Saturday, December 10, 2005

Is this for Real? Well, what do you have to lose?

-This has been circling the internet and people's e-mails for weeks now - this is the 5th time I have recieved this! Does anyone know if it is for real or just another scam? People seem to be buying into it more than the usual mass e-mail due to all the reactions it has recieved. Here it is:

PLEEEEEEASE READ!!!! it was on the news! asap. This was on the 9:00 o'clock news the other night and this works >> >> >>THIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE TUESDAY USATODAY - IT IS FOR REAL
This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.
Dear Friends; Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. When! you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it ( >>If you are a Microsoft Windows user) For a two weeks time period. >> >>
For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you >>$245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, >>Microsoft >>will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will >>be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your >>address and then send you a check.
I thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks af ter receiving this >>e-mail >>and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and >>withindays, >>I receive a check for $24,800.00. You need to respond before the beta >>testing is over. If anyone can affoard this, Bill gates is the man. >> >
It's all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people >>as >>possible. You are bound to get at least $10,000.00. We're not going to >>help >>them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something >>for >>our time. My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When i >>went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She showed me her ch eck. It was >>for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid in full"
Like i said before, I know the law, and this is for real. >> >>Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger which would make them the >>largest >>Internet company and in an effort make sure that AOL r emains the most >>widely used program, Intel and AOL are r! unning an e-mail beta test. >> >>
When you forward this e-mail to friends, Intel can and will track it( if >>you >>are a Microsoft Windows user)for a two week time period. >> >>TRy it; What have you got to lose
My Little Rant on the Commercialism of Christmas

Since Dr. Lambiase is pretty lenient on what we are allowed to write on these things, I thought I would give my opinion on the commercialism of the winter holidays; exclusively, Christmas. What really bothers me is that the meaning of Christmas seems to have left the hearts of those that celebrate it and now we, the American society seem to only think about the greedy, selfish part involved in the holidays: the presents. Many people may think I do not have the right to criticize because I am from the Jewish faith, but let me give you a little background on myself.
I was raised in a Jewish home, with a Jewish mother who married a Christian man patient and supportive enough to allow her to raise their children Jewish. However, my father's only request was that we celebrate the two Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter, with his mother and family each year. They agreed, and 23 years later, it is still working. Some may consider me lucky because I got the holidays of both religions (and both sets of presents) but I consider myself lucky because I grew up very open-minded to other religions besides my own. So even though I completely believe in my Jewish faith, and insist on raising my future kids Jewish, I still have an understanding of the Christian faith and what is based on.
Because of this understanding and appreciation of this other religion, I do not understand how people get so wrapped up in the materialistic, comercialized part of Christmas and Easter. Even before December I see Christmas decorations in stores and I feel that it takes away from our November holiday, Thanksgiving. Please, one holiday at a time! In the mall, there are entire stores completely devoted to Christmas decorating and a fake Santa Claus emerges the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which is the beginning and appreciation of Christianity. It is a time to reflect on the meaning of Christian faith and a time to spend with loved ones. Yes, the presents are nice, but it is not what Christmas is about. I feel that the media and our society is so wrapped up in selling products for Christmas that people begin to think that this is what it really is about. So, when you read this little rant of mine, please remember the real reason you and your family are together for this holiday; mine is to appreciate the birth of my father's religion. What is yours?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Not Everything is Black or White…Nor is it Pink or Blue
Everyday, we face many gender role stereotypes in our society. Women staying at home with the children; men working a big nine-to-five job; little girls in pink and little boys in blue; the examples are endless. And although our society has moved away somewhat from many of the “accepting” ways on how to act gender appropriately, there is still a large disapproval of little boys and girls dressing in clothes that are gender “inappropriate.” An example of this would be the little boy who wanted to dress like a fairy for Halloween. Since I do not have any children of my own, it is hard to say what I would have done if I had been the mother of this child. I grew up in a very tolerant, liberal home where my family was accepting of whatever decisions we made. I imagine that I would raise my children in a similar style; however, not every parent feels the same way because of our society “norms”.
When I was growing up there were many gender role stereotypes that I was presented with. I played with Barbies, I dressed in dresses, and played house with my friends, and little sister. However, when my brother was a little boy, he saw the examples that my sister and I gave him and wanted to be just like his older sisters. We would dress him like us, and include him in our female gender role stereotype activities. Although this would seem like torture to some little boys, my brother actually enjoyed it because it meant that he was included and he was like one of his older sisters. After a while, my sister and I didn’t have to dress him anymore and we would often find our clothes on him voluntarily. My parents never reacted in a negative way towards this. My mother was very happy that we were including my brother and did not care about having him dress like a girl in public. She would constantly have people in the street come up to her and say “What a pretty little girl!” which she would respond very politely, and with a smile “Actually, he’s a boy, but thank you”. My mother knew that my brother, Sam, would eventually grow out of this, and even if he didn’t, then she would always love him the same. My father didn’t seem bothered by it either. He knew that we were just kids playing around and he was never scared that Sam would become a homosexual or a cross-dresser when he grew up. Both my parents knew that Sam was growing up in a very loving and caring environment and therefore he was being raised to be a good person.
My brother did eventually grow out of this phase. He is sixteen years old, six feet tall, a star soccer player, and drummer in the high school band. Looking at Sam now, you would have never guessed when he was three that he dressed like a little girl. Sam does not show any feminine qualities nor if he homosexual. He found his own identify and his own gender and he has become a very positive role model for his friends and younger kids. My sister and I sometimes tease my brother about the time when he was “Samantha” but he just shrugs it off because he is comfortable with himself and knows that he was just a little boy looking up to his older sisters. He has not had the desire to dress like a female nor does he show any signs of emotional scarring from his childhood activities. I think this is because my parents were very supportive and attentive and never judged any of what would be considered gender inappropriate behaviors.
The situation with the little boy wanting to dress like a fairy for Halloween is similar to my brother’s past situation. I don’t feel that it is a bad or a wrong thing for him to dress in what would be considered a female costume. One of the most critical parts of the learning experiences of young children is gender development. The actions of parents, teachers, and siblings often influence young children's perceptions of gender roles. (Gooden, 2001.) Because of society’s pressure of “norms” and appropriate behaviors for genders, I can see why a parent might be concerned with this little boy’s request. However, I don’t feel this is something that a parent should spend a lot of time worrying about because more than likely, it is just a phase that the little boy will grow out of. And even if he doesn’t, the parent should still be supportive in anything that the child does because this is the identity that they have chosen for themselves.
It is very hard for one to be accepting of something that is viewed inappropriately by a large part of society. Issues like the boy wanting to dress like a fairy would not even be a concern if society didn’t make such a big deal of it. My parents did not make a big deal of it when my brother dressed like a girl and Sam turned out just fine. There is no right or wrong way to raise a child as long as there is support, love, and care. If I were the parent of the boy who wanted to dress like a fairy I would not be embarrassed and I would support my child’s decision. We have to remember how impressionable a child’s mind is and any doubt or disapproval we show towards them will hurt their self esteem and development or their identity. So, for the boy who wants to dress like a fairy, or little girl who wants to play sports, we must remember that they are shaping their own identities and we should encourage uniqueness and individuality.
My Final Project Proposal Worksheet:

