On March 8, 2010, President Barack Obama stated, I didn’t run for President so that the dreams of our daughters could be deferred or denied. I didn’t run for President to see inequality and injustice persist in our time. I ran for President to put the same rights, the same opportunities, and the same dreams within reach for our daughters and our sons alike. I ran for President to put the American Dream within the reach of all of our people, no matter what their gender, or race, or faith, or station. With the President’s unwavering support for gender equality, one would assume that the United States’ government would be taking proactive and protective measures to eliminate the number of discrimination cases and incidences that continue to plague our society. Despite the fact that women face an array of obstacles in today’s culture, the source of these hurdles is often rooted in the notion of parity. Whether it is in the private or public domain, women have been pressing for equality and working towards eradicating gender stereotypes through governmental channels for centuries and despite immense strides, inequalities still plague our nation.
Even though both men and women have benefited from the implementation of Title IX and despite the fact that the law clearly states that its purpose is to promote fairness and equality, cases of inequity and discrimination are still emerging from the athletic realm. Although we live in an age where some people would agree that women have made tremendous strides towards social, political, economic equivalence, there is still much room for improvement and change. Within the context of intercollegiate sports, while the number of women and women participating in athletic programs and the number of teams at institutions have consistently trended upwards, why are there increases in the number of discrimination cases filed with the Office of Civil Rights?
 Barack Obama. “Obama Administration Record for Women and Girls,” White House, 2012, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/womens_record.pdf, 1.
Since I was little, I have always seen my mother volunteer for various organizations, whether it be running the book fair at my elementary, middle or high school, or stuffing envelops or chairing family nights at Gilda’s Club of Westchester. No matter how much she had on her plate, she always had the time to help others in need. Her dedication, selflessness and ability to enrich the lives of others are characteristics I truly admire, and if everyone could have a little bit of those qualities in them, the world would be a better place. Continue reading
Upon reading the blog assignment for the week, I actually dreaded it. I have been stuck in the library for the past two weeks straight, cranking out assignment after assignment. Even though I detest the hustle and bustle of the first floor of Bertrand, I quickly skimmed the book selection parallel to the courtyard computers for a title and cover that caught my attention. I was really hoping one would not only peak my interest, but also relate back to class. However, I was drawn to the smiling face of the Betty White. Seeing Caitlyn out of the corner of my eye, I quickly grabbed the book and made my way down to the lower level to begin writing.
The works of the great Betty White that I know are her hilarious skits on SNL, where I literally cannot control my laughter. Despite being 73 and appearing on shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Life With Elizabeth, all shows airing even before we were born, she is still a comedic phenomenon in her own right. In her autobiography, If You Ask Me (And of Course You Wont), the seven time Emmy winner tackles topics ranging from friendship, romance and aging to television, comedy and her fans, interjecting her own personal stories into the mix. The book is broken up into chapters and then into shorter subchapters. In reading through the contents, the Hollywood Stories chapter drew me in, specifically the chapter on SNL. Continue reading
Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol related crash. Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year, more than any illegal combined drug. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those are alcohol related. Based on the abovementioned statistics, it is evident that underage drinking is a growing epidemic that continues to plague the American social landscape. Although many attribute parents, peers and other environmental factors to shaping teenager’s perception of alcohol and alcohol consumption, “research on alcohol advertising and youth has shown small but significant correlations between exposure to alcohol advertising and drinking beliefs and behaviors.” Regardless of the statistics, beer and alcoholic beverage companies continue to bombard the American public with alcohol marketing, often placing advertisements with youth-oriented themes in medium where audiences are predominantly underage. Despite public outcries for change with the industry’s placement of advertisements during programs that are predominately viewed by underage audiences, beverage companies and their respective ad agencies would justify their practices with a Milton Friedman approach to stakeholder’s management. By focusing on a profit-driven model, companies can validate their practices, further perpetuating the growing rate of teen alcohol consumption. Ultimately, companies should adopt an Edward Freeman outlook on stakeholder theory, for ethically, it would satiate the demands and concerns of their apprehensive stakeholders while also acting in a more socially responsible manner. Continue reading
In preparing for this weeks blog post, I decided to dig back in our archives to a post from one of our first weeks of the semester. Instead of researching a particular ethical theory we covered, I choose to look back at the prompt that asked us to find a fun and or interesting fact about one of our big thinkers. In my post, John Stuart Mils & Feminism, I discuss that although we usually associate JS Mills with his concept of utilitarianism, he actually was one of the earliest proponents of feminism and women’s rights. In his 1869 essay, The Subjection of Women, Mills stresses that the union between a man and a woman should be equal and that parity should be recognized within the home and in social settings. Mill’s support of women’s rights ultimately correlated with his ideas of utilitarianism, which preach that, “the best actions and policies are defined as those that promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people” (ABC-CLIO, 2012).
