” The Sexy Latina” Final Project

The link below should open my power point project, for which my thesis is:

In media, Latina representation has increased, the depictions have remained largely niche and stereotypical. Primarily focused on the so called “Latin look” condensing the Latin population into a monolith despite its diversity in reality. More importantly characters are treated as sexual objects, where their sexuality towards men is their main character trait. These issues work together to maintain the hierarchy and belief that the Latina population lacks complexity, intelligence and agency.

320w final- Hana

A Black Feminist Roundtable on Bell Hooks and Beyonce

Women are expected to react to betrayal in a way that their own self love is even questioned. If you begin to think what this consists of its usually the following; question of worth, question of self love, falling into depression, sadness etc. All in which involves putting yourself down. Beyonce’s  visual album for Lemonade does the opposite, in which Bell Hooks seems to think differently as described in her essay “Moving Beyond Pain”. Hook’s describes the anger and violence that is portrayed in the music video “Hold Up” as the “violence is made to look sexy and eroticized, as in the Lemonade sexy-dress street scene”. Other’s can think of this scene as rather empowering, as she is  seen walking through this neighborhood wearing a yellow long dress, seeming very goddess-like, along with the support of her community being very apparent, which is represented by the actions of the young black girl handing her the bat. As Sesali Bowen mentions in the article “Despite the undeniable glamour of Beyoncé, to argue that revealing the complexities of her emotions equates to a glamorization of violence is a gross oversimplification.” I decided to read Bell Hooks essay in order to better understand what the disagreement was truly about and while reading I found a comment made by Hooks to be rather interesting. She states the following “in this scene, the goddess-like character of Beyoncé is sexualized along with her acts of emotional violence”. Emotional violence . . .

Instead I interpreted this video to be a demonstration of the before and after of rediscovering how to deal with the pain and emotions that she felt because of the betrayal of her husband. One minute and thirty three seconds into the video she describes in narrative what she tried to do, which is what women are expected to do ,” be soft, be prettier, less awake” and later in the next scene escaping to act and react the way she knows will truly make her feel better. That being what Hooks describes as “emotional violence”. Which like Tinsley and LM Kelly comment on their article “black women should be allowed to tell their stories without being reduced to victims” and that “Beyonce reminds us that sometimes the choice of anger is essential” instead of continuing to deal with the drowning feeling of being betrayed which is what is portrayed in the beginning of the music video.

Overall, I believe that women should be allowed to feel, should be able to react whichever way they wish to without being criticized and commenting that yet again it is just self-victimization.

Response to “How an Instagram Account Became a Portal to 1990s Chicano Gang Life”

Everyone knows that a single picture can tell a story, and Guadalupe Rosales used this idea and started an Instagram page called veteranas_and_rucas to share hers and so many other’s. Michelle Zenarosa’s article “How an Instagram Account Became a Portal to 1990s Chicano Gang Life,” talks about the start of Rosales’ success and what inspired her to create her page. Rosales grew up in a neighborhood in East LA and after moving to New York  years later, she was curious to know what happened to her friends from her childhood. Rosales discovered that like many people growing up in southern california who fell into gang culture, prison seemed to be part of their new life. To make up for lost time with her friends that she can’t see anymore, she turned to social media and began posting her own personal photos to keep in touch. “The feed is a virtual exploration of the past, a way to revisit lost friends and loved ones — and ease her friend’s disconnectedness”.  The page began to grow into something more though. It became a massive, crowdsourced archive of Chicano life in the 1990s, and now has more than 250 thousand followers.  The Instagram page’s bio reads  “Memories of Southern California, For Women of Southern Cali.” Rosales posts photos sent to her from people of all different backgrounds, which all tell the history of that particular time in Southern California. I personally loved her Instagram page. It is so refreshing to find something like this on social media, because there is so much meaning and history to each picture.

 

Response to Twitter Feminism and the Next Wave

In Amber Frost’s article “Response to Twitter Feminism and the Next Wave”, she talks to Mikki Kendall about the shift of feminism on social media. One social media platform in particular that has expanded the feminist community is Twitter. Although posts are condensed down to 140 characters, conversations among feminist groups are still able to be had. Although many people use this app as entertainment or to connect with friends, it  can also be used to educate. Many important topics are discussed on Twitter, and as Mikki Kendall stated it is beneficial to “listen to the conversations happening online so you know the context and the content instead of approaching strangers and expecting them to give you their time and attention”. Twitter also allows you to see many different sides of a topic, as it is not a biased platform. Another quote that I liked that Kendall said was “social media aren’t invitation-only or closed door, the good and bad things are always accessible”. Everyone has the opportunity to put their thoughts out there online, and Twitter can finally given women the space to use their voices and say what they are feeling.

