Kay's Blog

I have really enjoyed WGSS 491. There was a lot of topics and issues that we discussed in WMST 201 but we got to explore more in depth this semester. I also really like the smaller class size because it gave us room to get to know each other on a more personal level, speak up more in class, and ultimately learn from each other. I also liked the main focus of this course, being women featured on and within the Internet. It all became very relevant to our current society since we have become heavily reliant on the Internet. I enjoyed during the second half of the semester doing a project on our own specific interests. I have never given a presentation in a class for longer than about 15 minutes, so I feel like this class really has helped me for courses I will take later in my educational journey. The group  of students was a great mixture. We all came from different grades, majors, backgrounds, and between all our differences we were able to generate great conversations. I would definitely promote this class to other SIUC student’s along with all the other WMST classes. It is a great department with great ideas and I can’t wait to finish my minor and see what the other classes I will be taking have in store for me.
ps- goodluck with the move Kate! I’ll miss ya 🙂 thanks for everything!

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I wanted to comment on Adeline’s presentation that she gave on Tuesday. I thought it was really interesting, and just like many of the people in our class had said I am very ignorant to any issues that are dealing with politics. I obviously know that women are poorly represented in our political system, but pretty much anyone could tell you that because we have yet to have a woman president. I now understand that there is little representation of women as state governors, senate reps, and in the house of representatives. I think that many women do not pursue careers in this field because they don’t have enough female role models that have succeeded in this area. We don’t have many women to look up to, or to even think to ourselves “hey, she did it which means I can too!”  Maybe females are afraid of failing, or constantly being compared to their male competitors. Regardless, females are not involved nearly enough in politics as they need to be. We should have a say in all matters that pertain to the political state of our nation. We are all humans, and citizens of this country so why shouldn’t we have a say? And saying that females are too emotional is bullshit. I’ve seen plenty of men cry before, come up with a better excuse.

I didn’t really find much to talk about on the blogs I was following at the beginning of the semester so I decided to go back and check out the JMU blog. I read an interesting piece on relationship violence. It outlined how it can be a negative cycle that both heterosexual and homosexual couples go through. As I was reading it I began to realize that I was once in a relationship that was abusive. I was never physically abused, however I did feel worried that I would be hit at certain times. It was definitely a mentally and emotionally abusing relationship though. There was lots of fighting, yelling, and crying. Looking back on it I have no idea why I went through that for an entire year.. because I never felt happy. But I could easily relate to the blog posting because they said that many people fear breaking up with the person, and even though I wasn’t happy I felt that I would be even more unhappy if I was alone. I was trying to control someone who did not want to be tied down. Relationships are never easy, and actually they are always rather sticky but that doesn’t mean they need to be physically or emotionally harmful to a person. I actually haven’t officially dated anyone since that boyfriend. I am a lot more cautious about the people I choose to let into my personal life. Even though it left many painful memories, I am grateful for that relationship because I was able to learn something from it. I also know that it could of been a lot worse, so I am glad that I got away from him when I could. In a round about way I feel lucky to have experienced a relationship like that because I know exactly what to be careful of and look out for in my future relationships.

I really enjoyed our activity from Tuesday. Since I was a daisy, brownie, and junior I found it cool to look back on something I did as a young girl and see how the progression of the Girl Scouts is making a difference in our youth today. When I was a Girl Scout we didn’t do many activities that involved science, engineering, technology, or math. We did have our fair share of outdoor exploration field trips, over night stays at ranches, and visiting museums in Chicago though. These were all very fun and educational experiences. I think some of the best things I learned as a Girl Scout was how to be a good person, a great friend, and enjoy our natural environment. We always were doing fundraisers, food drives, and other forms of community service. As a young girl growing up I was introduced to the importance of helping the community, and I have been involved in service projects ever since. In junior high I participated in many efforts with my school, high school I helped served the community and was an active member of the National Honor Society. Today, I volunteer on average 5 hours a week to the community of Carbondale. I have done so many different fundraisers on campus, I help at the Nursing Home once a week, I pick up trash on Saturday mornings, I participate in Up Til Dawn, Relay for Life, and so many other events. I also learned the value of friendship being a member in the Girl Scouts. I have always had a large group of friends and I hold each of their relationships very close to my heart. One of the last aspects that I think Girl Scouts has helped shaped in my personally was my love for the outdoors. I am a very active person, and I am always thinking of ways to get things done while being outside. I may not have gotten the science, technology, engineering, or math skills from being a Girl Scout, but regardless I do believe that it is a wonderful organization to have young girls be a part of. If they choose to incorporate more STEM geared programs that will create opportunities for these girls, however I don’t think it is necessary for them to get something out of being a Girl Scout. 

