In Case the Benefits of Patriarchy Were Lost on Some Men…

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

…Douglas Kenrick has outlined them for you. This comes after his piece on the 7 worst things about being a male, including “people want to hurt you,” “you feel compelled to make money, and then to throw it away in public,” and two points about how much men think about sex and how sad it is that women do not “reciprocate their urgency” in that regard.

He starts his piece on the worst things about being a male with the following:

The cultural stereotype is that it’s great to be a man. Not only do we have shorter lines at the rest room, but we make scads more money and can reach things on higher shelves in the marketplace. We don’t have to deal with double standards or glass ceilings, and we’re raised to have confidence and high self-esteem, so we can all comfortably act like the Sean Connery version of James Bond. Cooly knock off a few bad guys in the afternoon, then drive our Aston Martins to our expensive hotel in Monte Carlo, where beautiful movie actresses are waiting to throw themselves into our arms…But in truth, it ain’t like that down here in Kansas.

This isn’t just a “cultural stereotype.” Men have all kinds of advantages over women in American society (see: the gender pay gap, the Second Shift, advertising and media images of women, etc.). This is not to say that men don’t have problems, but their problems take placeĀ within the larger context of patriarchy. Kenrick brushes away that context by setting this up as just a stereotype, and what follows is a blind fumbling through some issues that could otherwise have been taken seriously.

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Moving Forward After SCOTUS Upholds Health Care Law

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

The health care act still stands thanks to the Supreme Court, though the conversation about universal care in the U.S. is far from over, so here are a couple of infographics about the state of women’s health in the U.S. and what health care reform is trying to address. Because health care issues = social issues = economic issues, and women’s issues = men’s issues; they’re all people’s issues.

From GOOD:A picture of women’s health.

And from Amnesty International:

U.S. Maternal Health Care Crisis

My junior year in college I took a course on the sociology of illness and medicine. One of the required texts for the course was T. R. Reid’s The Healing of America, which examines the health care systems of other countries and compares them to the U.S. system (this was published in 2010). Although Reid oversimplifies some issues, the takeaway message is that not only is it possible to provide quality health care to everyone, other countries are doing this in a way that costs less than our system. Health care in the U.S. is far from perfect, and although the SCOTUS ruling to uphold “Obamacare” gives me hope that can one day we will have accessible health care for all, there is still room for improvement. Learning and implementing what other countries do well are further steps toward that possibility.

Living with Dissonance: My Hope for Mollie and Mary

June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I read The Laramie Project five years ago. The play was written about Matthew Shepard, a young gay man whose murder in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming drew national attention and led to efforts to address American intolerance toward gay and lesbian people. Moises Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project, a New York theater company, traveled to Laramie to interview members of the small town over the year following Matthew’s death. The play uses the words of Laramie’s citizens to show the aftermath of the hate crime in all its complexity, as people try to understand what happened and why. It is one of the most powerful things I have read to this day.

Portland, TX is likely grappling with similar questions, after two young women in a relationship were shot and left to die in a park there. One of the teens, Mollie Judith Olgin, has died, and the other, Mary Christine Chapa, is in “serious but stable” condition in the hospital. No one has been connected to the attack, but it does not seem to be a random event. Although police have not yet identified this as a hate crime, the girls’ relationship will remain a factor in the investigation as it moves forward.

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Politics, Communication, and Therapy

June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Communication is clearly an issue in American politics. Politicians must work constantly to make sure they are projecting the message they intend to, and government officials attempting to shape public policy must convince those around them that their position is valid.

Recently, language in politics has been at the forefront of public consciousness. Evidence of the power of language in the political sphere has ranged from the backlash surrounding ignorant and inappropriate name calling earlier this year to the controversy surrounding state congressional (over)reactions to comments that include medical terms two weeks ago.

If the goal of politicians is to guide decisions that affect groups at all levels of society though, a failure to communicate is a fundamental problem that can cripple their ability to do their job. It is disheartening to watch politics play out as just a back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, towing party lines that in many ways are polar opposites by definition, each capitalizing on opportunities to act when they have decision-making power to do so and biding their time for the next power shift when they do not.

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Reviews: Brave

June 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last night I went to see Pixar’s Brave at my local movie theater. I had been looking forward to its opening for months and was excited to see how the story would be told.

I wasn’t planning to write about the movie – even though it has broken important ground for Pixar and the industry in many ways – but I couldn’t stop thinking about it after watching, so I thought I’d post what I took away from it.

***SPOILER ALERT*** Certain key moments of Brave will be discussed in the rest of this post.

Brave concept art

Concept art of Merida and Elinor (found at Disney Pixar Fandom)

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Starting (to) Shift Matters

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Shift Matters is a blog written by Kate Sackett about the current state of American culture, with a particular focus on gender and related topics. I am a recent graduate from a large public university with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and I am interested in social justice issues, psychology, sociology, the media, and how discourse shapes perception.

I plan to discuss current events, intersections and intersectionality, reviews of movies/television/books, and personal experiences and dialogues around gender. The occasional picture of a dog standing on its hind legs while holding a purse may also surface…

Please leave comments/feedback/links whenever the mood strikes, as my purpose is not only to start dialogues with those around me but also with the online community.

This blog is my first concerted effort to publicly air my thoughts on gender and culture to shift popular norms and values as they continue to influence life in America today. Because shift matters.

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for June, 2012 at Shift Matters.