1.Choose an event from the assigned readings in Takaki for this week, and explain it from a multicultural perspective. Look back at the Sessions for Week 3 for a reminder about multicultural perspectives. Note again if Dr. Takaki includes any stories from the perspectives of women.
EX: This week we read “The Exodus From Russia,” this discusses the Jewish experience in coming to America. In Russia, 1800, Jewish individuals were “degraded as others” and were forced out of their homelands. Unlike Japanese migrants, Jews individuals felt that they could not return back to their homeland. Government officials encouraged the treatment of violence towards Jews. This being an example of power and privilege. All Jews were forced to live in what they called the “pale.” Jews were forbidden to own land, similar to what we read about the Chinese and Irish experience, they too couldn’t own land and faced the treatment of violence and discrimination. In the city, Pogrom’s would find any reason to get Jews out of Russia, and they resulted in the loss of many Jews. Children and Parents were always filled with fear because of the Pogrom. Pogroms would burn down Jewish shops and synagogues. Pogroms wanted Jews to recognize Russia was not their homeland and their true home was elsewhere outside of Russia.
Beginning of World War I, many Jews migrated to the United States. Men and women had heard stories about freedom and a better life in the U.S. Many women had not come to America in the beginning. Jewish girls would get letters about America’s high wages for seamstresses. America became the dream and the promise land for many women. Boarding ships, “migrants realized they were involved in something much more than a personal expedition, every Jew came to feel that he was part of a historic event in the life of the Jewish people.” Jewish individuals came to America with no money and little experience, but it was their own faith and courage in themselves that pushed them. Soon America became their home and many families had children. Men and women were very educated and literate, which would allow them to be trained in a profession or handicraft. Jews came to America as settlers, planning to stay and make America their new home, they recognized they were not wanted back in Russia and probably couldn’t return until religious persecution was no longer present. A Jewish community had formed in New York as many Jews migrated from Russia. Jewish saw that life was very different in America, everybody was in a hurry, getting money was most important, and people were confident. They had freedom and were able to establish their own homes and communities. They had found better job opportunities and wages. Soon whites began to see that Jewish men and women were very sufficient and skilled at their jobs and this resulted in the discrimination of Jews. Like we have read about the Chinese and Irish, Jews soon went on strike for better wages, but that resulted in officials threatening to give their jobs away. Both men and women had worked in harsh conditions and for long hours.
In the videos assigned for today, I am asking you to notice prejudice, and especially how prejudice leads to discrimination. Discrimination is the Big Idea, that affects people’s life chances.
The videos are all examples about how negative assumptions about women, and their place in our culture, can lead to prejudice. And prejudice, PLUS the power to act on prejudices to negatively affect the life chances of women and their families, is called discrimination.
The Oscars and the Bechdel Test (Links to an external site.)
Anita Sarkeesian again on TEDWomen (Links to an external site.)
And, since Sarkeesian is back in the news, see this:
Feminist Frequency (Links to an external site.)
Maybe you will do some exploring about the current Oscars and the Bechdel Test.
If you prefer, you can rent
The Invisible War, (Links to an external site.)
and substitute it for the above videos. Be warned, this is deep; many many trigger warnings.
Copy this into your post, and write about it: Write what you learned about power and gender from the assigned videos.
3. Try to explain the connections you see around power and sexism and heterosexism. Try to connect identity and gender and power. Try to see in all these sessions the concept of contempt for women, and contempt for all that is perceived as woman-like in men.
Here is a sample of current thinking about gender, sexual orientation and identity; three different issues, not necessarily related to each other.
Generation LGBTIA (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
From the article: ‘The core question isn’t whom they love, but who they are — that is, identity as distinct from sexual orientation. Those of us who grew up with either/or intellectual traditions will have to work hard to get around the binaries of gender and sexual orientation’
Copy this into your post and respond: pick one part, and explain it.