One of the biggest problems I have had growing up is that I am of Hispanic heritage but was adopted and raised by a pretty typical Caucasian-American family and so I didn’t grow up the “traditional” Hispanic way.
So one of the biggest problems that I have had is people around me assuming that since I look Hispanic I am somehow automatically instilled with any and everything that has to do with being Hispanic. I used to be a cashier and almost everybody that came in asked if I spoked Spanish because of how I looked, and if i didn’t I was looked down upon because I didn’t know. This assumption led to me being looked down upon by not one ethnicity but really anybody who walked through the door. So when I received an assignment to look into apart of me that I never really touched because people were so mean to me because I wasn’t raised a certain way, I grabbed the chance and ran with it. With that being said, Hispanic women have pushed through the stereotypical lens they have been shoved into and evolved to become an independent and confident part of society, show in today’s popular culture media.
Hispanic Stereotypes and Popular Culture
I am not going to lie, there is usually going to be some truth behind a stereotype but that doesn’t mean that they are fully true or sometimes true at all. One of the biggest things that I haven’t dealt with personally but that I know has been a huge issue, is the LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ community and the different Hispanic populations, and how those have came together, has really been hard for a lot of different people, specially teens. I feel confident in saying that a good portion of Hispanics that are religious, are pretty true to their religion and one of the things that we have seen lately in media is how those two haven’t been getting along. Netflix’s show One Day At a Time has really stood out in popular culture recently because of the end of their first season.
“15-year-old Elena Alvarez (Isabella Gomez) walks out at her quinceañera wearing not a traditional gown but a white suit, shortly after coming out to her family. Her father, Victor (James Martinez), rejects her, leaving her alone on the dance floor for the father-daughter dance. But Elena is not left alone for long. Her mother, Penelope (Justina Machado), quickly steps in to take Victor’s place, along with the rest of the family” (Lawler, 1).
This show is a great example of what is going on in the world today because this is the sort of stuff that is actually happening. After doing research for this project, I noticed that there was an expectation for people with Hispanic families (or even just people with Hispanic heritage) to be apart of everything traditionally Hispanic and, then if they weren’t, they were pretty much shunned and outcasted. This project actually showed me that these assumptions about who I was while growing up wasn’t happening to just me.
With that being said, over the past decade these assumptions have gotten better and One Day At a Time is a great example of that. One Day at a Time is reaching thousands of people on Netflix and showing them that they aren’t alone. I think that is one of the most important things that I discovered this term, was that just because people feel alone or isolated doesn’t mean that they actually are. Everybody is different and that a part of you doesn’t define you no matter what people say.
Digging Deeper Into What Being a Hispanic Woman Represents
After my initial research I realized that the one of the biggest problems that women of Hispanic heritage face in popular culture is that they really aren’t taken seriously in America. As of late most of the shows launched with a Hispanic woman as the lead have not done well at all. This wasn’t until shows like Jane The Virgin showed up. Jane The Virgin has found this niche between relating to people of Hispanic heritage while talking about people with Hispanic heritage at the same time.
One of the ways that Jane The Virgin does that is the show is in a sort of telenovela format. A telenovela for anybody who doesn’t know is “a soap opera produced in and televised in or from many Latin American countries”. Jane The Virgin “…makes the telenovela format its own and adds dimension to characters who could otherwise be flat and unoriginal ”(Martinez,1). Jane The Virgin cease relatable to everyone and that is why she has done over 64 episodes and is now going on their forth season. This show has really made an impact how Hispanic are seen and understood. Before this project I had never seen this show and honestly expected to not like it but Jane the Virgin is relatable and real and I personally couldn’t help but binge-watch all of it because I saw so much of me in her. This was a huge turning point for me in this project because I went from wanting to try and stand-up for some of Hispanic heritage to being proud of it, and who I am.
What I learned?
My journey the past ten weeks for this project has really made me that much more confident in who I am and what this part of my identity is and has become. When I was I was younger I was embarrassed of this part of my identity because people would shun me for not being a “real” Mexican and after this project and diving head first into this I am noticed how I am not the only one who feels this way and that Hispanic women comes in all shapes and sizes. Unlike American popular culture Hispanic popular culture is starting to show that. One of the best examples of this is Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. Orange is the New Black has surpassed every other Latina-led show in the past decade. Everybody is different and that’s a part of what makes Orange is the New Black so amazing and so important. “…These women are tender and tough, nurturing and cruel..”(Bmanuel,1). Orange is the New Black has gone even farther and shown dimension to their characters, making them actual people. This show “ No longer mere whores or virgins, mere mothers or girlfriends, Flaca, Gloria, Daya, Maritza, Aleida, Blanca and Maria show us the breadth
of the Latina experience on screen, in all its complicated and unapologetic glory.That, more than anything, is Orange Is the New Black’s lasting legacy” (Bmanuel, 1) So in conclusion, I went from wanting to try and stand-up for some of my Hispanic heritage to being proud of it, and who I am, that is what I learned from my Sophomore Inquiry, Popular Culture.
