Thursday, November 8, 2007

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch advertisement picture from magazine

The media item I chose to write about was from a magazine; it is a picture advertisement for Abercrombie & Fitch. The advertisement has three white male models
with very tone bodies. The males bodies are very revealed and do not have an once of fat on them. In the picture the men are just standing outside with no shirts on with their hands in their pockets. These men seem to be carefree and have an easy life that is what the advertisement seems to be showing. All the men are white and seem to be very clean and well groomed. The picture is in black and white to give it a classy and sophisticated look and the capture of the advertisement says “casual luxury” which from the men in the picture you can tell they are care free with no worries enjoying the day with no shirts on.
The Abercrombie & Fitch magazine advertisement seems to be displaying a classy, casual, luxury care free, perfect body image. Abercrombie & Fitch is an American company that sells appeal and related products fewer than five lifestyle brands. A&F soon was know for their preppy clothes and image and tended to be less resemblance to traditional preppy apparel. The store itself gave a look of its own with the main symbol of a moose head, dark brown ceilings, and concrete or granite floors. The store gave a look of rich, classy and well put together. The workers in the store also had to look very similar. They were all almost white Americans who had nice bodies and a preppy, clean classy look. The store seemed to be discriminating to certain people, and advertised to only the people who had the Abercrombie & Fitch look and the prices of the clothing was not cheap either.
In the article “Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch” the author McBride states the reasons why he does not like A&F and how he thinks A&F has made a lifestyle for people and not just a clothing line. McBride states, “Abercrombie & Fitch has devised a very clear marketing and advertising strategy that celebrates whiteness-a particularly privileged and leisure-class whiteness-and makes use of it as a lifestyle that it commodities to sell otherwise extremely dull, uninspiring, and ordinary clothing. I am not, by the way, the first commentator to recognize this fact about the clothes themselves” (66). What McBride is saying is the clothes make a statement that is only towards white people and that is discriminating against other people in the world. Abercrombie & Fitch states, “Our brand is natural, classic and current, with and employment on style. This is what a Brand Representative must be; this is what a Brand Representative must represent in order to fulfill the conditions of employment” (67). Just like in the advertisement they are making a stereotype to their company and cloth line. A&F are gearing their cloths to certain people in a racist and discriminating way. Hiring people because they look a certain way and have to look a certain way is not right. The advertisement is an example of what McBride does not like about A&F it shows three men with their shirts off and the only piece of clothing they have on is jeans and you can barley see them. The store seems like they are selling the men’s bodies more then the clothes. The argument McBride is making is Abercrombie & Fitch is selling more of a lifestyle and a way people have to look instead of clothes. They are racist and discriminating towards people who do not look the way they want them too or would not look good in their clothes.
I agree with McBride because I feel that it isn’t right to discriminate and be racist towards people. Only hiring certain people to work at a store because of the way they look is racist and wrong. It shows which person is in which class and makes others feel oppressed. I feel that if A&F would stop only hiring people that have the look it would be looked at differently. I feel that Abercrombie & Fitch will not change, they had a lawsuit against then and they did not understand why. The people involved with A&F do not see what is wrong with it and see it just like every other store. I think Abercrombie & Fitch will always be that way because that is how they make their money.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Everybody Loves Raymond Blog 9

The television shows “Everybody Loves Raymond.” It is on TBS almost every night and I am talking about episode called “Working late again” from season two.

