Friday, March 13, 2009

Fresh Lipstick: Rethinking Images of Women in Advertising #7

As I was reading this article I could stop thinking about the statement "a woman is often measured by the things she cannot control." At first I did not know what to think of this quote but after thinking about it, it is ashamed that a woman is measured by her body. The curve she has or does not have shapes who she is. I am not going to lie I use to struggle with my image. I did not understand why I was shaped the way I was and I just did not like who I was. I wanted to change. I use to pray to God that He would change my image. If I was not tall, if I was too quiet, if I was not aggressive, than because of that I was not the ideal girl. I was told that I was ugly and because of that I had set in my mind and my heart that I was ugly and I was not of any worth. Every magazine had tall women that were skinny, with blue eyes, and blonde hair. I always wonder how some women in the magazines had flawless bodies. These images that I saw when I was younger, made me think that there was something wrong with me. I felt so inadequate. Now that I am older and I know who I am in Christ, I don't let what others say, shape who I am. I feel so sorry, for the younger generations because many of them think being skinny is how they are suppose to be or perfect body. Some many ladies are dying of anorexia or over eating because they are not satisfied with their image. There are even websites that are promoting anorexia and that scares me because they don't know who they are. They are women of worth, no matter how they are shape. I don't understand how the media can give images what they think are the "perfect" body. Who gives them the right to portray what they think is the “perfect” body. I do see that today's media give a variety of images of body shapes and I think that is wonderful. I just hope people will choose to live healthy. A person who is skinny is not necessary healthy. No matter if a person has curves or no curves should not shape who they are. True beauty is inside.

Personal Journal #7

What is your reaction to the questions in the Ambivalent SexismInventory?What is your response to your results you received from the AmbivalentSexism Inventory?

I thought some of the questions were not clear. I felt that some of the questions could relate to any situation. Maybe I miss understood the question about a men being incomplete. I have a understanding that sometimes a men need a woman. Maybe I am wrong for believing that a man is incomplete without a woman. I have always seen a woman to be beside her man taking care of him. My results said that I was a "Hostile Sexism," which means that I have negative feeling toward women. I disagree with this result. I love being a woman and I love the women around me as my sisters. I love my role as a woman and one day as a wife and mother. Also I was label as a "Benevolent Sexism" in which I have a knight-in-shining armor ideology that offers protection toward women. I guess I agree with this statement because I believe that women should be protected and treated with respect by men. Some of my views of womanhood is traditional. I believe that a wife should be submission to her husband, a woman that does speak her mind but with respect.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

(textbook journal #6 Ch.13)

When I think o f women of color, I think of someone who is strong and very hard-working. I also think of all the issues that women of color face. I know that we (I am a woman of color) face disease, lack of education, unemployment issues. I find it amazing that African-American women are twice as likely to have diabetes. At least one out of three African American women will suffer from high blood pressure. It also saddens my heart to know that HIV/AIDS are higher among African-American women. When I read statics like these, I really don't know what to think of them or how I should act. I wonder why we, black women suffer from these diseases? I think that it is important to take care of our bodies and get frequent check ups. I wonder if getting the monthly check up among us black women is a problem? Is is because they don't have the money for hospital bills. Or is it because we are black and for that reason we are more likely to be diagnosed with these diseases? These issues are very haunting to me. What should I think when I read that in 2004 poverty among African-American was 24.7 percent. I know in my family education is very important, I have seen in my family suffering to pay for bills. I have come to believe that working hard is very important in this world. When I first read that the "images of a Black women contrasted against images of "legitimate" rape victim have contributed to the discrediting Black women's allegations of rape" I was shocked (372). I thought I miss read this but I have heard many stories that make this statement true. I can't believe and I don't think it is right that a White women rape may get more attention than that of a Black women rape. I have always hear on news how that the rape of a white get the news attention more than a Black women. I will never understand this, is there something in a Black women that is of less value to people? No one should be treated better than another race.

Personal Journal #6

Base on the film: Who has had opportunities in my environment and who hasn't? What can I influence? How am I making a more equitable environment?

