Week 6: Race, Sexuality, and Gender as signifiers in media, social networks, online spaces and other systems of cultural production.

How does US media and entertainment represent cool? How do we code beauty, rebellion, urbanness, sexuality, (in)civility strength, weakness, and resistance to institutional rules and regulation?

The US Media, entertainment, and social media has a big hand on what is consider cool and culturally appropriate. Which often times is rife with stereotypes of groups of people that society thinks is real and true. What US media thinks is cool is very narrow minded and not inclusive. White opinions are what are matter and is consider the norm. Which is often use to marginalize people who don’t fit into the social construct of is considered cool or beautiful and as we all know the standard is whiteness.

Blogging is another form of social media and entertainment. Blogging for the longest time as early research shows was centered on the experiences of Western White men. (pg 73) Steele In the reading “Signifyin: Bitching, and Blogging: Black Women and Resistance Discourse Online the author Steele discusses how “A Black feminist epistemology centralizes the conversations of Black women that occur in settings that are often excluded as valid by academic researchers.” (pg 73) Steele This research that was done examines how the online gossip of black women is used to contribute to discourse of resistance . As” Audre Lorde (1984) writes that black female writers manage “the external manifestations of racism and sexism with results of those distortions internalized within our consciousness of ourselves and one another” (p. 147). This study found out that gossip can decimate information to keep people in the loop of information; that it is a connection between woman sharing information and being united by an appreciation by that media text. This analysis suggests that black women use these blogs to “talk back” ( hooks, 1988) to the systems and structures from which they are excluded or within which they are exploited.” Black Feminist Epistemology was developed to bring attention to the multiple oppression that black women face. Since White feminist only focused on the oppression of gender while ignoring the issues that race, class, and sexuality bring.

intro: ” Every child in America deserves a world-class education – especially in science and technology… we also need folks who are studying the arts because our film industry … tells our story and helps us to find what’s our common humanity.” President Obama. I agree that every child deserves a chance regardless of who they are and where they come from. His quote means to me that what he described is another way to bring people together to show we are all humans. That he recognizes the immense power that these mediums have. To go in even deeper in chapter 14 “Education, Representation, and Resistance: Black Girls in Popular Instagram Meme Tanksley discusses how social media is impressionable and powerful to teenagers. That Social media can be used as a tool to circulate oppressive views about certain groups of people. The circulation of racist and sexist media has grown with the internet. “With the advent of the Internet, ideological investments in “post -racialism” require new forms of racial common sense (Omi &Winant, 1994) and interrogations of how the invisibility of Whiteness (Daniels, 2013) serves to limit our understanding of the interesectional nature of race and gender in social media engagement.” (pg 244) Tanksley

In the reading section The Landscape of (mis) Representations and Black Girl Resistance Tanksley discusses the consumption of social media and the misrepresentations of black girls. From Vine videos to podcasts to blogs the social media landscape is virtually saturated with demeaning images of black womanhood (hooks, 1996; Richardson, 2007; Stephens & Few, 2007). ” I agree with this statement as I stayed away from all social media because of how it was affecting my image of myself as a Afro-latina woman. I just now got instagram to keep on touch to do some activism in regards to sex work and women of color. Often times social media misrepresents black women as hyper-sexual, hyper-aggressive, and stupid. As well as slut shaming them, calling them hoes , gold diggers and baby mamas I hate the last term with a passion. I feel it is just another way to degrade a black woman and white society has adopted this racist moniker as true. “In resistance to many of the mass and online media depictions of Black girl/ womanhood, Black girls have created and circulated memes as a means of resistance. These memes, which consist of text written over images as a form of social critique, address sexism, racism, colorism, and multiple forms of aggression against Black girls.” (pg 248) Tanksley

In reading 8 Roberts discussed that social media platforms are empty vessels that need user generated uploads to fuel visits. That companies use these platforms even though its not their specialty. This is what a CCM is which is an acronym for Commercial Content Moderation. ” CCM is not an industry but rather a series of practices with shared characteristics that take place in a variety of worksites (e.g., in-house at large tech firms; online via microlabor websites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk.)” (pg 147). Basically workers are dispersed all around the world, work in secret by low status workers earning low wages; which they review day and night. One of the things that I found interesting was the piece on Doing A Good Job In The CCM World. That while the internet is rife with racist, homophobic, and sexist content that CCM flag inappropriate content and remove it from the site so that users don’t see it. To go in even further America has a long history of racialized and racist material as humor in which the punchline degrades and degenerates marginalized groups. “The participatory Internet, perhaps once seen as a potential site of escape from racist tropes or sexism and misogyny (Light, 1995) embedded in American Popular culture, has largely failed to deliver on foregrounding mass critical engagement with these issues at all.” (pg151) Roberts

Sources cited:

Roberts , S. T. (n.d.). Commercial Content Moderation: Digital Laborers’ Dirty Work . In The intersectional Internet: race, sex, class and culture online (Vol. 105, pp. 147–161). Noble & Tynes EDS.Steele, C. K. (n.d.). Signifyin; Bitching and Blogging: Black Women and Resistance Discourse Online . In The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online. New edition edition, (Vol. 105 , pp. 73–95). Noble & Tynes EDS.Tanksley, T. C. (n.d.). Education, Representation, and Resistance: Black Girls in Popular Instagram Memes . In The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online. New edition edition, (Vol. 105, pp. 243–269). Noble & Tynes EDS.

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