The media item I choose to talk about is a television show called “Everybody Loves Raymond” its on TBS almost every night and is one of my favorite shows. “Everybody Loves Raymond is an American sitcom that is one of the most critically acclaimed American sitcoms of its time (Wikipedia). The show is about an Italian American man named Ray Barone who is a newspaper sportswriter from Lynbrook, Long Island. He has a wife named Debra, their daughter named Ally and their two identical twins named Michael and Jeffery. Raymond’s parents and jealous older brother live right across the street and they never give Raymond and his family one moment of peace. The loving family is always fighting and has problems occurring everyday. Raymond is usually in the middle of the problem and is the one who usually gets blamed by Debra or Robert. Ray’s mother Marie would never blame Raymond because he is known as her favorite. The show is so good because it has everyday problems that many other real families in America have today. There are so many episodes that I can relate to or know someone that can relate to them. It is a comedy and is informative at the same time. I have learned and understood why some things have happened in my life by watching this show and not feeling bad because I know someone else out there is having problems with their relatives or something of that sort.
The episode I will be using as an example is called “Working late again” this episode is geared toward gender issues and privilege between men and women. In the episode Debra has been working really hard to keep the house together and handling the kids. Debra feels that she is doing all the work around the house and Ray isn’t really helping because he has been working late. When Debra decides to be a nice wife and take Ray some dinner on a night he is working late she finds him in his office with a pizza watching TV and playing paper football with the guys. Debra was horrified all the hard work she puts in at home and with taking care of the kids and Ray does not help her one bit. Debra tells Ray she is upset and he needs to help around the house more and he says to her “That is your job” Debra gets so offended with that remark. Raymond is showing gender and privilege issues here. This reminds me of one of Johnson’s readings from class Johnson stated, “Women’s supposed inferiority has also been used as a basis for the belief that much of the work that women do isn’t work at all and therefore isn’t worthy of anything more than emotional compensation” (49). What Johnson is saying reminds me of what Raymond thinks about Debra. Ray thinks because he is a man and goes out and makes the money he is more superior to Debra. Since Debra stays in with the kids and does house work she does not do real work. Johnson states, “On a deeper level, women are, with few exceptions, the ones who nurture and raise each new generation of workers on which capitalism depends, and this vital service is provided without anyone’s having to pay wages or provide health and retirement benefits” (49). Women are just important as men and they should be treated the same as well. At the end of the episode Ray sees all the work Debra does for the family and he understands more that she is important and does do a lot. Johnson says, “Women do it for free even when they also work outside the home to the benefit of the capitalist system and those who are most privileged by it” (49). Women have issues with gender and privilege and in the TV show Raymond made an issue about gender to his own wife.
I feel that the TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond” is a good example of what Johnson was saying about Capitalism, Difference, and Privilege and Gender. The one episode really gave a good example of how women are genderized and do not get credit for everything that they do. I do not know if that will ever change I feel that some men out there will always think they are superior to women and they do more then women do. I really like Johnson’s reading and I thought it was very informative and perfect to explain through the show “Everyone Loves Raymond”.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jewish Comic Strip Blog 8

Comic strip

The media item I am going to be discussing is a comic strip called Edge City. Edge City is a nationally syndicated, groundbreaking comic strip about a hip, Jewish-American family juggling relationships, careers, and tradition at the fast pace of modern life. The Ardin family consists of the husband and wife named Len and Abby and their kids Colin and Carly. There are new comic strips every day so there are new and interesting adventures about what the Ardin family experiences in their lives. Len and Abby are trying to keep up with the American dream of lifestyle, which is raising the family, going to work, making money to support the family, and keeping up with the modern lifestyle. The children Colin and Carly are also involved in after school activities, pursuing their dreams and lining up for carpool. The Ardin family is Jewish and practices the Jewish faith while living in America and having many neighbors that are Christian. The comic strip is about the family adapting to the community as a Jewish faith and they are trying to keep their family together and keep up with the modern life in America.
I feel like this media item relates to the reading of “How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says about Race in America” in the reading one of the first paragraphs starts out with Brodkin saying, “I continue to be surprised when I read books that indicate that America once regarded its immigrated European workers as something other than white, as biologically different. My parents are not surprised; they expect anit-Semitism to be part of the fabric of daily life, much as I expect racism to be part of it. They came of age in the Jewish World of the 1920 and 1930s, at the peak of anit-Semitism in America” (38). What Brodkin is stating, the first time Jewish people came to America and their experience of that period of time. The comic strip relates to this piece of reading because the reading talks about the beginning of Jews coming to America and the comic strip is the story life of the Ardin family and their life in America. The Ardin family run into racism at points and it is expected because they know that everyone does not get along with each other. Brodkin states, “Racism in general, and anit-semitism in particular, flourished in higher education. Jews were the first of the Euro immigrant groups to enter college in significant numbers, so it was not surprising that they faced the brunt of discrimination there” (41). Just like the Ardin family Jewish people are successful and are living the America dream. Other around them are jealous and use their religion and way of living against them. The Ardin family get over it just as many other Jewish families do and go on living the nice life they have worked for. “By the time I was an adolescent, Jews were just as white as the next white person,” stated Brodkin (42). In the comic strip Edge City the Adrin family is an example of Jewish people and how they live and are the same as white people. Jewish are not different then white people other than what their beliefs are and that goes for any other minority.
I choose the comic strip Edge City and the Ardin family because I thought it was so interesting and fun to read. It is a good example of how Jews are part of the culture and are thought of now as white people. The Brodkin reading talks about how in the beginning Jewish people were a minority group and now they are looked at as whites and are part of the upper class. It shows that just because a group was labeled a minority we do not have to look at them in that way. I think the comic strip was a good idea to express how Jewish families are just like every other family in America.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blackface Media Blog 7

