David Bowie Across the Universe

Will Booker’s compilation of commentaries related to David Bowie, made me realize the sheer importance Bowie’s image to the LGBTQ community. I loved the way Vaniety Fair described him as “gender bending,” explaining Bowie’s significance in encouraging freedom of experession as well as gender fluidity. The idea of gender fluidity is often enough not explored, as we are held to specific standards society sets out for us. I find it truly inspiring how Bowie decided to bend all of those rules, and make his own. He wore glittery make up, and flamboyant clothing yet was married to a woman. He made it okay to look past certain set rules, and challenging them. As David Buckley summarizes, “Bowie’s gender bending was a direct affront to straight society, a society which was still, in general unwelcoming and intolerant of homesexuality.” Though I believe much has changed in the past thirty years, I still question that amount of tolerance that does exist for the LGBTQ community.

I find it incredibly interesting how David Bowie’s persona, was created in many ways due to the time. During a 1972 interview with Melody Maker, Bowie declared himself as gay. Yet in in an interview with Playboy set about four years later, he instead said he was bisexual. Bowie later revealed that though he does not ultimately regret that comments he had made, in America especially they meant something different. He became a representative of a group, something he never really wanted. He wanted to be a musician, an artist, and to ultimately be known for his art rather than his sexuality. It’s almost funny how some things seem to happen by accident. Bowie became the face of a movement, and even if it was not fully his intention the affect he had on the music industry, on art, on individuals all around the world will last forever. We have learned to love and accept David Bowie, not only for the fantastic music he had created, but for his persona, his passion, and his fearlessness.

 

Wimmen’s Comix

When I saw these comics I literally thought it was some sort of parody. Why are the women portrayed and drawn this way? At first I thought the artist was trying to tell us that women are dumb and ugly creatures who are kept indoors performing household chores. Also I noticed early on that the female drawings were a bit exaggerated to show off their breasts. The only message I got from the early drawings is that women appear to be mostly worried about doing their work at home. I find the joke about women needing to conquer their new household items to be degrading, as it is implying that women are only good for domestic chores and nothing else. “A Modern Romance” depicts a relationship where a man seems to be pressuring and touching his date. She comments that his touching was “expected” and the fact that this is called “a modern romance” means that the artist is trying to convey a message about abusive relationships. The author takes it up a notch and draws the woman having sex with another woman, stating that this feels “natural.” Is the author trying to imply that women would be more happier dating other women? I may be reading too much into this but I just don’t understand the point of this comic. Yes there have been abusive relationships but that shouldn’t mean that all men in relationships can’t be trusted. This is no different than saying all women are housewives because of some stereotypes. The media tends to get very creative with the way they portray people and many don’t do a very good job. Lots of media portray women as objects to cater towards sex driven men. As long as we keep this trend going we would never see any changes in the way people are viewed. If we take the objectification of women away, and not have content focused on men’s sexual interests, then perhaps we can focus more on the content itself and not the sexual fan service. Maybe this can help us move towards equality among men and women in media.

Mulvey’s Male Gaze

After reading Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” for the second-time, I felt I better understood the idea of the male gaze as it not only pertains to film, but to most of the media we consume. In completing our close analysis assignment, I realized just how easy it was to find content that overstated gender norms, and were offensive to both men and women. The interesting thing is that we accept these advertisements, films, and television shows as the standard. Mulvey makes an incredibly important point in the article when she explains that this mindset won’t just go away. It’s imperative to recognize that media follows a patriarchal structure, dominated by the male gaze. Film and television further function to follow and create a narrative that emphasizes the male as the protagonist. In researching media to analyze I realized how even when a female plays the lead, whether it be a music video or a commercial, the male gaze was still present. The way the camera moves, as if analyzing the female form as well as the characterization of these women as either too promiscuous, too sexual, too dumb is all constructed by and for the male spectator.