-Martinez, Diana. “Jane the Virgin Proves Diversity Is More Than Skin Deep.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 19 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 May 2017.
-Bmanuel. “Most Radical Thing About ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Is Its Latina Characters.” Mic. Mic Network Inc., 15 June 2016. Web. 19 May 2017.
-Lawler, Kelly. “How Netflix’s ‘One Day at a Time’ Flips the Coming-out Script.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 Jan. 2017. Web. 19 May 2017.
-“One Day at a Time.” Netflix Official Site. N.p., 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 21 May 2017.
–“”Orange Is the New Black” Recap (4.2): If the Suit Fits.” AfterEllen. N.p., 22 June 2016. Web. 22 May 2017.
-“Jane the Virgin Chapter 38 Recap: Moving Out.” Channel Guide Magazine. N.p., 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 22 May 2017.
-N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2017. http://37.media.tumblr.com/0841e4aded2c66f09da05585412ec9d9/tumblr_mrk0fyA6yl1r17qi5o1_500.gif
-Giphy. “Jane The Virgin GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY.” GIPHY, n.d. Web. 07 June 2017.
-Giphy. “Netflix GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY.” GIPHY. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 June 2017.
-“Telenovela.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 07 June 2017.
Media Coverage of Men’s Sports
Watching, playing, and enjoying sports is a major component in many American’s lives. We grow up surrounded by them, read about them, and spend our days and nights watching them. We don’t think much about about gathering with friends to watch an NBA game or to cheer on your favorite NFL team. We flip through the channels of our TV guide and see all of the biggest games that are coming up. But do we ever gather to throw an event for a WNBA game or a softball game? It is because there are very few opportunities that the sports media coverage allows us to watch these women’s events. Male athletes get much more sports media coverage and attention at all levels than female athletes, which is not reflected with the growth that has occurred in women’s athletics.
Sports have always been a big part in my life and have changed me into the person I am today. Throughout my athletic career, from elementary school to highschool and now to college, I have noticed small inequalities between male and female athletics in the way they are portrayed. Small things such as male sports getting most of the attention around school and how male football/basketball games are always the events to go to. I was intrigued to further my findings to a larger more nation-wide scale. I have always known that male sports get more sports media coverage than females but I was not sure what the extent was. Two of the main media channels that people ingest their sports information from are television and magazines.
Sports Illustrated Magazine
The Sports Illustrated Magazine is one of the leading sports magazines in the world and is read by over 21 million people each week. Despite having only three million subscribers, the numbers show that millions of others find their eyes drifting towards a cover of a SI magazine. The magazine can be a great source for sports information on upcoming events and featured stories. But does it cover men and women equally? In 2016, there were a total of 81 volumes of SI, all having unique covers of various athletes. Of the 81 covers, a staggering 73 featured men as the main photo, while only six featured women and two had both genders. Ninety percent of the covers were male athletes! Women were featured an insignificant 7% of the time. Last time I checked, the percentage of athletes who are males is not 90%. Since Title IX was passed in 1972,women seemed to have gained substantial ground in becoming equal to men. But, according to a study done by the University of Louisville, there has been no increase in women on the SI cover, “Less than 5 percent of covers including females from 2000 to 2011 compares dismally with 12.6 percent from 1954 to 1965.” Even in the past 50 years, Sports Illustrated Magazine has failed to increase the publicity of female athletes compared to male athletes. It has actually decreased substantially. These statistics are not the only difference between male and female athletes being on Sports Illustrated Magazine covers.
One of the main takeaways I had from scanning over the covers from this last year was the way male athletes were portrayed compared to female athletes. A majority of the male athlete covers are pictures you would expect on the front. Them in their uniforms posing in a normal position for their particular sport. These male athletes are being shown as they would be seen on TV and are viewed as nothing out of the ordinary. For females, this is not the case. Only one of the six female covers is a “normal” sports photo. One cover is of Caitlin Jenner, another is about fashion, and the last three are SI Magazine’s yearly Swimsuit Issue.
This depiction of female athletes on the covers reveals that being an athlete isn’t good enough when you’re a female. For men, they often pick their cover athletes based on performance and who is a popular athlete in the sports world. But for women, they don’t get this same treatment. Either something extraordinary has to occur in female sports or women will continue to be solely featured in the Swimsuit edition, which has very little relation to sports.
