Mariah Pires

Week 2 Sex and Gender
Personally I find the fact there is a literal difference between sex and gender very interesting. Before beginning this subject I had never really thought about the two seperate terms and how their definitions disinguish the two.
Sex and gender were just different terms to discribe male and female when in actual fact it is more indepth than that and sex covers the biological and physiological aspects of a male and female, the more definate thing that determines what you are. On the other hand gender explores the societal attributes, traits, roles and behaviours that is expected of men and women. It explores the masculinity men are expected to have for example working out, not grooming themselves, being interested in fast cars and working hard, while women need to always maintain a feminine stance. Not playing sport, being in the kitchen cooking meals, cleaning the house, acting classy and polite. Society has changed for men and women overtime within laws but the expectations still remain. There are many things seperately what a man can do that a women can't and visa versa and if you challenge these expectations your seen as still trying to figure yourself and identity out. It was also interesting to learn how the different parts of the body came to get their name and discovered for their functions. There are many theories, studies, findings and understandings which we are filled with today that form our knowledge on how the body works and distinguishes us from eachother. In general the way the body works is amazing and a lot can be explained of the complications and health factors that arise in one's life time.

It also brought to my attention through discussions that although many occupations "seen as a women's area to be successful" does usually end up with a male as the head of the organisation. For example a chef company is usually run by males even though women are seen as the cooks and the same goes for many other organisations that are expected to be a women's area of expertise.
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yuno (gender,fuck that,y u no,equality)
yuno (gender,fuck that,y u no,equality)

This picture is displayed as it portrays a big sense of stereotyping of what's expected of men and women. It portrays men as being superior by having control over the woman by pinning her down while all the other men just stand around watching. All the men are also topless, buff, good looking and FAKE!!! It also portrays a womans stereotype of being weak and helpless against the dominant male species, where the women should just serve as being there for a man's personal pleasures or stress reliever.

Week 3. Women portrayed in media compared to today!!
"Feminists ruin romance for everyone" this is a sexist comment that i believe is not true. Every person is entitled to their own opinion and feminists are just standing up for what they believe is equality. There are so many women dying or developing problems world wide as a result of how the media portrays women today and [[#|dating]] back to decades ago. People think that women are the cause of their own assault and sexual portrayal because that is how we act, but in actual case not every women is like that and personally it takes two to tango, hence men are just as responsible for how women act as we are as they lead us on.

Times have also changed compared to that decades ago when women would determine their rights in society by if they worked and maintained a job. Where as now kids usually 14 and up boys and girls are getting jobs and it is equally acceptable but there are still the stereotypes that a women cooks the meals, doesn't [[#|play]] sports and is reponsible for the main house chores. Among all this talk on women in advertising it is really the attitudes we have to change rather than the ads but at the same time women know that what is portrayed is not what your typical girl looks like as they have been photoshoped etc. yet we all change ourselves and think that we have to look like that to be loved and to be a someone in the world.
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Week 4. no lecture

Week 5. Fashion
The concept of fashion is a tricky one, as demeaning girls sells but at the same time it's always a big issue about idealising what your typical girl should be. what was said in the lecture is true people try to test those who do revealing images of girls on magazines by doing exactly the same image but with fat girls. How is this any better? Are we saying in that case its ok to be fat but not skinny, if you want to test it it needs to be done with normal size girls. At the same time the media goes on about women and how there portrayed as slim and how its a problem, yet the second a celebrity puts on a little bit of weight its all over magazines and in the media which really is quite contradicting. It's also amazing how much times have changed from what was a big deal to advertise back in the day to today. Trends today show that high, middle and low income women are experiencing eating disorders and there's actually a group that encourage it and help people become anorexic saying that it's good for you and giving tips. Women are revolving their lives and caring for fashion rather than more important things. Women are being judged if they don't have the right look, clothes, accessories etc. In advertising, all photos of women have to have part of their breasts or bum showing as this is what sells, what kind of message is being associated with fashion which is clothes and styles. Clearly everyones lost the outlook and its impacting on teenagers and how they think they should portray themselves hence the increase in teenage pregnancies. It is also evident through toys in today's society, where every doll you find is pretty, thin, has make up and usually comes in a possy etc. Therefore clearly fashion needs to rethink their direction factoring in the impact on women's health that they influence. And to finish it off a saying i thought was clever and enjoyed from the lecture is that fashion portrays the outter beauty not inner the 'body not soul'..........

