#tfebt: 5 Types of Friends We Should All Have

According to Shelley Emling’s article on the Huffington Post, there are 5 specific types of friends we should all have:

  • Friends who make an effort.
  • Friends who are genuinely happy when good things happen.
  • Friends who are upbeat.
  • Friends who are up for anything.
  • Friends who are authentic.

I’d like to offer up a revised list.

Friends who make equal or greater efforts to you.

While I agree, friends should make an effort–I feel the need to point out that effort is a two way street. If you are sitting alone at home, alone, wondering why no one is contacting you–you don’t get to say “My friends don’t make an effort” when you are not making an effort.

Friends who are honest with you about their feelings.

Friends shouldn’t have to be happy for you when something good happens. That is a situational issue. What if you and your friend apply for the same job which you both need desperately–are you supposed to be happy for your friend when you are still unemployed? What about if you both like the same boy/girl and s/he asks you out on a date? Is your friend obligated to feel genuinely happy and heart broken?

Friends who accept that you are upset and don’t call you a Debbie Downer.

This was my least favorite part of this article. Everyone is going through something. If you have a friend who is constantly negative, chances are s/he is going through something. Instead of being upset with them for feeling the way they are, you should be a better friend and help them through it.

Friends should be willing to try anything and also accepting of those who are not.

The example the article used was going to the spa where she, her friends, and everyone else would be naked. What if one friend is not comfortable with this? Does that me s/he is not a good friend?

Friends who are authentic.

Yes, absolutely, but part of being authentic is being honest. If your friend is happy for you when you get his/her job, s/he is probably not being honest with you. The same with a friend who is always happy. If they aren’t confiding both the positive and negative aspects of their life with you, how are you friends?

RE: Happy Birthday Colin!

In Arielle’s blog about the recent craze over Colin’s birthday she commented on the benefits of social media.

I have to agree and disagree: social media is not bad for our social habits-it is changing them. No one ever welcomes change with open arms so when events like this where parents used social media to rally a bunch of well-wishers for their, the message is beneficial. But this isn’t the only mass media trend that’s been happening, especially from the parental side of the equation.
Have you heard of shaming? It’s not just embarrassing the kid locally-it’s a national scale. Here, Smosh list 19 of the funniest Kid Shaming images they could find. While some Kid Shaming (and even Pet Shaming) is absolutely adorable, like the young girl to the left who dumped glue and glitter on her younger brother and dog, some parents are using it to shame their older children who do anything ranging from posting inappropriate pictures of themselves on social media to pretending to sell drugs to bullying their peers.

Personally, I think that’s awesome. We are in an age we what we do in say online and in real life can now be preserved. I think it’s a valuable lesson, not in applicable social behavior in person but also being smart online.

Whose Roles Is It Anyway? RE: Redefining Gender Roles

My fellow Blogateer, Arielle, posted about a photographer who decided to play with gender roles in his work. (Arielle’s Article, Original Article). The photographer uses only one model to portray both genders in the photo.

I think the images only work on the more androgynous faces. In the first photo presented, I had to spend some time realizing that both figures in the image were the same model. That time is needed for the message of re-evaluation to come across.  The audience needs to spend time with the picture and not simply glance over the piece if they are to fully comprehend the challenge of “Whose Role Is It Anyway?”

The photos with models who have less androgynous faces make me think more of sexuality and less of gender roles. 

Watson’s A Woman?

I know this is old news, but in one of the more recent adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Lucy Liu (of Charlie’s Angels fame) has taken up the role of Dr. Watson. That is, Doctor Joan Watson.

This is great news! A WOC (woman of color) playing a well known doctor! On American TV. How awesome is that?

Jon Michael Hill plays “Detective Bell” and Lucy Liu is “Joan Watson” in CBS’s Elementary.

I’ll admit, when I first started hearing of the show (which was just after BBC’s Sherlock had just finished it’s British premiere of season 2) I thought it was just us Americans trying to get some ratings off of a popular British TV show.

Then I started hearing about how Liu’s character Joan is a disgraced surgeon, with no military background (as opposed to the canon, where Watson is a former military doctor). Then I started to think that the reason she was disgraced was because the writers thought of her as a woman who doesn’t deserve to be in a highly respected medical position. Because she’s a woman. I really thought this would just end up being fodder for those that actually truly believed women belonged only in the kitchen and not in the operating room.

