2010 in Review – About this blog

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2010. That’s about 3 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 84 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 18 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 15th with 161 views. The most popular post that day was Real Women Have Curves Movie Reflection.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were teachingblogs.room34.com, en.wordpress.com, and mnstate.edu.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for importance of obatining latina body, maid in manhattan reflection, fulla doll, latina jeans, and guadalupe gender.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Real Women Have Curves Movie Reflection August 2010
1 comment

2

Quinceañera Movie Review October 2010

3

Reproductive Concerns Assignment October 2010
1 comment

4

Chicanas/Latinas in Popular Culture – Directed Discussion Reflection 5 November 2010

5

Blog Assignments September 2010
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This was a course blog for a Women’s Studies topics course at Minnesota State University Moorhead. While the course is over you can still view and contribute to our conversations by commenting on our posts here. Remember this blog goes in reverse with the most recent posts on top to the oldest posts below. If you would like to start from the very beginning of the blog please check out our archives and begin in August. If you would like more information on the blog project it self, please see the about tab.

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Review of “The Virgin of Juarez”

Juarez is a hot spot for large American factories and a magnet for Mexicans in search of a better life. Whether they are immigrating to the U.S or just looking for a work, Juarez provides jobs for these people while it is providing cheap labor for the manufacturers. One thing that is notably different from the years past is the change in demographics because of NAFTA, which was implemented around the same time that level of violence in Juarez dramatically increased. The modern global economy has magnified the effects of NAFTA, which has accelerated the process and magnified the problem. “The Virgin of Juarez” deals with the rape and murder of hundreds of women on the Mexican side of the Juarez/El Paso border, a situation that has been going on since 1993 with very little attention by the media.

Today’s migration includes a shift with respect to the characteristics of the people who are seeking a better life in the U.S. and from the border cities like Juarez. In “Buscando la Vida,” María de la Luz discusses these changing demographics, which includes a sharp increase of women who are not married, who are not mothers, and are seeking a better life solely for themselves. They are at risk because they are traveling alone and are away from their family in a unfamiliar setting. The corporations know this and they exploit the women economically by paying unfair wages. At the same time, the companies provide room and board through a network of services, which keeps them isolated from the outside world. This setting creates a virtual trap for women. It makes it difficult for a worker to leave because their day to day necessities are restricted by the contours of their employment and if the worker is a women it means she is more vulnerable to violence.

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Salt in the (SF) Bay

The modern phenomenon known as “Reality TV” is a temporary media trend, one which ironically portrays a type of experience that is ‘unreal’. As a comparison, consider the Chilean miners who were recently trapped for nine weeks. That live-action rescue stands out because it was watched simultaneously around the world, but the ‘very real experience’ shared by those miners simply reflects the reality that has been experienced by countless others who anonymously have shared a particular identity.

Produced before the Civil Rights Era, Salt of the Earth is a phenomenal movie that portrays a real and timeless Latino experience. Salt of the Earth is also valuable as a comparative resource because it highlights some of the ways in which activism has evolved. With respect to contemporary Latino activism, several feminist writers have argued that a hierarchy of oppression does not serve the interest of the Chicanas within the larger movement. This hierarchy is evident among the Chicano families depicted in the film. For the miners who are demanding better conditions, gender equality is problematic; they seem to intuitively dismiss the concerns of “their sisters,” who are also demanding better conditions. Likewise, the women realize that their demands are being ignored, not only by the Anglo bosses but also by their own husbands. Later, when things get tough as a result of the organized labor strike, the miners discover that just as all members of a family are not equal, neither are all of the “union brothers.” The film demonstrates this by using a framed portrait of a Mexican, through which the Chicanos share a common experience. The portrait is hanging in Ramón’s house, where the members have organized a meeting. The Anglo labor organizer who makes well-meaning decisions for his brothers assumes that the image is of Ray’s grandfather when in fact, it is a historical portrait of a Mexican president, i.e. their symbolic father figure. Accordingly, a single person can be the symbolic father of many families. The portrait of Mexico’s president is a symbolic representation that is particular to a group but also one that is not exclusionary of those who share common interests and a common environment. The symbolic significance of a Mexican president could be compared to terms such as “jotografía” because the significance of what it represents is not assigned, it is chosen. As the modern world evolves it leaves behind the characteristics that defined it (such as the tendency to define everything) which permanently assigned everything a category by which it is judged. In the modern era, characteristics interpreted adjectivally. In the post-modern world, things are being interpreted substantively and adverbially. In other words, identity is not based on appearance; rather, it is being based upon one’s essence and interpreted in terms of action.

Progress in the mines is partially the result of those who suffered loss there just as the activism in the AIDS community is a response to the suffering and loss. A lot of activism is a response to the deaths of other community members, which continues to be experienced in the suffering felt by those members still living and working in the community. Accordingly, there are “ghosts without names” in the mining community, just as they exist in those communities that are affected by HIV/AIDS. ProyectoContraSIDA seeks to embrace the ambiguities of the post-modern era in a way that is inclusive, rather than exclusive. The reason that the ProyectoContraSIDA promotes this type of division is made clear through the film after the strike is underway and the mines are not producing. Attempts are made to weaken the group by forging divisions within it. These dynamics are present when other Latinos are introduced to the group from outside. For example, the Anglo boss begins to patronize Ray with suggestions about the good life he can expect after receiving the promotion he deserves (if only that mine were operating). The pivotal moment–a poster child snapshot of removing socio-cultural borders–occurs when Ramón’s choice of action influences the degree through which a potential human border is permeable. When Ramón confronts one of the strike-breakers directly there is the momentary expectation by all that his anger will lead him to hit the other Latino. But he doesn’t so rather than creating a formidable barrier, Ramón lays the foundation for an inclusive relationship.