Scratching the Surface: Some Notes on Barriers to Women and Loving*

Although there is a lot of love in this world, there is also a lot of hate. All forms of hate stem from the same thing. The article mentions racism, sexism, heterosexism, and homophobia all stemming from the same thing. They all have the same root. The reason they exist in hate is because society can’t seem to accept differences as a “dynamic human force.” Because of all this hate, people within the same ‘groups” stick together and form a community for themselves. One can see that within the black community they are close knit. However, that is not necessarily the case. We see that even within the black community, there is much “competition” and unacceptance between black males and black females.

For example, black men will never and has never been forced to bear a child and have been raped. Black women have their own oppression within the oppression of their race. Therefore, “black women are coming together to explore and alter those manifestations of our society which oppress us in different ways from those that oppress black men”. There is a major difference between oppression for male and female.

I find it interesting that the article mentions how it is not the non- black women’s fault for the oppression but rather it is the black men’s doing. Honestly, I feel like this makes sense. Women have it a lot harder. As I said before, each “group” creates a community, and women stick together somewhat because of sexism. It is crazy to think about though because the black community should really be able to unite and not waste energy on more hate within their close-knit community. They should be joining forces to try and stop oppression all around in all aspects.

What is most striking to me is that everyone in the black community knows how it feels to be oppressed and looked down upon or not have equal rights, therefore, why would black males oppress black women? Or black women that are homosexual? Shouldn’t they be more open and caring to women all around? This is exactly why there is oppression to begin with- because society puts messages in our heads that we comply with because it makes us feel superior and special. Black women who endorse lesbianism are even more oppressed and in their race it is looked as “death to our race.” Regardless of being homosexual or heterosexual, black women need to deal with oppression regardless for their race and their gender.The amount of levels of oppression that exist are insane and never ending.

Television In The Family Circle

While reading the article Television In The Family Circle I found many things shocking but also agreed with a lot of the content. I found it most ironic and shocking when I read about how television was a way of mending the family back together after World War 2. If you think about it, nowadays a television does just the opposite. Although there is defiantly good that comes out of television, it is the reason for many social and psychological issues for children and the way in which they are growing up. It may even be the reason why kids may even disrespect their parents. If a parent tells their child to stop watching television and start their homework, a child will be upset and annoyed at their parent.
In addition, it is really fascinating how media can persuade people to believe certain things and act upon them. Advertisements began to say how “children would cultivate artistic talents by watching television,” parents began to believe that! However, later on when people started to recognize the negative effects of television, articles and advertisements for television started to say, “the television doesn’t control you, you control the television. Don’t blame the television.” But earlier on when they would advertise for television they would say things like “The television is part of the family! It can mend any family together!” I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty powerful device, if it can mend a family back together and help make the post War World 2 effects better.
I don’t think I was the parent’s fault for buying televisions because they didn’t know the negative effects it would have. They just wanted their children to have a balanced and good life after the effects of War World 2. They wanted to supply them with new technologies so they would fit in and they also wanted to give them vacations and only and all the good things! The world told them that a television would do that, and so they bought one! If I were living during that time I defiantly would have done the same.
The main thing I took out from this article was how much power and control the television really does have. The advertisements weren’t lying about that. But I believe the control and power it had was a negative impact rather than a positive one that it sought to have on the world.

Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema by Laura Mulvey

This reading was very hard to me to understand. I understood about an idea of Froud because I took psychology classes before, but it was hard to connect between Froud’s idea and Laura Mulvey’s idea into the movie. I only understood few ideas from this reading which were women were sexual objects for the male gaze and also women were always passive and men were active. The idea of women were sexual objects for the male gaze made me unexplained feeling. I felt I could understand this idea because there were many stories that women seducing men, but not all of stories like that, so at some point, I couldn’t fully understand. Another one was women were always passive and men were active, and this idea made me uncomfortable as well. I though because of this idea made people thought women were not strong and also control women’s limitation what women wanted to express themselves. I hope what I though make sense.

