Thursday, February 21, 2019

"Anchor Babies"

Aidan

"Anchor Babies"

Women Studies




You wouldn't think it could be possible, that a mother could be tricked into being sterilized. The story of a doctor pressuring a pregnant woman in the middle of labor into agreeing to sign and have themselves sterilized should be nothing but fiction. But it's not, and it happened to multiple women.

The victims were immigrant mothers. In the film are five women who sued the county doctors for sterilizing them without them having proper knowledge of it.

This topic coincides with what we are talking about in class. The fear of "Anchor Babies", now for this movie the women were not illegal, but there is a fear that these children will need support. The cause for alarm about anchor babies is the notion that an immigrant can come here and have their baby born in the states which would, therefore, make it a United States Citizen, which means that that child can take advantage of the benefits of being an American citizen. A lot of people are bothered about the idea that their taxes might go to supporting a child who they believe don't belong in the country.

What does this all have to do with women? Well, these children are born by mothers (obvious, I suppose). That's why things like what is talked about in No Mas Bebes is a problem. A lot of this fear of Anchor Babies is taken out on women.



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Birth Tourism

"Anchor babies" is a derogatory term used for children born in the United States who's parents don't live in the country or are not citizens. The correct term to use is "birth tourism". The debate of this topic has been discussed since the 1860's when Chinese workers came to build railroads in California and ended up having children. The 14th Amendment stated that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States". This amendment allowed for families who wanted their children to have the freedoms the United States offered, to come into the country just to have their child. Today, many different types of people from many different countries are said to be doing this. In class, we watched clips from the movie, "No Mas Bebes", which was about the sterilization of Latina women. They were asked to sign a form of consent, but this was done without their knowledge or in the middle of childbirth. What was most interesting to me, was how a white male doctor in the film, had no doubts that these women did not know what they were signing.

The article and paper we read not only talked about Latina women and families having their children in the U.S., but also about Asian women and families doing the same. The paper focused on the lives of Chinese workers in the 1860's and the treatment they received for their race. "Native-born Americans and white immigrant groups (particularly the Irish) turned to mob violence to drive out Chinese miners." This treatment makes it clear as to why families have not tried to gain citizenship but wanted a better life for their children instead. If it were me, I would want my own child to have a better life, even if that meant giving birth in a different country. I believe the overall treatment of this women is not fair and that maybe changing the amendment could resolve the issue.

Immigration and pregnancy

Immigration over the years has grown to be a huge political debate topic. Recently President Trump has been threatening to try and estate an executive order limiting the 14th amendment's right to citizen ship with children born within the boarder. Discrimination towards immigrant mothers has been around for year, because of America's fear of miscegenation. In the late 60's and 70's, LA hospitals would force Mexican women into consenting to sterilization. This left hundreds of women feeling violated, and feeling like their rights were bing attacked. This was LA's attempt at decreasing the immigrant population, because if they can't have babies they can't stay there.
Another mire current issue in immigration and pregnancy is the Chinese travel industry offering luxury packages to expecting mothers to have their kids inside the US boarder. They would pay above 50,000 dollars to stay in a nice house with nurses and shopping sprees, just to deliver the baby. This of course, fuels Trump's argument for limiting the 14th amendment to try and stop the anchor baby industry. Though this vacation package deal just to deliver the baby may seem odd, many Chinese women see it as an amazing opportunity. My friend Valeria told me a story of when she was working at Beth Israel Hospital and a pregnant Chinese lady was arguing with an official because her work visa was overdue but she was staying to have a baby. She was with another Chinese woman and they asked to leave. It's interesting the lengths these women will go to to give their children a citizenship.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures is a triumphant movie about the space race and the black female computers who were behind it. Throughout the movie, three women defy the odds and all obstacles in their way to get their job done. They had to deal with segregated bathrooms, coffee pots, and workplaces, all while keeping their cool and breaking new scientific ground. The unconscious bias of their white coworkers was very apparent throughout the movie as Dorthy Vaughn's boss would always tell her shes "just following the rules" and therefore could not promote her to a supervisor. Paul Stafford in the geometry department would exclude Katherine's name from the reports, and the engineering department required Mary to go out of her way to get more degrees than her male counterparts- just to be as qualified as them. After watching this movie we were asked reflective questions on if we have ever felt we could or could not do something. I had always been raised thinking that my possibilities were limitless in life, and I could go as far as my imagination would permit, but sadly this is not the case for all women. I felt this way because being a white woman I have had numerous role models who look like me and who accomplish almost anything I can dream of. Black girls, on the other hand, do not have as many role models to look up to, because history has "hid" so many important black women leaders. Before the movie Hidden Figures was released, the work of the three women and the rest of the black computers working for NASA was hidden in the dark, but now those three women are heroes. History is constructed of the stories that are kept alive, and for so long those have been about white men. Society tends to not tell the stories of black heroes, keeping them in the dark. But black women just as much as white women need idols to look up to. There are so many more hidden figures in history that should be brought to light, and tell those girls like Mary, who thought she could not be an engineer because of her race, that anything is possible.

