English Blog

Well, I love you but not like that. March 25, 2010

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality,Middlesex — writing4english @ 11:02 AM

I have to disagree with the idea that Desdemona and Lefty really wanted to be together but couldn’t because they knew it was wrong. I think that the attraction between Desdemona and Lefty was a burden on them; a burden they enjoyed but were reluctant to explore. Before Desdemona’s mother passed away her last words to her daughter were, “Take care of Lefty. Promise me. Find him a wife!” From then on, Desdemona was left with a large responsibility at such a young age. Thankfully, she was raised to be much more mature. Although it was a crazy transaction for her I think Desdemona enjoyed her responsibilities. She loved her silkworms & the cocoons and her brother, Lefty, very much. I think she was led to act more like a mother figure for him. “Didn’t she do everything for him, cook, sew, and keep the house as their mother used to?”(Eugenides, 27). That right there makes me believe that the only reason they ended up together was because she wanted the best for her brother and she wanted to keep her end of the promise she shared with her mother.

Lefty knew it was time for him to settle down but he couldn’t find anyone. He knew his sister was there to look out for him and he wanted to make her proud by picking the perfect lady. Lefty settling down with Desdemona seemed easier and he knew she would obviously approve of herself; she wasn’t a Turk (those are the girls Desdemona was determined to have Lefty stay away from). In regards to the relationship they began to grow, I think Lefty was in it for more of the curiosity. He fantasized so much of other woman and when he would think of his sister he would just pretend it wasn’t his sister.

It was hard for them to have a romantic relationship with each other because well… they were related. When it comes to love we are all told the qualities we should look for in a mate and what we should stay away from. However, we are never told, “Now don’t go marrying your brother/sister.” That just seems to be something we know not to do. Desdemona was even waiting for someone to tell her what she was doing was shameful. But, I don’t think they were reluctant because they knew it was wrong. I think they hesitated because they were confused about the kind of love they actually shared.

Desdemona was very nurturing and wanted to look out for her brother. Lefty was still so curious about life and what it had to offer, but knew it was time for him to find a woman. If anything it seemed like the relationship between them was so easy to happen because they had each other there. They obviously loved each other very much but personally, I wasn’t too convinced with the idea of them wanting to be together in a romantic relationship. I think the commitment between them was made to secure the thought that they will always have each other. It didn’t bother them too much that they were together because they always had each other around and loved each other more than anything. Maybe, it wasn’t until after the dance they shared that they may have seen one another in a different way. The feelings they felt that night made them realize the romance they could potentially share between them.

Nayeli Garza.

*I would like to use some ideas in my final essay. If any of it could possibly work.


Objects may not be what they appear to be March 2, 2010

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality,Identity,Uncategorized — writing4english @ 12:32 PM

Well, my identity is kind of complex is suppose. I’m not really sure what it is even yet. I know I’m of Irish, German, and Cherokee nationalities but that don’t really mean very much to me because my family don’t really hold many of their traditions. Race does not matter at all to me, nor does ethnicity. I can be in a room with six black people and be the only white person in there and not even notice. “White people wrongly, and often tragicaly, assumed blaces were inferior or that American Indians were ‘savages'” (Silverman and Rader 268). I know that many blacks are proud to be black because of their troubled past, but I am not proud to be white. Anyways, most of my friends are black and all my girlfriends have been black so I guess it has just made me color blind on the issue of race. One thing that I do identify with is my religion. I am Roman Catholic and I am proud to be Catholic. Catholicism and Family are two things that really help me identify myself. Family life is an important aspect of my life as well as deepening my relationship with God and solidifying my faith. Another major thing that identifies me is athletics. I am proud of being an athlete and I cannot imagine not being an athlete. I’ve been doing sports my whole life almost and I plan to continue doing sports until I die. If how I feel is how I defined me, I would be an athletic Catholic guy who is a family man but not restricted to being just one race.

-Jeffrey Senecal


Those Who Mind Don’t Matter… February 16, 2010

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality — writing4english @ 1:53 PM

We all play a role in society and not everyone is going to agree with that role. Our peers teach us what the typically accepted norms are through praise and disapproval. In a way, this gives us a preconceived notion of who you are supposed to be, how you are supposed to act, and what you’re supposed to say and sometimes, even feel.


My Little Brother Liked The Vest!


            Sex depends on what reproductive organs you are born with. Gender depends on where you take that – how you act; whether it’s feminine, or masculine. I guess this goes to show that gender is built (Silverman and Rader 428). Some guys consider themselves in between: metrosexual. According to the Encarta Dictionary, a metrosexual is, “a young, straight, sensitive urban man who is unashamed to enjoy good clothes, stylish living, the art of decorating, and improving his personal appearance.” Wow! I guess those are the guys who put tons of gel in their hair with the little “swoopy wave” thing they have going on at the top that people mistake for gay. External elements determine a lot of how someone views themselves and how others view them (Silverman and Rader 429).

            It is almost as though gender is based on majority rule. Most women wear dresses and make-up so if a man wear a dress or make-up, he would like to be portrayed as a female. In digression, this sort of relates to stereotypes. If a white male (Eminem) sags his pants and raps then he wants to be portrayed as a black male. What makes this a stereotype is that not all black males sag their pants and not all of them rap. Not all men wear dresses and not all women do. I saw a photo that was very stereotypical of male and females. Click here to see!!! —> http://www.lgbtsewisc.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/gender1.31481835_std.gif

            At some point in time, people disregard what others say and do what feels comfortable. And overall, that’s what gender is: feeling comfortable in your own skin. Let the little boy play with Barbie’s if he wants to. One day he might put them down and pick up a truck. Free will to be who you want to be in a world that isn’t always accepting of that.

