Friday, March 30, 2012

We Aren't Friends

So, I work mainly nights. Not all night, but it's unusual for me to arrive at my store before 4pm, and very unusual for me to be home before my partner is asleep. This means that the customers that I know are an entirely different crowd than the 6am-cup-of-black-coffee-to-go crowd that my manager imagines I deal with. There are a lot major differences in the kinds of people who buy a cup of coffee at eleven at night and seven in the morning, but I'll just list a few. First, the seven am person (Let's call them "Alex") is usually a professional on their way to work or meeting. They prefer drinks that are "skinny" or just black coffee. They know the morning staff, and usually have a conversation with someone before leaving with their drink. The eleven pm person (Let's call them "Mo") is usually a student who doesn't own a planner and needs to study for the next eleven hours because they have a HUGE text tomorrow and haven't opened their books yet, or a young international student from Saudi Arabia, there to meet with all of their friends. The students think Frappucinos have caffeine, and the Saudis order small hot lattes. All the night customers prefer to finish their drinks in the store, but miraculously have not learned any staff members name. The night customers, in short, are jerks. However, at night is completely okay for me to tell them that. Which is where this is going. (I know, I know- bear with me).
It is so much worse to work in the day, even if 99% of the customers are nice, know what they want, and communicate it clearly. Because for that ONE guy, you have to apologize for things that aren't your fault and pretend like this person's business is really important to you. At night, if a customer waits until they get to the pick-up bar to ask for milk in their solo espresso over ice, I can just say "No, that's a latte." This makes me feel better, and gives appropriate feedback to the person who tried to get a cheap latte. However, this conversation is really different when I have it than when my male coworkers have it. And I'm not the only one to notice this. A brief look at "The Customer is NOT Always Right" shows the immediate response of customers to women:

Anyway, I was reading this part in Camgirls and this is what I started thinking about...
"To manage their emotional states, employees engage in two sorts of act- ing. ‘Surface acting’ is the equivalent of faking a smile or acting as a char- acter without personally identifying with the role one is playing. In ‘deep acting,’ the employee works to identify with the feelings she needs to project to keep customers satisfied. Whether she engages in the acting consciously or unconsciously, and whether she enjoys herself or not, this acting requires effort, which Hochschild qualifies as labor, arguing, “When deep gestures of exchange enter the market sector and are bought and sold as an aspect of labor power, feelings are commoditized.”32" (page 9)

I guess where I'm getting at is, I think women are expected are to be better at, or to do more, deep acting. Women in my workplace are supposed to develop relationships with customers. The men are allowed to just do their jobs for the most part, and be friendly. I have to field questions like "Where do you live?" "Do you have a boyfriend?" "What are you doing after you get off? Wanna hang out?" And the answer is: No. We aren't friends. You just think we are because I get paid to smile and ask how your day was every day, when you buy two minutes of my labor and about eighty cents of supplies that I have access to.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Gamer Girl is Awesome

I honestly thought the whole "there are no girls on the internet" thing had died and gone away.  It clearly has not.  There are so many preconcieved notions and assumptions about online gamers in games like World of Warcraft floating around.  This article is a good read, and seems to tie into our readings from the last unit we covered.   

Whitney talks about what its like to be a girl on the internet and in an MMORPG like World of Warcraft.  She talks about getting called a slut just for being a high level character in game.  Despite WOW being a general escape from reality for so many people, women still can't escape slut-shaming and sexism.

Hunger Games

So, is anyone else completely psyched about going to see Hunger Games? Well, if not, you should be. Because Hunger Games is gonna kick butt.

A lot of people are gettin' real worked up about the Games... You can read about disability here and race here and here, and gender here. Caught up?

Okay, so let's talk about girls. First off, can I just tell y'all that when I was about ten I pretty much assumed that I would know how to shoot a bow and arrow by now? Sadly, I have failed in that particular life goal. (Also: I do not own a magical blue Cinderella dress, and I am not any better at walking in heels.) And now there's going to be an entire new generation of girls who want to shoot bows and arrows and want magical red fire dresses! This is only good news, to me.

Also, I read the Hunger Games trilogy as an adult so I'm not even sure what I would have gotten out of it as a kid, but it's a pretty metaphor ready book. In it, there are some really explicit critiques of exploitative labor practices. Since I work at a Starbucks near a movie theater, I was able to take advantage of this. On opening night, we were flooded with Hunger Games fans. We agreed to keep our tip jar out, but to also display a jar for "District 12", which we would donate to Yaya. We didn't get a ton of money, but we talked to probably a hundred fans about farm workers in Central Florida in a context that they were excited about. Which, I think, is kind of cool. The Hunger Games might not be perfect (and I'm sure that there are at least twenty really great reasons why it isn't), but it gave us a moment to connect with younger women who have connected with fictional laborers about actual laborers.


