So I just saw Miss America 2013 crowned; Miss New York! So I’ll admit that I don’t take those girls seriously. At all. I mean granted its gotten better trough the years, and now there is a talent competition and the questions are usually pretty good, but I think its a beauty pageant. I for one can’t stand watching a bunch of seemingly intelligent and talented girls sway with vapid expressions and caked on makeup; don’t even get me started on the swimsuit competition. Don’t get me wrong! If you got if, flaunt it! But it drives me crazy to know that there are bunches of girls out there thinking; “There’s something wrong with me. I don’t look anything like that.” And there are plenty of people out there who just watch it for a bunch of scantily clad beautiful women. I feel like Miss America should have feature the real women of America. The hard workers who truly represent what America is supposed to be about; opprotunity and hard work. Not spray tan, formal gowns and swimsuits. Because what does that say about America? Beauty will get you places in life. But beauty is only skin deep. And there were plenty of talented women, intelligent, hard working girls on there. I guess what I’m trying to articulate is I want more of questions, talents, and finding out about who these women are; not what they would look like in underwear. More substance, because as a woman, I want to be valued more for who I am, not what I look like.
We will likely be going around and around this later this semester, but there’s much discussion about the fact that women tend to choose major that lead to lower-paying careers and even if they choose a major that can lead to a higher-paying career, they’re likely to move into a job or career that is lower-paying.
Here’s a trio of pieces (one of them from the Onion) consider how we talk about teenage girls and why talking about teenage girls in these ways is damaging:
The Myth of the Teenage Temptress: Or Why A Young Girl Cannot Consent To Sex With An Adult Man (warning: there is some frank discussion of sex in this piece)
This is slightly related. Here’s an article analyzing the defenses that Hollywood notables brought for Roman Polanski in 2009. Polanski was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s. One of the reasons so many people gave for defending him is the fact that Polanski and the girl had sex before, as if that precluded the possibility of rape and as if a 13-year-old could give consent to an adult man.
I write these as a young, able, educated, middle class, white, heterosexual female.
1) I may go to a religious building of my choice and know that I will not be turned away or treated with any negativity because of my sexual orientation.
2) I may show affection to friends of the same sex and know that they will not feel uncomfortable or affronted because of my sexual orientation.
3) I may pass through any retail or security clearance and know that I will not be unreasonably searched due to my race or ethnicity.
4) I may sit in class, read textbooks, and participate in class discussions without being asked uncomfortable questions due to my race or ethnicity.
5) I may enter any type of facility without worry over whether or not there will be adequate accommodations for me.
6) I may make decisions regarding my daily activities freely and independently without concern whether there will be someone to assist me or if I will be considered a hindrance to another.
7) I may smile at or talk to children/young adults/females in a public place without concern whether they (or their parents) will see me as a threat due to my race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
8) I may seek work in child care without undue background and criminal checks due to race, ethnity, gender, or sexual orientation.
9) I may have an interest in children, baking, clothing, and Disney movies without my gender or sexual orientation being called into question.
10) I may seek a job without worry over whether my race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ableness will effect my superior’s opinion.
11) I may pick a favorite Disney princess with the odds that she will be the same race and sexual orientation as I.
12) I may go out with friends freely without concern that they or another will make awkward/inappropriate jokes due to my race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or ableness.
13) I may easily find a romantic partner without concern over the selection at my age or because of my sexual orientation.
14) I may go out in public without fear that a child will ask their parent why I look or act funny because of race, ethnicity, disability, or age.
15) I may know that in many cases I am considered in the “majority”.
1. I have a family that cares about me.
2.I have a home that is safe and close by.
3.I have people in my life from the same race/religion/ethnicity that I can relate to.
4. I have friends from different backgrounds.
5. I know I will always have someone to help me in times of trouble.
6. If I were to happen get sick, medical expenses are not part of my worries.
7. I can afford to attend the university I want without worrying about huge amount of loans.
8. I am able to connect to the world through various ways (i.e. cell phone, computer)
9. I am not expected to pay for living expenses once I am married.
10.I can bare children.
11. I can hangout with anyone at anytime without anyone questioning me.
12. I can present myself in public in any way I want.
13. I will not be judged or questioned for choosing a man as my life partner, based on my sexuality.
14. I have a car that gives me the freedom to travel anywhere I want to.
15. I have my own room where I can relax and do anything I want.
1. It is socially acceptable for me to cry or be emotional.
2. I can call the police without fear for harassment.
3. I can be myself in public without my personality reflecting back on my race
4. I can go to class wearing a dress one day and sweat pants and a pony tail the next and people will accept that as my “freedom of expression”.