Week 6. Fertility, Children and Abortion
Coming from a family with a religious background we have been brought up to not affiliate with abortion which is probably a feminist thing to say but it's interesting to hear the ancient ideologies behind abortion and how they see abortion / the different classes of the fetus through the stages. It also got me thinking about when the pill was introduced, i hadn't actually thought about it in that way but there would've been a big deal against it as everyone hadn't considered the idea of sex without reproduction and just for pleasure. All of this came about before we were born therefore we were born into it and is interesting to see how our generation consider sex to say my parents and older generations. Women are continuously being bombarded with these ideas, and events they have to follow to avoid 'ruing' their lives, which is the terminology used by most if a girl becomes pregnant before she is married. It's also amazing the rates that were associated with the contraceptive introdcution, eg increase in women graduates from school, college, decrease of drop outs, decrease in marriage rates, increase in divorce, women offered equal pay for equal work for the first time in history some can be argued as good changes while others bad. Then there is the population side of it where a decrease in baby's meant decrease in population size for generations affecting the economy and labour forces. You never really saw / considered this side of it but rather just enjoyed the thought of being able to maintain relationships without the risk of pregnancies, hence needing to stop work or normal routine of life as a result. Then there are other factors considered for older people/ usually married couples on the idea of a child. Money, work, siblings, stress on marriage, chance of another girl/boy, chance of a disabled child, lose job. Yet you find richer people not wanting kids while the less fortunate do. Then for women there is the issue of loosing rights and becoming less superior at the site of a child due to the stigma associated. I found this interesting in the lecture that women are seen as a family with the man as the head when it comes to children, which is exactly how my brother explained the president to my niece when he was asked about the president by her the other day. Women who are house wives also get frowned upon and as seen as doing nothing when in actual fact their responsible for so much laudry, cooking, accounts, keeping the house together basically but just because they stay home to take care of the family their seen as inferior and the poor men working hard to support the family. And coming back to the media to end off, they continuously bag celebrities after pregnancy it becomes the hot topic when most of what is portrayed is false. For example women's bodies after pregnancy are photoshopped, women with their children is probably just for show they have nanny's and other people to care for their kids and those that are shown as fat after pregnancy or changed is probably photoshopped too or exaggerated just for commercial viewing according to what sells!!!! :)
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Week 7. Changing gender roles in families.
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This week I found the the tute very interesting and I could completely relate to the discussion throughout the session. My idea of what I wanted to do with my life was simpily like everyone else's it's the way we have been brought up in this society to want to finish school, attend uni, get a full time job, get married, travel and finally have kids, and we find ourselves unconsciously judging those around us who take a different path for eg: getting pregnant and having kids at a young age. Everyone has the right to their own life and i feel sometimes i let society run mine. Coming to my last year of my degree I find myself questioning what I really want to do with my life, finishing school and going to uni was a tradition in my family and therefore i felt the need to continue and proceed in this trend as a women I could be seen as weak and don't test my parents and tend to follow what they say as "they know best". Then there's the topic of choice. Although we should be give the 'right' to our own choice there's always prejudices that influence our decision no matter how much we tr to not let them. Someone studying whether of a young or middle age if they have a child in uni it is like WOAH!!!! Because our society is seen as study first then have a family, inleast that's what I thought I wanted to do. To me having a child has always been seen as after having a life with a secure man and a job but really its one's own choice. Then there is the fertility problems that by at least 28/30 your fertility starts to decrease, this is the age i was wanting to start having children but clearly I need to rethink my life plan as nothing really ever goes to plan!

Many times have changed since back in the day in regards to work life and women allowances in the workforce, but although this has changed many stereotypes and factors still remain which we question today and still consider being unfair or unequal. My mum and dad own a piano business, dad takes care of tuning the pianos while mum does the bookings and accounts etc for it. As they are always together mum never felt the need to get her license so she currently still cannot drive. In today's society everyone looks at people as if they should be able to drive because it's such a blown up thing today as everyone is doing it from the second you turn 16 and mum finds herself feeling affected by this and being looked down upon. I feel women should be able to do what they feel, if you don't need to drive why let it get to you, don't have your license who cares. I think as ladies we need to encourage other women to take their own steps and not be influenced by what everyone else around you is doing or what they expect you to do!! Then there is my sister-in-law, she is a short girl and had a child before meeting my brother, although she had the child at 21 she was still judged and frowned upon for having a kid before being married or having a secure job as she worked at a thai restaurant during that time. Now she is 33 with 2 more children with my brother so 3 children altogether and finds herself at home whilst all her kids are at school even sienna the little one who's 2 is in daycare most days and she is heavily looked down upon for this. Everyone feels well if you have no kids to look after you should be working but the fact is she is trying to find a job but the markets hard so is maybe looking into starting a businesss. Where i'm going with this is back in the day it was expected that just the man would work while the women stayed home to look after the kids, oh how times have CHANGED!!! Now the women and men are both expected to have a job and women are needing rights to go on maternity leave and are put in jeopardy of loosing their job if they do.

