What’s sex got to do with…Final Reflections

For me, the most important concept to understand the relationship between sex and society is heteronormativity. The Oxford dictionary defines heteronormativity as “denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation.” Throughout the semester we have seen how much this concept plays out in our modern world despite burgeoning support for the LGBTQI community.

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Global and Transnational Sexualities

Being an immigrant in a culture affects a myriad of aspects in a person’s life. The way they interact with people, their everyday routines and practices, and all aspects of their lives in an immigrant country are all altered and begin to fall into the mold of that of the host nation. Women immigrants see and feel the effects of being an immigrant more so than other people. Racial and gender hierarchies become a prevalent factor in how their lives are lived, and consequently, their sexualities and employment statuses are shaped based on the expectations of the dominant race or gender. When people immigrate to other countries in numbers, the people of that country typically experience moral panic, fearing that their social order and habitual customs are at risk to change due to foreign people coming in with their “alien” practices. This forms a resentment toward the immigrant people and culture, and gives the host nation’s culture a sense of informal power over them. Consequently, racial hierarchies confine immigrant women to a status of diminished personhood where their rights, culture, and sexual agency are treated as second rate to a dominant culture.

In the United States, hispanic and latino populations have grown immensely in the past decade. Many Mexican and Latin American people have immigrated to the United States seeking better work and opportunities for themselves and their families. Many have joined the labor force, working jobs in the realms of farm work, agricultural work, or on construction; a good amount of these workers are undocumented laborers. The employees in these situations, including the Mexican women who worked on the fields in California who were featured in the documentary, “Rape in the Fields,” are a part of this population. However, because they are immigrants, and are women, they have little to no power; they are easy to take advantage of. Their statuses and sexualities are at the disposal of people of higher racial or gender standings through neocolonialism. They are at the disposal of their employers. Because they have no rights, papers, little money, and need to provide for their families, these women are forced to keep working in unhealthy situations, where they are confined and mistreated. They have no choice but to submit to their employers and obey what they or told for fear of being acted towards violently.

The lack of rights that these women face impacts them in the most negative possible ways. Employers and people of higher racial or social standing feel as if they can take advantage of these women. These women are raped because of this, yet have to bite their tongue and endure the conditions just to provide for their families. Even when these women tell of their experiences of being exploited and taken advantage of, they are treated as second rate. Their claims are dismissed and they are forced to live with the violence and rape they face in their workplaces. If a white woman claimed rape, then she would receive all the attention and her needs would be met; but because these mexican women are part of a diaspora culture and carry no social weight compared to the dominant culture, they are completely disregarded. Historically, rape cases for white women have taken precedence over rape cases for minorities- some cases have even become national news, yet minority cases go completely under the radar.

The documentary “Rape in the Fields” portrayed this idea well. It displayed the notion of rape against Mexican immigrant workers as insignificant when showing the story of the man that would continually take a woman worker far away in the fields and force her to have sex with him. She told authorities about this man, and no one listened. He would rape her and threaten her, yet she had no power whatsoever to combat these actions. When authorities actually did take the situation into their hands, the man pleaded innocent and was not questions, getting away for free. Unfair situations like these cause life-lasting feelings of unrest and fear for the women who have to face these types of men. Situations like these happen often in these certain worker communities, leaving the women hopeless and feeling as if they cannot receive any help. This perpetuates over time, and becomes a culture. When it becomes a culture, it creates an environment where there is an unsaid expectation of the women to submit to the men in authority and their sexual wants without even questioning it or fighting it. These notions become widespread, and women are expected to keep their mouths shut, and they do because it is what they have to do to make a living and survive.

Unfortunately, I do not believe that this culture exists only in these realms, but probably also exist in other circles of immigrant and minority cultures. It probably exists not only in the United States, but in countries across the world considering the historical  gender bias and power complex that has been present for years. Do you think that the assertion above is potentially true? Will there ever be justice for these women immigrant workers, or will they continually be disregarded by the authorities and the United States’ justice system? What do you think it would need to take for this culture to change? Why do you think it is that these women who face these situations are completely disregarded?

 

What’s Sex Got To Do With… The Maryville Case?

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In 2012, a 14-year-old girl named Daisy Coleman was raped by her older brother’s friends who were seniors at the time after a house party in Maryville, Missouri under the influence of alcohol; the rape was recorded on one of the boys cell phones. Matt Barnett, the perpetrator, asserted that the sex was consensual, but the story that Daisy Coleman told asserted otherwise.

