Thank you for sharing your personal story about your mother. I cannot imagine all that your family has gone through, battling such an awful disease, but I commend you for having the courage to share it with us. For the people who don’t know much about disease and disability, this is an example of just how much it can truly affect someone.
In response to Krystal…
Wow, that is an amazing project! I too was deeply touched by the video we watched in class and I’m glad to see that this emotion was shared. Thank you for sharing the link for the It Gets Better project. I literally just spent about 30 minutes going through videos and watching what all of these people have to say. It’s amazing the support behind this movement, and I am hopeful in that this is really making a difference.
I think this is such an interesting topic to talk about, because I feel as though so many people, including myself, do not think of those with disabilities when the topic of social injustice first arises. However, when I sit down to think about the treatment of those with disabilities, it is alarming how many examples come to mind. Whether it be someone who is unable to use any extremities and is therefore reliant on a wheelchair, or even those with learning disabilities like ADHD.
I was especially moved by Carol’s drive and passion toward this cause. One of her comments really made me think too: “This is something we should all be concerned about because eventually, one way or another, we will all become disabled.” There is so much truth to this statement and yet people still have the audacity to treat the disabled as though they have less worth. How do we make a change? Inclusion. I remember in my high school there was a girl in my chemistry class there was a girl named Esther that was wheelchair bound and and could not speak. Almost everyone knew who she was but no one ever knew her. But I remember how interesting it was that she went to regular classes with the rest of the students. It wasn’t until I actually had her in my class that I realized she was probably one of the smartest people I’ve met. She always had the top grades and actually graduated in the top 10 of our class. I will never forget Esther and my realization in meeting her that people with disabilities, regardless of how severe, are people too.
Thought this was actually a good example at not just being fair, but giving those who are “different” what they need. And in this case it is acceptance. Although I know this is not the case for so many people with disabilities, this story is inspirational. Hope you enjoy!
Wow, I didn’t realize the bill they are hoping to pass! “Every Child Deserves a Family Act.” What an amazing thing that would be, and definitely a huge leap of social justice for this country. Thanks for sharing!!!
In response to Adrianna,
I think it’s important that you point out how when fighting against discrimination of LGBT population, we have to look at those around them as well. Family members or friends can be indirectly affected by bullying and end up pulling away from their gay loved one. This only perpetuates the loneliness felt by someone who already stands out in their community. As cheesy as it is, this makes me think of the show Glee. I’m sure you all have heard of it, with the musical numbers and outrageously overdramatic plot line. Although this may be true, I think there is some truth to the morals Glee so obviously puts forth. Especially in the case of Kurt Hummel, the stereotypical flamboyantly gay character on the show. Throughout the series, Kurt has struggled with his sexuality and often faced with ridicule and confusion. A lot of this takes place with his father, who someone could pin point as a stereotypical “man’s man.” However, the show did a wonderful job at showing just how much support from family and friends can help someone in need.
No matter how many times I hear the explanations and reasons of different people, I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that the majority of our society refuses to accept people of another sexual orientation. I suppose it may be the fact that I was raised knowing that some of my parents closest friends were gay, and being around them was always fun. The idea of being gay never stopped me from befriending someone.
It’s interesting that as I grew older, I found most of my friends didn’t have this same mindset. In fact, my two closest friends came from very religious families, and always felt very uncomfortable talking about this issue. Even when they would meet family friends of ours who were gay, they would act very polite and friendly, but later confess to me that they just didn’t know how to react or how to feel. They were uncomfortable and chose to avoid most situations that would involve people of other sexual orientations.
I saw this again when a good friend of mine came out just a few years ago. All of the sudden the people she called friends for so long, didn’t know how to act around her. Many of them used Christianity to tell her that she was wrong and God did not want her to feel this way. Being a devote Christian herself, it was hard to hear these words. And these people she knew for years just turned their backs on her because she found happiness with a woman instead of a man. One of her friends even used the phrase, “don’t turn anyone else gay.”
“Turning gay.” Since when is this at all an accurate phrase to use? Since when can someone be “turned” gay? Being LBGT is not something you have a choice over. It’s the same thing with being straight. So why then do people hold this fear of homosexuality? Maybe it’s because they fear change, the looks they may receive, the outcasted feeling? I’m not quite sure. But I do know that fear is certainly a part of it. In Ellen Goodman’s chapter about her younger cousin being raised by two men, she points out this imminent fear felt by the community and even the Catholic church when it comes to gay adoption. Do they fear that the child will be raised to become gay? Like it is something that can be rubbed off on someone else? No. That is not the case.
Fear. Why do we fear people that are different than us? In my mind, fear is the root cause of almost all social injustices. Especially when it comes to the talks of homosexuality.
