High School Bake Sale Causes Stir 2015

High School Bake Sale Causes Stir 2015

On March 17 of this year, a high school in Utah held an unusual bake sale: if a male purchased a cookie, it sold for a dollar and an identical cookie sold for 0.77 cents if purchased by a female. The Young Democrats Club at the high school used this bake sale as a tactic to raise awareness about the pay gap between men and women that is still a concern in current society. This movement suggests that we live in an androcentric world, dominated by male thinking and male power. The bake sale is one of many examples of feminists acting towards a future that embraces justice, including equal pay for equal work.

The reporter for this event introduced the story as a quiz: two identical cookies, one sells for a dollar, the other sells for 0.77 cents, why? This was possibly a vague tactic allowed people to form their own ideas before the question was answered. After the report stated that there is a pay gap between men and women, it then proceeded to interview students at the high school to record their opinions about the event. Many were fully supportive of the message the bake sale was trying to spread. However, one student said that he would like to see some statistics because he did not believe such a severe pay gap still exists. This is interesting because this student is a male himself, unaware of the inequality women face around him. In addition, this student is incorrect because although the average pay gap between males and females have lessened over the last 12 months, men, on average, still receive 21% more money annually than women (Teresa 2015). Although the reporter engaged with the students at the high school, there was more of a focus on the stir the bake sale caused, leaving less emphasis on the subject the bake sale was attempting to spread: the pay gap between men and women.

While reading the comments section of the article, I noticed that someone mentioned the bake sale did not address the issues that both minority men and women suffer from a pay gap as well. Research shows that despite academic achievement, pay gaps likely continue between races with African Americans receiving the largest gaps followed by Hispanics and Asians (NA 2014). In 2011, the University of California Berkeley addressed this issue by holding a bake sale which required varying prices for different races purchasing identical baked goods (CNN Wire Staff 2011). Unfortunately, this bake sale is a much more realistic example of how society is structured compared to the bake sale at the high school in Utah.

In addition to not addressing all cultures, this bake sale engages in gender polarization, or placing males and females on opposite sides of the gender spectrum with no recognition of those in between. This alienates transgender, queers and those who identify as gender neutral. Although this bake sale is progressive, it continues to be narrow minded, failing to encompass all individuals. Both the high school students and reporter did not mention diversity among people which causes the report to lack depth and detailed description. An intersectional analysis may have been beneficial in this report in order to address that there is more to society than white, heterosexual men and women. There is an emphasis on the social construction of gender which give privilege to white men specifically, but also to white women. Therefore, this report and bake sale are biased towards what is perceived as “normal”.

The presentation of the pay gap between men and women represent one of many concerns surrounding modern day feminism. A novel by Susan Faludi discusses the repercussions many experience when fighting for equal rights. Faludi states that the average female college graduate today earns less than a man with only a high school diploma (1991). Although conditions have improved over the last 20 years, we remain in a juxtaposition where we reside within the same country, under the same laws, however we remain divided.

A pattern is created where problems arise and people respond in varying intensities. The inequality represented in the pay gap is pivotal to inspire young people to advocate for the growing need for gender equality, especially in the workplace. Therefore, I applaud the high school students who introduced this bake sale and the reporter who described the story. Although the reporter refrains from including the entire range on the gender spectrum, he focuses on the controversy the bake sale created. He states, “It raised some controversy, but it made a point.” This phrasing reflects the notion that young people are acting towards changing the future so they will not experience unequal pay when they enter the work force. This news report is beneficial because it spreads awareness in addition to allowing many to form their own opinions regarding the pay gap.

Allowing society to form their own opinions about the controversy surrounding the pay gap between men and women is an initial step that must be taken in order to create change. It will likely result in a cascade that stimulates those who believe the pay gap is unjust to continue to fight for equality. It is inspiring to see such young people standing up for what they believe is moral. The next steps in this process should involve including all minorities such as those of various racial groups and those who identify as transgender, queer or gender neutral in order to provide justice for all those within our society.

Sources:

Carlisle, Randall. “Gender equality bake sale causes stir at Utah high school.” Good4Utah.com (2015). Web. 1 April 2015.

CNN Wire Staff. “Controversy erupts over Campus Republicans bake sale plans.” CNN News (2011). Web. 1 April 2015.