Another media source where sports events and stories are commonly broadcasted is ESPN. ESPN is a U.S. based global cable and satellite sports television channel. Its purpose, specifically the TV channel, is to broadcast all sports related activities for the world for entertainment. ESPN is a popular channel that even the non-sports fan is familiar with. While browsing through my TV guide, I decided to look at what events ESPN was planning on showing in the next week. I cut the hours in a day from 7AM to Midnight and looked at the following week. In one week of these hours, there are 119 hours up for grabs. Of these 119 hours, 49 were men’s sports, 8 were women’s sports, and the remaining 62 hours went to shows like SportsCenter which have no designation. With SportsCenter occupying over 50% of the airtime on ESPN, it would seem that there would be plenty of time to slip in female sport stories or highlights here and there. A study done by Purdue University looked at the percentage of male coverage vs female coverage on local news channels vs SportsCenter. It discovered, “Over the same 6-week sampling period, KCBS included only one story on women’s sports—a scant 0.2% of its total sports news time. ESPN’s SportsCenter did no better, devoting a paltry 2% of its hour-long highlight show to women’s sports.” If we include the SportsCenter percentages, then over 90% of the content on ESPN is of male sports.
There are a few main issues that stand out with these statistics. First, that male sports get priority over female sports for the prime TV hours. The time of day most people relax and enjoy sports is in the evening. This plays a major impact on the viewing numbers women’s sports receive. Even if they began showing women’s sports more often, they would most likely be at less popular viewing times. Men’s events are always going to have the priority over women’s events, particularly during primetime due to popularity. This is unfair because women never get a real chance to occupy these hours for extended periods of time. Major companies like ESPN make too much money for them to “risk” it by showing a female sport during primetime.
Secondly, ESPN and SportsCenter are often replaying and showing the same game/highlights multiple times. Sporting events are something where once you know the outcome, you would not want to watch it again. But for some reason, ESPN replays the same shows instead of branching out and broadcasting a women’s sport. Filling in these unused hours with high quality women’s sports could potentially bring in new viewers for ESPN.
Lastly, similar to the Sports Illustrated Magazine Issue, in order for a female sporting event to be featured on mainstream media, it needs to be special for some reason. The most common examples are championship games, record breaking games, or special occasions such as the Olympics. This is great that ESPN would take the time to give some respect to these women’s athletes, but why not a regular game? Are regular female sporting events not intriguing or popular enough? Once again, the way ESPN selects it sporting events to broadcast puts women in the shadow of men and deems them as less important.
It is crazy how things can pass right through us without batting an eye. It is common for people to acknowledge the inequality of sports media coverage between men and women, but they fail to move past this acknowledgement and address this recurring issue in mainstream media. As a male, it is difficult to see an issue with this problem because it is beneficial to us. I am proud to be a male athlete but I am not proud of this imbalance. It is also difficult in that there is very little we can do individually to change what major companies decide to advertise and produce. I think it starts with men for this to be solved. Male athletes need to stand up against this inequality and make a change in the sports media coverage world.
- One course text that stood out to me was the ASC research study during week 5. It was so shocking to me to see kids of all ages still failing to understand the internet. Some of the kids in the study are so trusting of everything posted on the internet and are unaware of the impact it is having on them. This is definitely something where I need to continue to watch myself on which website and online media I am absorbing.
- Another big skill I have obtained from this class is deciphering between primary and secondary sources, and where to find them. This is the first class where I had to research these two different types of sources. Learning how to access these sources from the library will be very helpful for any future classes and research projects I have.
“2016 Sports Illustrated Covers.” SI.com . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2017. https://www.si.com/more-sports/photos/2016/01/05/si-covers-2016
Cooky, C., M. A. Messner, and M. Musto. “”It’s Dude Time!”: A Quarter Century of Excluding Women’s Sports in Televised News and Highlight Shows.” Communication & Sport 3.3 (2015): 261-87. Web. 20 May 2017.
Shifflett, B., and R. Revelle. “Gender Equity In Sports Media Coverage: A Review Of The Ncaa News.” Journal of Sport & Social Issues 18.2 (1994): 144-50. Web. 20 May 2017.
Tuggle, C. A. “Differences in Television Sports Reporting of Men’s and Women’s Athletics: ESPN SportsCenter and CNN Sports Tonight.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 41.1 (1997): 14-24. Web. 20 May 2017.
Weber, Jonetta D., and Robert M. Carini. “Where Are the Female Athletes in Sports Illustrated? A Content Analysis of Covers (2000â 2011).” International Review for the Sociology of Sport 48.2 (2013): 196-203. Web. 20 May 2017.
