San Jose City Hate Crime

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

SJSU

San Jose Hate Crime

San Jose, California the third largest city in California is considered the capital of silicon valley due to the rapid growth of high-technology and electronics. It is considered a major city among the nation due to its low crime rate and high cost of living. It is home to many tech companies such as Intel, Samsung, and IBM. It is home to San Jose Sharks hockey team ranked top 8 among the NHL league almost every year. It is a city that is believed to be modernized, diverse, and liberal. Yet, what do the words, “Confederate”, the “N-word”, or “swastika” have anything to do being used inside a city such as San Jose?

On November 20, 2013, San Jose State University police officers filed a report for a hate crime in which a young black man was tormented in their dormitory by 3 white males. The three males would call him “three-fifths” or the “N-word”. The three males would go so far as to lock him in his room by barricading his room door with furniture, hanging a confederate flag right in the dormitory’s hall, and tackling him in order to place a bike lock over his neck. After initial investigations, the three males claimed that these were only “pranks” and “jokes”; however, even then the three white student wrote an apology letter that was riddled with sarcasm. The students are still being investigated.

These acts of racism occurring in such a highly developed and liberal city is hard to believe that it is still even possible. People say racism against black are over and long gone and the new issue is on gay rights or women’s right to choice now, but I say racism against black is still also an issue if racist acts like these can occur in a city like San Jose. It can be seen that in a very liberal school such as San Jose State University, intersectionality still occurs. These men came from all over the state to attend this university and yet they can still come together to commit this hate crime to torment the black male and make him feel inferior. He was even afraid at night to sleep and “always locked his door”. If intersectionality and racism can occur in such a great city and liberal school, how much worse is it in a city that is not as modernized or liberal?  I believe that we must still fight not just for gender equality now and women’s rights but also against racism still because it is clearly a problem still.

I have grew up my whole life near San Jose and have experienced a very diverse culture. I attended a school where we had people from all kinds of different races and being a minority myself at the school, I never encountered any kind of racism. This is why I was so shocked and appalled when I found out about this hate crime in San Jose State University. I myself have friends that attend this school and have personally visited this campus many times and have not seen anything other than a regular college campus. It is shocking and horrifying to see something like a hate crime can still occur in a city like this in this era. I believe we must do something to prevent future occurrences, because incidents like this hurt the image of a city that is so wonderful.

Advertisements

transgender-symbol

Source: Sex and the Body by Nelly Oudshoorn

Prior to the 18th century, ancient texts showed that there was no defined sex or gender. They believed males and females were the same but with women having the same genitals as males but on the insides; thus, developing the one-sex model according to Thomas Laqueur. Women’s genitals were just viewed as the same as males but as a female version of it. This view of females having a different version of male parts and not a part considered of their own gave way to a view that women were inferior to men.

Then in the 18th century, doctors began to look at other differences between males and females. It started off with comparing with their skeletal structure, and because women’s skulls were different from men, it was again used to make them feel more inferior. By the 19th century, doctors were comparing all parts of the body such as the bone, blood vessel, cells, hair, brain, facial structure to find the differences between male and females. Then afterwards  females were determined by the specific organs the uterus or the womb and the ovaries which was believed to be the center of the female reproductive system. Now since the late 19th century the ovaries noted by doctors released chemical substances called sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which they believed is what makes females feminine. However, hormones can be produced and ingested synthetically for medical proposes. The lack of these hormones were noticed to cause females that were more masculine

The creation of the 2-sex and 2-gender system started centuries ago with the idea that the female body is an inferior body to that compared of a man. This inferior idea of the female body carried over the centuries as doctors tried to find the differences between the male and female bodies. I believe that in searching for the differences, people wanted to create the 2-sex/2-gender system so that they can find themselves more power or superior. It is a man-made categorization just as Jonathan Ned Katz’s “The Invention of Hetereosexuality” states that the term “heterosexual” was unnecessarily created in order to make a group of people feel inferior. In this case the doctors went and searched for a difference in order to justify that females were inferior to males. I believe we must abolish the idea of the 2-sex/2-gender system if we wish to stop the discrimination and hate towards people of transgender. I believe this system is not an accurate depiction of the human race, because it is now obvious that there are people who are masculine males, masculine females, feminine females, and feminine males. There are between in between, and therefore a 2 group system cannot successfully represent this.