Faludi, Susan. Backlash: the undeclared war against American women. New York: Crown. 1991. Web

NA “Despite academic achievement, pay gaps likely continue between the races.” China Weekly News (2014): 279. Web. 25 March 2015.

Teresa, Lucy. Marketing Week. London: Centaur Communications Ltd. 2015. Text.

Child Denied Medical Care 2015

Child Denied Medical Care 2015

In recent news, a lesbian couple was rejected from medical care for their newborn daughter by a pediatrician recommended to them by their midwife. The doctor who declined this couple, Dr. Roi, said that she “prayed on it and won’t care for Bay (the newborn baby)”. Roi also failed to come into the office the day of the couple’s appointment, perhaps to avoid any confrontation. The couple was shocked and through the use of popular culture and the media, attention accumulated on this issue.

According to Bill 4309 in the state of Michigan (where the couple resides), it is legal for physicians to decline medical care based on their personal, religious, and moral beliefs. Although I agree with doctors keeping this right, I strongly support implementing ways to educate physicians on how to refuse patients in an appropriate manner, not in a shameful way. It was expressed in an interview after the story was released that the couple felt embarrassed and humiliated, as they were simply parents trying to protect their child. Many gay and lesbian couples face troubles in regards to people disapproving of their relationship, however this dissatisfaction has been spread to their innocent child. A baby does not know anything about discrimination, however, she is exposed to it six days after birth and this is something that will continue throughout her lifetime based solely on the sexuality her parents. Homophobia, or fear of homosexuality, is abundant through all fields of society (Aulette and Wittner 113). In addition, there are no laws in Michigan to protect LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer) couples in medical dilemmas such as this.

After attention was brought to this situation, Dr. Roi responded to the couple with a letter. In this letter she wrote, “I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients.” This letter is completely inappropriate and an unhelpful apology. The couple’s baby has not self identified her sexuality and because she is the patient, it should not matter. Therefore, in this case an intersectional analysis can be provided to understand the correlation between religious beliefs and homophobia.

This family goes against the standard story which always involves a female body that is attracted to men or a man attracted to a woman with no exceptions (Aulette and Wittner 20). Although they differ from what many in society view as “normal”, they should be allowed to have a doctor who will respect them and their life choices. They are legally married with a baby who has not declared her sexuality. It is often a controversial topic to discuss the overlap between religion and opinions about homosexuality. Those with religious beliefs have every right to express them however, there are ways to do so that are less homophobic. The intersectionality displayed here is the crossroads between religion and sexuality. The formation of beliefs towards differing sexualities grows increasingly complicated when religious or moral beliefs are tied into the decision-making. In terms of medical associations, it is important to treat all patients equally, regardless of their life decisions and views. Therefore, unless a doctor truly feels as if they cannot provide adequate care for such a patient, they should attempt to care for them to the best of their ability in order for LGBTQ couples to attain equal rights.

Dr. Roi has exemplified binary thinking because she has chosen to reject her patient. She sees the situation with two options: either she accepts the daughter of the lesbian couple as her patient or she declines the family. Although she has full legal rights to reject the patient, there is a difference between doing so in a proper manner and doing so in a harmful, damaging way. For instance, the doctor could have denied the patient before an appointment was set up so the couple did not obtain any feelings of excitement towards Dr. Roi for their daughter. Additionally, Dr. Roi could have recommended another pediatrician from the very beginning to avoid maltreatment. Therefore, because doctors will continue to support their religious beliefs, educational programs should be implemented in private practices and hospitals in order to teach physicians kind ways to reject a patient while stilling maintaining their ability to practice their legal rights. This way both parties will receive justification for their actions: doctors can express their beliefs and LGBTQ couples can seek other, more suitable medical help.

In the end, the couple realized that they did not want a doctor treating their daughter who thinks less of the patient anyways. This is a heart wrenching story because many gay couples experience homophobia throughout their lives and six short days after their daughter is born, she too is experiencing harassment. Something needs to be done to prevent this issue from continuously occurring. A beneficial place to start is proper education for physicians because it avoids changing the doctor’s beliefs while keeping all parties involved content.

Sources:

Aulette, Judy Root and Judith Wittner. Gendered Worlds Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.

Gamrat, Cindy. “House Bill 4309.” Michigan Legislature. 5 March 2015. Web. 8 March

Staff, myFOXDeteroit.com. “Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-Sex Couple’s Baby.” MyFOX Detroit. 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 5 March 2015.

