Monday, April 23, 2007

The Various Audiences of This Blog

When I first started this blog project I had one idea and audience glued to my mind. My main target was to illustrate how women were portrayed through modern media. It seemed quite simple really. There are two types of women in the media, I told myself, the women that are overtly sexualized or the women that are “moms” only. However, what I did not realize was the connotations that came with this very bold statement.

The first confrontational subject in my blog posts is the idea that a housewife is a demeaning job. For many, “in one sentence Mama sums up the dominant culture’s version of legitimate female expectations” (Lipsitz, 45). Of course this is not always true but it may seem that I voice this opinion through some of my blog posts. I am merely exemplifying the fact that women are commonly put into this category with few alternatives. Some audiences may see this as a good thing. Wouldn’t you rather be put into the housewife category than the slut one? But this is precisely my point. Why does there have to be two extremes?

Although I do seem to adopt the Madonna-Whore dichotomy as my main theme in this blog project, I do seem to talk about the whore end a lot more, something I would have changed if I could do this project over again. This is probably the more challenging of the two subjects because it challenges women’s rights while defending them. For example, when I analyzed “The Girl’s Next Door” it may have seemed like I was offending a woman’s right to choose her career. Many people may see this example as liberating and a step forward. Another example is the “Pretty Woman” reference I make. A different audience might see my criticism as an offense to women all around the world who are trying to make ends meat.

These contradictions and confrontations have probably been the most difficult part about writing my blog posts. But as you can see, they include both ends of the extremes. I challenge conservative mind set as well as liberal. What I have tried to keep in mind is that no one way of thinking is right or wrong. I think the most important thing about these blog posts is the fact that they do have the power to question both sides. It illustrates that everyone is the blame for any problems that exist in today’s society and not one person, source of media, or political party is to blame.

  • Lipsitz, George. "The Meaning of Memore: Class, Race, and Ethnicity in Early Network Television". SAGE Publications.