My community is mostly made op of African-Americans, Latinos and Caucasians. There are different opportunities that are among the different races in my community. In my school for education, there seems to be an equality of opportunities among all races. There are many programs in my town that help the Spanish speaking students with their studies. There is a separate room, for those who are Spanish speaking so can get extra help. All the students in my school have learning programs that help students in area of reading, preparing for test and other areas of help that is needed. I would say that mostly Caucasians have the most opportunities in my environment. I have have seen many times that Caucasians have more opportunities because of their wealth and treated better than those of color. It is easier for them to get in college, and because they take AP classes it will look good on their college application. In my school, there are some teachers that suggest that Caucasians take the AP classes white and while for students of color are less likly to suggest to take AP classes. For the Latinos they might not know English very well and in some cases they are treated badly. I remember, a Caucasian male, yelling at a Latino woman because she did not speak English. For Blacks, there might befew of opportunities because their families have less money but there are many services that are for Blacks that help them get the help that is needed. In my community I hear that Blacks are more likely to be treated badly. I see them pulled over more and likely to get shot by police. I am not really sure how I can influence this issuse when it seems that some have will have more opportunities than others. Many people are born into rich families and because of that they will have more opportunities than someone who was not born in a wealthy family. I have dreams of changing things and making these issues known among my community. When I think of it, I don't know what I could do. I guess I can encourage people and tell people the importance of getting an education so they will have the opportunities they did not have before. To answer the question "how am I a more equitable environment?" I would say that I am doing nothing right now because I really don't know how. What can I do? I want to know but I don't know what I can do.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

(textbook journal #5)

I always wonder how I would be able to communicate effectively without coming across as rude and judgmental. It is so easy for people to say things that might come off as disrespectfully because we don't understand someone’s cultural and how they think. In chapter 6, stated by Weaver that cultural competence is the ability to have “the knowledge about a clients culture, have certain values and attitudes that include respect diversity and emphasize helper self-awareness . . . . integrate this knowledge and values/ attitudes with helping skills" (157). The application of cultural competence is an important tool for social workers. For demographics for example, can be used for planning and evaluating of the client population, also "increase understanding of new immigrant adjustment problems, customs and family structure"(Lum 159). With this knowledge, it would farther cultural competence in a social worker. It is also important a social worker understand that history of oppression and understanding those who have been oppressed. In order to gain an accurate picture of a client circumstance, should ask questions about people, events and happenings. I know that many people can make assumptions about a group of people based on what they saw on television, but I come to learn that I must dig deeper and do research and stop making assumptions because it can lead to conflict with someone. Every person has different values and for a social worker it is crucial in the development of cultural competence. In chapter six listed five cultural values "family, respect, harmony, spirituality, and cooperation" (167). Each group of people has their different stance on each value. For example in the African-American and Latino Americans it is important to show respect toward father, mother, and older adults. In the Asian and First Nation People, respect of personhood will communicate reverence of life.

Next in chapter seven, which is entitled skill development, Helms and Richardson define skill as "the capacity to use awareness and knowledge to interact effectively with clients and colleagues regardless of their racial classification pr cultural origins" (185). When I read this chapter I was really excited because it gave information on how I could one day communicate to a client. The process, conceptualization and personalization where listed as three skills in working with clients. Process skills is the opening the interview smoothly, using reflection and helping clients to say what is on their mind. Conceptualization is the ability to think and analysis, and has understanding of what client is saying and understand the themes what they client is communicating. Personalization is learning observable and being able to hear the client’s challenges and give advice without being defensive. I thought conceptualization is something I could work on because when understanding a client I think I will need help in knowing what to do the next for the client. I loved chapter six and seven because I have become aware of myself and areas I need to improve in as a person and one day as a social worker.

Personal Journal #5

Question: You woke up tomorrow only to find out your race had "changed." How would your life would be different if you looked like someone of a different race?

I would have more privileges if my race changed. I will be able to walk in a store and not be followed and viewed as someone of a higher class. I would have gone to the best University and graduated with a 4.0. I would be the first choice in getting hired compared to another women of a different race. I would have a career that pays a good amount of money, some might me rich. If I wanted to buy a car or a house I might have better credit and because of my changed race I would be the first choice in getting a house. Also I would be able to afford to buy a house and a car. I would no longer have to worry about catching a bus or walking because I have money in my bank account. I would live in a safe neighborhood in a three story house with a husband and two children. I would not have to worry about the rent because my husband and I would be able to pay the rent on time. I could quit my job and would not worry about the next bill because my husband has the funds to provide for the family. I would even be able to afford an excises expert and not even think about the cost. I think I might have a nanny for each child, maid and a cook. I could call up someone to deliver the groceries for me if I wanted to. I would be able to put my kids in the best schools and know that they are having the best education than any other school. My family and I would be able to vacations every month overseas and still have money to go somewhere else. I might even have my own personal plane that could fly my family and I where ever we wanted to go. As women of a different race I would be very privilege in life, I would no longer have to worry about not having money and where the next pay check is coming.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible knapsack(textbook journal #4)

