Member Comments

  • Reply to: Rated M for Mature: Violent Video Games Affects Behaviour?   2 years 5 months ago

    You bring up lots of really good arguments with many examples. At the beginning, you mentioned that video games illustrate many gender stereotypes, but it’s important to understand how gender representations in video games can have a major impact on our society today.

    In many video games, men and women are portrayed as their ideal body types. For men, that means they are physically strong, have six-pack abs, a muscular body, an aggressive facial expression and that they are often white. On the other hand, women are pictured as weak, passive, sexual and are often seen wearing extremely revealing clothing. It has become common for gamers to associate men as the strong players and women as the weaker players in a video game. This is because the male characters are presented as more dominant, violent and powerful. It's also important to consider that these video games can also normalize these gender assumptions and for it to be seen as humor. We can see this through the rape mod in Grand Theft Auto 5 which promoted rape and sexual assault against women. Furthermore, women in the video game industry are also misrepresented. #Gamergate is a movement in defense of journalistic integrity and ethical practices in the video game industry that mainly targeted women. All in all, like advertisements, music and films, video games also have an important role in teaching future generations how we should think of gender in our society. While changes are being made, these changes are not being made quick enough or that they still show some forms of gender inequalities.

    If you're interested in reading more, have a look on http://www.radford.edu/~mzorrilla2/thesis/gamerepresentation.html.

  • Reply to: Suicide: 13 Reasons Not To   2 years 5 months ago

    You bring up some good points in this article. Like many, I think that it might not be beneficial for people who are struggling to watch 13 Reasons Why. But in addition, I would like to bring up the gender stereotype that the movie also portrays and how it can tie in with teen suicide rates.

    In this television series, Hannah Baker is the character that goes through a lot of struggles and eventually commits suicide. Coincidentally, she is a teenage girl and statistics show us that females attempt suicide 3 times more than males. However, 78% of suicides are actually done by males. About half of male suicides are done with firearms in effort to show violence to prove their masculinity whereas females are more likely to use drugs. It’s important to understand how gender can come into play and affect the struggles that come with the expectations of our society. In the movie, it’s apparent that many of Hannah’s problems involve her relationships with other guys. A sexual script is a narrative that tells us what exactly we’re supposed to do when it comes to sexuality and is commonly learned through popular culture and conversations around us. The Netflix series teaches us how to act according to gender and also deals with issues like sexual assault which depict the roles of men and women as subjects and objects in our society.

    Read this The Guardian article on the gender and suicide: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/21/suicide-gender-men-women...

  • Reply to: The Ugliness Behind Cosmetic Surgery Endorsement   2 years 5 months ago

    This is a really well written text with many good points!

    Women must be physically attractive in South Korea in order to have a successful marriage and to be proven worthy in the job market, and if they are not, they are encouraged to get plastic surgery. This promotes the idea that women are treated like objects that should be used for men's pleasure in our patriarchal society. Nowadays, there is something known as double consciousness in which it is used to describe a minority individual who is a part of two cultures and having two identities, but constantly shifting between the two. For instance, plastic surgery is very common in South Korea to the point where 1 in 5 women will have cosmetic surgery as you mentioned. They must contend with the stereotypes that are created with being an East Asian individual as well as being a woman which includes having the perfect body. They are also being labeled as the model minority which many believe to be a positive stereotype. However, men and women are actually being subjected to an overwhelming pressure to conform to the high expectations. In different parts of the world, women and men alike will face many struggles that come with their double consciousness. For instance, black men are expected to conform to man box as well as the stereotypes that exist like hypersexual, violent or criminal which puts them at a disadvantage. This gives them a unique experience as they are in a position that intersects privilege and marginalization.

    Have a look at this article that further discusses the issue of double consciousness: http://saalt.org/double-consciousness-of-the-south-asian-identity/

  • Reply to: Human Trafficking and Human Rights: Three articles showing the plausible causes and resolutions to the social issue   2 years 6 months ago

    I would like to start off by pointing out how intriguing your argument and post is. This is a despicable problem that still exists and it should be dealt with right away.

    I would like to introduce a concept that may help you see this issue through a different lens. This concept is called intersectionality. Intersectionality refers to the way different kinds of oppression among minority groups overlap and reinforce each other. This idea is typically describes as the “hat game”. This insinuates that different minority groups need to emphasize different identities in different settings. Let’s take an African American Jew for example. In a setting with other Jews, this man would accentuate his Jewish characteristics. In a setting with other African Americans on the other hand, said man would need to play out his African American distinctiveness more.

