawing attention to the advertisement, it was switched to the men. If these types of photos were found in magazines all of the time, not necessarily fully naked as these men were but close to it, I’m sure there would cause a huge uproar. We don’t bat an eye when we have half naked women in advertisements, well not all of us do, because we’re so accustomed to it but if it were the other way around it would probably be a huge problem. There are a few more photos but I don’t know how to attach them all.. so the link is if you’re interested.

Iron Jawed Angels Trailer

This is the video I plan on doing for show and tell this week. I watched this movie in my Women’s Studies class my junior year of high school. It’s a movie I think every woman should see; therefore, I figured seeing the trailer might motivate some of my classmates to see the movie. It’s based in the 1910s during the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Hilary Swanks plays a political activist, Alice Paul, as she works to grant women the right to vote. It’s an outstanding film that sends a great message. I was left feeling inspired to fight for what’s right and thankful for the women in my past who worked so hard for the rights I have now.


I found the article in to be very interesting. It was shocking to hear that the judge in Montana claimed that the 14-year old young girl was in as much control of the situation as her 49-year old rapist. It doesn’t make the crime OK because the girl was 14 years old; no matter how old you are rape is not acceptable. It’s shocking to hear the judge reduced the rapist’s sentence from 15-years to 30 days. The trauma that these young girls go through at such a young age is heart breaking and for their rapists to get off because the young girl is considered almost equally guilty is ridiculous. A judge should not say that because she’s old enough to give consent, it’s no longer the rapist’s fault. In all, this article was truly eye opening and I strongly protest against any judge who uses age in a way to justify rape.