I consider my Latino background one of the largest aspects of my identity. As the son of a Mexican immigrant and white U.S. citizen, often my ethnicity is the first thing people notice about me. Upon seeing me for the first time people also make assumptions about my moral character based on their previous experiences and how my identity has been portrayed to them by the media and other members of my identity. After researching and asking how Latinos are portrayed in the media, I was able to notice recurring patterns, tropes, and stereotypes. The most popular subjects I found in portrayals of Latinos were about Immigration and legal status, gang activity in relation to violence, crime, and drug dealing, and affirmative action policies. Only after reading multiple articles and looking at many cultural artifacts was I able to find sources that portrayed the successful members of the Latino community in a positive light, but even then they sometimes fall victim to the misfortune that plagues minority groups around the world, and especially in the United States. After reading and analyzing my sources, I concluded that in pop culture media Latinos face problems of immigration status and language barriers, but upon transcending these barriers by either being U.S. born or naturalized, they face entirely new barriers including poverty and gang activity that might offer a feeling of success and belonging, but will ultimately end in demise.
When I began researching my identity and chose my cultural artifacts to examine, I thought I would choose one old and one new. I decided that movies would be a great source, as I found Latinos make up the largest demographic of moviegoers, and I personally know many people who have learned English through American movies. While there is no shortage of Latino media in Latin America and within the homes of Hispanics, it is much less represented and seen in mainstream, everyday life in the United States. However, I thought of two movies that portrayed Latinos characters, and are known by many movie watchers in the U.S. I chose the movie Scarface starring Al Pacino, because it is frequently referenced all across popular culture media especially in regards to monetary success. This movie also came out in 1983, so it provided great content from thirty years ago to compare and contrast to the content of today’s media. The second movie I chose was End of Watch, a 2012 film shot documentary style, providing a fictional first hand account of two police officers in LA, and how they fall victim to gang violence.
Opening scene of Scarface, Tony Montana gets sent to a refugee camp after interrogation upon arrival to the U.S. by law enforcement.
In the movie Scarface, Tony Montana begins his journey in the United States by being sent to a refugee camp. In the beginning of the movie, he is also interrogated by law enforcement. In the interrogation scene, Tony talks about how he learned to speak English through watching American movies. Upon closer examination, the law enforcement officers find a gang related tattoo on Tony, and immediately lose any thought of allowing him to have freedom on American soil and is sent to “Freedom Town”, the refugee camp. Before Tony Montana has a chance to fully explain the mistakes he made when he faced hard times in Cuba under Castro, he is toted off as the two officers talk about how he doesn’t believe a word he says and that “They all sound the same to me”. Scarface is sent to a camp and is offered a Green card by a man whose brother was tortured to death by one of Castro’s former generals, if he can assassinate the man inside of Freedom Town. Scarface does this, receives his green card, and begins working for the man who ordered the hit. Scarface begins helping with small jobs and crime for Frank Lopez, and ends up as a big player in his Cocaine business dealings across Miami, and to Bolivia.
Montage from the film after Tony begins increasing business with Bolivian Cartel leader Alexander Sosa
Scarface frequently finds himself in violent situations and gun fights, yet between these scenes he reflects on his ambition. He knows he commits crimes and violence, but he also knows that in the complex social structure of 1980s Miami he is not the only bad guy. He accepts responsibility to be the bad guy, because he says he would rather be honest with himself than use people like the other characters. Tony Montana makes a large fortune, but many enemies along the way and is ultimately slain in his luxurious mansion after he loses most of his close friends, and attempts a last stand against waves of gangsters.
After making his fortune and marrying the woman he loved, Tony’s greed begins to consume him and he finds himself in trouble with the law. The bad guy speech takes place after a dinner with his wife Elvira and friend Mani, before he leaves for New York to assassinate a political figure to gain the Cartel leaders assistance.
Tony Montana first appears on screen as a wise cracking immigrant who may have had a shady past, but quickly rises through the ranks of a large criminal organization and makes the fortune that he was after since he lived in Cuba. Regardless of the steps and precautions he could have taken, it was inevitable that he would fall victim to the violence and crime that he used as a tool for success. I believe that while this movie is seen as a classic action and crime drama, it is also a way to look into the way society is played out. The film uses many archetypes from real life, immigration events, difference in social conduct, stereotyped jobs such as the kitchen scene, and also very solidly portrays the gang violence and crime that is associated with Latinos in poor areas due to popular culture and media portrayal. Tony Montana came to America in search of the American Dream, and achieved it in terms of wealth by accepting the violent and troubling situations presented to him and using them to his personal gain, which would ultimately cost him his life.
