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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For All Have Sinned and Fallen Short

This week will be a little frustrating for me because I do not have access to the schedule this week since the professor did not email it out. The Social Justice Academy has a Facebook group and those who are in the class have access to the resources the teaching fellows and professors put on the page. I do not have Facebook anymore because of a deal I made with a friend so I have to rely on my friends to show me what the schedule will be like for the day. But to solve this, I should probably talk to my professor and ask him if he can email the schedule to me. Other than this, the morning starts out the same.

I came into class today knowing little to nothing about the topic of today's lecture. We had a guest speaker today, Dr. Felicity Paxton, who talked about gender equality and feminism. In the morning, her lecture was heavily focused on how gender is portrayed in pop culture and society. She made a point by saying that our culture is heavily focused on dividing gender and making gender specific items such as cars are for boys and Barbies are for girls. We split into our teaching fellow groups and Dr. Paxton came around and gave groups envelopes with an item in it. As we opened the envelope, we saw that the item was gender biased. We had three cards that pointed towards masculinity or beauty (boy vs girl). All of these cards were for new moms congratulating them on giving birth to a boy or girl. I could see how these cards are problematic and why people as pushing companies to change the phrases because some of them were a bit questionable. 

After lunch, the lecture continued and talked about some really disturbing ads that big companies have put out. When Dr. Paxton talked about this, the first thing that came into my mind were the hamburger commercials that were put out during the Super Bowl which highly sexualized females. Dr. Paxton did not show us these ads but instead showed us some ads where females were being judged for their bodies in a way. Dr. Paxton also showed us ads of rape prevention and how women are often blamed for being raped. Women are always the one being criticized for showing too much or asking to get raped. Wouldn't it also be the man's fault for lusting after a woman? Why isn't that person blamed? She shared with us a video about the trial where a group of young men (star athletes at their school) raped this young woman from West Virginia and posting the whole thing on the web. The anchorwoman seemed surprised by this and her reaction was disturbing. One of the young men said "Oh my God. My life is over now." After watching this clip, the class was utterly disturbed and one of my classmates asked "Did they ever think about the life of the young woman they raped?" The anchorwoman didn't even consider this and only thought of the men. Why is it that in our culture, we don't see from both sides and only take one side of things? We cannot understand the whole picture if the media only depicts one side of a person's story. The young men only have to serve a couple years in jail or until they were 21 years old. How does this work? The whole system is so broken and I really don't know what to say. While writing this post, this Bible verse came into my mind: "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" -Romans 3:23. I know that some people don't believe in God but let's say that we put our parents in this position. I just think that people are too prideful to the point that they are willing to do anything to keep themselves in the same position; not to lose face. Honestly, I am having a hard time trying to convey my emotions into words in this part of the blog. 

Mr. Hillyer talking about the history of the submarine

We continued to talk about this until 5:20 PM. Today's discussion was very heart wrenching and I don't even know what to say. I think the whole discussion was very hard for a lot of people to process and it didn't feel right. As "great" of a society we are or seem to be, we are very broken internally. The only way to fix it is by teaching people how to truly treat each other as equals. Dr. Paxton ended her lecture with a video of some students from Penn pleading people to look at each other as equals; men should stop making women scared of them so that women don't have to always look behind their backs and be cautious of men.  

Mr. Hillyer took us out to dinner today at a restaurant called, Spasso Italian Grill in Old City. We talked about what would happen in the next couple days. I ordered Veal and Crab cake at the restaurant and it was delicious. This dinner made me realize how much I miss being with the whole cohort. After dinner, we walked around Penn's Landing and eventually made our way to Washington Square Park. It was very hard to walk in flats but the exploring made up for it. We made it back to campus around 9:30 PM. Tomorrow, the Dean of Admissions will be presenting and I can't wait to see what he says. 

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