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Entries Tagged as 'Olivia'

Butler Quote 2 Group Two

November 5th, 2011 · 6 Comments

The terms by which we are recognized as human are socially articulated and changeable.  And sometimes the very terms that confer “humanness” on some individuals are those that deprive certain other individuals of the possibility of achieving that status, producing a differential between the human and the less than human. These norms have far-reaching consequences for how we understand the model of the human entitled to rights or included in the participatory sphere of political deliberation (Butler 2004, 2).

Tags: Brooke · Erika · Group Two · Jennifer R · Kate · Olivia · Troli

Butler Quote for Group Two

November 2nd, 2011 · 6 Comments

The body implies mortality, vulnerability, agency: skin and the flesh expose us to the gaze of others but also to touch and to violence. The body can be the agency and the instrument of all these as well, or the site where “doing” and “being done to” be equivocal. Although we struggle for rights over our own bodies, the very bodies for which we struggle are never quite our own. The body has its invariably public dimension; constituted as a social phenomenon in the public sphere, my body is and is not mine (Butler 2004, 21).

Tags: Brooke · Erika · Group Two · Jennifer R · Kate · Olivia · Troli

The Privitization of Higher Education (Final)

October 10th, 2011 · No Comments

The Privatization of Higher Education

 

 

The education system we have come to know, appreciate, and strive within is changing and fast. In fact, it has already changed. We are unknowingly living in an exploitive educational environment, which is slowly draining our opportunities for creative and introspective thought. We are being primed as political and global consumers, and those who do not economically fit within this scheme of privatization are being phased out. Mohanty discusses these power dynamics and the negative change they are having on higher education, specifically how these changes are affecting women and people of color.

As the system of higher education has developed it became a space to expand ones own knowledge, to foster creativity, to ask questions, and to probe society. “It is one of the few remaining spaces in a rapidly privatized world that offers some semblance of a public arena for dialogue, engagement, and visioning of democracy and justice” (Mohanty 170).  Thus, “The Academy”, as Mohanty refers, has been the leading location for feminist conversation, debate, and change. Through such outlets, leading feminist academics have developed their theories and have made a significant impact on our world and understandings. Through this system of knowledge development the University came to serve as a system of “non-repression”(174).  However, this growing concept of “globalization” and the expanding global political economy is privatizing the academy, changing its students from democratic and informed citizens to consumers in an education/profit driven matrix.

Intellect has become a primary marketable commodity. Education is undergoing a second revolution, in which research is encouraged, so that it can be translated “into intellectual property, a marketable commodity, and economic development” (173). We have begun to put a price on the intelligence of the future generations, and even more so on the fields of education that have the potential to garner a large margin of profit. Thus, we are seeing an emphasis’ on studies similar to economics, government, business etc, and “the simultaneous marginalization and cooptation of feminist, race and ethnic, and gay/lesbian/queer studies agendas in the service of the corporate academy” (174). This meaning, that in the near future we will see a decrease in the number and importance of the humanities, and courses geared toward challenging the “man”, for their role the market will become “ornamental”. We will be phased out of sorts, our position within the academic matrix lost/stolen by a monster called privatization.

Why does this affect us, you may ask? Not only are the humanities at risk of extinction but also the opportunity for all to be educated is severely at risk of being eliminated. With this move towards marketing intellect, is the “growing link between money, the ability to consume and own goods, and the participation in public life (democratic citizenship)” (183). Mohanty argues, that this opportunity or “free-choice” for education is only available to those with economic means. Wealth determines ones ability to not only be educated but to have a say on the ebb and flow of educational change. The education system is undergoing a deliberate transformation for the sole purpose of profit making.

One shocking example of this change is the new St. Lawrence strategic action plan.  Previous to the current President, St. Lawrence strove for diversity. We aimed to rise our inclusion of minority students, and had a huge emphasis on financial aid. We sought students who were academically strong enough for the rigor, but not able to finance their education. However, with the induction of the new president, circumstances of the university are changing. SLU is in serious debt, and so now things must change.  In addition to the new business major, enrollment is desired to go up, international students are only accepted if they can pay full tuition, and we are now “expanding admissions reach to enhance good fit and Financial Strength” (Fox). The SLU I know and have loved for the past four years is on the brink of serious change. The powers at be are moving away from goals of diversity and towards goals of profit. The president, no longer looks to expand the intellect all those capable of SLU, but rather only to those students who have the fiscal means to pay their way through. We will lose our being; we will lose the university we are today, and who is to say that we haven’t already lost it?

