Let Me Lock up!

I always keep my dorm key on a purple carabineer.  When it’s not clipped to the waistband of my pants, it’s always kept on my backpack.  Coming to college was the first time I ever had to carry a key around.   I grew up in a small suburban, beach-town neighborhood.  This was the kind of neighborhood where every family had at least one dog, and after coming home from school, kids would play ball in the sleepy street waiting for their parents to come home from work.  Each yard was green, large, and filled with neatly kempt gardens.  This neighborhood was extremely low traffic so anyone who entered was either a resident, employed by the resident, or received a direct invitation.  As a kid I never needed to worry about carrying a house key because the doors of my house were rarely locked during the day.  My mother would only lock the doors at night, once everyone was inside.   According to Krystal D’Costa in her article, Is there more to Locking Up Than Personal Safety, she would argue that my mother ritualistic locking of the door every night was not only a physical act intended to insure safety, but it was also a symbolic representation of the need, and desire, for privacy.

In the article, D’Costa talks about how privacy is an “Institutionalized method of withdrawal.”  She details how unlocked doors are unlocked for everyone, and how an invasion of space can be representative of a violation of self. She brings up how lock doors are a guarantee of privacy, and that the allowance of privacy is representative of a social code.  A locked door establishes this level of distance, and physically puts up a barrier between yourself and the outside world.

The locked door is a signal of desired privacy, and because it is a method of withdrawal, sometimes that barrier is important. Now more than ever I understand the importance of privacy as a guarantee.  Living in on campus housing means you are always around your friends, and you can’t escape from both the social and academic sides of the institution.  Having the ability to withdraw from society for a while is an important coping mechanism used when there is overstimulation due to constant interaction.

While my mother only locked the door at night to protect everyone inside from a home invasion, I understand the importance of secure privacy, and need for withdrawal.  Due to the cramped living situations in cities and on college campuses, having the ability to lock your door is relieving not only because of the physical protection factor, but also because of psychological preservation.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/2015/04/16/is-there-more-to-locking-up-than-personal-safety/

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Toot Toot

honet

According to the United States Constitution all men are created equal, but what about the farts created by such men – are their release equally accepted? All farts are not equal. Who the farter is and whom they fart around seem to be a more important factor than the stench that is released. “Silent But Deadly – Farting Across Cultures” by Kirsten Bell tries to depict why some farts appear to be judged less harshly than others; predominately from the female perspective.

The elderly, men, and small children farts evoke relatively little response while female farts, on the other hand, fall at the opposite end of the spectrum. As the article pointed out, there are t-shirts proclaiming “girls don’t fart”. If women perform this natural bodily function, they are instantaneously embarrassed, and receive hostility and attitudes of disgust from those around them, and are shamed. In the reality that I live in, farts produced by men are greeted with laughter, and in some occasions, it’s considered honorable.

The fact that inequalities exists in relation to a natural bodily function- people do not fart because they want to, it is their body making them act that way.

This stems from the way society identifies gender/gender roles and what the role permits you to do in society. These roles all for women to prim, proper, passive (but not pass gas) and submissive.

I am one to reject and ignore arbitrary social boundaries that are based on status, race, ethnicity, and especially gender. One should never be deterred from performing a natural bodily function.

 

http://popanth.com/article/silent-but-deadly-farts-across-cultures

Making meaning in spaces: Restrooms

In the article Sex changes and changing rooms, Elizabeth P. Challinor discusses the differences between the words “sex” and “gender” and how they have been misused in the context of labeling bathrooms. As well as issues with the actual design of restrooms and changing rooms. Challinor observed multiple instances where bathrooms and changing rooms were labeled as separated by “gender” rather than separated by “sex”. She says, “We could say that sex refers to the biological body and that gender refers to cultural interpretations of biological differences which produce differentiated social roles and attributes for the sexes.”

The rest of the article focuses around the idea that architects who design these sex-separate bathrooms are not only disadvantaging those who identity as women in terms of their ability to fully utilize most restroom spaces, but also setting women up to be stereotyped. She argues that by designing spaces in which people who identify as women are forced to stand outside of the actual restroom area in long lines, others are more likely to see this image of women lined up together as an opportunity for gossip and other stereotypically feminine acts. This relates to the topic of making meaning in spaces. The labeling of sex-separated bathrooms creates a dynamic in which spaces are inherently limiting and dividing people ambiguously.

Who has control when you’re dead?

Even if someone writes down what they want to happen to their body once they die, it does not mean that it will be carried out. Once that person passes, it is up to the people close to them to decide what to do with the body. They could bury it, burn it, give it to science, or even show it on television. According to Sara Perry, in her post titled The travels of a head, a scientist by the name of William Matthew Flinders Petrie gave consent to have his skull given to the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) for students to study. However, this was never carried out and a television show asked them to use it. It got denied because it only wanted to attract more viewers to their show.

When most people die, they want to be respected and mourned for. Should each case be determined individually? If the person gives consent to giving their body to science, then does that make it so television shows are allowed access to it too? Or should nobody ever get access to dead bodies, consent or not? It is believed by some that bodies should be used to benefit society. However, it depends on who is asked for how to society can be benefited. It also depends on culture. Some cultures, mostly Western, want to use science to benefit society. Others want the dead to make the gods happy with them, so that they help the society in the future. Once people are dead, they have no control over what happens with their body, it depends on the culture of where they lived.

The Cycle of Fat Bullying

All through middle school and high school there are bullies. One of the most popular types of bullying is bullying fat or chubby kids. There becomes a cycle of cause and effect of the bullying on the overweight children and teenagers. The cycle incorporates power, weight, and confidence.

The thinner kids feel they have more power than the overweight ones. They show this power through the physical and verbal bullying. This makes the confidence and self-esteem of the chubby children go down. This “gives” their confidence and power to the kids bullying them. Therefore, the thin kids feel they have more power because they know the kids they bully do not have the confidence to stand up for themselves.

Without their confidence or power, the fat kids feel they cannot improve their body or become thinner. They feel that in order to be confident and powerful, they need to have a thinner body. Except they cannot get that body and are stuck in their “unwanted” bodies without confidence in themselves.

The cycle is that the thin bullies make them believe they do not have power and in order to have power, they have to be thin. They cannot be thin unless they gain confidence to change their body, which someone has to give them.

 

Reference:

Saunders, Travis. “Help Stop Fat Bullying.” Obesity Panacea. N.p., 10 Mar. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2014/03/10/help-stop-fat-bullying/&gt;.