Despite the fact that I believe I wrote a pretty solid description of his points, I failed to really include those critics of his ideas. Although I do present how some of his ideas did not complement his general assertion of equality, I wanted to explore this point further. Therefore, I turned to Google Scholar to help me gain a better understanding of how other reacted to his writings.
In my search, I found an article entitled Martial Slavery and Friendship by Mary Lyndon Shanley. Unfortunately, I could not get access to the entire essay (I would have had to have paid nineteen dollars for it), but the preview provided me with a brief but straightforward synopsis of her intentions. When I initially researched Mills and feminism, most historians and scholars praised the philosopher for his belief in equality because for the time, they were radical statements. To support a woman’s progress within society, her desire to break from the shackles of domesticity and have equal opportunity in the public and private spheres was atypical for the era. When Shanley first presents is that, “Some contemporary feminist have denigrated the work, questioning the efficacy of merely striking down legal barriers against women as the way to establish equality between the sexes.” These critics go further to say that Mills does not extend his critique of inequality to within the home itself, that being the division of labor in the private sphere and how most women should choose marriage as a career.
What Shanley argues, which I did not initially conclude from my original research, is that The Subjection of Women was not just about asserting equality between men and women. Rather, it was about the corruption of the male-female relationship and the intent of creating a solid friendship through marriage. Furthermore, this friendship created through marriage was the essential tool to the progression of human society.
Often times, when I research or analyze feminist ideals, I often am blinded and rarely see the other side. Reading the article above allowed me to realize that when I’m doing research, I need to include all sides of the material. My blog posts would have been well rounded if I had included the other side to the point I was presenting. Using a cited reference search enabled me to come to this realization, as well as find materials I could use in my future endeavors.
Don’t Cry For Me Argentina; the phrase flows harmoniously through my ipod headphones every long distance trip I take. Whenever I travel, I usually like to listen to full Broadway CDs to pass the time. One of my personal favorites is Evita. Originally featured on Broadway in 1979 (being revived this year with Ricky Martin) and made famous with a motion picture in 1996 by Madonna, concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron, second wife of former President Juan Peron. The show and movie chronicles Eva Duarte Peron from her humble beginnings as a poor girl in the countryside to her rise to power and early death. Dreams of being an actress, her first love takes her from her home to Buenos Aires, where she sleeps her way to the top, and eventually cross paths with then military Colonel Juan Peron. With her marriage to Peron and introduction to the Argentine bourgeois, Eva assists Peron on his path to the Presidency. The show culminates to the most infamous scene in the story that displays Eva, on the balcony of the Casa Rosada singing “Dont Cry for Me Argentina” in which she wins over the Argentine people.