I thought because I was born in America that I had the same privileges as those of the white race. I could understand that the white men had more privileges because they were men. For white women I thought differently. I believed that white women did not have the same privileges. After reading the "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh I saw things differently. I come to understand because a women is white, she has more privileges maybe it’s not the same privileges as the white men. A white woman has more privileges than a black woman. As McIntosh, states "white privileges is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions . . . clothes, tools, and blank checks." Thought it may not seem to white women they have more privileges, circumstances says other wise. According to Mintosh " I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed." I get so upset knowing that people make assumptions that only people of color are likely to steal, when the average white woman can steal. But because it is a white woman (her privilege) one would choose not to follow her. I remember watching on a "Sister Sister" episode, a same situation occurred when a one of the twins’ friends had to watch black people in a store to make sure they did not steal. In these circumstances, I am becoming more and more aware that blacks don't have the same privileges as those of the white race.

McIntosh states that "I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, and toys." I am amazed that I never notice these things, though in stores I daily pass pictures with white families, and even in Disney movies, all the Princess are white. I also think it is the same for the white race; they too do not notice their "privilege" being their faces is plaster on almost everything. With all the different races in America why is it that the white race are represent in almost the stores and even in Disney movies? I don't think I will every understand it. If a police pulls over a black person it is most likely that because of their race unlike a white person. I remember Will Smith in an interview said that a police told him just because he was black; the police officer chose to pull him over. Though Will Smith is a famous he was stilled pulled over because he was black. For a white person, because of their "privilege" they probably would never go through this experience. Maybe black people will never have the same privileges as white people, but now I can say I am aware of it of the difference in privileges. I continue to see the world the way it is.

Personal Journal #4

Journal #4Discuss the class structure of your “home” community. Are neighborhoods mixed or segregated by class? Which classes live in which areas and go to which schools? Which groups tend to shop at which stores, worship at which religious centers, belong to which clubs? Are there any venues where various classes intermingle? Are there any class-based issues the community is currently confronting -- for example, in housing, job development, or education?

I live in a medium size town called Ossining. The town of Ossining has a mixture of Whites, Blacks, and Spanish races. With very low number of those from the Chinese race. Though my town is mix it very segregated with it comes to residential homes. On the hillside of Ossining there is a lot of high class people and the south side, are apartments buildings where the lower class live. The middle class are usually scatted in various places throughout the town. Even in the schools, there are students with different races and cultures. Higher class hangs out with those of their class. Middle classes hangout with those from their class and the same is for the lower class. I remember in the high school cafeteria their was a segregation among the students. In the middle of the cafeteria are the students who are not as popular. On the south side of the cafeteria, are all the popular students. Cheerleaders sat next to each other, Athletics sat next to each other, and Jocks sat next to each other and the same for the Drama students. Basically if you were in any student actively you sat next to each other. All the outsiders where left out. There are at least two stores that the residents of Ossining Shop. One was Shop Rite which was in another town and Stop and Shop, located in Ossining. The prices in Shop Rite tend to be lower, those of the middle class and lower classed would shop there. At Stop and Shop, those of the higher class, shop there even though the prices are higher. At the Rec Center also know as the Recreation Center has diverse people joining in various at activities. No matter what activity, there were a diverse people at the Rec Center. In the town of Ossining, everyone would agree with me when I say that Lucy's Pizza, is the best pizza shop. It at this pizza shop where there is no segregation. Anyone from the high, middle or lower class will eat at Lucy's Pizza. When if comes to churches it is different. There are many churches that have a diverse people attending the congregations. There are shops along Broadway Street, in which there are Spanish corner stores, same for the Blacks corner stores. I have seen Ossining go through so many changes over the years. Recently they have change the community by building houses that not as affordable. In turn the lower classes are starting to leave the community. I guess even in the smallest town there is segregation though there is a mix race of people.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Advancing Social and Economic Justice (txbook journal #3)