Black Face
Comic Strip found at wiki/Blackface

The media item I found was a comic strip titled Blackface and darky iconography. It has a blackface man with huge black hair, big eyes, and big pink lips sitting in a chair with a woman and two children around him. The woman and children this man was entertainment and something they could laugh at. The black-faced man was sitting in a rocking chair dressed in a cartoon looking suit and has an expression of a googly-eyed smile. The white children and mother are entertained by this character and see him as something instead of someone. All the characteristics on the man pop out such as the eyes, hair, lips, and color of the man.
Blackface is a style of theatrical makeup that originated in the United States, used to affect the countenance of iconic, racist American archetype that of the darky or coon stated Wikipedia. The white people saw these blackfaces as comical and entertaining, they did not even think there was a true person with feelings under the black face. In the movie “Ethnic Notions” it talked about black face and how it was so popular in entertainment and so racist as well. The movie showed Bert Williams and he was the highest paid African American entertainer of his day. I remember Williams saying “After I perform the white folks invite me back to a party with them and I sit and wait by the door and no one will let me in because without my entertainment attire they are embarrassed to be with me. I am a man too, I want to go out and have a good time” (Ethnic Notions). This is an example of how Williams was treated differently and unfairly because he was black. Even though he was a good entertainer and made more money then many other colored people or even some white people, the white folks still looked at his as inferior and like he wasn’t human. In the reading “Drawing the Color Line” Zinn stated, “The blacks had been torn from their land and culture, forced into a situation where the heritage of language, dress, custom, and family relations was bit by bit obliterated except for the remnants the blacks could hold on to by sheer, extraordinary persistence” (25). This explains how black people did not have a choice at what they did or how they were treated. Blackface is an example of that, the black men that performed blackface did not like how they felt when doing the job getting made fun of and having a stereotype towards their race and enforcing it by dressing in costume and performing. Wikipedia states, “But apart from cultural references such as those seen in theatrical cartoons, onstage blackface essentially was eliminated in the U.S. post-vaudeville, when public sensibilities regarding race began to change and blackface became increasingly associated with racism and bigotry” (Wikipedia). Blackface might have been entertainment for some but to others it was a way to make racist comments and enforce race towards black people. Blacks where humiliated and made a stereotype that blackface enforced to be popular.
I think that blackface is a stereotype towards black people. Many thought of it as entertainment and comedy and those who performed it, it was a way of life and survival. But the meaning behind it was wrong and hurtful. I think today blackface was looked at as more racial then comical. The readings like Drawing the Color Line and the movie Ethnic Notions was a good example of seeing the meaning behind blackface.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The television show Seinfeld

