Monthly Archives: March 2010

Dreamworlds III and Precious

In the videos we watched from Dreamworlds III, I was not surprised to see the sexualized depiction of women. In advertisements, movies, and music videos, women are portrayed as sexual objects that only serve the purpose of satisfying a man. With the obvious portrayal of women in this way, it makes me wonder why women allow themselves to take on these roles in media. The best examples would be women in music videos, because they know what they will look like and what the song’s lyrics are. However, even with this knowledge of the derogatory portrayal and lyrics, women seem to allow it to continue.

After watching the trailer and clip of Precious, I was very surprised. Since I have not seen the movie, I was stunned to see the way Precious was treated at school and especially at home. Remembering the discussion from class we had, I recall someone saying how the movie was being advertised. The ad could be summarized as Precious being an overweight, black woman trying to survive in Harlem. From our class discussion, other movies’ ads would never be as successful if it stated the movie was about a skinny, white woman living in the city.

This discussion we had in class about the advertisement relates to the article The Black Matriarch as Villain. Due to Precious’ living conditions, she was not treated well by her peers at school or her mother. The movie’s advertisement relied on viewers wanting to see a struggling young, black woman in Harlem with a difficult life. Stated in the article, that’s what viewers saw. Precious’ mother, Mary, was created to be an abusive mother who wanted her daughter to quit school and start collecting welfare. This depiction of Mary is almost a racist image of black women at the time, because they only depend on welfare to survive.

References:

The Black Matriarch as Villain

By Juell Stewart

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A Clockwork Orange Reaction

My reaction is to the article named, “Darker Than Any Prison, Hotter Than Any Human Flame”: Punishment, Choice, and Culpability in A Clockwork Orange by Illya Lichtenberg, Howard Lune, and Patrick McManimon, Jr.

One part of the article discusses the movie’s government control of crime compared to the U.S. Unlike the movie, the U.S. crime system cannot be as extreme and uses different methods to remove criminals from society. As stated from the article, Alex and modern criminals must be “banished” from society. The Justice Minister “banished” Alex by conditioning him to be helpless, and the U.S. puts criminals in jail with minimum mandatory sentences. However, the U.S.’s “banishment” is also different because certain offenders, such as felons, are removed from society by not having the right to vote.

The article also discusses Alex’s punishment given by the government compared to the punishment of his victims. According to the government, Alex was “corrected” after the treatment. However, to Alex’s victims, his punishment was not enough for his crimes and they tortured him themselves. In relation, the U.S. prison system is set up to “correct” criminals for their offenses. When prisons became overcrowded, prisons in Florida decided to release non-violent criminals earlier than planned. This caused public outrage and influenced public elections.

I liked the article’s way it related the scenarios from A Clockwork Orange to real-life situations. Although the movie was extreme in depicting a state-controlled correctional treatment, it is still relatable to the U.S. prison system and society as a whole. I was surprised by the topics that were discussed in the article about prison sentences and treatments. Alex thought he was taking the quickest way out of prison by accepting to the treatment, but instead he was allowing himself to become helpless. The U.S. prisons are different; inmates can either do their full prison sentence, or they can volunteer to work in order to possibly be released early.

Reference:

HTML Version: http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:KEs6MHAbp9gJ:scholar.google.com/+A+Clockwork+Orange&hl=en&as_sdt=80000000000000

PDF Version: http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/socio/faculty/docs/Lune/LichtenbergLuneMcManimon.pdf

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