Quote of the day:

“As far as I’m concerned, being any gender is a drag.” -Patti Smith

Lori E. Allan

Female on both accounts



Filed under: Gender & Sexuality — writing4english @ 1:41 PM

Although I do agree with you all that everyone in our human race should be able to do whatever they wish in order to make themselves happy, I don’t think i completely agree with the number of posts that claim that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. I must say that I am partial to the side of this age old argument that says a homosexual is born with some type of difference in their genetic make up that makes them attracted to same sex. With this said, yes, I do think there could be exceptions, just like there is for everything else in life. For example, although I do believe that one’s environment and surroundings contribute to their lifestyle choices and ultimately, what kind of life they live, I do not believe that this type of environmental influence could determine the gender choices of an individual unless it was stressed by an entire community that the only acceptable way to live your life is as a homosexual. It seems a little of a far fetched example, but you could also argue that it’s a bit inconceivable that social influence could persuade me into becoming a homosexual. I also have a strong belief that people well into adulthood who ‘decide’ that they are gay either, had not had enough intimate encounters beforehand to determine which sex held their true interest, or, for the reason that could be supported by The World is a Text, in which it reads “gender has become one of the most hotly contested subjects in recent American culture” (Silverman and Rader 427), that today’s youth and young adults crave attention, be it positive or negative. With gender being one of the most talked about issues, acting ‘out of the norm’ could gain one endless attention both from supporters and homophobics the like.
http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/HTML/facts_mental_health.HTML<—&#8211; In support that it’s not a choice.

-Jake Morse


Are YOU already America’s Next Top Model?!

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality — writing4english @ 1:26 PM

The question posed in TWiaT (as prof jenna wrote haha), “Why is there societal pressure on women being thin?” really got me thinking why that is so. As a female, I think there is so much pressure on females as a whole to look good and to be America’s Next Top Model. Even though many, if not all of us, will not make it; it definitely is a common goal for most girls I know. It takes women so long to get ready and its because there are more aspects to us that we need to perfect. Whereas men, they can shower, shave, get dressed and call it good. Looking at women being pressured to be thin is 100% correct and part of everyday society. You always hear about girls becoming anorexic and having eating disorders, but you never hear about men having them. From a biological stand point, it seems that men always have a higher metabolism and can eat whatever they want. They play sports and are active. Women that aren’t necessarily involved in sports as they are older, but can still work out and stay active, do typically have to watch what they eat or at least make it a point to. In all of the ‘woman’ magazines (ie. Cosmo, Seventeen, Women’s Health, Vogue, and so on…) you see plastered all over are skinny, fit, good looking women. There are tricks to fast abs, toning this and that and eating right. The idea of women being skinny is repetitive all throughout the media. The pressure is on women more so than men. It seems that it comes easier for men to stay skinny and in shape whereas women typically have to work on it to stay fit. As mentioned by Silverman and Rader, we all do involve ourselves with stereotypes and without noticing it we make assumptions about people we see (Silverman and Rader 429). I associate big and strong with men and skinny and fit with women. Its just how society has evolved and how more and more each individual is becoming more like the stereotypes as they get older.

–Samantha Laird


Everyone is Different.

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality — writing4english @ 11:55 AM

When I was younger, i would have definitly classified myself as a tomboy. I was always playing outside, climbing up trees, and causing chaos in the neighborhood with all of the other little boys. Basically I fit in with them and I loved being just one of the guys. But now as I am older I am nothing like that. I love being girly and getting all dressed up. I didn’t have to grow up playing with barbies to be who I am today. I mean of course I still have a little tom boy left in me but its not like im going to automatically change into a boy just because I thats how I acted when I was younger. And same goes for boys that played with dolls or took dance at an early age. That same boy who danced could be an amazing basketball player now just because of all the balance and graceful techniques that he required while in dance. In the book The World is a Text,  Silverman and Radar talk about how we as people carry so many assumptions about gender before they even fully understand it. I believe that we will never really understand  what gender means or how our own gender is determined because everyone is different. I feel that everyone should just be there own person and do whatever makes them happy in life. And if that means dressing like a boy if you are a girl or playing with dolls as a young boy, i say go for it. No one should judge people on their gender because everyone is different in their own way.

-Brittany Cifka:)


Gender & Sexuality

Filed under: Gender & Sexuality — writing4english @ 11:33 AM

Throughout my life I have always been the type of girl that is definitely in touch with her feminine side, but not afraid to get her hands dirty. I always did two types of sports when I was growing up- softball and dance. Whenever I played softball, I always loved sliding into bases and diving for fly balls, not caring that I’d get my jersey covered in dirt. Whenever I had a dance performance I always made sure that my costume and makeup looked perfect. Two completely different types of sports that have shaped who I am today. Not many people today have issues with girls doing both, but if a guy is a dancer, that’s be a completely different story. The perception of gender is influenced by “stereotypes, tradition, popular culture, and family” (Silverman, Radar 429). Unfortunately, it seems that whenever a boy is a dancer, a lot of people automatically stereotype him as gay and unmasculine. Little do they know that male dancers are some of the strongest of athletes and some male dancers do more than just dance. For instance, I know a guy that is a professional ballroom dancer and instructor. He has been dancing all his life, but in high school he was also a varisty football, hockey and track player. He is extremely strong and it seems that dancing actually helped in his other sports too. He is also an expert with clothes as well- now I’m sure people would ask if he was gay here, but he is far from it. He is engaged and is happy as ever. I really admire men like him because even though he is extremely strong and masculine, he is also not afraid to be in touch with his artistic side and is confident in who he is. Overall, I think it is important for both men and women to be confident with their sexuality because it can have a great impact on the way they live life.

Danielle Harteau