Archive for April, 2010

Journal Entry #24

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The similar idea of the 1960’s still retaining its spot in today’s society is shared by the two readings. The two extremist groups, feminism and SDS, are continuing to have an impact today on what we buy, what we watch, and how we perceive our government. The debate over feminism hit its peak when figureheads such as Gloria Steinem gave a face to feminism that was not of the stereotypical desperate old woman. It had broadened to a fight between women to see who would win in the end, feminists or homemakers. The same debate still is continuing, as women are not type casted in the roles of mother hood and housewife but still fall short of men in almost every aspect of society. Douglas discusses that feminism maybe over in a sense but the shockwaves of it can still be felt. I feel as though there will always be a debate about who or what is right for women, the only thing that can be certain is the influence left by previous generations will determine the course of the latter generation. Same holds true for the tea party, the struggle between liberal and conservative politics still is going on today, with SDS laying the groundwork for the tea party. Although, their politics ideals may vary the radicalism over issues and the need to change government are eerily similar. It is common belief that once an event passes it stays there only affecting other events around the same time period. However, it is clear that even 50 years after the 60’s their legacy is the basis for who we are and where we are going.

Question:
Do you think the fight for feminism is over?

Journal Entry #23

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The transition from the peacefulness that defined the hippies of the early 1960’s to the later part of the decade is now complete. With the exception of Woodstock the idea of people coming together not as a movement but to experience their own personal fulfillment is now all but replaced by mainstream influences. Political agendas now seem to take center stage of almost every aspect of society during this time as seen by the rising turmoil within hippie groups and even more violence on college campuses. With growing distrust of the government and concern over the war in Vietnam that appears to have no end riots of this period seem to have a sense of desperation. This desperation applies to both the rioters as well as the law enforcement sent to contain the uprising. As rioters continually push the boundaries to bring attention to the government of their cause so does law enforcement where now death is being factored in after the riots subside. America is at its wits end and has nowhere else to turn for answers for its problems. The growing generation gap between college age students and the older generation, especially those in politics, is at its greatest separation. When there is no consensus between the citizens of the country black, white, male, female, old, young the only result can be sustained rioting and violence, while those in power seem to grasp to whatever shred of it they still have. The late 60’s and early 70’s is the boiling over point of all the events that foreshadowed it and the growing anger between citizen and state can no longer be contained.

Question:
After reading the Kent State article in Bloom and Breines, do you feel like the National Guard still acted irresponsibly?

Dyson Response

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

During Michael Eric Dyson’s speech, the issue of are we in a post racial society was the major question that still is left unanswered even over forty years since the movement for civil rights. What I thought was most interesting was the fact that even though race is not defined through laws any more, society subtlety dictates it. Race is still a taboo subject in America, we like to see ourselves as past barriers of ethnicity but they still are embedded in helping to define the structural layout of society. Babies’ being able to identify race and how beauty is identified by just six months is startling even in our liberal society that tries to look past physical features. Racial discrimination is something that I believe, is distinctly human and it will always be retained in some way or another but it is the way on which we act upon these ideas is how we will progress into Dyson’s ideal of a post racist society. He talked about how the black community and other ethnic minorities take the fall for the failures of the country even though they are derived, for the most part, at the hand at white upper class America. As the balance of majority and minority races began to shift in the coming years this distribution of blame will be tilted off setting the racial imbalance that has plagued the country since its inception.
The civil right’s activists of the 1960’s helped to establish laws and raise awareness in American conscious that discrimination in inheritably wrong. As each generation is born into a society where everything is legally equal and shared by all races the thoughts of discrimination would be phased out. When King addressed the white middle class as being the downfall for equality in the US, I believe that idea still holds its relevance even into today. Even though the rich elites continue to run the country, it is still up to the average citizens to recognize the imbalance of power and economic resources and stop just being apathetic towards the subject. The subject that is usually never discussed, race, needs to be for us as a United States to come together and recognize our difference and become accepting of them. We will never be a post racial society, only a post racist society as views of the past die out and new generations embody ideas of acknowledgment of diversity.

Journal Entry #22

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The movements for women and gay liberation were similar to movements that had preceded it but had some very definite differences that allowed it to take on a life of its own. It is fair to say that the Civil Rights Movement got the ball rolling for many other movements by showing minorities that they have the right to take a stand and real decisive action can be a product of their work. However, where Civil Right’s protest seemed to be derived from a feeling of tiredness towards the laws that oppressed them where as the gay and women movements were one of disdain towards society. Where equality for races was inaccessible due to legislation that denied rights for all, the societal outlook on equality for women and homosexuals was one that was not entirely a product of legislation. Although there were some mandates that did not allow gays in governmental jobs the main source of oppression was from the outlook that main stream America had towards these communities. Where Civil Right’s was seen as less radical because it did not go against the religious values that most of white America cherished by not promoting homosexuality or a non-patriarchal home. It is because these black minority groups, for the most part, shared similar views and beliefs as white America did in terms of how these groups fit into society. It is because this universal view that such an underlying bitterness is at the foundation of these movements. Blacks were never seen as mentally ill or bad people for demanding equality but because women and gays were battling with societal structure that had been in place before prejudice or hatred towards blacks was a prevalent idea they had a greater challenge of changing mindset of white male-dominated America.

Question:
What role do you think religion played in the struggle for gay liberation?