The second movie I analyzed takes place on the opposite side of the law as Scarface. End of Watch is about Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, who are both friends and partners. The film portrays their personal lives and background stories, and how they have found success in law enforcement. The movie shows a positive relationship between the two friends, and they often joke about each other’s race backstory, which offers content that can be compared and contrasted as examples of firsthand media portrayals. Mike Zavala is a Mexican police officer and Brian Taylor is white, but majority of the criminals and suspects they meet are African-American or Mexican.
This movie takes place in LA, and even though Mike Zavala is portrayed as successful, you can see all around them the less fortunate members of the community are largely black and hispanic. Mike and Brian have interactions with each side of a gang rivalry, and through an interesting interaction and arrest, they gain the respect of one particular African-American gang member, who informs them of a hit placed on their heads after busting a Mexican cartel member, yet they are not too worried by it. The interaction that Mike has when interacting with the Latino gang members is very interesting, as they say things in spanish that should be disturbing but he writes it off, and they comment on how glamorous the Mexican cartel members weapons are. The movie poster shows Mike Zavala posing with the cartel members golden AK-47. As a member of the latino community, and a consumer of pop culture such as controversial Narcocorridos, I think that the bravery shown by Zavala and Taylor in the face of cartel danger is very inspiring.
Mike and Brian tail and arrest a known gang member “Big Evil”, they later become targeted for this by a large Cartel.
Mike and Brian are warned that their police activity and arrests are going to anger Sinaloa Cartel members.
The specific cartel they face in the movie originates from Sinaloa, Mexico, is known as one of the most wealthy and violent criminal organizations in North America, and in addition to LA gang violence and drug trafficking, they make money from human trafficking and assassinations. This movie really spoke to me as a Latino youth coming from an underprivileged background, because Mike Zavala was able to become successful and stable without a college degree, and was able to escape from personally partaking in criminal activity. The reason why I decided to use this movie as a source to analyze is because even though Mike Zavala was able to escape a lesser life through his law enforcement career, he still falls victim to the same circle of violence and crime that claimed the life of Tony Montana, and countless other latinos that resort to crime and gang violence to escape poverty.
One of the biggest learning moments for me was when we used the method to analyze advertisements. In a society where we are constantly bombarded by commercials and jingles that are meant to promote an item, it is easy to forget that these ads are supposed to solicit a reaction from us. Even if we can identify this, that may be what the producers actually want from us, a sense of “you can’t fool me, I am a smart consumer”, but by doing so we have wasted time and energy that could be used productively, to think about fast food or some fad toy we do not need.
Another learning moment for me was how much our view of certain popular culture artifacts dictate how appropriate it is. As I did research for this project, I decided to delve into a piece of culture that I frequently indulge in. Narcocorridos are a type of Mexican music genre that incorporates complex and compound time signatures, virtuosic instrument playing, and sings about the deeds and winnings of those involved in their respective business. Often, these “business” are innuendos for illegal activity, but the artists will also explicitly describe them in detail at times. Sinaloa and cartel activity are often mentioned in Narcocorrido music, and Big Evil is even listening to Narcocorridos in “End of Watch when he is arrested.
My favorite singer of Corridos is Gerardo Ortiz, who has songs that range from complicated love stories, to preparing for confrontation and violence. He also has survived an attempted assassination that took place in 2011, but lost his cousin and his business manager during the incident. I think it is very interesting that this music is so popular in the Latino community, yet the subject matter can be dark. While it is easiest to see the crime and violence, through the immense appreciation of this music we can see on a deeper level how it shows the work and devotion to a team and family that these individuals have as they are willing to endanger themselves to escape poverty or sometimes death.
“El Cholo”(The Gangster) official music video by Gerardo Ortiz.
“Quien se Anima”(Those who dare/are encouraged) official music video by Gerardo Ortiz.
Narcocorridos about the lifestyle of people who dare or are encouraged in certain jobs and businesses. He has good friends, and family that gives him good advice as he has fun but gets work done. The lyrics lose some of the meaning and characteristics of the genre as an art form. The translation changes the natural rhythm that accompanies the music and creates the complex meter and music theory behind the songs.
End of Watch(2012) Directed and Written by David Ayer
“Latinos in Hollywood: Few Roles, Frequent Stereotypes, New Study Finds”
“‘No Chicanos on TV’”
Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1993 Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc.
Accessed through PSU Library
“Portrayals of Latinos in and by the Media”
Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1993 Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc.
Accessed through PSU Library
Scarface(1983) Directed by Brian De Palma, Written by Oliver Stone
Representation of Muslim Women in Media
Ever since I was younger I’ve been bombarded with images of Muslim women wearing burkas who were reported in the media as abused. Currently, more Muslim women have emerged working in more prominent fields such as journalism and fashion which has expanded the representation of Muslim women to greater fields in which they relatively had no representation but I wanted to see if the majority of America still saw Muslim woman as abused and uneducated.
