Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gender and Bathrooms Blog Post

This blog does make really interesting points. The world, in general, considers women the secondary figure to men. Women are just the variation of men, therefore not a true representation of "mankind." I'm not saying that everyone believes that or promotes it, but it is almost engrained in our thinking in society. Unconsciously we act as though women cannot be as good as men in certain aspects, sometimes unfairly. As for how we characterize men in America: men are seen as having to be tough, a man's man, and the one who does all the work. Women are seen as being meek, timid, and the support system to the man. In our society there are still hints of that notion that women are meant for housework rather than a career. The men are seen as responsible entirely for "bringing home the bacon." We also seem to characterize all men as being predatory like the blog said. The picture shows a male figure looking over the stall at a female figure, therefore inferring that all men should chase after women constantly and be overly protective of them. This really demeans men, and generalizes them into one indifferent group. In the same sense, women are always pictured as being gentle, shy characters. They are often pictured looking down at the ground as if women cannot stand up for themselves or defend any kind of position. This is also demeaning and generalizes all women as objects that need to be fended for and protected; almost as a helpless figure.

Without realizing it, something as simple as bathroom signs automatically classify all of us as indifferent, non-unique members of a gender group. The signs infer that all women should act a certain way and dress, act, ext. in the same way. The signs in the same way infer that all men should have certain characteristics, and if you don't you aren't a true man. This stresses the sense of conformity that is so prevalent in our society today. If you don't conform to certain standards and expectations of your gender, then you fail as an individual and are not generally excepted. Reading this blog really opened my eyes to the judgments we make about others without even realizing it.

Preliminary Thoughts Blog Post

 What I am thinking about analyzing in my first paper is one of BP commercials that I have seen on T.V. or one of the commercials made by the Government about the same topic: the oil spill. I found the commercials of both parties to be really misleading and lacking in the facts department. What was and still is being reported on the news about the oil spill and the investigation still going on about it, completely contradicts the commercials made by BP and the Government. BP insists that they are making great strides in the clean up process and that they are doing all they can to get the gulf back to the way it was for the people who live there. The Government insists that their fast actions and decision making saved the Gulf from a lot more oil that could've washed up on the shore. To me this is ridiculous. How can the Government possibly know what could've happened? And in the news, there were several reports that stated that Obama held off on sending several available skimmers. Also, other countries reportedly offered to help us with the clean up and our Government refused. These are all issues that I hope to effectively discuss and present using the rhetorical strategies in each commercial.

In both commercials I think the strongest rhetorical appeals are pathos and ethos. The position of the employee of BP speaking to the public can persuade some people that he knows what he is talking about and is telling the truth. Some people assume that a big company like BP must be right on the matter of clean up in the gulf. Also Obama narrates the Government commercial, so his position convinces a lot of people to believe whatever he is saying. Pathos is also addressed in both commercials. The speakers both say they are doing all they can and that they genuinely care about the people of the gulf. The viewers are tempted to feel compassion and understanding towards both parties.

My main roadblock that I need to overcome in writing my paper is organizing my arguments and thoughts and making sure I present them in a logical way.

Propaganda Blog Post

The most obvious and impacting change there has been in propaganda since WWII is the means by which is it spread. The main means of spreading information or asserting opinions during WWII was by posters. Today, the main means of spreading propaganda, I think, is through online newspaper articles, actual newspaper articles, and of course, T.V. Through these main means of communication, a larger and more diverse audience is reached in our world today. Almost everyone has a computer and email/internet access. If not purposely seeking out news events or political opinions, someone can still be confronted with news articles through their email account. Before even logging in to most accounts, there are recent updates and posts  about current issues. Being online, it is almost unavoidable to not be overwhelmed by news headlines.
If someone does not have email access, there are still newspapers and T.V. shows that are constantly competing with one another for the minds of the American people. They fight for the peoples' opinions and approval; to agree with their point of view instead of others. There is a demand for current news and knowledge of world events unlike there ever was during WWII.
The message the Government and other companies are sending to the American people today, (especially concerning the BP oil spill) is to blame the someone else for the occurring problems. We continually see the blame game played back and forward between BP and the Government. As more and more facts are becoming known still, months after the actual spill, Americans are having to decide for themselves who is to blame. But one thing is for sure, the Government and BP both have kept some things from the public and media purposely.
I think that Americans fear terrorists most of all right now. Attacks and threats are shown in the media very often keeping us constantly aware as a country that we could still be vulnerable.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rhetorical Triangle Makeup ad

This is an old ad for lipstick from the 1950's. I believe it primarily appeals to pathos or the emotions of the audience. The target audience is women, because they are trying to persuade them to buy the lipstick. By saying that a man will find you more attractive if you wear this lipstick, a woman's emotions are targeted. They may feel like they should go buy the lipstick in order to attract men because of the message in the ad. The ad also uses Ethos but in a less direct way. By saying it is "fashion's magnetic new color," the reader feels like the speaker is an authority on fashion. They may be even futher convinced of buying the lipstick because they want to be hip and stylish. I think that the message in the ad, is primarily to use the lipstick to find love. I think it is very effective in the time frame that it was created. It may not be as effective today, but it targets the women of the 1950's and their mode of fashion very well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Response to "How to say nothing in 500 words."

This essay by Roberts was extremely useful and relevent despite the year it was written. Several of the points made about different writing mistakes often made by freshman in college did remind me of some things I commonly do. I find that I do try to 'pad' my papers, especially when there is a word limit, by adding longer phrases in order to make one point. Instead, Roberts reminds me to just get to the point and not dance around it too much. I also find that sometimes I go with the obvious choice in opinion papers. Instead of thinking about an interesting, and not often used topic, I opt to go for the easiest and fastest option. Before reading this essay, I knew somewhat that I made these mistakes in some of my papers; but I didn't know exactly how to correct the mistakes. I think after reading this, I have some pretty good ideas about how to improve my writing.