In saying that a joke i'd like to end of with that represents the social construction of gender in work and parenting...........
A father and son were in a car one day crossing a railway track when they were hit by a train. The father died and son was taken to hospital. When he arrived at hospital the Dr. said "I can't operate on this boy he's my son".
How does this work?

Many people automatically assume there is a trick to the answer. Such as the grandfather or something was involved, when really
THE DOCTOR IS ACTUALLY THE MOTHER!!! yes there can be female Dr.'s but this answer does not automatically cross someone's mind because of the social construction of certain roles.
Such as its not normal to find male cheerleaders or there termed as GAY if they are!, teacher your automatically think female- but sport teacher you automatically think male.
There is just too many expectations that people just stick to the norm and go with what's what.

Week 8. Women and Domestic Violence

Within this discussion i will talk about women as mothers and holding a career and also women and domestic violence.
Women are also viewed as being there to run the household and keep everything together, if the women isn't there the house will fall apart. Who would cook, clean, wake and dress the kids etc. Women are seen to put their children before everything else and one could say this is the reason for their not being many female leaders. Because workforces see them as unreliable and less committed to their work life and hence underperform as they live vicariously through their children. This should not be the case as their are many single parents whether female or male out there that care for their children and just because it's a women their saying they can't do their job right if their too busy trying to care for their children. Many people relate the behaviour of a child, their manners, weight, and them as a person in general to the mother and how much attention that mother gives the child. My sister-in-law doesn't work yet she places my 2 year old niece in a daycare for 2 or so days of the week. Since this has started when ever we babysit my niece at a certain time she'll cry and won't stop until her parents get home, when before daycare when we used to babysit her she would be fine. We immediately put this down to seperation issues since starting day care but i guess it depends on the situation. Although it may seem like the choices women make are independant they are usually really influenced by cultural norms which brings me to say our society needs to change our workforces to accomodate for mothers who work and elimate stereotypes that are involved.

Now moving onto domestic violence, women who choose to care for their children rather than work have the risk of being stuck in this sort of situation. Many women who experience domestic violence remain with their partners through fear of not being able to cope economically, physically or emotionally without them. Many people even I viewed domestic violence as the physical beating of a woman, when in actually fact it can be the psychological impact too.

"Under Australian law, use of the term "domestic violence" refers exclusively to violence committed by a heterosexual partner and includes physical injury, intimidation or serious harassment, wilful damage to property, indecent behaviour without consent, or a threat to commit any of these acts".
This law has many flaws to it and can leave the person who is commiting violence easily getting away with it, as they can deny it. There is no real proof unless it is physical abuse. Then there is also room to misinterpret a situation or other factors to consider in whether you should report a case of abuse and violence. Abuse and violence many women also feel embarressed and ashamed to tell anyone especially if you are a woman who comes from a family who aren't used to this kind of behaviour. You don't want them judging your partner and hence choose to keep it to yourself and rather make up excuses for bruises or your behaviour. This brings me to say the other reason why some women don't have jobs as their husband rule them and force them to believe their job is looking after the children and their partner. Doing what he says which also means the woman will not be out working with other men or talking about their problems and the way she is treated. It's almost like a way for the partner to lock their wife/ gf partner up and have them do what they want almost like a slave. Many women are also convinced that it is a one time thing, they continually make excuses saying "he didn't mean too" or "he's a great father just having a bad day" this doesn't make it right. Women need more support and reassuring that if they report domestic violence everything will be ok!!!

If you wish to have what you want in life you must Focus on the Dream, if you focus on the pain and fear you will only want to scream! by Rebecca J. Burns TheLastStraw

Week 9. No Lecture

Week 10. Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The issue of substance abuse is one that has changed over years/decades. Back in the day drugs were used by women to deal with the stress of caring roles in the home through being stuck with house wife unpaid labour. Today women pop pills to lose weight, and have this ideal image portrayed by society. While men abuse drugs to bulk up and portray this masculine image that is expected of them. This further leads onto eating disorders. Prior to this lecture and another subject which we watched this video on anorexic twins who were mentally affected into believing they were fat and needed to lose weight when actually they were skinny down to the bone. I thought many women just did it for attention not realising how much it actually affects the brain into believing that what they see in the mirror is fat. View this video to see what i mean.