Anthony's Comments

1. Where has your Blog buddy shown strong analytical work (be specific—is it a particular post, a type of analysis, a site for analysis that seemed to click more so than others, etc)? Katelyn’s s strongest analytical work in my opinion came in the form of a blog post. The post about prostitution in movies, not only was it written well but she had information to back up what she was saying and it made her blog topic even more concrete.
2. How could your Blog buddy use this strength for the final Blog post and presentation? I think if Katelyn brings out another point as strong as the prostitution in movies that her final blog post should be a very easy one to write. She seemed to do her research very well and should have no problem writing the final blog post and giving a great presentation if equipped with all the right facts.
3. Think about the following statements in relation to your Blog buddy’s Blog and then provide feedback on each area (constructive praise/criticism):
The Blog is on a topic that has been clearly evident in the Blog posts throughout the semester… I believe that Katelyn’s topic is a very good one and has been obvious in all of her blog post from the first post till present.
The Blog is on a topic that seems to interest my Blog buddy… I think that Katelyn is very interested in her topic, she seems to have a strong feeling toward this topic and would like to see a change in the way women get treated in many movies.
My Blog buddy’s topic is one that has produced a good set of posts that were analytical used gender as a primary category of analysis… Yes Katelyn has done a great job with her posts… I feel that all of them are analytical and done well… some have a better topic and therefore standout more but all of them are done with careful analysis and gender is the primary category of analysis throughout her blog. The posts make analytical arguments.
The posts are understandable and each post logically outlines and supports the argument presented. The posts were clear, provided insight, evidence, and analysis to connect the topic with the assignment for each of the posts… In my opinion, I am no professor but I understood each post, I believe that all of the arguments were all analytical, she did sometimes have an obvious opinion towards one side… but I think we all do.
Each post was understandable and followed a outline which was very easy to read. Katleyn made her post clear and full with evidence to back up her claims. All her post were cited and connected with her blog topic perfectly.
The sources cited in each post are relevant to the topic and help to aid the understanding of the argument and/or assisted in proving the argument… As I said before, I guess I jumped the gun. All her cited sources seemed to flow with her work very well. She did her research very well and it paid off for her when she wrote her blog posts. The quotes used illustrate a broad range of course readings throughout the semester… I believe that quotes she used were very good and meshed very well with her blog post. I don’t know if that means she read the whole book or if she understood each reading but it did help her post look and sound so much more analytical and better overall.
The quotes were clear and succinct; additionally, the material was presented so that I could differentiate the Blog buddy’s ideas from that of the author cited… The quotes were clear and succinct and was presented as being a quote that was not hers. The quote that stands out the most for me is the Jean Kilbourne one from the “The More You Subtract, The More You Add” writing. It read, “the glossy images of flawlessly beautiful and extremely thin women that surround us would not have the impact they do if we did not live in a culture that encourages us to believe we can and should remake our bodies into perfect commodities”. It was in reference to the “Girls Next Door” blog post and I thought it made that post so much better.
4. Finally, complete the following:I thought it was great when you...wrote about prostitution in movies. I felt that this post was your strongest all around. It helped solidify your blog topic. It was well written and came with good back up evidence. I found it confusing when you…I guess when you switched up her style and went from movies to more of main line media with the Ana Nicole piece. It did not confuse me but it just took a different path I guess. None of your post were very confusing I felt that they all were easy to read, but If I had to chose one I would chose the Ana Nicole piece. And not because of the way it was written just the path you took. You’re really great at… providing unique evidence to back up her claims and using good quotes to help your argument. I wish you could focus (more) on/alter/edit/explain/expand on/etc these three things… On the different types of discrimination and treatment that women receive in different movies. I wish you could of expanded more on your blog topic or made it obvious that you were talking about women in movies or women in the media. Even though movies are a part of the media the media has more outlets then just movies. Other than that I enjoyed reading all your blog post and I genuinely enjoy your blog topic and cant wait to see what you write about in your final blog post. If you construct the final blog post just like you have done with your previous post, the prostitution in specific you should have no problem.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anna Nicole in the Media

First Page Photos of Anna Nicole on Google Images
Anna Nicole Smith has often been characterized as a gold digger, a sexy playboy model, a fat lost case, and a dieter’s revolutionary icon. However, not once, until recently, did I even know she was a mother. Her reputation that had been created by the media is so phenomenal that even her death was tabloid news. Think about that, her death was so disrespected that it was featured in scandalous print.

Anna Nicole had two children, one that recently just passed away, and one that was just recently born. Her life as a playboy model was long down the drain yet every picture you see of her in news articles is of her when she was a playboy. While searching google images for her picture, I came across loads of naked pictures and not one of her and her children. I even came across a mug shot of her from years ago before one picture of her children popped up.

Another issue that has become automatic with the association of Anna Nicole is the idea of her weight. One article’s description of her clandestine pregnancy was “Does Anna Nicole Smith Have a Bun in Her Fluctuating Oven?” Even the mere mention of motherhood like characteristics was shot down with her portrayal by the media.

Once I did find out that Anna Nicole was indeed a mother it was due to her untimely death. It was not, however, due to the fact that the children were mentioned out of sympathy and respect. Her children were only referred to out of mockery and ridicule. Her son was referenced to when talking about rumors of a drug overdose which he had died from and her daughter was mentioned when talking about her “unknown” father. The fact that Anna Nicole’s word was not taken as truth about who her daughter’s father was is absurd and shows how desperate the media is for any given scandal.

Recently discussed in class was Courtney Love’s portrayal as a mother in media and how the world views her. One quote that coincides with Smith’s situation was “Love’s flaunting of her sexual nature rails against normative definitions of mothers’ sexuality” (Ladd-Taylor, 329). I am more than convinced that this very same characteristic, along with others, has condemned Anna Nicole as a mother for years simply due to her depiction through media.