My faith is something of a conerstone in my life. It has given me strength, peace, protection, comfort, inspration, and focus. When I think of god I think of something greater than me yet a part of me. They way I live is centered around my spiritual relationship with God and that is what makes me happy. Mind that I am not saying that religion is the only place one can get these things and a sense of moral conduct from, because you can get it from other things, this is just where I get mine. I love my “religion” but i would’nt consider myself religious, mainly because I have made it my own… I have made it personal.
Being a woman, and a minority at that, in this country I feel it is important to know the influences religioniuos intsitutions have on the constructs of society and the influences society has had on it. I feel, as with many things when something is taken out of the personal/spiritual relm and is is institutionalized and given a sort of heirarchy, it will be opressive in some way shape of form to certain groups of people. Religion has of history of opression towards women in its launguage, laws, and heirarchy especially to women of color. I have seen churches that were based off of sexist/ patriarchal ideal and that is one of the things that turned me off most from those places and it helped me choose my church home. My current church family has done nothing but support me and give me love and even though the name says baptist, Its more nonconventional (we get a lot of slack from other churches about that) .
Ones’ spirituality is their choice, it should bring them joy whether it is beliving in a particular religion or believing in nothing at all. All that matters is that the person has made that desicion for themselves and it impowers them. Make you beliefs your own !
Coming from a military family, it doesn’t surprise me that women still deal with a lot of crap serving in the military. I know some of these women, some of them my friends, colleagues, and family members. When the documentary the Invisible war came out, I learned some new things but most of it was stuff I had heard before. I’ve had friends of mine say things such as, “They preach this idea of camaraderie when we are first enlisting but it’s another story when you’re actually out there.”
These women soldiers, according to the pentagon, are not to be fighting in ground combat and therefore are banned from doing so yet they do jobs that are indiscernible from those “combat jobs” but under the label of “combat support”. They are still not taken seriously.
Women are being assaulted and raped by their “brothers” and many of these men get promoted and the women punished. It makes no sense how things like this are still occurring in today’s society. Then again maybe it does make since the way the media portrays women and how women with power are treated. How can we make this an equal society if we allow these things to happen ?
I found this documentary really interesting, and it contained a lot of statistics that caught my attention. However I took notice to how unfairly women were portrayed in the media a long time ago. Women were often objectified and viewed as sexual prompts; judged based off their looks and not the content of their minds. Even women in positions of power were criticized in an effort to make them less than their male counter parts. It is scary to know that all of what we watch on TV is controlled by the opinions and points of view of 4 main companies. They get to push all of that information into our consciousness all day every day without regulation … just something to think about …
One of the readings that really caught my eye was the article “Color Me Nontoxic” As much as I had been to the nail salon I never really thought about their working conditions. Now that I think about it, everytime I go in there is smells like chemical especially acetone and their hands look like they have been through hell. These people are overly exposed to chemicals that do serious damage to the human body. An the majority of the people in theses conditions are asian women, and a lot of the time the whole family is working in the salon. This is an issue that needs to be addressed to ensure the safety of all of the workers in this country, regardless of their job.
Earlier this week, one of my fellow class mates had a comment concerning rights and abortion. According to the law/constitution, we are guaranteed certain rights as citizens but whether we can exercise those rights in this country is determined by other factors such as, class, race, sexual orientation, etc. It makes one question, as mentioned in the class discussion are we really and truly free in this country.
Everyone has the right to get an abortion and use birth control; however, both of these things are expensive and cannot be afforded by everyone. So even though people in the lower class legally have access to these services, they don’t have financial access. Class is still a major issue in this country and the freedoms you have are determined by your socioeconomic class regardless of what the law says. That is something I realized a long time ago and the things I see every day back up that concept.
But the most striking part of that day’s (I think it was Friday) discussion was when we were asked two questions: If abortions were outlawed, who would be punished and what would their punishment be ? and If it is kept legal, how can we decrease the number of abortions ?
For the first question my classmates pretty much said that the abortion would be treated like a murder since it is taking a human life, but that enters that grey area of what life means and when something is actually living … I’m not really sure and it really is up to opinion… but they said that the doctor who did the procedure would get charged with murder and the woman would get charged with manslaughter or something of that sort. Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer that question. Abortion is already hard enough to go through and if it’s done illegally it can be dangerous… isn’t that enough punishment to go through ? I don’t know I just couldn’t imagine punishing someone for something like that… I mean the doctor I might be able to understand but what if they were doing it for the good of the patient … idk there’s too many complications in my opinion.
I mean the obvious answer to the second question was prevention and education but that’s a lot harder to do than it sounds. We have sex education in schools and they tell us what happens when we have sex (often telling us to be abstinent). I feel like people are going to do what they want regardless but education is important and shouldn’t be scrapped because there are people out there who are not educated about these topics. Many people get uncomfortable or embarrassed when it comes to these topics and if we get to a place where we all can talk about things openly I think we will be better off. The preventative side is expensive. Birth control is not cheap and maybe if it were more affordable more people wouldn’t have to get abortions ?… idk that’s debatable. But one must also take into account that not everyone gets abortions for contraceptive matters but for medical reasons as well… this question also had complications …
Well just something to think about …
This week’s reading’s were very interesting to me. They really pointed out how body image plays such a big role in how the people are gendered in this society. One of my favorites was “What We Do for Love” by Rose Weitz because hair is something that is important to me. I see now it as a palate for my self expression. For the longest my mom put chemicals and in my hair to make it straight but I have begun my transition to natural hair and I love every bit of my kinky/curly hair. The reading i related to the most however was “Body Ethics and Aesthetics Among African American and Latina Women. Growing up there was never really an emphasis on a particular body type, it just mattered how you carried and persented yourself. I was taught to celebrate everyone for their differences and focus on their personality traits over anything else. I also had a strong sense of spirituality when it came to my body so that article I strongly agreed with.