I have always heard about the challenges that social workers face. With all the stories I’ve heard I am saddened by the injustice and the oppression some people go through. I know that in this career I will have to challenge social injustice. I hope that as I continue in my major and career as a social work that I will be able to recognize the problems and learn to understand and eliminate them. I always wonder if I will have the ability to help those who have needs. I have a fear that I want be able to. I wonder what mistakes I will make as a social work. I know that there are lives put in my hands and I will have to stand up for them as a social worker. There is a fear that when I do stand up for what is right, there will be conflicts among those around me. I like what what was said in chapter 3 "we need to acknowledge the courage it takes to be honest about this and the challenge each other to face." I need to realize that it not easy to speak up for what is right and it is okay to be challenge. In chapter 3, there are ways to overcome those fears in what is called the empowerment process. The first suggestion is to talk to those we are most comfortable with then we will have the ability to talk about the issues such as racism and prejudice to small groups and even in public meetings. I want to help people and I believe that I can combat this fear I will be able to more involved and more committed to getting issues across. Along with the process of the empowerment power also come with building relationships with other social workers who are racial different, have religious differences than mines. But I believe that I am ready to join in with people who will be working for social justice. Together with our differences we can achieve justice and help those in need.

With all the decisions that social workers are faced with there is values that “provided a road map” (101). The value of life, equality and justice is curial in dealing with human rights. The next is solidarity, in which the social workers identifies but take a stand with those who are in need. There needs to be a commitment in helping people. A social worker cannot be uninvolved but engaged with the people they are helping. In assisting the community of people, one must “learn, influenced and changed.” (103) I know that as I social worker I will have to work with people from all background and status in life. I need to be able to break free from fear and to be engaged in helping people.

Personal Jounal #3

Thoughts and feeling on today's class?

I don’t think I have been in a class discussion that has left me thinking to the point of having a headache. I remember when I was younger me and my grandma had a discussion about the color of my skin. She told me I was black and I told her I was brown. I never could understand why she kept calling me black, my skin was brown. I think from than on I started to understand the world. I now understand that when people look at me they see a black woman. While in class I felt very uncomfortable as I saw the list entitled “Agent and Target Group.” To be under the agent group, you had to be white, male, heterosexual, Christian, non-disabled, owning and upper middle class. To be under the target group you have to of a minority race, women, gay, bisexual, Jew, Muslim, disabled, lower middle and working class. I never thought as myself as a target person because I am a black woman and with disabilities. And the only reason I could be in the agent group was I am a Christian, heterosexual, and middle class. I don’t understand why people group people together based on what they look like and their status in life I get so frustrated when I hear people making stereotypes and putting people down because the color of their skin. My stomach turns in knots when I hear racist comments. There are some people that say all Christians are hypocrites and for that reason they don’t want to go to church. First of all, not all Christians are hypocrites and secondly it does not stop one from going to the mall where there are hypocrites. It is not a good reason to dislike Christians or choose not to go to church. I know that on talk shows I hear people say “I date white women because they are not controlling, not loud and not strong welled as a black women.” I also hear that “all black women are loud.” I get so mad because they are not realizing that they a making stereotypes. Whether you are Black, White, Spanish, or Chinese, you can be loud, controlling, strong welled. I have come to a realization of these things and it hurts. I can’t understand why people are like this. I do wish people could see the differences in each person as an individual not as a group. But I think there will always be racism in this world. I just hope people will handle there racism in the correct way and not looking down on someone because they are of a different race, higher or lower status in life.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Social Context ( textbook journal #2)

"Diversity focus on the differences that makes a person distinct and unique from another person" (Doman Lum p44)

The first time I heard the word diversity I thought it meant "color of your skin" or "your background" and "ethnicity." After reading Chapter 2, "Social Context", I started to understand diversity--that it not only meant ethnicity but ones beliefs, family culture, and so on. It is “what set you apart." When it comes to my background, I have little knowledge of my family history. The only knowledge I have of my family history is that I could be French because of my mother’s last name, “Moultrie.” I could also be British because of my father’s last name is “Braggs.” My dad is racially mixed but I am not certain what particular race. I remember my grandma talking about her African ancestors. I want to know more but that is all I know. I remember in middle school we had a culture project. I could hear the students talking in excitement about what they would bring. I felt left out, I did not know anything about my culture. All I knew was that I was black and because of my dad’s side of the family there is a little white blood in me. I thought about the questionnaire on page 46 Understanding Your Diversity Question: "describe yourself from a diversity and world view perspective (values, beliefs and culture).” What I came up with was that I am an African American women, I value my family, life and God. I do hope one day to have more understanding about diversity and hope to look deeper into my ancestry and where my ancestors came from.