African American Woman in Hollywood

This article I found also provides a unique perspective of how Hollywood is still not giving African American Woman in america the necessary roles and credit in movies. In the article, an actress states that, the film industry is "no different than corporate America" by the way black woman are treated in respect to jobs.

African American Woman struggles

This article talks about the struggles that african american woman go through on a daily basis. It talks about how young african american woman struggle to fit in and try to be someone they are not. It explains that there are so few african american woman that are in political office and gives you a good perspective of what people face.

Sexual Assault

In the other service learning project I am currently invested in, I am doing it on the unbelievable process that goes on every day about woman raped and sexually assaulted in our armed forces. This happens all the time and we need to do something about it. This article is about the sundance film called the "Invisible War" which is the organization I about doing my service learning project on.

Woman shackled in pregnancy

For one of my service learning projects, I am doing it on the barbaric struggle about how incarcerated woman are shackled and in chains during pregnancy. This process is disturbing and not practical. I wanted to share this article that gives information on it and shows a few statistics.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mom Puts Daughter on Diet Then Writes About It

Dara-Lynn Weiss decided that her daughter should to be put on a diet after her pedestrian labeled, the then 7-year old Bea, as obese. Bea was six at the time and was 93 pounds. After her daughter lost weight, Weiss wrote in article entitled “Weight Watcher” in Vogue describing her daughter’s process of losing weight. The article is receiving backlash, not so much for her the daughters need to be put on a diet, but how she went about it. She would withhold food from Bea, even as her daughter would cry that she was hungry or wanted something in particular to eat. At one point Weiss states “I once reproachfully deprived Bea of her dinner after learning that her observation of French Heritage Day at school involved nearly 800 calories of Brie, filet mignon, baguette, and chocolate.” I honestly do not have a problem with the fact that Bea had to be put on diet, so much as the that the mother is sending the wrong message to this young girl. The point is not to withhold food or deprive someone of certain foods, but to learn to eat in moderation. After losing sixteen pounds in the last year Bea was adamant that she was not different to which her mother writes, “I protest that indeed she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past.” I beg to differ that this girl’s problem is a thing of the past, as this seven-year-old is going to be dealing with years of therapy for what her mother put her through and the eating habits incurred.   

Friday, March 23, 2012

Girls Inc.

I was doing some research for my S/L project and found this website that looks legit and not sponsored by some advertising group. One of their missions is to provide Media Literacy for girls. Girls Inc develops research-based informal education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. Major programs address math and science education, pregnancy and drug abuse prevention, media literacy, economic literacy, adolescent health, violence prevention, and sports participation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cheat on your girlfriend, not your workout

Reebok recently launched an ad campaign with the slogan "Cheat on your girlfriend, not your workout."  The ad is, of course, highly offensive for a multitude of reasons.  Fortunately, the ad has been pulled and Reebok is apologizing.

I have to wonder how this ad even made it to billboards, magazines, subway stations, and internet ads.  I don't need to preach to the choir about why this ad is disgusting and offensive here, but it says something about the world we live in.  I can't help but think about how ads like this are affecting young women.  Ads like this give a message that women don't matter.  A workout is more important than respecting your female partner.  Why does a company need to devalue women to sell athletic gear?  I have to hope that there are some badass 14 year old grrls blogging about how to rail against machismo and patriarchal dominant culture.

Monday, March 19, 2012

YWLP Event Volunteer Opportunity!

Good afternoon,

The Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) needs help from our UCF community! 

YWLP is a mentoring program that is housed within the UCF Women's Studies Program.  We work at three area middle schools and pair 7th grade girls with UCF women to develop a "sisterhood" of love and support as well as fostering an environment of developing lifelong leadership skills. 

This year, we were fortunate to have received a national grant from the American Association of University Women called the Campus Action Project grant.  Through this grant, we are hosting a workshop called "Leading Out Loud (L.O.L.): YWLP's Campaign to Draw Lines Against Bullying and Harassment."

Our current YWLP middle school student participants will be co-leading this workshop with their mentors to an audience of over 100 local fifth grade girls and boys!  We want all students to have the skills and courage to STEP UPSPEAK OUT, and STOMP OUT BULLYING in their schools!

We are extremely excited to have this opportunity to reach out to our community but in order to do so, we need some help from our Knights! 
Attached is the flier for the event containing important detailed information. PLEASE post this filer and/or share with others (feel free to forward this email as well).  We are in NEED of men and women to volunteer!
Thank you for your time and please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Go Knights!