But then I started watching the show during winter break this past year. And boy golly gee was I super duper wrong about Joan!

In the show, Joan Watson is still a former surgeon. She was discharged after (accidentally) killing a patient under her care. This I suspected. Afterwards, she’s looking for a new job. And so she becomes a sober companion, a person who lives with a recovering drug or alcohol addict, which is exactly how she comes to be at Sherlock Holmes’ door (played by Johnny Lee Miller). In the show, Joan Watson actively chooses to continue making other people’s lives better. She actively chose to become a sober companion because that’s what she thought she’d be good at.

Joan Watson actively calls out misogynistic remarks made by Sherlock and by others in the show. Her surgical past is not just used as a way to confirm Sherlock’s brilliant breakthroughs. Often, there are cases where Sherlock is stumped and it’s Joan herself who finds the connection and solves the murder because she’s the brilliant one too. She’s not just there to further another character’s development. She has her own developments and we see her family and friends and loved ones come by in her life. We see her kind and caring side, as well as her methodical procedural side. She is a true “strong female character”, not because she kicks butt (she actually has little to no martial arts skill, which thankfully defies the “kung fu Asian” character trope, and she doesn’t gain any martial arts or self-defense skills until much later into the show) but because she has many facets to her personality (like real women!) and she has emotions (like real women!) and she changes and develops and makes mistakes (like real women!).

So cheers to the Elementary writers for taking what could have been an awful ploy for ratings (because there’s no ‘bad publicity’) and turned this into one of the best, well-rounded character adaptations I’ve ever seen.

Redefining Gender Roles

While recently on Twitter, I saw an article that Yesiris tweeted, and it sparked my interest. This article is about a photographer that decided to use his love of photography to express a certain message. This photographer, JJ Levine, recreates typical domestic environments that play with gender roles.

shower  He decided that in these pictures he would use one model, to depict both the male and female in the picture. Levine says the result “challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or constant. Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple.” The way he sets up these scenarios makes it easy for the viewer to not only understand the scenes, but relate to them as well. They are normal domestic scenes that almost everyone has taken part in at some point. kitcehnI personally liked this article because it definitely opened my eyes to possibly question, “could I live as the opposite sex?” or possibly “do I possess some opposite sex-like qualities?” It is definitely an eye opener and can possibly expose those who are not necessarily familiar with this topic.

Social media for the win

I found an article that really interested me, after Yesiris tweeted about it. Someone who may have not been born in the “age of technology” may be quick to say that it is doing nothing but bad for our social skills, but when a closer look is taken, that may soon be rethought. Colin is a ten year old boy who has disabilities which affect his social skills as well as causing him to act out in school. Unfortunately, this has caused some of the children in his class to dislike him and see him differently. When Colin’s mother asked him if he’d like to have a birthday party, he said no because he didn’t have any friends so there wouldn’t be a point. His mother took this problem of her son being treated differently by the children at school into her own hands. She decided to make a Facebook page to help get birthday wishes and words of encouragement for her son.

colin
The response was incredible. People from all over the world were writing and sending birthday cards to Colin to make him feel loved on his birthday. Although it may be seen as belittling him, Colin’s mother did her matriarchal duty through social media to make her son feel loved on his birthday.

Role Reversal Gone Viral

While I found myself browsing Zite recently, I stumbled upon an article about a French short film that has gone viral. In this video, the creator decided to make a statement by creating a video that followed a man throughout his daily routine. But the viewer soon comes to realize that this man isn’t depicted as a “typical” male figure. The viewer slowly will realize that not only is this man a “house-husband”, but he is living in a world where the gender roles are completely switched.

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Throughout his day, the viewer witnesses him be a victim of prejudice, sexual and verbal harassment, and a relationship where he does not have any control of the struggles within. I personally really liked this video, because although it is cliche of me, as a woman, to say there are double standards, this video clearly exemplifies that there is a double standard between men and women. These things happen to women constantly, but because they are women, these occurrences are often overlooked. This video going viral shows that maybe the viewers, both man and woman, are noticing the double standard of gender roles, and maybe we are taking yet another step forward in the progression of equality. The fact that this message was put into “entertainment” as a video, made it much more powerful. Hearing about these stories doesn’t really have as much of an effect on people as much as viewing it first hand does.

Is it better to be a Woman and look like one or look like a Man??

I found this article on the Feedly website written by Anonymous titled, “It is easier now that I look like a guy.