The women believe that the only way out is to die as they view recovery as too hard to fight for. It’s a serious condition where any of these factors can cause mental health issues and result in suicide or death as the condition is untreatable. Many women also engag in self-injury as a sense of relief they experience after this. Many people also use alcohol as a depressant an escape out of their missery from the sensation they experience from having it, but really these effects later have worse effects which cause injury to oneself. Many men and women are unaware of the ramifications of substance abuse and continue to let it control their lives. Many women also feel that skipping meals before drinking will get you drunk easier or make up for calories their putting on therefore they resort to this and are unaware of the effects this can have.

Week 11 Lesbians

This lecture was very interesting. I had never exactly thought of the situation in regards to how lesbians came about. Although there has been many laws etc. continuously changing of what is excepted and that there's always different views people have. How lesbians came about is tricky, it can be nature and nurture. I always believed you were shaped into this as many of the lesbians i know have had past boyfriends and then realised they actually liked girls. But through discussion in the lecture i realise some people can be born to love women over men as they relate to this feminine side and feel closure from this / it could also be in their genetics. Some women also have been used to being treated poorly by men and therefore turn to a women counterpart for reassaurance and love because they know what they feel and can make this insecure woman feel loved.

Then there is also the case that in a lesbian relationship one person always looks like a boy while the other partner is more girly so why is it that the girly lesbian prefers this boy strong looking girl. This male look also suggests that someone is a lesbian as a girl who dresses like this has a stereotypical image of being a lesbian. A friend of mine had told me a story, he works at a bottle o and one day two buff looking blokes came to his counter:
so he said "hi there fellas, how's it going what can i get for you??" they stared back at him bland face and not a word waiting for him to do something. After a minute of awkward silence one of them ordered. Instantly he realised he was dealing with some very masculine looking and now angry lesbians. This is just an example and indication of the stereotypes that because they were masculine and together he assumed they were both blokes hanging out rather than lesbians as they couldn't be straight when they were so bigish like and masculine. This concludes my insight into lesbians and what people associate with them.

Week 12 Healthy Aging of Women

The health of women have changed since back in the day some for the better whilst others not so much. The women previously were mainly house wives hence im thinking their responsibilities included caring for the children, cooking, cleaning and attending to the house needs. This would allow for the time to prepare healthy meals full of vegetables and minimum energy dense processed foods. Now days women work too and there are continuously increasing single mothers/ parents who are expected to tackle work and house chores or cooking. This leaves a women stressed, pressured and experiencing many complications associated with all the work their expected to do impacting on their health and well-being.

Week 13. National and International expectations on women's health.

Women all over the world are treated differently and have different standards/ expectations from the people and world around them. Many other countries are different from Australia and are significantly old fashioned relying on the old way of doing things. such things as those in magazines and the media. When talking about a beautiful woman you will never see an example of a fat girl or a girl with an aboriginal background. they are portrayed as white people and expected to follow these traditions despite their cultural background or differences. Even today many more young children are taking what they view in magazines more seriously to the point where 8 year olds feel they should diet causing them anxiety and depression from the effects and to try and fit in with the norm. People in third world countries have the problem of dieting and trying to conform to fit in with magazines as the least of their problems as they are just trying to survives. they are faced with more important problems than not being socially accepted because of the way they look. They are basically striving for survival and taking each day as it comes, especially being refugees etc. as in the lecture it was brougt to my attention many women who are refugees are too busy trying to find their husband or children or worrying about whether they are alive to care to think about their body image and appearance. This is why it has become a western problem as part of our culture is lonliness and isolation as we have time to think about this stuff. Therefore health in other countries are much different from the western culture as they have limited education for women/ jobs and not much of a lifestyle. so if we didn't have these images that are continuously making women feel bad about their image would anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, depression and suicide be a huge deal in today's society. what if we were just trying to survive/ scrape up food for our children would our health not be wasted on trying to conform.The amount of stories you hear of other countries being unsafe due to trying to steal money etc. to survive is ridiculous when you think of how good we have it here in Australia, yet we always somehow manage to find something to complain about as women its just in our genes. To conclude this subject there are many health problems that arise for women impacting their health and lifestyle that can be changed with the right view and action taken. Women should learn and understand how to maintain their health to learn to accept themselves for who they are but at the same time continue to stand up for their rights in jobs, relationships and life in general.