5. I know that I will have a meal on the table tomorrow.
6. I can easily find makeup in my skin tone.
7. I knew all of my life that I would be able to go to college and I was expected to go to college.
8. I am not expected to be the breadwinner of my future family.
9. I am able to have children.
10. I will be able to raise my children how I want to.
11. It is acceptable for me to be affectionate in public, meaning that I can give someone a hug in public without people looking down on me.
12. If I am carrying something heavy there is usually someone stronger than me who will help.
13. People usually hold the door open for me, even ones that I have never met before.
14. I can remain where I am and never be expected to have to learn another language or culture.
15. I have a family that I can go home to almost whenever I want.
1. I have parents that care about me.
2. I have a home that is close by, so i can go home on the weekends if I want to.
3. I have friends who I enjoy to spend time with.
4. I have access to healthy food.
5. I can go to the gym to exercise when I want to.
6. I’m attending the college I’ve always wanted to attend.
7. I have a car to take me back home.
8. I can read, which is one of my favorite hobbies.
9. I can hear, so I can listen to music whenever I want to.
10. I’m comfortable with who I am.
11. My hair is pretty easy to maintain.
12. Finding makeup for myself isn’t an issue.
13. I’m able to have nice things, because I worked for them.
14. I live in a free country.
15. I’m able to dress how I want to, without feeling out of place.
1. I have never been ridiculed for my ethnicity or my heritage.
2. I am able to afford my education so that I may enter into the work force with a degree, improving my prospects of a higher paying job.
3. I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from.
4. I am able to go about my daily activities with physical ease.
5. My native language is spoken everywhere I conduct my day to day life.
6. I am not ridiculed or stereotyped for the clothes I wear everyday.
7. I am able to go out with my significant other in public without arrousing fear, disgust, or ridicule of other people.
8. I have a warm, safe, comfortable place to sleep every night.
9. I have immediate access to running, hot water.
10. I can afford to watch television, use the internet, and have a cell phone.
11. I have never had to fear for my safety because of a part of my identity, be that my skin color, my sexuality, or my cultural background.
12. I am surrounded by people who are of my socioeconomic class, sexuality, and race for the majority of my day; allowing me not to worry about discrimination or unfair treatment.
13. No one has ever doubted or questioned the legality of my presence in American places.
14. I can do whatever I want, at whatever time I want, wherever I want without illiciting suspicion because of my race.
15. I’ve never had to conceal a part of my identity out of fear of rejection, hatred, or isolation.
- I live in a 3 story house.
- I went to gifted/advanced elementary and middle schools.
- I can be automatically perceived as “hip” and “cool” based on my skin tone.
- People assume I can dance well.
- When it’s raining and my friends want to go somewhere, and I just want to stay at home, I can say I can’t go because my hair will get wet, and they’ll drop it.
- I can do the same as above with the excuse that I have to wash my hair or don’t want to wash my hair, (for example, going swimming).
- When I’m in a big crowd of other races and ethnicities, I know that if I see another black person, we will acknowledge each other in some way.
- I feel safer walking by myself in a “bad neighborhood” than others might.
- After people hear the way I talk (dialect?) after seeing me for the first time, they become more comfortable around me.
- I have a good ear for repeating words/names/phrases in foreign languages when I hear them out loud.
- I find it easy to find a beat as well as stay on beat.
- I can use PMS and my period as a way to get out of things, including talking to people, going places with my friends/family, and
- I can also use PMS and my period to have an excuse to do things, such as eating chocolate, eating in general, ignoring to people, and being sassy/having an attitude.
- I don’t have put effort into tanning.
- On the extremely off chance I’d ever say or want to say the n-word, it would be socially acceptable for me, more or less.
1. I am able to walk outside in my neighborhood alone without being afraid.
2. If I were to get sick or injured, I have health insurance to relieve the hefty medical bills.
3. I have access to a vehicle at all times.
4. I have access to food and clean water at all times.
5. I can apply to jobs with the confidence that I will not be discriminated against because of my race.
6. When I go out in public with my partner, I know that we are not being judged or looked down upon.
7. If I were to say or do something that would upset someone, they would not immediately blame it on my race or sexual orientation.
8. I can easily find places to buy clothes for my gender.
9. In most public settings, I am not a minority.
10. I have the opportunity to join many more clubs/organizations that pertain to my race and gender.
11. There is a wide variety of hair and makeup products I can buy at most stores.
12. I speak the language that most everyone else speaks in my region.
13. I can go on Netflix and find something that pertains to my life and general interests almost instantly.
14. I don’t find difficulty using restrooms or changing rooms because most places have ones that are specific to my gender.
15. I can confidently answer questions about my sexual orientation without fear that I will be viewed differently.