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When this case was first brought up, it was ignored and Daisy Coleman received a lot of scrutiny from the media and classmates. Because she had “blacked out” around the time that the rape had occurred, many people speculated her claims and labeled her as wild, a slut, etc. Upon the case being taken to court, it was dismissed because Daisy’s claims were not “credible” due to the state she was in, but also for political reasons because Matt Barnett’s grandfather was a trooper for 32 years and a four-term state representative for Missouri.

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The case was closed in 2012, and then reopened in 2014 due to help from The Kansas City star who published a long story on Daisy’s accounts. The story gained national recognition, and the nation was disgusted at how the small town of Maryville, MO turned its back on this young rape victim. This began to spread through social media, and the case was reopened again in 2014 where Matt Barnett pleaded guilty of endangerment.

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The fact that Daisy Coleman was shot down, criticized, and ignored when she first tried to share her story lends to the issue of why women who are raped are often afraid to tell anyone about it. They fear that because they are a woman and were a victim of power based violence and sexual assault, they are insignificant and no one will appeal to their assertions. Without the help of advocates across the country and social media, Daisy Coleman would have had to face shame and a sense of unrest for her entire life.

Why do you think that her claims were so heavily combated by the society she lived in at first even though there was video evidence? Do you think the case would have been ignored without the national outcry from the Kansas City Star’s article? Why do you think it is that Matt Barnett pleaded guilty for endangerment when he was supposed to get charged for rape?

Double Standards- Reflection

The most influential concept to understanding the relationship between sex and society is the double standards. We make sexual decisions both male and female based off out morals. And theses morals are made though what society’s standards called double standards. There are things that males can do that females can’t do and there are things that females can do that males can’t do. There are more things that females can’t do compared to the things that males can’t do. Males can do just about anything they want. Their sexual activity is encouraged and they are ask to be as sexual as they can. On the other hand, females are asked to stay in a box and not be very sexual because they will be labeled as a “slut” or “hoe”. I find this unfair because females are being monitored by people they could really care less about but because it’s a judgment made by society, it’s a hard line to cross or their reputations will be bad. Do you agree? If so, do you think it is important for a girl to just keep her sex life on the down low?

You think girls aren’t really required not to have sex but to keep their sex life a secret? Will that change things? At the end of the day, it would be wrong for her to say she is a virgin. Or is it? Her lying about her sex life to keep a good reputation shouldn’t hurt anyone right?

If a girls has sex with 12 guys and a guys has sex with 12 girls and these two meet, but she tells him that she is virgin, will that be immoral? I find it fair considering that she has to choose between having no sex life to having one but hiding it.

Sex and society lives off the double standard. People make decisions when it comes to sex based off the double standards. Me being a Christina, I feel as though I’m in a constant compete with the double standard. Am I waiting till marriage or am I not trying to break the double standard code? Race, religion, and culture all help to make up someone’s morals when it comes to sex. Society just seems to push against those morals slightly because at the end of the day, we all (most) want sex. No matter who you are, we all (most) want sex in some shape, size, or form. We all want to be pleased and appreciated. “We all want love.”

Is there a way of breaking the double standard? If not, why do we creep around it? No one wants to be judged but we all want to be happy and make our own decisions so we can have our own identities. Sex and society live off the double standard whether we see it or not.

 

What’s sex have to do with… my own sex life?

This one is for the females. Do you ever get so caught up in wondering what others will think of you if they knew about your sex life? Will you get that name of being a hoe, or do they have the wrong perspective of who you are and really you’re an innocent girl? Well which is it?

I today’s society we get so caught up in not wanting to be judged and obeying the double standard. The double standard between men and women are for praising the male sexuality and to monitor the female sexuality. Men can have sex with so many people and not get the name “hoe” or “slut” while females have to make sure they have only 1 sex partner because they don’t want to have a bad reputations. The interviews in Bogle’s book helps to explain that guys will respect a girl more if she has a low number is sex partners.

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This is a great picture in encouraging females to fight against the double standard. Control your own sex life. Don’t let society dictate what you do with your sex life. Beyonce does a great job in fighting the double standard and promoting feminism. Her music fights to protect the female decisions to be sexual.

Instead of society understand that a female can control her own sexuality, society in trying to monitor it. Put females in a buddle. Why do we have this double standard? Over the years, has the double standards changed? What can we do to flip the double standard to where females are getting praised for being sexually active?

Sex as a Moral Discourse

Do you feel like our society is becoming more comfortable about being sexual? Why? Why is it now okay to be more explicit on television? Is entertainment, popularity, or money more important than our morals? Or are we wrong? Who is it for you to makes someone’s morals for them?