Myths of African American Women:

I have heard a wide range of stereotypes about black women, both good and bad. Some say black women are "strong, hard-working, loud, negligent and the list goes on. I guess people get their thoughts about the women of color based of the media and not excluding family and friends. I know various movies that poke fun at African American women, showing them as loud, independent and always rolling their heads with their hands on their hips and always having a bad attitude. It saddens my heart that people look at what the television show say and assume that is how black women behave. I think many times people forget that it is only entertainment. Every Black woman has her individuality that sets her apart. There are some women that are more outgoing than others but that is what sets them apart.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cultural Awareness Ch. 5 (Text Book Journal #1)

According to Doman Lum culture is defined as the “transmission of beliefs, values, traditions, customs, and practices from one generation to the next”, and awareness is defined as “conscious attention and knowledge through the mind and the senses” (125).

I love the quote by Reynolds stating that “cultural self-awareness is the vital first step toward cultural sensitivity.” (125) Becoming aware of ones own culture will go a long way in approaching someone who is of another culture. So many times we can use what the media states to determine how a particular group of people will behave and about their characteristics. When we only see how the media portrays a particular group, stereotypes are formed. On different occasions I have had people say to me that they have characterized a particular group of people because of the media or their experiences. For example, they say that all blacks are lazy, all Spanish people are sneaky, all Chinese people are smart, and the list goes on.

Self Cultural Awareness, or becoming aware of my own biases was not always the easiest thing to do for me to do. I did not want to believe that I could have a bias or think that I viewed a particular group in a certain way based of what I heard. After putting some time into thinking, I have realized that I do have my own biases or prejudices. When I was younger I thought that all white people hated black people. I remember when I had seen on television the Ku Klux Klan being interviewed and heard their hatred toward blacks. I was also taunted and teased because the color of my skin. Those two experiences changed me and shaped how I saw white people. I thought they were very racist toward all blacks and any other race that was not one of them.

After I became aware of my bias and prejudice, I had to change the way I thought. I started to realize that not all people who were white hated black people. I started to build relationships with people who were Caucasian, I saw that the individual, not a group of people that who hated black people. Now as a young woman that hopes to be a social worker, I have worked through my bias and prejudice. I can now approach all people of different cultures as individuals who are all different, have their beliefs and customs.

Personal Journal #2

What are your most common thoughts and feelings when you encounter people who are different from yourself?

The first thought that comes to my mind when I encounter someone different from myself is, “What are they?” I want to know where they are from. I am more of an observer, so I will not speak my mind at first but just wonder who they are. I might feel anxious and nervous at first encounter with someone who is different from me.
I remember when I first encountered someone who was mentally challenged; I did not know what to think but to observe from the side. I have never seen anyone in person that was mentally challenged except from what I have seen on television. I was very nervous, and I wondered “It is true that they are crazy and loud?” and “Are they out of control?” I did not want to get to close to them but be far from anyone that was mentally challenged. I was young then, but as I got older, I started to realize that yes, they are different but I must not only look at who they are on the outside but the inside. We all are different, have our challenges and weaknesses, and are not perfect at all but that should not stop me from getting to know someone no matter if they are mentally challenged or anyone of any form or shape.
Before I was sixteen years old, I never met anyone that was a Muslim. At the age of sixteen, I got my first job at a grocery store. I was shocked to have seen Muslims in the work place. My first thought when I encounter someone who was a Muslim, is “What do they believe in?” I never knew what Muslims believed in about Christ Jesus. I wondered why they believe that women should be covered head to toe. I wanted to know more about their culture. Again, I am more of an observer and very curious. I am not a person that will bluntly speak the first thing that comes to my mind. I know for myself that I can think very sinful things, but I must watch what I say because I know the tongue is very powerful. Well, back at my job, soon enough I started to have conversation a young lady that was a Muslim. She was so nice and I could tell that she loved who she was as a Muslim. And my curiosity about her and any other Muslim would not change who they are and what they believe.

Monday, January 26, 2009

This Week Thought

I was invited by my mentor to join her in a Hmong fellowship and it was so great to fellowship with my brothers and sisters in the Faith. Well, during the fellowship I talking with a young lady about her experience in Wisconsin, which has a community of Hmongs. I was told how badly it was for some Hmong because the lack of money they had. I was really sadden by the story of a little boy who's shoes had holes in them. When he went to school, his socks were wet all day walking in school. I was amazed at the young lady heart as she wanted to help the community of Hmong in Wisconsin. I know as social workers we can do so much to help people who in some way are suffering or needs help. I felt while listening to her story, that we as social workers, matter that we can make a difference.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1st Thought

Today I went to my social work class called "Understanding Diverse Populations". I am trully excited as to what I can learn about other cultures.

Monday, January 19, 2009

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