Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

        Mother Mary is viewed across the world as someone who could potentially be looked as somewhat of a deity to some.  It was shocking to see some of the other Mary pictures last week in class. I feel that a lot of the concerns our class had was if the Mary portrayed was “holy” enough in some of the pictures. Let’s face it this world is becoming more secular each day and people’s minds are shifting from the very conservative to somewhat more liberal. I think what boggled a lot of minds including mine, was that Mary was no different than anyone else besides be a virgin that some may not be. She truly is a fully human being who was not perfect. Some of the early pictures of Mary portray her to be that of a goddess. She looks like a pure, sinless woman who adores children. Most of the early pictures portrayed her with fair skin due to the fight with the Muslims the Christians were having. The early Christians did not want their Holy Mary portrayed as one of those whom they were fighting with.  Some stated in class that the original Mary pictures were much to clean cut because of the realization that the bible states that all where sinners but the one who was Jesus Christ. So why was this lady portrayed in higher standards to anyone else in the world. She was a sinner just like the others. When the other
Virgin Mary picture was portrayed that Alma Lopez created some of the class thought of it as a joke to hit on the Mary and make fun of her. So where is the happy medium? I think in today’s times with the way the world is it is good to have different interpretations on the Virgin Mary that relates to not only different cultures and religions but also people in different stages of their lives.  There are many concerns that revolve around the Virgin Mary and I think one that portrays a caring, loving woman would be a better fit for her portrayal. I think that would meet the standards of a lot of different people. Most would assume or agree that Mary was a loving, caring and affectionate person. Maybe not one who dresses like a nun all the time and is portrayed as pure, because she wasn’t and it is stated in many different churches that she did not remain a virgin. Mary in a flower bikini might also not fit the correct Mary because even though the world is changing dramatically some may not see Mary as some sort of bodily figure looking like she is trying to seduce people.  The world needs a Mary that shows her human characteristics, but also shows her as one who shows her impact on Christianity.


Blake Hopson WMST Section 005



Religion is one of the most controversial subjects in the world. It has been this way forever, literally. There are so many religions and belief systems in practice today that it is hard to even understand them all. The issue is the symbolic meaning behind them all. I was shocked this week in class to see the different versions of Mary. One of the biggest arguments that came about was what would it do to society if the Mary people worshiped as a symbol of there faith was a more modern version that allowed people to see her as less strict and more open to change. Most people look at the original marry and think of her to be sin free, perfect, and she is covered from head to toe creating the ideal of what a woman should be when rooted in her faith. The thing about it is it is only aimed towards women. What about men? It was interesting to see how the original version differed from the last version where that Mary was less dressed and wasn’t as perfect as the original version. I think with this being said the ideal version that would be not only more appealing but more realistic is when we have a marry that meets in the middle and by that I mean a Mary that is not too under dressed but also not too over dressed. It would also be nice to see that there can be a few imperfections when you look at it. It would have different affects on different people and age groups but I think it would result in more positive reactions than negative ones.

Caylie Grasty Section 005

The word that has no defintion

“Is it when the cherry pops?”
“What about oral? Does that count?”
“Isn’t it just simply vaginal intercourse?”

So many questions arise when trying to determine when one loses their virginity; so many questions that DO NOT come with a simple answer. How do we decide, then? Shouldn’t there be a universal answer for this kind of thing? Since there truly is not one answer, there must be a bazillion considering all the individuals on this planet. Each boy and girl forking over their definition for what it means to lose their virginity. I say more power to it; we need more grey area rather than all the black and white we are taught. Just as long as you do not get offended when the girl next to you finds your definition to be a little more, let’s say, “slutty”.

I think we can all agree on how difficult of a subject virginity can be, especially as women. We tend to form our own opinion, and shortly after, begin to rethink it once we hear another woman’s personal outlook. To make matters worse, we have society putting a huge burden on us to remain “pure”. I loved Jessica Valenti’s piece The Cult of Virginity. Her depth into exploring the world of sexuality, purity, and everything in between was very enlightening. As she touched on the expectations of women and their purity, I wanted to look into it a little more. However, I did not have to search too far. The definition virgin says “a person, typically a woman, who has never had sexual intercourse”. Typically a woman, ugh, I thought.

So why is it typically a woman? Why has being a virgin become such a desirable thing in women when we don’t really even know what it is? I recently heard one of my friends talking about this male individual that kept tally marks of how many women he had slept with. Alright, now let’s picture if this was the opposite way around. If a female was keeping tally marks on how many guys she had slept with; it would seem a little more absurd, wouldn’t it? I can’t ask it enough times, why is that?