Obtaining equality is costly because it means somebody else must, actually or seemingly, lose benefits that were enjoyed only because of their relative status. But there is a brief moment in Salt of the Earth where
Esperanza and Ramón achieve temporary equality with their Anglo peers of the day. It is in their kitchen when they are excessively happy about the flavor of his coffee. Viewed in isolation, that scene is equally as ‘cheesy” as other black & white productions of the time. It reminded me of the gleefully optimistic “Leave It to Beaver.” Perhaps they could get roles as Ray and Hope Cleaver.

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Salt on the Earth

The women in this film are a very important aspect.  Only because the women help in the strike did the union win at all.  In many ways, the women did a better job at the strikes than the men did.  They were able to annoy the police so much that the police did not want to arrest them again.  The women were able to hold there own even when they were harassed and threatened.

I think strikes, wars, and other situations were work become untraditional is a common place for women to become active in employment of other things outside of the home.   Women tend to find other things that they are good at and find empowerment in doing these other tasks.

I like that the men in the movie also learned a lot in the movie. At the beginning of the strike, the men could not handle taking care of there own children and had not idea of how to take care of the house.  Only after they did the house work for a while did they understand the demands that they women were make at the beginning of the movie.  Once they understood the demands, the men became determine to make those demand part of the union demands.

One of my favorite themes in the readings and movie is that once the women got to be in the “male”role, they did not give that power back to men.  As the main character in the movie said, “That would be the old way. I do not do that anymore.”  I think this is powerful and something I wish was experianced more often.

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The immigration debate

First I really like the analogy of crossing the board being like going 60 in a 55 MPH zone.  Only because the law exists does the action make it a crime.  And only because the law enforcement officers do not agree with the law do they become corrupt for not enforcing it.

I think that many assume men to be the main people to cross the boarder.  In the Border Film Project, almost everyone interviewed was male.  The only female immigrant interviewed was interviewed with her children.  As with sexism in any situation, the character is assumed to be male unless shown to be female.  I found my self assuming that people were talking about males expect when they specifically said they were talking about females.

 

I think the only time that women are mentioned in  the immigration debate is when they are pregnant.  I think that the only reason that they are mentioned then is because if there child is born in the United States, then they are citizens.  In popular stories of people crossing the boarder, the only time I really hear about women is when they are in labor.  I have heard several stories about women while in labor are being rushed back to Mexico.  The boarder patrol seems to make priority of this. They seem focussed on stopping Mexican women from giving birth in the United States.

 

I think many stories about women are being left out in this conversation.  The stories about women who are let behind are not told.  When stories about omen are told, they are told about the women and child or women and there husband.  They never just talk about women by themselves.

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Testimonios

I think testimonios are obviously a very powerful form of writing.  Ever since I was little I was told that writing help heal wounds that we cant express in other ways.

I really enjoyed reading these powerful stories, yet at the same time I realize that they are not for me.  They do not exist to benefit my life necessarily.  In this way I feel like I an somewhat intrusive, and very privileged to read these stories.  I find myself lucky to be able to learn from these stories.

Even though these stories where not made for me, I am not Latina or Chicana,Ii find a seance of healing in them for me.  After reading them I felt refreshed and very touched by these words.  And yet I feel a seance of guilt.  I need to work out my feeling of appropriation and how that affects my feelings about these stories.  Yet at the same time these stories were published so people could connect to each other in new and powerful ways.  I think this has been one of my continuous thoughts while I have been in this class and I still have not been able to fully navigate what to do will my privilege in this situation.

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Tomyboy Movie Reflection

I really loved this this clip.  I reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger. I played football and kickball with the guys during recess.  And I would get made fun of a lot for that.  as a consequence I tried playing with the girls but I though the games they played were stupid.  Ultimately this men that I did not hang out with very many people when I was really little.

I liked the mother in this film a lot.  She completely was down with the way that Alex wanted to represent herself.  The mother character stood up for her daughter and corrected others when they mistook Alex for a boy.  I really like that the mother character did not tell Alex that if she changed the way she dressed and acted that she would fit in better, which is the message that a lot of people give young children.

 

I think when kids are young, they are very curious and want to know the answers to all kinds of questions.  if the children have been taught strict gender roles, then they are going to wonder why the other kids are not following those same rules.  I think this is where a lot of the bullying and teasing comes from in elementary school.

Alex is obviously Latina, but I think the cartoon did a cool job of representing Alex and her mother as if they were normal Americans.  The cartoon did not make a big deal about their ethnicity, but acknowledged it in a good healthy way.

This cartoon not only is teaching about gender roles and how kids navigate the expectations placed on them by family friends and institutions, but it is also about normalizing different ethnicities other than caucasian.  I think the cartoon does a really good job teaching both of those things.

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