Environmental Illness

February 18th, 2013

After doing a quick Google search of “environmental illness” I found an Environmental Illness Network on Vimeo. The purpose of this network is to educate viewers about EI and other public health related ages.

The following two videos are examples of what you can find on this network:

This video reminded me of the clip we saw during the discussion. It’s scary to think that people are getting sick from products they use everyday. I think that the change mentioned in this will be difficult to achieve. For example, most of the commodities (i.e. plastics, medications, cosmetics…) sold in the US are manufactured using a certain chemical process. In order to reduce the chemicals we are exposed to, we’d have to change how many goods are processed. This would take both time, money, and interest from corporations. If these new processes are too expensive (time/money), they will not be adopted by most corporations.

This clip shows a doctor explaining why doctors are not knowledgable about how chemicals effect the human body.





Class Discussion 2/5/13

February 10th, 2013

“Sorry, but it’s hard to tell who is serious and who is just looking for a good time when a majority of the time we’re made into sexual objects by a stranger.” –Victoria Uwumarogie

Our discussion about sexual violence last Tuesday reminded me of a blog post by Victoria Uwumarogie I came  across a few weeks ago. I thought this post was interesting because it describes how an African American woman responds to being treated as an object by men throughout her life.  Additionally, this article reminded me of most women are socialized to be fearful and thought how to avoid being raped.The most interesting part of this post is the comment section because many women (of different races) describe how they deal with and feel about being hit on aggressively by men.

Some of my favorite comments include:

“It’s not even about them having to try harder. It’s about the creep factor for me. The hollers, the stares, they all make you feel like you have to lock the doors when you get in. The mean face is mostly to hide how creeped out I get when some guy I never met is in my personal space, touching me and acting like he knows me. Please don’t think you should get that close to any woman you just saw on the street. Maybe it’s ok in the club (you can’t even hear unless you’re close there) but never in the street, on the bus, or some other normal public place. I’m serious, I have mace and I will use it.”–C. D.

“I completely agree sunshine….I mean as a young woman I was taught by my mother and grandmother not to walk around smiling at men and strangers….IT might be a southern thing. I don’t know. But Unless you are genuinely interested in a man you see coming up to make conversation and seeing where his head is. I would refrain from smiling and making goo goo eyes at every dude that pay a compliment….that’s just asking for trouble. I hate to be such a worry wort. But that’s just the level of caution i have…I’m not starved for attention from men that I need them all to approach me. Its a safety issue for me. Men y’all can do that cus y’all can fight…But this man smiling at me might have a rope and a knife waiting in his back pocket for me…NAAA IM GOOD.”–Y.

“There is a way to tell a woman she is attractive in a classy way without setting one’s self up to come across as inappropriate. Since this subject has the spotlight on Black men as those making such advances i can say that I’ve seen this accomplished many times. I think that it depends on the upbringing of the man and his relationship with women he is close to in his own life.” B.



An Example of Commercial Fragmentation of the Body

January 26th, 2013



“My body is ____ to myself”

January 16th, 2013

Whether or not we care to admit it, our bodies portray—sometimes incorrectly—certain characteristics about ourselves to others.  Physical traits such as race, hair style, body type, and gender can convey your socioeconomic status or personality. These physical traits can also impact your self-esteem and influence the power you have over others. For example, most people view attractive people as more successful, intelligent, and powerful than those who fail to adhere to the standard definition of beauty/attractiveness. Researchers, like Ricciardelli, have shown that people value their appearance and are usually less confident when they feel unattractive. Every day we are concerned with and obsess over our appearance. Consequently, our bodies have become a fragmented commodity to commercial enterprises. When we do not fit society’s definition of beauty, we have the ability to correct many of the characteristics we deem imperfect. Additionally, if we want to express our identity, we can change many of our physical traits.

The statement “My body is ___ to myself” is a great way to begin thinking sociologically about the human body.  When I first started thinking about this statement, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fill in the blank.  Masculinity, Consumerism, and Appearance: A Look at Men’s Hair by Rosemary Ricciardelli helped me organize my thoughts regarding how we view the body form a sociological standpoint. I have decided that “my body is like a puzzle to myself.” I chose to compare my body to a puzzle because I feel that some of my physical traits (the puzzle pieces) symbolize something about my personality. These traits represent the puzzle’s border. I think my other less obvious characteristics (like my beliefs or odd sense of humor) complete the puzzle to illustrate an accurate picture of my “true” personality.