Wednesday, December 10, 2008

what i learned in class

This class has done exactly what I hoped to get out of it: broaden my understanding of the ways hierarchy interacts with my mind, my relationships, my communities, and the world at large. Bell Hooks has a passage that encompasses many of the things i have applied to and taken from this class. The "philosophical notion of hierarchical rule and coercive authority that is the root cause of violence against women, of adult violence against children, of all violence between those who dominate and those who are dominated" (Bell Hooks) The divisions that occur along racial, gendered, and sexualized lines operate in similar hierarchies to class and authority; being cognizant of the multiple oppressions that are usually present in a hierarchical relationship is the first step in dismantling those hierarchies. Reflecting on Dreamworlds as a watershed point in this class makes me think of the realization that my viewing of the women's bodies in those videos was a hierarchical relationship; my male heterosexual gaze was being privileged as the gaze of the consumer/controller/viewer. The media and advertisement that is produced and distributed is constantly reproducing patriarchy; it is an important step in fighting patriarchy to constantly be deconstructing the images i see in my mind. I identified as a "feminist" before this class; now I apply a much more focused feminist lens to the images I see and the situations I am a part of.

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