The tentative title of my paper is: Requirements to Live a Happily Ever After: 38'-24'-36'

Sources: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Cinderella, etc.

Research questions: Why are princesses in Disney movies portrayed as helpless heroines who are bored of their lives and in need of saving by a daring and brave man? Why are they always dressed in skimpy outfits and have non-realistic body types? What kind of message is this sending to the young children (especially girls) about gender roles and expectations? Why is there never a Disney movie about a prince/man being saved by a woman and being swept off of his feet?

Method: theme analysis

Corpus: Disney princesses and their clothing, attitudes of helplessness and longing for something more; the prince/male character in the movie coming to save them; their role with the antagonist

Monday, November 28, 2005

On My Soapbox: About Sexism in the Workplace
Women must go through extreme measures to get what they want in their careers, but it isn't always by being aggressive or sexual. Society views an aggressive woman as a feminist (in a negative way) and sometimes even as a lesbian. Aggressive women are out of control and out of their minds. They are constantly PMS-ing and will say and do anything to get what they want. These statements are a little extreme but many believe to have a value of truth to them. Aggressive women hate men and have no families, so all their time is spent fighting for the top. Unfortunately, if you are a woman trying to get ahead in the workplace and develop a successful career it seems that family is probably out of the question. It is society's view that the woman is the primary caregiver of her children, which makes sense because she does hold the child in her womb for over 9 months. Then she has to heal from childbirth (both physically and psychologically) as well as breast feed. She cannot possibly have a successful career and take care of a new born. This makes it harder for women to have both, thus the perception of an aggressive woman is associated with a single, angry, man-hating female. Yes, it sucks, but we were the gender picked to bear children, but why is this held against us?
It is funny that women struggle so hard to get to the top when some of them are far more qualified than their male competitors. According to several researchers, females are more likely (in general) to seek higher education than males. It seems like a man does not even have to go to college to have a successful career, which a woman has to have those requirements and more in order to even get her foot in the door. This is a very male-biased society, where people (both men and women) react better to the advice from a male professional than a female one, despite their education level. This is a shame because most women in professional, successful careers have the highest level of education while many men do not. This argument can be used by saying that it is more about talent than education, but I guess that would entail that men are just more talented than women - another sexest presumption issued in society.