So let’s go back to the beginning of this, what does it mean to lose one’s virginity? No one has the answer because it is a personal decision all in itself. The article below goes more in depth about how the aspects of virginity are all up to YOU. That’s why I say when deciding what it means to be desirable, make sure that is up to YOU as well. That way when you ask yourself why, you will know it is because of you and not society.

-Chelsea 002

“Love Your Fat Self”

One of our class discussions this semester hit close to home. We read a couple stories that day but one titled “Love your fat self” really opened my eyes. Some of the topics we talked about on this particular day were: body image, how we see ourselves, and why this is a problem. I want to discuss my personal struggle with body image and further develop ideas that we discussed in class.

My struggle with weight started my sophomore year in high school. My poor self esteem came from my mom. My mom has always been beautiful and teeny tiny. She never worked growing up and she spent most of her days going to the gym and making sure she looked good. While I was growing up she would frequently make snide remarks like, “A minute on your lips, a lifetime on your hips!” Or, “are you sure you want to eat ANOTHER cookie?” I usually brushed her comments off and I never realized how much they hurt my feelings. Eventually I started to see myself as disgusting and I hated the way I looked. I would go on diet after diet but nothing would stop my moms comments. I started out by skipping a snack one day, then skipping a meal, then skipping two meals, then excessively working out, and so on and so forth. This eventually turned into a full blown eating disorder that ended with me being in the hospital time and time again. I went to a countless number of psychologists and was on numerous medicines but the only thing that really worked for me was time. I still have these thoughts and feelings years later, but for the most part, I can say I’m completely over this struggle. THANK GOD.

In this article, a girl is getting off the train and a random guy yells and says “Yeah, that’s right, get off the train, you fat bitch!” It then goes on to discuss how this causes emotional and psychological damages and later talks about the reasons people become fat and how a certain number on the scale doesn’t matter in the long run. What matters is how you view yourself. No matter how thin you manage to become, if you see yourself as fat, you will never be happy. Society has trained us to view fat as ugly and unacceptable. We never see images of normal or overweight people. We only see pictures of girls in bikinis, girls in tight dresses, girls in short dresses, and girls that are heavily photoshopped. We never see anything “real.” And in reality, girls that are a little overweight or girls that don’t have a flat stomach are “real.” The average girl isn’t a size two. The average girl has a stomach that isn’t flat and her hair isn’t always long and blonde. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and this article did an excellent job of explaining beauty. While thinking about what to write on this blog post, I came across some vintage ads. Vintage ads used to define beauty in a completely different way. Years ago, beauty wasn’t all about being skinny. In my opinion, when society starts to bring back these kinds of beauty ideals, less people will go through the struggle that I went through.

-Section 002


It’s Not Your Fault, My Sister.





            Brooke was scared and in a place where she was held down between what was best for him or what was best for her. She was completely trapped and there was no way out.  At age seven you are at a point in your life where you just begin to learn what is really right and what is wrong. Brooke was completely petrified on telling or if just keeping it to herself and not be fearful of him. Matthew was Brooke and I’s first cousin, our aunt’s son, we were eight years apart. When we were little we were always around all our cousins and it was often we were at my aunt’s house. Matthew was a sophomore in high school which meant he was a raging teenager full of needs of his own with a personality that didn’t give two cents about how anyone else felt. There were multiple times when Brooke and I would be in his room alone or just Brooke in his room with him way to frequently. I would have never guessed he would take full advantage of me and especially my sister.
        One night we was doing our typical thing at my aunts just hanging out, having dinner, and even talking about the latest gossip in our family. Brooke and I went to Matthew’s room I guess to see what new box car he was designing and I faintly remember him showing us his private part. I knew immediately what he was doing wrong but I didn’t know exactly know what he meant by doing it. Days later I told my aunt, his mom, what happened and I’m not sure if she believed me or if she did and didn’t want to face the fact that he done it but nothing was done about it. Five years later Brooke opens up to me and tells me what Matthew had forced her to do when we was six and seven. I never once second guessed her about what she had told me being the time he tried it with both of us. Brooke admitted that it involved her doing things to him and him doing things to her. I was sworn to secrecy to not tell our mom or anyone else in our family. As her sister I had to not say a word and respect her wishes.
         Brooke is now twenty-one and it was three months ago when Brooke finally told my mother about what happened when she was little. Through those years, Brooke felt like she was always being held down by humongous weight. She felt trapped and nowhere to escape. She always blamed herself because she felt maybe there was something she could’ve done when she was younger. Having been sexually assaulted as a child has held her back from many things. Brooke has a problem trusting men and there’s certain things she can’t do with her partner physically. After revealing what happened all that weight has been lifted off of her and she can finally breathe again.
            After talking with my sister about what happened we figured out why Brooke was so much of his target. Matthew knew I would tell if he tried again with me being that I did tell on him the very first time he tried. He centered more on Brooke because she was more shy and more naïve at that age than I was. What he did was ungodly awful and I would’ve never imagined having my sister go through the difficulties she has faced. Although there was almost a dead cousin once my mother confronted him about it, Brooke had a lot of courage that day when she did confront her attacker.