An interesting image I found that really strikes up conversation:
I love this picture. And it speaks so much truth. How people choose to ignore things like this is beyond me…
I loved how you pointed out that particular quote from the film where Tiaõ responds to the man by saying “We are not Garbage Pickers, we are Pickers of Recyclable materials.” That really stood out to me as well, although it’s not necessarily something I would think someone would pick up on.. But just as you said, I loved how it showed his devotion and complete pride in what he is doing. I can almost guarantee that more than half of the U.S. population earns a greater salary than Tiaõ, but I bet almost every one of them cannot speak of their job in the way that Tiaõ speaks of his.
In response to Chassidy…
“On the other hand, people can change art because people can give the art meaning besides it being pretty colors on paper.” I love that you said this, because it’s exactly what I experienced in Mart this weekend. So many people have the idea that art has to fit a certain criteria. But that is not the case. The lines don’t have to be straight, nor to the colors have to blend. Art is an expression, a feeling, and movement to bring out the emotions of people through shapes and colors.
So this weeks post is coming a bit late, but honestly I wanted to wait to write about my experience in Mart, TX this weekend. I had been looking forward to this opportunity to actually go and see the community and how this art installation has brought people together. And let me tell you, it was truly beautiful.
Mart, TX is a very small, rural town that seems just about in the middle of nowhere. I learned that the population is about 2200, which is smaller than my high school alone. There is one main road that houses just about all of the 20 businesses in town, and beyond that there are some houses and open farmland. The town seemed pretty deserted as I arrived, despite the perfect “walking around” weather.
As we arrived at Chambliss Field, I got to see the beautiful artwork both Prof G and Muhsana and the rest of the community had created. It was literally embedded with artwork from the people of Mart. As we were a smaller group of students and staff, it was hard for me to grasp how this could really bring so many people together. The idea was wonderful but it of course has to be accepted by the community itself. Well this was clearly explained as we began to work. We brought out four old doors to clean up and redesign. As we worked we were slowly joined by a number of Mart residents. They were all very familiar with the project and wanted to add their own touch to the doors, so we let them! It was amazing how much these people really wanted to see this project through! They loved the idea and even stuck around with us all day to help out!
At some point in the day, one of the women mentioned that they loved this program because it’s aiming to create this community center, and hopefully this will create somewhere for the kids of the town to get together and be able to engage in fun activities. My initial thought was that this sounded like a good idea, but really how many high school kids would want to be involved in crafty things? I know that especially the boys from my high school would think of this kind of project as a waste of time. To my own surprise, around lunch time we were joined by Jaylin (I’m pretty sure I misspelled that!), a 9th grader from Mart High School. He had previously worked with Sean, another instructor from UT, and wanted to come see what we were up to. And more importantly, he added his own addition to the door we were working on! He seemed to be enjoying this project as much as we were! I think that was the moment where it kind of hit me in that wow, this is really making a difference in the lives of the Mart citizens.
I just wanted to say thanks again to Prof G for having me along, and I hope the rest of you will get to visit soon! There is so much history in this small little town (like the overgrown cemetery that was found on someone land; the tombstones dating all the way back to before the Civil War!).
It’s really amazing what this project is doing and I would love to stay involved and see how much this community can really grow! :)
Here’s some pictures from the day!
I did also want to compare this to the movie we watched in class, Wasteland. I have never really heard any stories of art touching peoples life in such great extremes, but watching this movie and then actually going to Mart and seeing an art installation be put into action right in front of me; what a remarkable experience!
In response to Julie’s post, “Calling All Princesses”…
I like how you brought up that gender is so much a part of us that it’s often hard to recognize. It’s so ingrained in our society. This is not necessarily a bad thing, in that we shouldn’t say a woman is giving into society if she decides to stay home and clean the house. Instead, this becomes a problem when someone tries to defy these social constructions and are then ridiculed for it. This is what I was essentially getting at in my post, just didn’t seem to have the correct words to articulate what I was saying. And as for the Disney reference…it’s interesting that you brought this up because so many of us cherish these movies as children, and want our own children to watch them some day, but that also makes us ask the question, “What are these movies really portray? Especially with the roles of women.”
In response to Thann Nguyen…
I love love love how you brought Adele’s voice into your post. I didn’t really talk about beauty in my post and don’t know why. Beauty is so distorted in our minds today that we feel as though we have to fit a certain profile. The magazines and media images we see of women only encourages this objectified self image. As mentioned in my post, feminism is being proud of the woman that you are, and Adele certainly fits the ideal feminist in my mind. And Thann I love your idea about creating the truth commercials for young women and body images! I honestly think those Above the Influence and Truth commercials for tobacco have done wonders in the media and the same could be done for beauty images.
Also, shout out to Alexandra Lawson for her post and link the the Dove Beauty Project. That video blows my mind every time.
Alright, this actually has everything to do with this topic of sexism and feminism and women’s gender roles. I absolutely love this video and can’t believe I didn’t think to share it in my original post. This is Kate Makkai performing a poem titled “Pretty.”