Song of Myself by Farihah Zaman and Nicolas Rapold

The film Moonlight had so much success because it was nothing like anything else. Rarely do film’s portray vulnerable men, let alone portray vulnerable gay black male characters and Barry Jenkins was able to do this in a way that made the film feel more like an experience when watching. Experiencing the three stages of Chiron’s life which in some parts is a depiction of Jenkins childhood of growing up in a poor neighborhood in Miami. The way this film was made, with the choice of silence and the heavy presence of Chirons emotions, is what makes this film so unique. As the film mentions that “Even in basic plotting Moonlight avoids clichés of poor black narratives.”Creating this movie and releasing it in a time where people of color are depicted wrongfully in the media is what was needed. We feel for the characters, and become part of their growth in the film.  The film portrays the teasing that Chiron receives for being different, but still our focus is not on that our focus is in the characters emotions that we can tell he is hiding from everyone, as the silence can be accounted for that. Rather than seeing what  we commonly see we are seeing something that we should have seen way before this was released.

Bell Hooks Vs. Lemonade

Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album, Lemonade, is one of the most iconic albums in feminist and black history. When it was first released, I would watch every song over and over again, each time discovering a new layer of meaning. Lemonade was created to express the struggles and triumphs Black women in America face.  In the feministing.com article, “A Black Feminist Roundtable on Bell Hooks, Beyoncé, and ‘Moving Beyond Pain'”, we see that Lemonade was viewed in different lights across the feminist community. Bell Hooks received a lot of backlash for stating that the album presented violence as something that is “made  to look sexy and eroticized”. Many feminists took Beyoncé’s side, and spoke out to defend the singer in the article. One argument that stood out to me was from Sesali Bowen. She had written, “I feel almost certain that what she wants from Beyoncé is something that she herself has yet to bring to the table. It must be stated that despite her brilliant theories on love, feminism, and imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy that have enhanced the theoretical capacities of thousands, hooks has yet to “bring exploitation and domination to an end.” She was basically saying that Bell Hooks shouldn’t criticize Beyoncé, for something she can’t do herself, which I agree with 100%.

This article made me realize that although people identify with a certain group (in this case feminism), they are allowed to have different views. Not only that, but it is ok to speak out against someone else’s views and not just sit back and accept it. There is no one right way to be a feminist, although there are some basic universal ideas that come with the title. Both Bell Hooks and Beyoncé are well respected in the feminist community, each bringing something different to the table. In my opinion, Bell Hook’s ideas on Lemonade does not take away from how I view it or the power it gave to so many women who watched it. Beyoncé knew what she was doing, and did it well.

“Song of Myself” Farihah Zaman

This article is about the film Moonlight by Barry Jenkins. The story of Chiron is told in three acts; when he is a boy, a teenager and then a man. Since he was a boy, Chiron was bullied by others for being different and by the time he was a teenager, he knew of the feelings he had. Chiron is gay but during the 1980s being gay and black was not safe and so his mother out of love, tries to get rid of these “qualities” that make him stand out as a gay man.

Barry Jenkins speaks about many aspects of the film in this interview: the sound, the visuals and what inspired him to make the film the way he did. Jenkin says that he mixes variations of hip hop and sensual music in order to mix both parts of Chiron—his desire is palpable during some parts of the film because of the music and then his roots are shown through hip hop. Jenkins emphasizes though, that since both parts are what make Chiron who he is, and therefore the two genres of music are not limited to certain parts of the film. He also explains that although the film is about the struggles of coming of age, that he decided to use bright colors to bring out the beauty of Miami; the neighborhood was poor but that didn’t stop those who lived in Miami from having fun because of how beautiful the land was.

Jenkins also emphasizes how important it is that Moonlight came out when it did; it is a time when much has been overcome for the LGBT community yet there is so much left to do. He expresses that the promotion pictures of this film break the 4th wall because “it was important to have the audience look right into the eyes of a man who is very sensually thinking of another man.” I have to agree that Moonlight was released at the perfect time;  awareness has risen throughout the last few years yet things are moving too slowly for rights that should be given to all humans.

“A Black Feminist Roundtable on bell hooks, Beyonce and, ‘Moving Beyond Pain'” by Feministing

This article is many feminists responses to bell hooks’ critique towards Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade. bell hooks is known as an important advocate for Black feminism—mentioning the male gaze and how women must be aware of it in order to become empowered and overcome (abolish) the patriarchy. Beyonce’s visual album, “Lemonade” is considered the feminist anthem for  many millennial feminists but bell hooks has more critiques than compliments about this art movement.