    The way that Intersectionality relates to your post is all about setting. In different settings, different minority groups get different treatment. For example, being African American around cops, being Asian while applying for school, being Muslim in an airport or a woman in a corporate setting would all suggest discrimination. Taking your example where the setting is in India, it is understood that Woman’s rights there are very minimal. With that being said, Intersectionality plays a role in why women are being objectified and used for human trafficking.

    If you would like to read a bit more on Woman’s conditions in India, here is a link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-20863860

  • Reply to: Social Media, Body Image & New Power   2 years 6 months ago

    I found your article very interesting and well structured. I agree that this is a very serious issue among women which should be addressed, but let’s not forget that men struggle with these issues as well. It is called the “Adonis” figure. Adonis is a term used to describe the ideal image of male beauty. That would be tall, muscular, straight, with a full head of hair and long legs. Just like women, men are expected to live up to these impossible standards. This struggle is different for men however, and less addressed in the media when speaking in terms of one being unhappy with their body because men generally have more avenues to power than females, beautiful or not. This correlates with the idea of hegemonic masculinity which promotes male dominance over women. Due to the fact that we still live in a very patriarchal society today the media, such as movies, TV shows, toys, social sites etc., not only promotes small, waifish, and submissive looking women but also big, strong, and tall men such as Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman, or Dwayne Johnson, also known as “The Rock” to reinforce this idea of patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity. Young boys and men watch these influential figures in movies, television shows and feel pressured to conform to the “man box” and live up to these standards as well. Here is a link to an article which further explains men and their body image anxiety due to media:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/11822364/Are-action-figures-giving...

  • Reply to: Social Media, Body Image & New Power   2 years 6 months ago

    Your article is very forward-looking, and pays attention to modern-day issues like the way social media distorts our perception of beauty and places too much importance on physical appearance. Your point about the "new power" initiative was especially innovative. New power is an important way in which people have overturned the way the media has targeted physical insecurities, all the while using the media to do it!
    I do think however, that your article is biased toward female perception of the body, and female standards perpetrated by the media. You talk about the children who try to conform to Disney princesses' beauty standards but what about Prince charming? or Ken the barbie doll? This one-sided view on the harmful effects of the media regarding beauty standards fails to acknowledge that men too are affected. The ideal male body type is embodied in characters like Batman or Captain America – a concept that constricts male beauty to stature, strength and symmetrical facial features – and as a result glorifies machoness and muscular builds over any and all other body types. Furthermore, I do think you could have opened the conversation to include that the disconnect between the representation of women in the media and real-life women is much more common than the conversation about men in the media. Women tend to speak more openly about their insecurities for instance in magazines like Cosmo, where advice columns and opinion articles take up the subject of bodies and body shaming often. Whereas men are told that talking about their bodies is "abnormal", it is very rarely a topic which is addressed. Movements you have mentioned like the #IMNOANGEL campaign further bring attention to the impact on women and disregard men. I've come across one study that suggests men are just likely to be discontent with their bodies as women, like Susan Bordo argues in "Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body", this might lead to a rise in male eating disorders.

    Here are a few links that could be helpful:
    - Adonis Complex
    https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Jo-LHyyIy_kC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq...
    - Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body by Susan Bordo
    https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=rezqDU30R5wC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq...

  • Reply to: Social Media, Body Image & New Power   2 years 6 months ago

    Your article is very forward-looking, and pays attention to modern-day issues like the way social media distorts our perception of beauty and places too much importance on physical appearance. Your point about the "new power" initiative was especially innovative. New power is an important way in which people have overturned the way the media has targeted physical insecurities, all the while using the media to do it!
    I do think however, that your article is biased toward female perception of the body, and female standards perpetrated by the media. You talk about the children who try to conform to Disney princesses' beauty standards but what about Prince charming? or Ken the barbie doll? This one-sided view on the harmful effects of the media regarding beauty standards fails to acknowledge that men too are affected. The ideal male body type is embodied in characters like Batman or Captain America – a concept that constricts male beauty to stature, strength and symmetrical facial features – and as a result glorifies machoness and muscular builds over any and all other body types. Furthermore, I do think you could have opened the conversation to include that the disconnect between the representation of women in the media and real-life women is much more common than the conversation about men in the media. Women tend to speak more openly about their insecurities for instance in magazines like Cosmo, where advice columns and opinion articles take up the subject of bodies and body shaming often. Whereas men are told that talking about their bodies is "abnormal", it is very rarely a topic which is addressed. Movements you have mentioned like the #IMNOANGEL campaign further bring attention to the impact on women and disregard men. I've come across one study that suggests men are just likely to be discontent with their bodies as women, like Susan Bordo argues in "Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body", this might lead to a rise in male eating disorders.