Finally, I wish to move back towards Mohanty, and further discuss this change and its global impact on the education of women and People of color. This change in education is pertinent to us. We are at serious risk to lose our education. The restructuring of higher education enables the wealthy to become wealthier, and the opportunity for education and self-development dwindles to only those who can afford it. One must look at this global privatization as a structure of power, geared only to fiscal production. If we do not strive to be aware of these changes and attempt to stop or delay them, then we threaten to lose ourselves. We will be giving in to the hierarchy of privatization, and letting the powers at be to take over.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. Feminism without Borders :Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

 

“St. Lawrence University: Strategic Map.” Stlawu.edu. William Fox, N.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. https://www.stlawu.edu/president/strategic_plan/index.html

Tags: Chandra Mohanty · Group Two · Olivia

Power and the Privitization of Higher Education

October 5th, 2011 · 4 Comments

 

The education system we have come to know, appreciate, and strive within is changing and fast. In fact, it has already changed. We are unknowingly living in an exploitive educational environment, which is slowly draining our opportunities for creative and introspective thought. We are being primed as political and global consumers, and those who do not economically fit within this scheme of privatization are being phased out. Mohanty discusses these power dynamics and the negative change they are having on higher education, specifically how these changes are affecting women and people of color.

As the system of higher education has developed it became a space to expand ones own knowledge, to foster creativity, to ask questions, and to probe society. “It is one of the few remaining spaces in a rapidly privatized world that offers some semblance of a public arena for dialogue, engagement, and visioning of democracy and justice” (Mohanty 170).  Thus, “the academy”, as Mohanty refers, has been the leading location for feminist conversation, debate, and change. Through such outlets, leading feminist academics have developed their theories and have made a significant impact on our world and understandings. Through this system of knowledge development the University came to serve as a system of “non-repression”(174).  However, this growing concept of “globalization” and the expanding global political economy is privatizing the academy, changing its students from democratic and informed citizens to consumers in an education/profit driven matrix.

Intellect has become a primary marketable commodity. Education has begun a second revolution in which research is encouraged so that it can be translated “into intellectual property, a marketable commodity, and economic development” (173). We have begun to put a price on the intelligence of the future generations, and even more so on the fields of education that have the potential to garner a large margin of profit. Thus, we are seeing an emphasis’ on studies similar to economics, government, business etc, and “the simultaneous marginalization and cooptation of feminist, race and ethnic, and gay/lesbian/queer studies agendas in the service of the corporate academy” (174). This meaning, that in the near future we will see a decrease in the number and importance of the humanities, for their role the market will become “ornamental”. We will be phased out of sorts, our position within the academic matrix lost/stolen by this monster named privatization.

Why does this affect us, you may ask? Not only are the humanities at risk of extinction but the opportunity for all people to be educated is severely at risk of being eliminated. With this move towards marketing intellect, is the “growing link between money, the ability to consume and own goods, and the participation in public life (democratic citizenship)” (183). Mohanty argues, that this opportunity or “free-choice” for education is only available to those with economic means. Wealth determines ones ability to not only be educated but to have a say on the ebb and flow of educational change. The education system is undergoing a deliberate transformation for the sole purpose of profit making.

One shocking example of this change is the new St. Lawrence strategic action plan.  Previous to the current President, St. Lawrence strove for diversity. We aimed to rise our inclusion of minority students, and have a huge emphasis on financial aid to students who are academically strong enough for the rigor, but not able to finance their education. However, with the induction of the new president, circumstances of the university are changing. SLU is in debt, and so now things must change. In addition to the new business major, enrollment is desired to go up, international students are only accepted if they can pay full tuition, and we are now “expanding admissions reach to enhance good fit and Financial Strength”. The SLU I know and have loved for the past four years is on the brink of serious change. The powers at be are moving away from goals of diversity and towards goals of profit. The president, no longer looks to expand the intellect all those capable of SLU, but rather only to those students who have the fiscal means to pay their way through. We will lose our being; we will lose the university we are today, and who is to say that we haven’t already lost it?

Finally, I wish to move back towards Mohanty, and further discuss this change its global impact on the education of women and People of color. This change in education is pertinent to us. We are at serious risk of a loss of our education. The restructuring of higher education enables the wealthy to become wealthier, and the opportunity for education and self-development dwindles to only those who can afford it. One must look at this global economy as a white male structure of power, geared only to fiscal production. If we are not aware of these changes, and attempt to stop or delay them, then we threaten to lose ourselves. We will be giving in to these changes, and letting the powers at be to take over.