The media item I chose to write about it a television show called Seinfeld. It is an American sitcom that originally aired in NBC; it had a total of nine seasons. The show was written and created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. The set of the show is in New York City’s upper west side. The characters in the show are Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, and Cosmo Kramer. The main story about the TV show is basically about the encounters of the four friends in their daily life’s (Wikipedia). The episode I am writing about involves the character Cosmo Kramer. Wikipedia states, “Kramer was the archetypal "wacky neighbor" and Jerry's friend. His trademarks include: his humorous upright bouffant hairstyle and vintage wardrobe; his energetic sliding bursts through Jerry's apartment door; his assortment of comic pratfalls; and his penchant for nonsensical, percussive outbursts of noise to indicate alarm, skepticism, agreement, or annoyance.” I chose this media item because it reminded me on the reading in class called “How Our Skins Got Their Color” because in the episode Kramer was dating young attractive black women. When I went to meet the parents he gave of an image he did not mean.
In the episode of Seinfeld Cosmo Kramer is dating a young attractive black woman. Cramer was going tanning everyday in a tanning bed to get some color because he thought he looked better with a nice tan. As the episode went on the woman he was dating wanted Kramer to meet the family. The woman he was dating liked that he was white and the daughter was raving about him to her parents. So the woman’s parents were expecting to see this nice white gentleman their daughter has been raving about. Well the night before Kramer laid in the tanning bed as usual, but this time he fell asleep. When he woke he was extremely a dark tan color, he almost looked as if he were back. This episode reminded me of the reading “How Our Skins Got Their Color” by Marvin Harris. The media item relates to the reading because the episode was an example of what Harris was talking about in a way. For example Harris explains, “Human skin owes its color to presence of particles known as melanin. The primary function of melanin is to protect the upper levels of the skin from being damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays” (7). This explains the basic understanding of how the skin color works. Cosmo Kramer was tanning because it wasn’t summer and he was not getting any sun, so he thought the tanning bed was a good way for him to get some color. Harris stated, “During the frigid winters, only a small circle of a child’s face could be left to peek out at the sun through the heavy clothing, thereby favoring the survival of individuals with translucent patches of pink on their cheeks characteristic of many northern Europeans” (8). This episode with Kramer is related to this reading because it is an example about skin color and what can happen with tanning. The media item also reminded me of race because the woman Kramer was dating was black and she preferred white men, she was raving about Kramer to her black parents. When Kramer went to meet the parents he was extremely tan almost black and the parents were in shock because they where expecting this white male. It almost seemed that the parents felt that Kramer did it on purpose to mock them, but it was an accident. This piece of media contradicts with what we are used to hearing about race and black and white. In the episode the white male and black female are dating and the parents are expecting to meet a wonderful white male, when Kramer shows up as a darker skin color that is when the argument begins. In the reading “Drawing The Color Line” it stated, “Or, to put it differently; is it possible for whites and blacks to live together without hatred” (23). I believe this episode of Seinfeld is an example of what Zinn was saying until the episode ended with Kramer accidentally changing his skin color to dark. This media item is a goes example about race and how two separate races can agree or disagree, and it also is a good example of how skin color is defined and used in our world today.
I believe that race is a never-ending argument. When Zinn asks is we can ever give up the hatred between black and whites, I do not know if everyone will agree on one side. There are too many people in this world who have different opinions and feelings on these issues. I thought the media item of Seinfeld was a perfect example to show that one two races start to join there are always so king of complications involved but know one says they cant be worked on to stop. The issue with the skin colors and just understanding how we got our skin color is easy to understand because it is more fact than an opinion. The media item used was perfect for both of these issues because it was an example and explained them in a way I could understand.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Meida Blog 5

The media item that I choose is a Movie called Fired Green Tomatoes. The movie was made in 1991 Stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson. This has been one of my favorite movies since I was little. The Movie was based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ© by Fannie Flagg. A summary of the movie is a woman named Evelyn Couch meets an older woman named Ninny Threadgoode whom she starts to become very close with. Ninny greats her with a story of the now abandoned town in Alabama called Whistle Stop and the people that lived there. Evelyn Couch is a housewife who is bored and becoming uninterested with her and her husband’s relationship (Wikipedia). She becomes fascinated with the stories Ninny is telling her and the independent characters of Idgie and Ruth. Ruth and Idgie’s story is about their life after Buddy Idgie’s brother’s death. Idgie and Ruth become best friends after Ruth leaves her abusive husband. Ruth and Idgie raise Ruth’s son Buudy by themselves and become two very strong and independent women. During this time there was slavery and issues with race. The Threadgoode Family had black workers but they sis not treat them as slaves there were very nice and respectful with them. The black workers were Sipcey who worked with the women in the kitchen and was the nanny to the children and Big George who was the caretaker around the house. They were mother and son and lived with the Threadgoode’s were it was a nice environment. The reason why I choose this piece of media was because it really gives an example of who it was back in the old days with slaves and colored people (Wikipedia).
The movie Fried Green Tomatoes relates to class material because it is an example of how slavery, privilege, power, race, and gender all work. In the film there was a separate place where black people ate. The movie shows all the white folks eating inside the diner where it was cool, and all the black or colored folks sat outside in back of the diner. In the reading Drawing the Color Line Zinn stated, “Human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based in color, were white was master, black slave” (26). This was stating that white people where the masters and that black people were the slaves or workers. In the film even though the Threadgoode family were nice and kind people they still showed an example of how the whites were the masters and the blacks were the salves. Zinn states in the reading Drawing the Color Line, “This unequal treatment, this developing combination of contempt and oppression, feeling and action, which we call “racism”-was this the result of a “natural” antipathy of white against black? If racism cant be shown to be natural, then is the result of certain conditions, and we are impelled to eliminate those conditions” (27). The main part of the film is about Ruth’s ex husband’s death and who killed him. He was part of the KKK in the film and there was a scene where he came to the diner and tied Big George up and started beating him. Idgie came to the scene and told Ruth’s ex husband if he ever came around here again she would kill him. Well Ruth’s ex husband did not listen and he came to steal Ruths baby and the nanny Sipcey who was black was watching the baby at the time, the ex husband knocked out Sipcey and proceeded to steal the baby. Sipcey woke found the ex husband of Ruth and hit him over the head with a frying pan and killed him. Idgie wanted to be put on trial for the case because she knew if Sipcey were put on trial she would be hung immediately because she was black. Zinn stated in the reading Drawing the color line, “From the beginning, the imported black men and women resisted their enslavement, under the most difficult conditions, under pain of mutilation and death. Zinn was talking about how slaves were treated unfair and in certain conditions it came to death, which relates to the film. The film displays a lot of what Zinn sates in his reading called Drawing the Color Line and the movie is a great example.
I liked Zinn’s reading called Drawing the Color Line and the movie Fired Green Tomatoes. I thought both of these pieces fit well together because the film was an example of what Zinn was stating about slavery and how colored people such as black’s were treated unfairly. I agree with Zinn is his writing and I learned a lot from the reading and it was very informative as well as the movie. The movie also taught me so much and was a good visual example of how slavery was and how black’s were treated back then. I feel that many do not understand how those African American’s felt back then and they never will.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Media Blog 4