So we all have our favorite fairy tale stories that our parents used to tell us before bedtime. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel… the list goes on and on. But, what we were living in an a world that was remnant of a parallel one? That is the basis of ABC’s new show Once Upon A Time. Continue reading
If you think going to Bucknell for four years was like living in a bubble, then you never grew up in Rye Brook, NY. Being raised in this homogenous community and attending the same school district, there was only one African American family in town The family, who actually lived around the corner from me, had four children; two of them graduating from my high school while the youngest two transferred before senior year. One of the girls who transferred was actually in my grade and in my kindergarten class in 1995. (In order to protect the identity of this girl, I have chosen to not use her real name. So for the purpose of this assignment, I will refer to her as Alex). For those of you who don’t know me well, I tend to get absurdly tan when I go away to tropical climates and completely change skin color (I am too embarrassed to post a picture to blog so if you are truly interested in my transformation, I’ll email you a picture)! I will never forget this story, since it’s my mother’s favorite to tell. I had just gotten back from President’s week vacation in Puerto Rico in February of 1995. Being my usual self and despite wearing massive amounts of sunscreen, I came back chocolate brown. Alex and I took the same bus to school each morning and waited together at the bus stop. The first time she saw me, she gave me the weirdest look and for the rest of the day, as we colored pictures of our vacations and ate snack, she could not stop looking at me. The next morning while we were waiting for the bus, Alex asked my mom a simple question, “Mrs. Silverstein, why is Dana black and you’re white?” Continue reading
Based on my previous blogs, and maybe its obvious if you have had another class with me, but I am completely enthralled by feminism. Most people ask me, how the hell did you become interested in the subject matter and women’s history? It’s simple I tell them. In 8th grade, my mom decided to go back to school and get her masters in Women’s History at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. I would listen to my mother read her reflection papers and thesis aloud every Sunday morning as she meticulously edited her work and reassured that her quotes were exact. She took me to classes when I had off from school, and even had the opportunity to hear her defend her thesis in front of her peers and the department. All these things combined ultimately opened my eyes to a whole new world of exploration and research. In middle school and high school, I feel as though my classes were taught from, “within the box,” meaning, everything was precisely planned and taught to prepare for state examinations. As a history junkie from even a young age, my mom encouraged me to supplement my schoolwork with outside readings, including The Yellow Wallpaperby Charlotte Perkins Gilman, If Men Had Periodsby Gloria Steinem and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan. This was the origin of my interest, and it only grew from there.
For those of you who studied abroad, everyone knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to booking a weekend getaway. You want to find the cheapest hostel in the best location, hit the best bars and clubs, eat local delicacies, and most importantly, find the most efficient mode of transportation for getting there. Living in Prague for four months, I traveled mostly in Central and Eastern Europe,often relying ontrains and buses to get me to and from Praha Hlavni Nadrazi (Prague’s main station – see below for a picture) to Berlin, Munich, Krakow and Vienna. But, flying was a whole other booking strategy. The cheapest airlines that everyone used included, Wizzair, Smart Wings, EastJet and the infamous Ryanair. Although I never flew on Ryanair, I knew that the company has faced an array of scandals and controversies over the years and decided to dig a little deeper.
I was purposely looking for ethical issues that plagued the company in regards to employee relationships or hidden fees, which they have had issues with both in the past. However, I was unaware of the sexist advertisements they have produced over the years. As evident by my previous post about John Stewart Mills and Feminism, I am passionate about women’s rights and the study of women’s history. So, when I first saw a few of the print advertisements Ryanair had publicized, I was disgusted by the degrading and negative portrayal of the lingerie wearing woman used in the ads. In the case of one particular ad, which was launched in December of 2011, Ryanair depicts a stewardess as a model on a cover of a racy magazine. To me, it seems as if the airline was equating their stewardess to Playboy models. The pictures were taken from Ryanair’s charity calendar that is produced yearly. Executives have said that the charity calendar has been published for the past five years and they were going to continue to encourage employees to take off their clothes to raise money for the less fortunate. Continue reading
After browsing through the blog options for this assignment, my interest was peaked when I read through the posts on The Happiness Project site. I stumbled upon the post, “A Secret to More Happiness and Energy? Give Yourself A Bedtime,” in which the writer, The Happiness Projectbook author Gretchen Rubin, discusses the importance of adults getting a good night sleep, that being seven to eight hours every night, and how it is the key to having more energy and overall a happier life. So, how do you actually get a good night’s rest? Well, that’s easy. Take a tip from your childhood and give yourself a bedtime! By setting a specific time to be in bed, putting down your phone, computer, kindle, Ipad and Ipod, you let your brain relax, and begin to fall asleep at the actual point that your body is tired. After reading her blog, I began to think about my own sleeping patterns and how college students in general differ in their sleeping habits.