The Way He Looks Film Critique

The Way He Looks Film Critique

The Way He Looks (2014)

Cast: Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi and Tess Amorim

Director, Writer and Co-Producer: Daniel Ribeiro

Genre: Coming-Of-Age Drama Film

Synopsis: This film is about a blind high school student in Brazil named Leonardo. His best friend, Giovanna, supports him and assists him in daily tasks until a new boy, Gabriel, joins their class. Gabriel and Leonardo quickly begin to spend time together, eventually developing feelings for one another. However, there is some confusion about whether or not Gabriel shares the same feelings Leonardo has developed. In the end, Gabriel and Leonardo express their feelings and start dating, which they do not hide from their peers at school.

Review: The Way He Looks is a modern love story which is apparent through the plot, direction, writing and costume throughout the film. It is a great example of a unique twist on a traditional love story because it involves a boy who is both blind and gay. This provokes an intersectional analysis due to the complications expressed throughout the movie due to the protagonist being disabled and homosexual. For instance, Leonardo is rarely allowed to be left alone due to the strict reign his parents have on him because of his impairment. However, there is no input about whether or not his parents accept his relationship with Gabriel. The only slight perspective from an elder is given from his grandmother who smiles and seems supportive of Gabriel and Leonardo’s developing relationship although it remains unclear if she views it as simply a friendship or something more. This goes against the standard story found in most societies because it breaks away from what populations have developed as “normal.” For instance, very little homophobia is apparent throughout the film. The only display of homophobia occurs when Leonardo expresses his feelings about Gabriel to Giovanna. Initially, she is shocked and runs away. Shortly after, she accepts her best friend’s feelings and supports the relationship. This movie can also be related to theories of globalization because Leonardo constantly expresses the need to travel, especially to the United States. He views the US as a place where he can accomplish his goals to be an independent person which is commonly a view perceived about America: a place where dreams can come true.

Daniel Ribeiro successfully develops the story through a well-written script and clear direction. Although some parts seem to drag out, the casual conversation allows the audience to connect with the characters on a personal level. We learn about each character’s past, present and hopes for the future. Ribeiro’s creation of the character Leonardo permits an unbiased view on gender, race, and sexuality because his lack of sight allows him to determine his opinions about people based on the way they talk and the actions they make, not the way they look. In this movie, Leonardo’s disability is not fixed which commonly occurs in most other films with a impaired protagonist in order to achieve a happy ending. Leonardo may be seen as “not normal” to some because he is not considered to be able-bodied. Leonardo’s lack of sight is exposed and criticized in moments but in the end, Leonardo attains the relationship he wants proving that he is not as limited as he may appear. The filmed perspective allows us to feel as if we are watching the story beside the characters. The script is also very modern, including swear words and slang used by youth today. The dialogue is easily understood despite being in a language other than English which shows that Ribeiro is talented at writing and directing. He is able to illustrate Brazilian culture in a way that can be easily understood across all societies. Furthermore, the costumes are modern and fashionable, allowing the younger members of the audience to connect with people our age in another country.

The final scene involves Leonardo walking out of school with Giovanna and Gabriel, holding Gabriel’s arm for guidance. The class bully starts to make a snide remark about Leonardo’s “new boyfriend” so Leonardo grabs Gabriel’s hand and continues to walk away with his two friends. The bully proceeds to stay quiet, embarrassed by his comment. This scene illustrates the confidence Leonardo and his friends have about his relationship. No further bullying occurs from his peers which breaks apart from typical social constructions developed regarding disabled people and homosexuals in most societies. Unfortunately, it is very common for emerging homosexuals to be berated for their feelings by their friends and families. However, this film refrains from including any sort of negative connotations about being gay. This relates to class themes found within GNDS 125 because it is an example of how to react to finding out a peer is homosexual in a non-hostile, appropriate manner. I personally think this scene is incredibly endearing; it ends the movie with a positive, happy ambiance.

Attending Reelout Film Festival gave me personal insight into a part of the Kingston community I have never experienced before. I am surprised by the amount of support given by local businesses seen in the advertisements before the movie started. The theater was completely full of people ranging from university students to older people, of all genders.Overall, it is a fun environment that is inclusive for new and regular attendees.

I highly recommend this movie for anyone interested in an adolescent love-story with engaging characters and a delightful ending.

Sources: “The Way He Looks.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 26 Dec. 2014. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.