Sex and the City is a Television show that can be watched on TBS Wednesday nights at 9:00.

Sex and the City is a television show that is about four women who live in New York City. The main character is Carrie, who had an article in the New York Sun newspaper that is titled Sex and The City. Carries three best friends are Miranda a layer, Charlotte works in an art gallery, and Samantha who is in public relations. The shows are about relationships and use the girl’s lives as examples and stories. Most of the shows talk about problems the women have with relationships and finding and dealing with men. The four girls stick together and are always there for each other. In these shows there are a lot of privilege, domination, matrix, and gender issues that take place. I choose this specific media because this is one of my favorite shows and I saw how Johnson’s article related to what I was watching. In the third season Samantha apply for a job at a hotel management office for a client of her PR firm. A man named Richard Wright was the man in charge and turned Samantha down, even with her excellent qualities, recommendations, and experience.
Samantha got turned down for a position that she was clearly qualified for. When she asked the reason why he did not hire her Richard responded I have heard rumors about you and some of my male staff members. Samantha answered with you mean because I am not a man, and you do not feel comfortable working with an independent woman. Samantha stated, “Those rumors you heard about me, if I was a man you would poor me a drink and congratulate me on my success as a man and as a businessman” (Sex and the City). Johnson sates in chapter three, “Capitalism also shares and makes use of gender inequality. The cultural dividing of women, for example, has long been used as an excuse to pay them less and exploit them as a source of cheap labor, whether in the corporate secretarial pool in New York or garment sweatshops in Los Angeles or electronics industry assembly plants in Asia” (49). Johnson is saying capitalism is helping improve gender inequality and no matter where or what the woman does she will be treated unfairly because she is a woman and not a man. The privilege a man has overpowers a woman to a great amount, Samantha said to Richard “If I were a man you would be handing me a drink and celebrating my success with me, but since I am a woman you are turning me down for that reason and that reason only” which is an example how men have privilege for just being a man. Johnson states, “Women’s supposed inferiority has also been used as a basis for the belief that much of the work that women do isn’t work at all and therefore isn’t worthy of anything more than emotional compensation” (49). What Johnson is explaining is that women are looked down upon and thought as weak and inferior; whatever they do they will never amount to men. In the Sex and the City episode Samantha being the successful woman that she is fought what Richard said to her went back the next day and got herself the job, by showing him she has power and belief in herself as a woman. This episode of Sex and the City was a perfect example to explain to he how capitalism, privilege, domination, and gender all tie together.
After reading Johnson then watching the episode in Sex and the City I really understand what Johnson point is. In chapter three Johnson is trying to explain how capitalism, domination, matrix, privilege, gender and racism are in our lives and people are treated unfairly. The episode in Sex and the City with Samantha being turned down for a job because she was not a man really opened my eyes and helped me understand Johnson’s issues a lot better. I disagree with racism, gender issues, and treating people unfairly. Johnson makes good points and I am more aware of what is going on in the world around me.