Personally, I follow a lot of Muslim women who are fashion bloggers and journalists such as Noor Tagouri and Dinatokio, with Noor Tagouri appearing on CNN to debate about the presidential elections and Dinatokio being the founder of the first modest fashion week. So, I knew people had been exposed to these women but I felt as if the admiration for them was limited to a niche community of Muslim women. So, while I was researching especially with the current political climate I expected all the information I found to be negative. To my surprise, the majority of it was positive and I came across a lot of instances where the popularity of hijab was being introduced to the mass media.
Wrap My Hijab
I was first introduced to Wrap My Hijab by a friend who described the video to me as funny and quirky. Initially, I didn’t pay much attention to it since it was played on the aux cord of a car, but while I was thinking of potential instances in how Muslim women are portrayed in the media, Wrap My Hijab addresses all those issues through its lyrics. The song writer Mona Haydar, targets the most prevalent issue, which is Muslim women consistently being questioned about the representation of their faith through her lyrics, “Don’t that make you sweat” or “Don’t that feel too tight.” The song then discusses how hijab does not oppress women rather is it a form of liberation for women around the world and despite anyone’s opposition nothing will stop these women from wearing the hijab.
What I especially like about the music video “Wrap my Hijab,” is that it was made by a woman who wore hijab coming from her own personal experiences. What I particularly found interesting were the lyrics and the title to the music video. They were both very simple ways of addressing a difficult issue that would be accessible to many people. The Wrap my Hijab, was not only the title of the song but the main purpose, and it sent a very direct message that as a Muslim woman this is a part of my identity that no one can change. The lyrics also spoke to me on a personal level because many of the conversations I’ve had with people have followed the same course, where they will always ask me about why I wear I why hijab, what my hair looks like and why I don’t just take it off. Then I have to explain to them that hijab to us is not a symbol of oppression, it’s a symbol of liberation and that no matter what people say nothing will deter me from wearing hijab. Within the music video there was a variety of women from all around the different world shown wearing different hijab styles and the lyrics referenced women from non-middle eastern countries who wear hijab. Which was important because non-middle eastern women are usually ignored in the conversation about hijab. Also, I think it was important that the director, Mona Haydar, made an effort to depict women styling their hijab different ways because usually when we are shown images of Muslim women in the media they are all depicted as the same. So, it’s good that she made an effort to show the full scope of Muslim women who wear hijab. Mona Haydar has also stated that this is the first single in her album.
London Modest Fashion Week
London Modest Fashion Week was inspirational for Muslim women all around the world because we are consistently underrepresented in every single field. Within film and art there is absolutely no mention of Muslim women at. So, it is a huge inspiration for Muslim women to be shown that things do exist specifically for us and that hijab is not a barrier for our goals. Also, this is a very empowering event for women because it shows them that anything is possible as long as you put effort into achieving your goal. It also shows a different dimension of Muslim women because we are constantly shown in oppressive light but here we are shown inspiring a movement. A woman wearing a hijab also discusses how when you wear hijab you still have the same desire to be beautiful but it’s difficult when there aren’t clothes made for your religious outlines in mind. Also, they showed Dina tokio, a fashion blogger, being interviewed saying how revolutionary and great this movement is and if people were against this they could “piss off.” The whole purpose of this to show that we are here to demonstrate that Muslim women are represented and can do whatever they want. This is especially inspirational after Halima Aden, a Somali-American hijabi model walked down the runway in the Yeezy season 5 show.
Social media posts by the two hijabi athletes figure skater Zahra Lari and weight lifter Amna Hadid, responding to the negative reactions of people when the Nike hijab was released. Amna discusses how other brands never saw a need for a product like the Nike Pro-Hijab because it was not “popular” and it was unheard of to see woman train, exercise and compete in the hijab. Only recently have women expressed a need for it and more professional athletes have fought for the right to compete with the hijab. It was something that could no longer be ignored. Amna discusses how although there has been a market for athletic hijabs before, Nike is the first big athletic retail company to release one. Amna says that surely with the Nike Sports Hijab it will encourage a generation of athletes. Many people were supportive but many people responded with negative online comments. One woman tweeted that she would never buy another Nike product again. Another person tweeted that Nike decided to capitalize off the Islamic patriarchy by putting their brand on a chastity helmet and someone else tweeted Americans do not support the oppression of women! Why does Nike?
