The advertised fairness cream with its “Unique 5 power Fairness System” may regulate melanin production and lighten your face but unless you’re white, you won’t get “whiteness” IN your hands.
Marsha Pearce's Cultural Studies Blog is linked to her website www.caribbeanculturalstudies.com - a site which was funded by the Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Fellowship in Cultural Studies. The Fellowship was established by the Rhodes Trust to mark the centenary (1903-2003) of the Rhodes Scholarships in the Caribbean. Ms Pearce is the 2006 recipient of the Fellowship.
Labels: Identity and Difference
On June 15, 2007, a one-day research symposium entitled, “Masculinities, Education and Criminal Justice” was hosted by the Centre for Gender and Development Studies (CDGS) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus,
Among the presenters were Dr Jeanette Morris and Patricia Worrell who looked at Teachers’ Practices in Schools. Their questions under consideration included: “What are the implications of stereotypes/gender expectations for boys being adequately challenged/held accountable/effectively taught?” and “Do teachers’ classroom practices perpetuate or negate gender stereotypes?”
Dr Morris observed that teachers used gender as a tool to manage the classroom; to encourage rivalry. Morris recommended that there needs to be gender priority in Teacher Education.
Dr June George, Departmental Head of the
David Plummer, Commonwealth/UNESCO Regional Professor of Education (Chair in HIV/AIDS) also presented his paper entitled, “Is Learning Taboo and Risk-Taking Compulsory for Caribbean Boys? Researching the Relationship between Masculinities, Education and HIV.” Plummer noted that boys’ performances have declined relatively to the success of girls in Caribbean schools: “Academic achievement seems to be becoming taboo at least for some
Performing hard masculinity involves anti-social behaviour, crime, anger and aggression, certain authorized speech, a display of sexual prowess usually measured by the number of female sexual partners, and a staying away from what Plummer identifies as “no-go zones.” Plummer explained that showing tenderness was a no-go zone. Academic education was also a no-go zone. Plummer asked the question: “Is boys’ education a casualty of the rise of hard masculinity?” He offered direction to a possible answer by giving the example that “if being safe is seen as sissy then driving a small car at a safe speed […] impairs a man’s masculine status. Therefore, getting an education is something that a real man would not want to do.”
Plummer called for a need to re-associate masculinity with education and academic prowess. He also saw the need for research to engage more fully with peer groups. Many studies on the encoding of masculinities have focused on family and media influences. The peer group has been underestimated said Plummer. “Research should turn to peer groups to see dynamics between gender and education through to crime and disease patterns,” he added.
How does the
In his article entitled, “Terrorized by ‘War on Terror:’ How a Three-Word Mantra has Undermined America” published March 25, 2007 (washingtonpost.com), Zbigniew Brzezinski observes that the phrase “war on terror” is intrinsically meaningless. On its own, states Brzezinski, the phrase “defines neither geographic context nor [the] presumed enemies” of the
However, words are always given assignments. They exist in contexts and become charged with power.
When Russell Defreitas – a Guyanese-born American citizen – along with two other Guyanese men and a Trinidadian were arrested in June 2007 for their alleged plot to blow up John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, the haze cleared; the vagueness of the phrase: “war on terror” dissipated to reveal a clear definition of place – a very precise geographic context.
According to a statement by a federal law enforcement official published in the June 3 article entitled, “Alleged Plot: A Potential Threat seen in America’s Backyard” by Los Angeles Times staff writer Josh Meyer, the war on terror once implied a war against the geographical locations of the Middle East and South Asia. Yet, with the recent alleged plot to blow up JFK, the phrase “war on terror” could now be assigned to everywhere on the globe – everywhere, that is, outside the
“…we need to be looking at areas of the world that have not been viewed by the general public as a terror threat […the alleged plot to blow up JFK] shows that the threat can come from anywhere. It is not just limited to the Middle East or
In the “war on terror” everywhere beyond the
“Terrorized by ‘War on Terror:’ How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined
by Zbigniew Brzezinski
“Alleged Plot: A Potential threat seen in
I am compelled by the title of this piece to quickly dispel any notion that I use the morpheme (the smallest linguistic unit of meaning which cannot be further subdivided into meaningful units) “homo” in a pejorative sense or to display a heterosexual bias. It is not my aim to support and perpetuate any negative stereotypes associated with the word “homosexuality.” Yet, this piece is hinged on the persistent semantic link between the morphemes “man” and “homo.” “Man” has been understood as the generic word for all humans. Man is “homo,” that genus to which all present-day humans belong. “Man” as Homo sapien (knowing man) is Latin in origin. However, “man” has another connotation. In the contemporary Jamaican dancehall arena “man” has become loaded with a different meaning: that of gay men’s experiences or male-male sexual behaviour. The Greek “homos” or “same” is bound up in this understanding of man as homosexual. The word “man” is, therefore, a “homo”nym: a word having the same pronunciation and spelling as another word but differing in meaning and origin. An underscoring of “homo” becomes necessary, not as a truncated, derogatory slang term, but as a way into the following brief look at what I have termed a “homophobilect” and a “supra-masculine identity.”
Gender and gender relations are encoded in linguistic representation. Through language, social identities are created, promoted or negated. Words like “fireman,” “workman,” “freshman,” “chairman,” “manpower” and “mankind” are exclusive. Such words marginalise women and render women invisible in language. Much work has been done by feminists and others to reduce male-bias in the English language; to make the language gender-neutral or gender-inclusive. In an article dated October 10, 2006 from The Jamaica Star Online, entitled “Watch What You Say” (http://www.jamaica-star.com/thestar/20061010/ent/ent1.html accessed October 13, 2006) reporter Teino Evans exposes the transformation of language among Jamaican dancehall artistes. Evans observes that words that are in any way suggestive of a man are altered. Instead of “manager,” the word “galiger” is used. Rather than “
REFERENCES: Bucholtz, Mary and Kira Hall. “Theorizing Identity in Language and Sexuality Research.” Language in Society 33:4 (2004) 469-515.
Sims, Andrea D. “Language and Gender.” An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture (2004). Accessed Oct 13, 2006
In 2006, I participated in Hype for the second time. Hype is a creative platform funded by Hewlett-Packard for artists and film-makers from around the world. Hype exists as an exhibition set up in a gallery space in a major city. Hype also exists as an online gallery allowing participants to upload their artwork to a website. There is just one rule. The title of each artwork must contain the letters "H" and "P," in that order. The 2006 Hype exhibition was held from October 28 to Nov 18, in Berlin (visit http://www.hypegallery.de/). I submitted my piece entitled "HELIOS' PLACE INVENTED."
This mixed media work is a visual comment about the Caribbean as a constructed place within tourism discourse. The sun is a prominent image in the representation and marketing of the Caribbean as an idyllic, warm, always happy place. However, the reality of everyday life in the region is one that is not always replete with “sunny” experiences. The Caribbean, then, becomes an invented place: Helios’ (the sun god) place. The work incorporates such bits of actual text from travel magazines as: “Come and discover the ultimate escape, someplace where the people are happy, where the sun will embrace you…A paradise;” “sunsational recreation;” “perpetual summer” and “hot island.” The hp logo and Hewlett-Packard’s tagline “invent,” are included in this mixed media work to make my statement.