Hidden Figures

During the discussion with Ms. Kobus about the film, "Hidden Figures", Ms. Kobus asked us varying questions that allowed us to deepen our understanding of the movie. A question that stood out to me was if we had ever felt limited in our ability to do something. We had all never felt limited and were told that we could grow up to be and do anything we wanted. The purpose of this question was to show that the women in "Hidden Figures" did not grow up thinking this way because of their race, they were in fact told the opposite through adulthood. When Mary, one of the three main female characters, wanted to become an engineer, she did not feel she could even dream of it. "I'm a negro woman. I'm not going to entertain the impossible." The movie showed not only the immense difficulties black women faced, but also depicted how to get through those difficulties with grace and strength. Each character fought back on the segregation and racism they faced in their specific jobs at NASA, in their own way. Before watching this movie, I had no knowledge of African American women's influence on the mission to the moon. When I think about the first landing on the moon, I think about Neil Armstrong and no one else who may have helped him. Neil Armstrong is the prominent figure in this event because he is a white man. The black women who helped him achieve reaching the moon got no recognition, until this film. This leaves me wondering, as we pondered in the discussion, why some stories are told, and why some are not. Some stories may be more dramatic or entertaining, but that does not make them more important or valuable in education than others. It is important to hear many views of a story or event to understand it deeper. "Hidden Figures" allowed viewers to see a new view on the famous mission to the moon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hidden Figures

Aidan

Hidden Figures

Women Studies



In the speech about Hidden Figures, I was asked three questions.
"What was I told when I was younger about what I could and couldn't do with my life"
"Was there ever any time I felt I couldn't do something"
and then I was asked what character I related to, not in Hidden Figures necessarily, but everywhere.

The point of these questions was clear. Hidden Figures is a film about three black women defying odds in a time where America was segregated and bias was sown throughout the public.  I have personally never been told that I couldn't do something with my life. They say 'you can be whatever you want to be when you can grow up'. These three women heard the dead opposite every day. At every corner, there was another obstacle.

Hidden Figures serves two purposes. For one, it's entertainment, that's expected. But it's also supposed to dispell the idea that people can't do things based on things such as gender or skin.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Black Women and White Women and their bodies involving the Women’s March

I think that the lecture done by Mr. Carson was very informative on an issue that we as a society have not covered. I did find that it was a little ironic that Mr Carson was giving a lecture about the Women’s March and Black Women and White Women and their bodies yet he was a man. Although I do think he did a great job of guiding the conversation and bringing up multiple different topics. 

During our conversation we hit various points about Black and White women. One thing that I thought was interesting was the aspect of “silence from white women”. I believe that white women did not talk much about their femininity and tried to not bring up the idea of equal rights for a very long time. Now, it is starting to change because of the women’s march yet I think that a lot of white women still do not talk about feminism and equal rights for them and allow for men and other women to use the fact that they don’t stand up for themselves against the white women that still don’t believe in the entire issue of feminism. A few terms that I learned during the talk was “weathering” which is considering your life expectancy, infertility and what is considered to happen to our bodies. I was informed that “weathering” is much worse for black women because of the oppression they receive from men and women and the microaggressions that are used against them in every aspect of daily life. Another term that I learned about was “white women tears” which we talked about by reading a case study about a woman that felt uncomfortable in her work place. White women tend to use their “white women tears” in situations where black women tell white women that they are uncomfortable. White women then believe that they are being offended and use their tears to change the direction of the problem and make it about them. These terms were useful to my understanding of how women struggle with their femininity and identity as black women. I also liked that we watched a couple of music videos from different artists and broke down the video and talked about what was happening in the video. The Saturday Night Live skit that revolved around the world finding out that Beyoncé was black was a little bit funny. Although, the reactions of the actors faces in the video were used to display how our society is taking the news of Beyoncé being black and that they now look at Beyoncé in a different fashion because of her ethnicity. 

Overall I enjoyed this talk and felt as though it was a comfortable conversation that was informative on various aspects of  Black and White women’s bodies and the Women’s March.