To me the release of the Nike hijab was a great move towards the support of Muslim women in competitive sports because I played competitive sports in high school and we were given uniforms that I couldn’t wear due to religious reasons and I was always left scraping together my own clothes to pull together a uniform. To this day, one of the major issues I encounter when I exercise is trying to find the right hijab to wear when I exercise because many of them easily slip off my head or they are too tight. I know Nike may be doing this simply to tap into a seemingly untouched market but Muslim women have never been welcomed into the sporting world so to have something made for us like this is paramount. So many young girls who wear hijab may feel discouraged because they don’t see anyone else who looks like them competing but now they will, which will be very inspiring to them. So, it is tragic to see how people can always spin things into oppression instead of something that is taking us a step forward.
Persepolis is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi depicting her childhood to adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. Marjane discusses the great change the religious change the revolution brings about with it. Most dramatically, the segregation of boys and girls and women being forced to wear the veil. The thing she struggles with the most is the meaning of the veil, since she she comes from a religious but modern avant-garde family. The rest of the novel details her tremulous teenage years in which she is punished for wearing clothes that are too “revealing” and her going to her first punk rock parties. One of the issues she faces is the limitations and the restrictions the Islamic regime places upon her. Especially in the case of her and her fiancé in which they are forced to marry because the regime frowns down upon extramarital relationships. Although, at the end Marjane ends up leaving Iran for France.
I picked all these sources because they were useful in the sense they provided a different scope and field of how representation of Muslim women had been integrated into mainstream media.
Week 4: Learning how to analyze movies was very useful when I found the music video, “Wrap My Hijab” and I had to analyze how all its details played into the image into it was communicating about Muslim women.
Nike Hijab Faces Backlash on Social Media, Teen Vogue, March 13 2017.
Wrap My hijab, Mona Haydar, March 27 2017.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. New York: Pantheon, 2003. Print.
While looking for topics to find for this paper, I was thinking of findings that might anger me, make me laugh for how accurate it was, and maybe even learn new things. I didn’t know what to expect when I was leaving the biased part behind me and trying to think of a new way to look at this information. For this research, I decided that I would look into Mexican males. They could be from Mexico or from The United States of America. I choose this topic because this is how I was raised in being proud of my culture and where my family originates to always let people know that I am a Mexican male. Going to school, filling out paperwork for ethnic background, and even getting asked what part of Mexico you are from (Yucatan, Mexico if you want to know as well). So, Mexican male is what I choose because the stereotypes and the articles I found them to be comforting for how true some of them are.
The first thing I want to talk about is one of my favorite comedians and his name is Gabriel Iglesias also, known as Fluffy. Fluffy was a great learning experience by figuring out how to dive deep in critical thinking with his comedy. It’s also a great way to learn about experiences when Fluffy talks about his past and what he has done. First diving into stereotypes is something he himself brings up. An example of this is when he talks to the audience on being a comedian for everyone. He doesn’t want the media to label him as a Hispanic comedian just because he is Mexican and speaks Spanish. He wants to be a like any other comedian in America like Louis C.K or Conan. With Conan, the media labels him as a comedian, but with Fluffy, they call him a Hispanic comedian. His comedy is for anyone that talks English. So why label him in another group? Now with this, I can see the reasoning for Fluffy, he doesn’t want them to lead people that he is a Hispanic comedian for he might lose the chance of people seeing him because they might think he will only speak in Spanish. While Fluffy does speak Spanish, people will still understand him, because he even says that he tries to keep the Spanish low. I would say the only time he speaks Spanish is when a friend or his mom speaks Spanish and he says it Spanish to the audience because it won’t translate as well if you would say it in English. I also understand him on this point because even in Spanish we use some slang in it. An example I can give is saying, “Que pedo?”
This translate to literally too, “What fart?”
This is because in a situation that someone might be mad, you can ask them, que pedo and it would roughly translate to what is your problem. Even explain that kills the slang and the joke with it. By Fluffy sticking to the joke with Spanish, it will come out better and he won’t have to kill the momentum of the joke with explaining it.
While Fluffy doesn’t want to be labeled as a Latino comedian, George Lopez is fine with being called a Latino comedian. The “George Lopez Show” is a great example of how he grew up in a rough situation and a rough neighborhood. His comedy shows that his mom was rough on him, he also talks about this in some of his special. I see this as a stereotype that becomes true in some cases. Many people from Mexican descent would say parents are rough on you. An example I could give is if a kid is trying to touch a stove that is hot, Mexican parents would tell you once to not touch it, but if the kid isn’t listening then the parents will encourage them to touch it. If the kid doesn’t listen, they will learn a lesson from the pain that happens. The experience I have had isn’t like his. My mom and dad are great parents not perfect, but they are great. They did everything they could to give me the chance to thrive in America, but in the case of George, some people would think he was abused as a child. So, this is a stereotype I see that can be true, but not in all cases. Even growing up in a Mexican household, anybody could tell you that they would be afraid of a slipper. Mexican moms would threaten you by taking off their slippers and chase you around the house for not doing the dishes, cursing in front of them, or even just watching too much television. They grew up with it, I grew up with it, and my kids are going to grow up with it. Maybe, depends on their temper.