In the article “Purity and pollution” by Nancy L. Fischer, she discusses sex as a moral discourse. She explains that older generations viewed specific sexual acts as immoral such as oral sex or masturbation. Today, it’s not based on what is being done but who is doing it that makes it sexually immoral. Now, society is more focus on identities rather than acts. It is okay for certain people to do certain sexual things than others just because of their identity. For example, we are more comfortable with Olivia Pope being sexual or TV but it would be considered immoral for Oprah Winfrey to be sexual on TV. You agree?

Warner states that “sexual morality is about controlling someone else’s sex life.” This plays a big part in our society now because we are so focused on what others are doing and always thinking of ways to control them. If someone doesn’t fit in “your” group because of their sexual morals, then they are most likely called names and often excluded from “your” group of friends because they don’t me certain standards. Who is the judge of those who are claimed to be sexually corrupted? Who labels others? I think we all play a part is labeling. We are draw to a group of people in which we are most similar or think have the same morals as we do. I am a strong Christian so I prefer to hang around other string Christians just because I feel comfortable that they are doing God’s works and not just talking about it. The morals of my group help define us, who are, and what we stand for. If no one fits in this category, we don’t necessarily exclude them but it would be difficult to see how they would “fit in.” For example, Christian like to save sex for marriage, therefore it would be hard to look at someone else as one of “us” if they are sleeping around with many people. So, we would try to control their sex life or it would be difficult to accept them. That’s just being honest.

I connected this to the “sex and power” article by Kristen Barber. Sex is a way of having power in many social groups. Being able to have sex with the most popular guys in school are “cool” to some people. Sex in that way is used as power. She gets praise from being able to do that, but only to her group.

The following link shows examples of slick scenes that are in Spongebob:

http://www.collegehumor.com/post/6980443/15-awesomely-inappropriate-jokes-from-spongebob-squarepants

I never caught onto these jokes until I was about 15. That doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to show to younger kids. There are more cartoons being showed where kids are being exposed too early to certain things. Cartoon Network used to be a cartoon channel that was censored for elementary school viewers. Have you viewed cartoon network today? Sometimes, adult swim is being showed. It is easier to find sexual acts on TV now a days.

Have you ever heard of the quote “live and let live”?

I feel like our society is busy living but not letting others live. We are quick to judge what we don’t thinks fits our own moral standards. Why is this true? When did we decide to make ourselves the ones who decide what’s right and what’s wrong? The funny thing is that there are so many rights and wrongs. This is when media needs to make the decision to stay neutral. We know it is not right to have explicit content being shown to younger kids. Our generation seems to not care so much about what is being shown on TV. I think a lot of it have to do with News channels. The reports are interviewing low educated people who get on camera and make a fool of themselves. Then social media makes some extreme edits to the interview to make it more entertaining. Why are the News channels doing this?

Why is society being more comfortable to being sexual? During the VMAs, was Miley Cyrus just trying to make a scene or make money? Why did she go from being a role model for younger kids off the Disney channel to being known as the white chick with no butt, trying to twerk on national television?

What’s Sex Got To Do With… Video Games?

For years, video games, particularly fantasy games, have been a “boy’s club” of sorts that operates in an environment where many women feel unwelcome to join. If any women at all exists as characters in these games, they are either presented as a “damsel in distress” that needs rescuing, or as a hyper sexualized commodity, or both. While male characters in these games get to wear full sets of body armor, warm underclothes, and well, clothing that seems relatively plausible in the context of the game, female characters are too often portrayed as having an incredibly small waist, disproportionate breasts, and, as Stephen Colbert puts it “armor that barely covers their nipples.” Needless to say, women who would otherwise play these games are feeling shut out and some are starting to raise their voices against this obvious sexism.

Enter Anita Sarkeesian.

Lauded as a hero to many female gamers who so often feel silenced in the male dominated sphere of internet gaming, Sarkeesian, founder of “Feminist Frequency” has received a never ending stream of rape and death threats since starting her crusade. If you are feeling brave, take a look at some of the posts on reddit.com defending the “rights” of some men to blatantly sexualize women in some gaming universes. Sarkeesian’s actions and the backlash that has been created from it is clearly a manifestation of rape culture. Internet users, who are often protected by anonymity, degrade and threaten assault to women who are pointing out the sheer grossness of their social sphere. There is a currently trending quote that has been circulating online recently that I think can be applied to what is happening in the video game world.

“Woman speaks out against misogynistic abuse and is met with misogynistic abuse from men who believe misogynistic abuse doesn’t exist ant that she should stop making them look bad.”