                                                                                                                             Miranda Garland 005

This week we read a story which brought fourth the question: what happens when politeness isn’t enough? In Betrayed by the Angel by Debra Davis she shares with us her story of her first encounter with violence not being stopped by politeness. In only third grade she was being repeatedly jabbed with a pencil by a boy in her class. She was too polite to say anything and instead would just wish that he wouldn’t do it that day. She told a substitute teacher once, but the teachers response was to go back to her seat and tell her if he does it again. The problem was, she wasn’t brave enough to tell her again even though it kept happening. This learned behavior of just being polite to abusers lead to a similar behavior when she was 25 and raped in her apartment. Her first polite response was that she couldn’t shut the door in this man’s face when he knocks on her door. She feels that she has to let him in. Even when it is clear that he is going to rape her, she figured she had lost already. When he told her to stop fighting she shot back at him, “I’m not fighting!” 

She talks about how she asked her college students to write things their parents taught them that they won’t teach their children. One of the responses she brings up is “My parents always told me to be kind to everyone. I won’t teach my children that. It’s not always good to be kind to everyone.” Davis questions herself while reading this. Asking herself why it took so long for her to learn something her college student already knew. As women, I think we are expected to always be polite and respond to other people’s rudeness or aggression still with a level of graciousness. As a little girl I always heard “boys will be boys” whenever a boy said something mean or physically hurt me. Even at a young age boys were expected to be ill-mannered and girls were expected to deal with it with a smile. This is wrong. If someone is treating you poorly, especially if they’re causing you harm, you have a right to get mad. You have a right to show the same respect they’re showing you. You don’t have to just take it because “boys will be boys.”

Julia Russo

WMST 2010-007 

The Evil of Shaming

When I was a freshman in high school, I often ran on the trend mill to practice for Cross Country because I was on the Varsity team. The boy next to me looked down at my legs and laughed at me, because my thighs would jiggle a little. Obviously, if someone laughs at you for your body, you’re going to be upset and offended.  When is skinny *enough* for society before someone stops laughing at you? When does the judgement of someone’s beauty or ugliness stop? To me, unless you stand on a table and scream “Don’t laugh, I’m hot and I know it”, people will continue to judge you no matter how meaty or how skinny you may be. Face it, skinny people have it good, but it still sucks to be made fun of.

Take this image here:

Yeah, fat people have it bad because social media has twisted the idea of what true beauty is. Today, you have to be tall, have a flat stomach, round and perky breasts and look pale or frail to be considered beautiful. While one may want this, people of the larger weight class make fun of skinny people too. Bones are for dogs, you say? Body shaming is not okay by any means regardless of the reason. A lot of flack that people get for being fat or skinny is because people are constantly told conflicting things about the true concept of beauty. One might be too fat, too skinny, too wrinkly, too light, or too dark or too short and tall. Think about it, the more you shame someone for their body, the more likely they are susceptible to self-esteem problems and eating disorders. The reality is 10 million women battle anorexia or bulimia because of various reasons. Some it may be because they simply can’t lose the weight, but the media and its brainwashing techniques it uses on young girls has caused most of it.

Women who are skinny may not have the capability to keep up with their eating habits simply because their metabolism is too fast to keep up. Believe it or not, skinny girls love to eat and do it whenever we want. While we may fit into society better simply for our looks, our self-esteem suffers when bigger people rag on skinnier ones for being smaller than they are. My point is that fat shaming and skinny shaming are just as negligible and hurtful as slut shaming. If I had walked up to someone and poked them in the stomach and they were large, it would be unethical and completely unacceptable. What makes it okay to poke a small person and say “You need to eat a hamburger”? Shaming one group of people will never truly solve the problem, it just makes it significantly more problematic. Regardless if you’re big or not, you’re still shaming person based on their body type. I have never been fat in my entire life because of my metabolism and the fact that from grade 7 through 12, I was an on again and off again anorexic. I realize that it is significantly more difficulty to lose weight than it is to gain, and that my body type and others who have it are more privileged than others. Beauty is what is found on the inside. Our differences is what makes us beautiful, and we should embrace it while we do have it. Skinny shaming isn’t the right way to rid fat shaming by any means. While sticks and stones may break bones, and words should never harm you – being called “anorexic” or “stick skinny” sucks, and people who scrutinize people for their body do too. The next time you sit next to someone in class, you should remember, “I don’t know their story, so I shouldn’t judge them for what they look like.”