“The Uses of the Erotic”

Posted: October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Audre Lorde’s The Uses of Erotic

In Audre Lorde’s article, she goes out to seek and redefine the true meaning of erotic. She seeks to explain how erotic is a term for females to express spirituality and their hidden feelings. Audre says that erotic is “a measure between our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings”. What this means is that she is trying to re-associate this word with more meaningful thought and emotions. It is an “internal sense of satisfaction” to her when she experiences it. She explains that not only can the satisfaction be accomplished through the action of sex but also in other satisfying actions throughout daily life. She gives an example of herself feeling erotic through a simple action such as when she was mixing a pellet with margarine. What she tries to show in this example is that erotic can be felt in almost anything that you choose to feel emotions. Audre glorifies the word “erotic” as a term of emotions and feelings, satisfaction and sensation.

However, over the past few decades the term erotic has been co-notated with a negative stigma. This term has been “vilified, abused, and devalued” according to Lorde, and has been used as a way to make females feel inferior against males. Erotic has been associated with the pornographic despite being a huge contrast to it. Erotic has been made to become a term in which women can only experience when they are being used for sex and sensation without any feelings, emotions, or satisfaction associated with it.

Audre Lorde argues that the term erotic and pornographic should no longer be associated with each other. She argues that erotic contains much more meaningfulness than a word such as pornographic which is degrading and gives men a sense of superiority over women. She argues that we must stop this association so that one can truly appreciate feeling erotic. So that one can feel emotions and satisfaction in their daily lives in every action  they do. Erotic should be used as a function to feel a strong and deep connection with another person, it should be used to form a bridge between two people not just sexual sensation, and it should be used for anything that brings a sense of accomplishment.

I agree with Lorde’s argument completely. Before reading this article, I never put into any thought about the word erotic or pornographic. As any average person, I associated these two words as the same thing; however, after this reading, I was enlightened by its true meaning. As Lorde mentioned erotic comes from the Greek word eros which mean intimate love which is completely different from pornographic which means sexual sensation without feeling. I also agree with Lorde’s argument that feeling erotic during sex should be with someone you truly care about, because it forms a bridge between those two people and allows them to share their feelings with each other. I believe it is better to be able to express being erotic when you are feeling joy and satisfaction in small actions everyday than to just hear it be used in pornographic.

Word of the Day: Kyriarchy

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

Word of the Day: Kyriarchy.

Kyriarchy 101

According to glossary of Wisdom Ways, Kyriarchy is a term or neologism created by Elisabeth Schussler FIorenza to redefine a new system that is different from patriarchy. Kyriarchy is “best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of super-ordination and subordination”. What this translate to is that it is a system in which power or privilege is determined with other factors such as social structure, current environment setting, and situation. This is in contrast to the patriarchy system in which the male is the dominant power over females in a pyramidal structure.

In Jogeek’s blog, she explains to people what kyriarchy means and how it relates to us in society. Jogeek refers to it as a “complex social structure” where “various groups gain and lose ground” in their privileges and social power. She explains how kyriarchy intersects each other and how in different scenario certain people will have better privilege than others. She explains that people must understand that privilege is determined by the social construct at the current moment. “Privilege doesn’t change, but it’s effect DOES,” what this quote from Jogeek means is that you will always have the same privilege for you being who you are, but the extent of how much you benefit from what privileges you have will be determined by the people around you, the environment around you, and the situations around you.

An excellent example that Jogeek gives that I find truly shocking and amazing is Joshua Bell’s free performance in DC Metro Station. In this Bell performed for an hour in the metro station receving only about $32 in donations while his show sold out at $100 a seat. What Jogeek is trying to show us here is that because Joshua Bell changed his environment and clothes, people believed him to be a homeless man performing for donation. Because of this change, it caused his privilege of being a well-known violinist with a $3.5 million dollar violin to become less useful situation such as in a metro station where no one notices or gives him that social power. However, another point made is that even in different situations and setting, kyriarchy states that you don’t lose your privilege just as Joshua is still a well-known violinist.

Finally Jogeek states that if we want to fight against racism or sexism or any other -isms we must recognized and acknowledge that we can’t just go around attacking people without knowing their power structures or experiences. We need to accept the fact that everyone has different privileges and that it is something that they are not personally in control of.