Archive for May, 2012


Class Reflection

For me, WS301 wasn’t a required course.  It was one which I elected to take on my own accord.  From things I had heard about the course from past students, I knew it would be worth my while to branch out of my major and try something new.  I am glad I did.  This course taught me so much about victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and what it means in today’s society.  I learned that little things, like the objectification of women and jokes about rape, have serious consequences in forming the mindset of Americans regarding sex, gender, and violence.  I would like to say that I vow to never again support these type of actions and thoughts and that I will speak out and up for those who are in pain; however, I know that in my heart of hearts I will not be able to do this every time.  Will I try to make a change in my life and in the people around me in regards to ideas, behaviors, and feelings toward sexual violence? Oh yes! This class has taught me that even the little things can make a huge difference.  In addition, I plan to raise my children to think and act in a way which Jane would approve of :).  Basically, through this course, my life hasn’t changed all that much, but my ideas regarding sexual violence have.  That to me is far more important.

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For many young Americans, hip hop and rap are a way of life and entertainment.  Ask any male, and he will tell you that hip hop and rap are all about being overly sexual, living a thug life, and protecting an image of hyper-masculinity. Is this really the message the hip hop community WANTS to be selling? In the documentary Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and  Rhymes, the world of hip hop music is put under investigation.  I believe that this movie gave this music genre a fair representation, not just focusing on a handful of artists or a given time period, but really encompassing all aspects of hip hop music. In addition, the interviews with rap and hip hop artists themselves helped sell me on the legitimacy of the movie’s claims.  For many of these artists, they write about, sing about, and rap about what sells.  They have a mold in which their rhymes must fit, otherwise it will not work for the record companies.  As pointed out in the movie, the same record companies producing the majority of hip hop music today are led by white men.  White men are deciding what can and cannot be mentioned in a song and what the content should contain, not the artists.  This is a form of racism which only serves to enhance stereotypes of African American youth and adults.  The hip hop music presented to Americans today stigmatizes the black community in ways that are simply not fair.