The women who wrote the comments in this articles admire bell hooks, and thank her for her stance on defending women, Black women in particular, but feel that bell hooks is disconnected with the women who are carrying the legacy that she began. They comment that she misunderstands the women of today, that while they may not look to abolish the patriarchy, that they won’t be stepped over by them. This is what Beyonce’s point is: she is hurt and angry over Jay Z’s betrayal but is willing to heal and move on with the marriage if he does not do so again.

bell hooks also finds that Lemonade—specifically “Hold Up”—is glamorizing violence and supporting the stereotype that Black women are violent and not feminine. The argument made by the millennial feminists in this article is that Beyonce’s anger is what pushed her through her depression, which is hinted at when she jumps into the water, and is only a representation of her anger, not physical violence.

Overall, I found this a very interesting read. I found both sides of the argument compelling and am interested in reading bell hooks’ critique of modern feminist media.

Notes of a Signifyin’ Snap Queen

“When nobody speaks your name, or even knows it, you, knowing it, must be the first to speak it,” (61). 

There is so much power, confidence and self-awareness in this quote as it shows that sometimes we are placed in situations in our lives where we are the only ones that can fight for ourselves and what we stand for.  And when people stand up for themselves and their truths, no one around them has power to depict them as anything other than who they are. 

The article by Marlon Riggs, “Notes of a Signifyin’ Snap Queen” explains the struggles a young black gay man went through to get recognition and help for who he is and what he wants in his life.  

One of the first things mentioned was how Riggs wanted to further his knowledge on gay history in literature, and so he asked the head of the department for a special independent study with an adviser.  Nowadays, asking to learn about a particular matter is quite easy and usually accepted since most educators also like expanding their knowledge and research.  But for Riggs this was not so easy, and he kept being declined since no one had any “expertise” in this matter of study or that they never even thought to look into it.  

Despite the challenges, Riggs continued asking around for help and eventually found a student teacher who would be able to help him with his research. 
I find it so interesting that just because people do not accept certain beliefs or views in their mind, that in a way they live their lives by pretending these things do not exist.  Of course, we are in a different and more progressive time, but there are still beliefs that people blindly follow without wanting to do further research.  For so many educators to decline Riggs’ idea of discovering gay history within literature goes to show that this matter was not even acknowledged, and that known evidence was just overlooked.  

The facts in history do not change, and so all of the necessary information is available, but people continue to deny it and look away.  This is why Riggs’ determination was so important in my eyes, since he knew that there has to be information out there that has just not been analyzed enough or seen through a different perspective.  The world needs free thinkers! People who can look at the world and describe a completely different image than the one we see, these are the people that can open our eyes and lead us to enlightenment. 

And advocating for our own beliefs and truths is how it all begins!    

Forgetting ACT UP

The article “Forgetting ACT UP” by Alexandra Juhasz shed some light on the reality of organizations.  Of course not all organizations are the same, but it is also important to remember that a good cause does not necessarily mean it is run perfectly. 

The whole concept of ACT UP is amazing, and any kind of progression forward is always good.  To have an organization that advocates to improve the lives of people with AIDS is needed in this world, especially since there are a lot of misconceptions and judgements made by other people about what this means.  

Yet, for an organization that fights for better life quality yet is run in a way where different communities do not feel welcome to join, or relevant to this group is very hypocritical and even confusing. 

Juhasz included snippets of people’s thoughts about ACT UP and although most of these people agreed to love the beliefs that this organization is run upon, these same people did not feel welcomed and accepted to be part of this organization, so even when they wanted to join they felt out of place.  Most claims boiled down to the statement that ACT UP was run by a high society group of white gay men and anyone outside of that judt did not seem to fit.  

In my opinion, such an organization is so important since AIDS does not see gender, race, sexuality, or status – but for the way that it is run to not create an inclusive environment defeats the whole purpose.  This organization should be able to include all people since they are all fighting for the same cause.  

This is making me think that if people do not feel welcome to join this organization, they probably feel that they are not even the ones being advocated for – as if ACT UP is an exclusive group.

Nobody deserves to feel left out, no matter the situation, but especially for a cause as important as AIDS.  This reminds me of how health care is not provided for everyone, as if  a person’s safety and well being is selective depending on who they are.  There are certain essentials in this life that every single person has a right for, and if this world does not make advancements for inclusion of all kinds in all situations, there will be no true progression.