I decided to do my semester presentation on Social Networking. We use so many of these networks in our everyday life and they have become part of our routine. People use sites such as Facebook, Twitter, dating sites, blogs, etc. to connect with people that may be across the country or just across the room you’re in. They have become extremely popular in recent years.

I’m not sure which facet I would like to explore in more depth just because this topic is very broad. I have thought about the younger generations that are using these networks and the safety or lack there of. I also am very interested in the content that we display on these sites and how it can negatively affect a person later in life. Lastly, I thought about how there has become a whole new meaning to certain things on a social network. For instance, “liking” a photo, or commenting on something, and how we have created the word “creeping”. Some people spend a majority of their day just reading about where others are, what they’re doing, or looking through pictures, wallposts, etc. It has become such a phenomenon that it talked about widely from newspapers, magazines, and even the news.

I know in class we have also discussed how sites can help form a personal identity, but I think I want to stay away from that if I can find research on other parts just because we have already hit on that quite a bit.

I was just looking at the chalkboard picture you posted on the blog and I think I might want to do my project on birth control (cost, accessibility, etc). This topic has recently been brought up with my friends and I. We were just discussing who was taking birth control, and how much they pay for it. I couldn’t believe how affordable some of their prescriptions were. Both my parents work at Catholic hospitals and so it is not covered in their insurance. I am pretty sure for my sister’s my parents pay around $90 a month! I am not taking it because I feel like I’m trying to save my parents money, but is saving them money really worth it? It is a much safer option for so many people, especially at this age. I know I am not the only person who has parents who’s insurance doesn’t cover it. I just don’t see why that even makes sense, they don’t have to be Catholic to work there which seems strange then to withhold coverage from certain medication. I would like to do some research on the positive benefits to making birth control available, and affordable to everyone. Also what can happen if someone isn’t able to afford it or obtain it from their doctor. I know that the Catholic religion has been going strong for a loooong time, and there is no hope in changing their views on this topic. I am curious though, how many teenage pregnancy’s are a result from the female not being on birth control, and then taking it a step further to see how many of them didn’t have access or couldn’t afford it.

This weeks topic was something I was very unfamiliar with. I do not know if I have ever encountered someone who took on a transgendered identity. I really liked the video you posted for today because it was interesting to hear people’s journeys who are currently local. It made the topic seem a lot more real to me, and relevant.

One thing I liked about this week was just how many of the vlog’s purposes were to just normalize the trans title. The more times people see, encounter, and learn about something the more normal it will become. I don’t know if I could share my experience on a very personal subject but in such a public manner. I think all the people who choose to do so though really make a difference in the way people perceive and identify the LGBTQ community.

I was also unaware of the questions to stay away from asking someone who is transgendered. When I left class Tuesday it made me nervous for whenever I may encounter one that I would ask the wrong things. But then I got thinking that I don’t think I would ask them anything different than I would any other person. I liked how in the video, Benny said to just stray away from textbook questions. They are real people and they deserve the courtesy to be talked to in a polite way but that doesn’t mean you have to sound so dry with your questions for them.

When they touched on YouTube at the end of the video I thought it was a very thought out response to whether or not YouTube is a good or bad outlet for transgendered vlogs. I completely agreed with their answer, it can either be a good thing or a bad thing. There are often hateful and hurtful comments left on postings but they also addressed the people who, like myself, knew little about the topic and are able to become better informed. Vlogs can also help out people going through similar experiences and let them know that they are not alone, or also better ways to deal with the trials they may be facing.

Overall I enjoyed this topic because it was something I knew very little about and have really never encountered yet in my life. Experiences like the things we do and talk about in this class I know will better prepare me for the future. I think it is making me a more aware, versatile, and accepting person. I also find myself often letting my friends know about things we talk about and trying to keep them informed of all the great things we talk about!