The next thing that I would like to address is immigration. This is a subject that I have heard from people who are against and for immigration. This is a subject that is brought up in my family for a while because it’s the story of how they came from Mexico to the United States. Being a Mexican male I would get asked if I was born here or born in Mexico. I could see some of the readers as well getting curious to see what the answer is and I was born here in Portland, Oregon. I was raised here as well, but I stayed in Mexico for a while to get to know my family that is living in there. Even though this is getting off topic, I would like to talk about immigrant workers. I have worked in landscaping and in nursery’s in Oregon like many of the immigrants that come from Mexico to work. While I was doing these jobs, I could see how people that hire immigrants take advantage of them by paying them minimum wage and holding on to the payday checks for a long time. There isn’t anything that an immigrant worker can do because they get threatened with deportation and calling the police. Focusing on the bad parts isn’t what I want to with this paper so I will jump into some information. In a secondary source, I found was immigration for Mexicans are going down (Zong and Batalova). People coming from China and India are taking the top spot for immigration while Mexican immigrants are returning back to Mexico. This is something that happens a lot with Mexican immigrants coming to the United States. They work here and send money back home to build a house and get the necessary things they need down in Mexico. After they are done, they return home. I have always heard of this with my parents. They want to return to Mexico but don’t want to leave their children here. This is most of the case for immigrants. They start a family here and start to learn the language and try to find better jobs, but if it’s not for that they return to Mexico. So, how does this affect me? I find it to be accurate that Mexican immigrants are working in these types of fields. This is because they are not qualified for other jobs that are easier like going into Burger King and taking orders. This is because they can’t speak English very well, and don’t have a high school diploma. It’s like my dad says, “I earn my living with my hands. Give me any job that requires the use of my hands I will get it done. This is why I like working in Landscape.”
This is true for many of the Mexican Immigrants that come here because they need to work for their family in Mexico. I talked to a friend down in Mexico and he told me that working to build a house in Mexico will lead you to be paid by the day for 50 Pesos. That almost 5 U.S dollars a day to build a house. Me, personally, I don’t care if someone calls me an immigrant. They have their facts wrong, and immigrants work very hard, so I am fine with that.
With that, I would like to jump into Danny Trejo. The Badass Mexican from Machete. This movie, if you haven’t seen it, is all violence that does not make sense. It’s an action movie with Danny Trejo. Danny brings more of a stereotype of playing a bad guy or someone who is violent. With this example, it brings in the stereotypes of Mexicans being related to drug cartels, or even smuggling them in. Danny plays these parts proudly because this is what he grew up with. Before becoming famous. Danny talks about how policemen have pulled 15 group of people and would pick out Trejo because of how he looked. He talks about how being influenced by his uncle led him to turn to drugs and armed robbery. This isn’t because he was a bad dude from the start, but he was influenced by it. Danny got out of prison and got sober by going to a 12-step program. With this, he became a sponsor with someone who was connected in the business of Hollywood. He got an acting career from someone who thought he was an add on for a scene for robbing banks. I can see Danny as an example of a bad Mexican dude. With this stereotype, I see how growing up in a rough neighborhood can influence people in drugs or gangs. With this he had his own family turn him to the life of crime and drugs. I can see anyone getting into the life of crime, not only Mexican males. This is an example of myself, growing up in Oregon on the more Eastside of Portland. I was one of the few Mexican kids in my school. While I hit puberty early in my life, I started to get taller and bigger. So, I started to get called the big Mexican dude. I was fine with this because it felt like a compliment. It was me, but I was considered scary. Lot of people would avoid me because they thought I was in a gang, or I would get into fights with them, but I was just this big dude. I’m a friendly guy, I think.
So now comes the conclusion of the page. I see these stereotypes as something I take with pride. Even though some of them can be bad, but let’s not focus on that. It’s like the experience of what George went through that I could relate with. It’s what fluffy is striving to be a comedian instead of a Latino Comedian. In another special of Fluffy is “Aloha Fluffy”, he talks about how he went to the middle east and was finally called an American Comedian over there. So, with this, I can see that being a Mexican male and see the stereotypes of Mexican males. It becomes comforting to see the good outcomes of it. It does become a little worrisome with being labeled a criminal, immigrant, or even scary, but it’s something I will pay to hopefully thrive in this country.
“Mexican Immigrants in the United States.” Migrationpolicy.org. N.p., 02 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 June 2017.