Although this writer is a woman she looks like a man. She points out that she was inspired by a question found on Twitter by Kortney Ziegler:  “so much energy focused on women in tech — rightfully so — but for trans men or other non binary gender identities…crickets…”

She believes masculine privilege is a powerful thing.

In meetings she stated her opinion without apologizing. She gets along with her co-workers and they even go out to lunch (mostly men). I’m pretty sure from her statements from her article that she wants everyone to think that she is a man expect her HR who is the only one who really knows her true identity. She constantly reminds her about her haircuts so no one is suspicious about her gender.

She now dresses like all the men at her job with their uniforms. She does not wear make up. She also talks about how she enters the bathroom, when necessary, if no one is around. She states :

“Men still tell me openly that they think women are better at “that people stuff” than “technical things”, as though their opinion outweighs my experience and citations and as though technical problems were not caused by people. They say that boys are better at math, as though they don’t turn to StackOverflow any time they need an equation. A few brave and very ignorant men suggest that it’s my masculinity that enables me to code. I tell them the best software development class I took was Introduction to Writing Poetry and I am the only one in it who became a programmer.”

She says that online she is assumed man or dismissed, belittled and told to make sandwiches. In closing she came to the conclusion that being a man is easy. It is also deeply uncomfortable as if she has to erase her “other” life, but things can be more complicated.

As I mentioned in my last blog, this circles around the same theme. We are women are discriminated against and assumed to know nothing about everything! Not Fair!

Guys Not wanting women/people of color to write Science Fiction

I got this article from one of my classmates Amanda Yacovelli via Twitter from Zite! This particular article was written by Aja Romano titled, “Apparently, these guys don’t want women to write science fiction” found on The Daily Dot.

It came up as a conversation on a science-fiction forum. That forum revealed a section of a community that’s teaming with indignation about recent attempts to make the genre more progressive. Towards the end of the debate a group of “highly influential writers” spent a couple days lamenting the rise of increasingly vocal women and minorities in their community.  Apparently it was told the guys who said these things forgot that what they wrote is public. Tumblr

is one of the social networks that is displaying the conversation, which turned out to be more sexest than about the topic itself.

The article states:

“Among the participants who are displeased at the recent influx of diversity in their community is award-winning author Raymond Feist, who eyerolled at “fugheads determined to use the organization to further their own agenda.”

Another participant, Sean P. Fodera, ranted about writer Mary Robinette Kowal, painting her feminism as hypocrisy. Why? Because she sometimes takes full-body photographs and wears dresses with low necklines, apparently.”

convo 1

The article states that last year the editor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) newsletter resigned over widespread allegations of sexism. From a systemic lack of diversity to major uphill battles of women and writers of color as a representation of the sci-fi publishing industry. After reading this I must say I’m applaud. How much longer do people of color or women have to put up with stuff like this? Do they not know how it makes them feel?

Kowal claimed some members from the SFWA had harassed her while she was vice president and secretary of organization. They didn’t think she was good for the job because she was a women even with her years of experience.  The 1,800 members of the SFWA are responsible for nominating the Nebula, a major science-fiction award.

It’s sad to say we are still fighting battles similar to this and that is not acceptable, to me!

Jen Welter

I found this articlethat Arielle Armenti tweeted on Twitter and was instantly happy for us women!

jen wel

First and foremost take a look at her body! So built and for all the men out there we can be as built as you are or can be stronger than you.

I was amazed after reading this article. This article is titled “Jen welter becomes first woman to play in men’s pro football league in contact position” written by Nina Mandell. Jen is 36 years old. For those who are familiar with football, she finished with 3 rushes for a loss of one yard. Throughout the article she mentions moments that she would tease some of the other players on the team, who were men. Jen was simply the first woman to play a contact position not the first woman to play in a men’s professional football league. This article states that Patricia Palinkas appeared as a holder for the men’s semi-pro Orlando Panthers in 1970. Julie Harshbarger and Katharine Hnida kicked in men’s pro games four decades later.

I love some of her inspirational words, “I’m an athlete, I’m competitive,” she said. “But the bigger thing for me is obviously for little girls to see they can do everything just like little boys can.”

She can be a great role model to children around the world, especially for those girls who love football but feel as though they cannot play because it’s a “man’s sport.” She is like a modern Rosie the Riveter. She can encourage any young girl to follow their dreams and do what they want to do. A good influence if you ask me!