    Here are a few links that could be helpful:
    - Adonis Complex
    https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Jo-LHyyIy_kC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq...
    - Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body by Susan Bordo
    https://books.google.ca/bookshl=en&lr=&id=rezqDU30R5wC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=...

  • Reply to: Women's Rights and Sexual Violence: How Volunteering at the Women's Center of Montreal Can Help the Problem   2 years 6 months ago

    What you’re doing is absolutely great, we really need more people to support this cause since there is a large amount of cases surrounding sexual assaults. There is no justice whatsoever in what’s happening these days, all these cases are being turned down are just making the idea of rape culture grow bigger and bigger. Rape culture is a set of beliefs which encourages the violence against women and male sexual aggression. Many women are currently suffering from sexual abuse and no one is standing up to it, if the judges in court are not reacting and saying things like “vigorous or creative enough in trying to stop the assault” then it will only get worse from here and people will try to assault others even more. Also, imagine women of color trying to stand up for themselves at court and being shut down, society will never be able to improve because of this. So we really need more people to join these organizations to help women reach out and stand up for themselves.

    Here is an article that talks about how the victims are being blamed for rape instead of the rapists
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/nov/21/police-...

  • Reply to: Women's Rights and Sexual Violence: How Volunteering at the Women's Center of Montreal Can Help the Problem   2 years 6 months ago

    What you’re doing is absolutely great, we really need more people to support this cause since there is a large amount of cases surrounding sexual assaults. There is no justice whatsoever in what’s happening these days, all these cases are being turned down are just making the idea of rape culture grow bigger and bigger. Rape culture is a set of beliefs which encourages the violence against women and male sexual aggression. Many women are currently suffering from sexual abuse and no one is standing up to it, if the judges in court are not reacting and saying things like “vigorous or creative enough in trying to stop the assault” then it will only get worse from here and people will try to assault others even more. Also, imagine women of color trying to stand up for themselves at court and being shut down, society will never be able to improve because of this. So we really need more people to join these organizations to help women reach out and stand up for themselves.

    Here is an article that talks about how the victims are being blamed for rape instead of the rapists
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/nov/21/police-...

  • Reply to: The Web is a Dark Place   2 years 6 months ago

    Interesting read! I tend to agree with your points about how internet moderation is important however, in addition to the points that you have made, I believe a strong case can be made for looking at this situation from a gendered perspective. In today’s society, a lot of activism for a wide range of causes can be found on the internet. One predominate activist topic, for both positive and negative reasons, is feminism. The fact that anyone can hide behind a computer and express their thoughts anonymously is a very beneficial tool to every person who is worried about being harassed or abused because of them, but sometimes these situations do arise.

    Most notably, in 2014 a rise in online Feminism emerged after a series of world events revolving the mistreatment of women. For months at a time, Twitter was flooded with trending hashtags such as #WhyIStayed, #YesAllWomen, and #ChangeTheRatio. This strong sense of community on the internet that empowers women to tell their stories in an environment where they can express themselves in a safe and protected environment has proven to be very beneficial in raising awareness of certain social issues.

    Unfortunately, with this rise in awareness of feminism and feminist ideologies also comes a rise in anti-feminism. There is a large community of people on the internet who use the anonymity and the protection of the internet to harass and bully the people who express their beliefs online. Examples of this can be found most notable in the Gamergate scandal, which involved a group of women who were continuously harassed by the online community for speaking out about inequality in video games, and in a particular situation in California in which a man would create fake social media identities in order to harass women.

    From a gendered perspective, complete internet privacy would be beneficial to a certain group of people because it would create an environment where people can speak out about their experiences with absolutely no fear of harassment. Contrarily, allowing the internet to be thoroughly monitored would be very beneficial in reducing online harassment of all sorts. It is just up to the government to figure out what is more important.

    If you are interested in reading more about this subject, I have attached a link to an article about Gamergate to get you started: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201504/david-whitford/gamergate-why-would-an...