So I try my best to be in bed, on most weeknights, by 11 or 11:30 PM. I know that I am the type of person who is more efficient when I have a good night’s rest under my belt and I am definitely more energized for my day’s activities. When reading other people’s comments about Rubin’s post, I decided to dig a little deeper about ways to strengthen one’s sleeping pattern in order to ensure a better night’s sleep and more energy. So, of course, I turned to my favorite medical site, WebMD. I used this site all the time when I was abroad for I was too afraid to go to a Czech doctor and decided I would use its symptoms checker to self diagnose myself (which I did successfully twice with bronchitis). So, in addition to Rubin’s suggestion of setting a bedtime, I found in the article, What’s Zapping Your Energy, that regularizing your sleep-wake patterns, meaning getting up and going to bed at the same time everyday, ritualizing your cues for good sleep, only using your bed for sleep, and resisting temptations such as caffeine and alcohol, can all contribute to overall better sleeping patterns. “Sleep busters” such as stress or anxiety, noise, caffeine, or an overcommitted schedule can all attribute to poor sleeping patterns, which can be remedied by the aforementioned suggestions.
Now, I am a realist, and most college students do not necessarily get a perfect seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Take for instance finals week, students pull all nighters for exams or research papers and are ready to go the next morning with just a cup of coffee. So, they might be running on adrenaline, but I know of people who only get four or five hours of sleep a night and still have the energy of a busy bee the next day. I have never pulled an all nighter, and if I did, I would be in bed the whole next day trying to catch up on all the sleep I had missed.
I think, overall, I do a good job at getting a significant amount of sleep each night and have enough energy to make it through the day. The question is… do you? How many hours of sleep do you get each night? What types of things help you fall asleep? Have any suggestions for those who are still counting sheep?
Also… check out my friend’s mom’s Bedtime Network’s site! Explore the site and see what they have to say about the secrets to a good night’s sleep!
As a history junkie, I jumped on the opportunity to explore one of our class’s big thinkers more in-depth. As a double major in history, my interest is more narrowly focused on the women’s rights movement, more specifically during the 1960s. Nevertheless, the evolution of women’s roles in society, the formation of gender expectations and the origins of feminism has always absorbed me, and I was fascinated to learn that John Stuart Mill was one of the earliest proponents of women’s rights. Although we often associate Mill with the philosophical ideology of utilitarianism, his 1869 essay entitle The Subjection of Women, advocates for perfect equality between men and women and that subjugating women was the greatest form of oppression that plagued Great Britain. He stressed that women had the intellectual abilities to be exposed to higher education and should have equal access, while also possessing the capability to occupy roles in the political and professional domains. Additionally, Mill commented on the status and sanctity of marriage, emphasizing that the union between a man and a woman should be equal and that parity should be recognized both within the home and within a social setting.
In regards to the education of women, he believed that the people of Britain ultimately perpetuated certain gender roles within society because the education system was designed to bind women to a sphere of domesticity. By only enlightening and informing women about their responsibilities as mothers, wives and caretakers, men ultimately forced women to become reliant on the dominant paternal figures in their lives. What I found particularly interesting about Mill’s support for women’s liberation was not only did he put his thoughts into writing, but he also put his words into action. As a member of Parliament, he supported the Reform Bill of 1867, while also pushed for an amendment to the bill that would have secured women’s suffrage in Britain. It was no surprised that the amendment to grant a woman’s right to vote failed (Britain would grant temporary voting rights to women in 1918 and full suffrage in 1928).
Mill’s support of women’s rights ultimately correlated with his ideas of utilitarianism, which preach that, “the best actions and policies are defined as those that promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people” (ABC-CLIO, 2012). By securing their right to vote, escaping tyranny and patriarchy, and recognizing that their self-interests were different from their male counter-parts, women would be able to secure and redefine their meaning of happiness. At the same time however, despite the fact that Mill’s believed in gender equality, he could not escape the ubiquity of prejudices that existed at the time and the importance of conformity to gender roles. For example, Mill wrote that, “Like a man when he chooses a profession, so when a woman marries, it may in general be understood that she makes a choice of the management of a household, it may in general be understood that she makes a choice of the management of a household, and the brining up of a family, as the first calls upon he exertions” (Subjection of Women, Chapter 2). This assertion contradicted his belief that women should break from gender stereotypes, and that men and women should maintain equality within the home. This statement underlined women’s inferiority to men, which challenges Mill’s support of women’s liberation and suffrage. Despite the fact that Mill succumbed to societal pressures, made evident by some of his statements, his ideas as a man were ultimately radical for his time in regards to women’s progress within society, and her desire to break from the shackles of domesticity and have equal opportunity in the public sphere.