Maria Roman
YWLP Coordinator

University of Central Florida-Women's Studies Program
Young Women Leaders Program

Office: 407-823-6502

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sexy Baby

Sexy Baby is a documentary looking at the impact that the internet has on teenage girls. The Tribeca Film Festival site describes the movie as “Nakita, a former porn star, and the effect she has on Laura, a plastic surgery patient, and Winnifred, a middle school student, amidst the rise of a new sexual landscape via the cyber age.” The documentary looks at how living in a digital age has affected a change in how sexuality is viewed and how it has changed advertisements, music videos, movies, etc. The site includes a trailer for the film.

Personhood laws

Personhood laws are expected to be on the ballot in 12 states this election year. Although this topic doesn't connect directly to this class, it does effect the rights of every woman! Please know what is on the ballot in your state and VOTE! We can also use the internet to get the word out to others.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Photoshop Horror

For my service learning project I have been working one-on-one with girl and showing her various thing that I have learned through this class. I feel like our talks have really sparked an interest because my mentee showed me this site:

It's a pretty neat site that shows pictures before and after photoshop. It was awful to she how thin they make women appear in magazines.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hardy Girls Healthy Women

I came across this blog when browsing various activism sites. I was particularly thrilled to see the blog address certain "fashion trends" that state "Allergic to Algebra" and "Too Pretty for Homework" and can been seen in stores like JC Penny and Forever 21.

Friday, March 9, 2012

getting your period: or becoming a woman in the "developed world"

My project is about helping girls get feminine hygiene products in areas where that might not be very easy. To begin, I wanted to do a survey of what <a href="">getting</a> <a href="">your</a> <a href="|pcrid|9878923745|b|first%20period">period</a> means to us, here.

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We've all seen these kinds of commercials, right? I mean, it's not even shocking anymore. And why not make fun of tampon commercials while offering essentially the same product in a cooler wrapper?

"Your period. It's a rite of passage. The miracle that allows you to create life. And it's what makes you a woman." -Actual quote from "".
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The thing is, it's not even hard to make a joke about periods. They're so taboo, the<a href=""> company trying to capitalize on making their brand cool has to convince people in this country that periods are an acceptable thing to make cool</a>. Because, what's girl power if you can't sell it, right?

This statistic struck me as really odd, "More girls rely on the media over a teacher or school nurse for vaginal health information." When I read that, I thought "So...?" I mean, come one. I rely more on the internet for information about literally everything over a school nurse. I can't even remember the last time I thought asking a teacher was a good ending point for research about something...

I know this is a really un-scientific survey, and that I basically just googled "first period", but I think it leaves me with some good questions. If we all think of periods, vaginas, and puberty as gross and embarrassing, and we all agree that it shouldn't be- what's the IDEAL? What does it look like when you have the perfect "talk", the perfect feminine hygiene, the perfect attitude towards your period? Is there such a thing? Could it ever be "okay" to be embarrassed, ambivalent, or frustrated with your period?

Just a few thoughts.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 & In Honor of International Women's Day

My SL project is working with Girl Future (especially posting for them on their FB page) , which is where I originally found this video.  It is a very good example of raising awareness of digital influences and literacy with / for girls.  "We are proud to release the below infographic and video, created in collaboration with the lovely folks at, in honor of International Women’s Day," says the website.  

Check it out and share it with the girls in your life.  I sent it to my nieces and posted it on my FB wall :)


International Women's Day

Here's a link to a Youtube video about the Girl Effect 12 It shows how helping a 12 year-old girl can change the world. Happy International Women's Day!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To Get Her There

ToGetHerThere (To Get Her There) is an organization sponsored by the Girl Scouts to provide information and mentors in three areas: - Support Girls in STEM - Prevent Cyber Bullying and Aggression - Promote Healthy Images of Women The organization strives to help girls reach their full potential. YOU CAN HELP!! Senator Larkin is sponsoring a bill called the Successful, Safe and Healthy Schools Act It is designed to help end Mean Girl Bullying. It's easy to send a message to your Senators and Representatives on this website and ask for their support of the bill. Quote from the website. "Bullying can take many forms, but girls are more likely to use behaviors like shunning, taunting, spreading rumors, and betraying a confidence, both online and offline. Teachers and parents tend to write off these behaviors as a “part of growing up,” but the impact is severe. Girls say technology allows them to treat their peers more cruelly, without having to see the immediate response to their behavior. 38% of girls worry about their emotional safety when spending time with their peers. Cyberbullying starts as early as second grade, and 85% of middle-school students say they’ve been cyberbullied at least once." Thanks for your support of this important legislation.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Service Learning Project

For my service learning project I am starting a non-profit organization that I had wanted to start anyway called "Diabuddies." The goal of this organization is to set up newly diagnosed diabetics with diabetic mentors. So far I have contacted the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation who is really supportive of me starting a branch in Orlando. Also, I will be tracking my progress, as well to daily living with diabetes on a blog I just started! So far I have received a lot of positive feedback from other diabetics who have read it! If anyone would like to follow this journey or help and spread the word, I would really appreciate it!