-Olivia

 

Work Cited:

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. Feminism without Borders :Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity.           Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

Tags: Group Two · Olivia

The conceptualization of Power through pornography by Olivia McManus

September 24th, 2011 · 1 Comment

 

Power

 

Although Patricia Hill Collins discusses the intrinsic relationship between Black Women’s oppression and power, I wish to specifically focus on her argument concerning the exploitation of Black Female sexuality and its relationship to the power dynamics of oppression. Although sexuality can be interpreted among other oppressors, such as race, class, or gender, Hill Collins argues, that instead of standing alone, it is the “conceptual glue that binds intersecting oppressions together” (145). Thus, sexuality becomes connected to every aspect of oppression that is present within the three categories listed previously. More specifically, Hill Collins argues, that pornography represented and still represents the apex of sexual oppression towards Black Female Sexuality. Porn stands as the conceptualization of power in opposition to Black female sexual freedom.

Hill Collins argues, that the origin of pornography actually began with the sexual exploitation of Black women in the 19th century. The bodies of slaves were put on display representing objects of desire for the rich white male. The most well know example of this phenomenon is the exhibition of Sarah Bartmann, the “Hottenton Venus”. She was often shown at “fashionable parties” wearing little clothing as a form of entertainment. She came to represent sexual deviance. She was not the norm, and exploited by her owner to show off her “different” sexuality. She was reduced to nothing more than her genitalia (148). This form of power over Black Female sexuality was orchestrated by the domineering white male.

In addition to the exploitation of Bartmann, we must examine the creation and continued existence of controlling images. Hill Collins specifics six concrete representations of the Black Female, all of which can be interpreted as negative categories of Black Female sexuality. Lets begin with the criticisms of a lack of sexuality and a disruption of the heterosexual norm: Mammy, Middle Class Professional, and the Black welfare mother. The Mammy is represented as an asexual servant to those whom she works for. She represents a mothering figure of sort, and has no connection to sexual urges. The Middle Class Professional is commonly associated with the image of the male-eating Black lesbian. One who is so career driven, that she has pushed all the men away. She exists outside this norm of heterosexual passivity. Lastly, the welfare mother is commonly seen to be a single mother “using the countries resources”, because she is single she also breaks with the heterosexual norms of marriage and bonding. The last three are objectified due to their supposed “hyper-sexuality”: Jezebel, Hooche, and the Matriarch. The Jezebel is represented as the extreme hyper sexualized monster. This ideology regulates “all black women to the category of sexually aggressive …” (Collins 89). The Hooche is criticized for her aggressive sexual appetites, where at best is misbehaved and at worst a criminal. Lastly, the Matriarch is criticized for being a “bad black mother”. She has let men walk all over her and is in the position she resides, because of her lack of physical and mental defense against men. However, this is not their fault, but hers (Collins 83-84).

Each controlling image casts a negative shadow on the sexuality of Black women. They cannot be strong without being a lesbian, enjoy sex without being a Hooche or a jezebel, or be their own woman without being called a bad mother. Although many of these images were created during slavery, their existence persists into our society, and their continual existence, maintains the power dynamic in which Black women’s sexuality is placed firmly at the bottom. Hill Collins goes on to conclude, that this has not changed, she views this aspect of power to have merged and morphed into 21st century pornography.

According to Hill Collins, the role of the Black Woman in pornography is completely dependent on the hyper-sexualized controlling images created during slavery. She argues, that these depictions are seen in modern day porn, animalizing the Black Female. Either they are depicted as extremely sexually aggressive, or they are reduced to their sexual organs, paraded around as animals or treated as a mule (Collins, 150). Thus, porn reconceptualizes power over the Black female, in relation to the continued existence of controlling images.

However, according to Nash, this view of the power of pornography is incorrect in some senses. Nash looks to disconnect the reading of modern pornography through the lens of 19th century oppression. She believes that Hill Collins fails to acknowledge the change in society, technology, culture, and the sexual power of the black female. By viewing porn though the exploitative experiences of Sarah Bartmann, we come to define all black women’s sexualities through these lenses. In addition, we fail to understand that there exists a possibility for Black women, and women in general to not be exploited by this “power porn”.  Also, it erases all potential for pleasure in viewing from any queer sexualities, or non-white spectatorship, and it silences a diversity of viewing pleasure.

Nash argues for a taking back of this viewing pleasure, and to reclaim sexual power through self-representation. The viewing lenses of 19th century slavery and sexuality are shadowing the desire for self-representation today. The opinions of Black Feminists, and Antipornography Feminists, are in turn casting a negative power structure back onto the sexuality of Black women, instead of breaking down the oppression that still exists.

Although Nash calls for a rising for new terms of self-representation, one must ask, whether this is a possibility? Here in lies the crux of Black women’s sexuality. Although the thoughts of Black feminists, and antipornography feminists are more restrictive than freeing, how are Black women allowed to create self-representation of their sexualities, without being influenced by the oppression that controls the lenses, in which their sexualities are interpreted in the first places. So is power in the sense of controlling sexualities unavoidable, or are Black women truly in an age in which they can control their own sexual agency?

-Liv

Tags: Group Two · Olivia