The idea of the “male gaze”

From what we spoke about during last class regarding the male gaze, I think I might have a good idea as to why this is a recurring idea to this day. From what I’ve seen so far from the movie we’ve looked at in class, I’ve noticed how much attention has been focused on the main female lead’s attractiveness. This focus on attractive characters is seen through many other medias such as television, cartoons, music videos, concerts and even video games. The reason for this is quite simple. In medias such as anime and video games the main audience that creators tend to cater to are males. So the use of this “male gaze” tactic is simply because sales and ratings have shown that sex sells their products and developers simply want to take advantage of that. We see more of this fan service with shows that have poor ratings which is why they try to implement more of this. In a lot of entertainment products, developers will try to cater towards a certain audience in order to maximize their income. I would rather my favorite shows not feature any fan service because it shows me immediately that the writers themselves don’t have much faith in their characters and or story and thus they try to give us some other unrelated reason to like their content. Does someone have another idea for why the “male gaze” exists to this day in terms of why it’s used by content creators?

Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America

I agreed on a lot of sections when I read this article and I felt that the same idea people had towards the television who lived in the 1950s and who live now. There are conflict ideas between the family united and the family isolated. When family get together and watch television is actually occupying much time to spend time with family. However, it’s not exactly equal becomes strong family tie because if family members want to watch a different channel they leave the room and go to the different room to watch another channel.

Also, there is another problem still going on nowadays which is a relationship between television and children. It is easy for parents that their children watch television and they don’t bother their parents when parents need to do something. Yet, if parents always rely on television children addict television and they always crave to watch television. People need balance how much parents rely on television and how much children can watch television. Now, some parents face that problem and they don’t know how to change children’s attention from television.

On the other hand, there was interesting fact that television removed father’s authorities. Every family member more focused on television and the remote controller was kept waves hand, so there was less control by fathers. Moreover, repairmen fix television so fathers didn’t fix television gradually. As a result, fathers couldn’t know how to fix television at all. These small elements removed significant father’s authorities.

We Like Our Apartment: The Playboy Indoor

I was enjoying to read this article because there were a lot of things I didn’t know until I read it.
The fact made me most surprised was the idea of the bachelor pad connected with playboy. There are some men leave their family and be independent or support themselves now. However, people think the men who living themselves are independent but people don’t think they are playboys. In the article bachelor pad was cool and who lived there was cooler. One fact I agreed in the article was bachelor pad in the megapolitan contain some sexual attractive towards women. The reason was because living city is already expensive and also the idea of bachelor pad had a big room, having many pictures, and there was stylish furniture so it would be an extra expense for a living. Which meant that the man had money and also referred maybe a good job. Women want to get men who live nice place, who have money and who can support her. Therefore, bachelor pad was romance for men, but also for women.
Another interesting thing was bachelor became womanized after they married. Before men marry they could do whatever they want. They didn’t really care the color of furniture and arrangement, but when they marry their wives controlled their room. Even worse, men had to leave their dream room in order to live house. They lost their style and they needed to adapt their new lifestyle. I think because of this, there are many men dream strongly about bachelor pad. Moreover, media pushed let men dream about bachelor pad to use magazines and movies.

“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” paradox

One thing that stood out to me the most was the numb feeling i got in my head after reading “Afterthoughts” and the reason for this is that the author argued that making a female heroine contain some characteristics that are different than her stereotypical persona is an example of losing her “sexuality.” If the heroine were to choose the “right” decision then she is choosing to learn a “passive sexuality” and learn to “be a lady.” But if she chooses personal strength, power and a more dangerous life style then that shows off her “boy/girl mixture of rivalry and play.” So is the fact that a heroine becoming hardcore supposed to be a bad thing? That since she does actions that are seen by other male characters supposed to mean that she is losing her “sexuality?” Character traits are not limited to one gender because no behaviors/emotions are only experienced by one gender alone. Both men and women can choose the right or wrong paths and just because the dangerous paths are more seen associated with the male gender in films does not mean that young women in the audience can’t imagine themselves as the powerful heroine that they see on screen. That’s not a sign of losing her sexuality or her “tomboy” pleasuring her sexuality.

To this day I still see people complaining about how we still don’t have “real” strong female characters in films because apparently their all just “missmales” due to the fact that they perform actions that men are seen doing. That is so confusing because as a man myself I don’t call a woman a tomboy just because she likes sports. That’s just silly. Don’t we all agree that we do what we like and what we feel is right. In real life or on the screen.