Cordelia Vohnout


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Blog 7

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

The text, Gender-stereotyped preferences in childhood and early adolescence: A comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal data, by Margit H. Kanka is relevant to my research paper because it discusses the harmful impacts of gendered media consumption at a young age. This research will aid my writing because I’m going to be proving how the gender roles present in Disney’s Cinderella, are harmful when they’re taught from a very young age and this article delves into the consequences of gender roles in children’s media. In addition, this article utilizes numerical data which I can use to support my claims about the harms of this kind of media on young children.

Another article that I will be utilizing is Ella Evolving: Cinderella Stories and the Construction of Gender-Appropriate Behavior, by Linda T. Parsons. This article is relevant to my paper because it discusses the patriarchal messages embedded in children’s media and the harmful implications that these messages have. Additionally this article looks at four different stories based on Cinderella, which makes this a strong supportive source for my paper. By including a source specific to my chosen media source I will be able to extract the most relevant information regarding my topic.

The third and final scholarly article that I will be using to aid my research paper is Choice or circumstance: When are women penalized for their success?, by Yanitsa Toneva. This article analyzes how working women are treated differently than men when they hold positions that are typically male dominated, which will be useful for my paper by showing how gender roles, like the ones presented in Cinderella, harm real-life women in the workplace. Through the data presented in this article I will be able to prove how gender roles do negatively affect women today and provide real-world examples to support that claim. This will prove useful for me while I demonstrate the harmful affects of gender roles and why elements of popular American culture that perpetuate them should not be consumed by young children.

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Blog 6

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

In my analytical research paper I will be analyzing Disney’s animated film, Cinderella. The way in which women are portrayed in the film, Cinderella, is problematic because it reinforces gender roles and suggests that women are only as valuable as their looks and marital status. In this essay I will examine how the harmful portrayal of women in popular American culture perpetuates the marginalization of women in our society. Cinderella is a film that American children watch from a very young age and the ideas it presents about women start to curate the way this young audience thinks about themselves or the opposite sex early in life. My desire to further research this topic stems from my curiosity on how putting these ideas into the brains of young people reflect the the disadvantages that adult women face in the workforce, the domestic expectations placed upon them, and how they are discussed by the media. I plan to explore this in my research by first analyzing what problematic ideas about women are present in Cinderella, and how these ideas harm women in their adult lives. I will also supply research to support how learning harmful ideas and standards at a young age affect people in their adult lives. I think this is incredibly important because women face a lot of unnecessary pressure and challenges today that wouldn’t be so if we learned from our history. I believe that the largest contribution to the perpetuation of harmful ideals is the media that we begin to consume as children.

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Blog #5

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

In Outlaw: My Life in America as an Undocumented Immigrant, by Jose Antonio Vargas, the two terms “undocumented immigrant” and “illegal alien” are used  in the article non-interchangeably. The two terms both refer to essentially the same type of person, however, the connotations of each term are pretty different. The term “undocumented immigrant” is quite literal. It suggests that the person being referred to was not born an American citizen, therefore they immigrated to the United States, yet it shows that said person does not possess proper paper work in order to be legally considered a citizen, hence “undocumented”. “Illegal alien” on the other hand, suggests someone as foreign as an alien to Earth has invaded this country and done something very wrong in order to be here. This term is much more negative and hurtful in comparison. People like Vargas who come to the US at a young age don’t know another home, this is their home. As Vargas states, “I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own”. In Vargas’ case undocumented immigrant would be the better term to use because it is straightforward. The term suggests nothing more than someone who needs official documents to be considered a citizen by law. Additionally, the use of this term compared to “illegal alien” helps to normalize the situation that many people like Vargas find themselves in. Illegal alien suggests something much more heinous than the actual situation, and this rhetoric serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes surrounding undocumented immigrants, who much like Vargas are productive contributing citizens, not foreign monsters.

 

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Blog 4

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

  The remarks of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and John F Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, are quite similar thematically. While the speeches differer in circumstance, they are both similar in their intent to bring together an intensely divided nation. During Lincoln’s address he states “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”. This shows that Lincoln’s purpose for delivering his address was in order to bring unity to people who were in need of an implementation of freedoms that some had fought and lost their lives for. Lincoln establishes that there will be a long road ahead, but he asks for togetherness throughout the rough times so that the people who have given their lives to the cause didn’t do so in vain. In Kennedy’s address he says, “We observe today not a victory of a party but a celebration of freedom-symbolizing an end as well as a beginning- signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago”. With these words, Kennedy makes reference to the same thing that was fought for so long ago, freedom. Freedom and change were the exact things that Lincoln, long before Kennedy, addressed in his speech. Kennedy also mentions that his victory is not “of a party”, showing that much like Lincoln, he faced the challenge of bringing a divided nation together as one. Thematically, both speeches are similar as they both served to usher in a new era of change and liberty, while bridging the gaps between a nation consisting of separate ideals. The two addresses differ in the circumstance they were presented in. Lincoln addressed a post civil war crowd who were in mourning over the deaths of many Union soldiers that gave their lives in order to protect everything the United States stood for. Kennedy on the other hand, was presenting to a crowd awaiting the address of their new president, some happy, others disappointed.

In both cases it’s evident that the two presidents believe that the freedoms of their people have been severely limited. Specifically, the freedoms of minorities were not equal to the freedoms of white Americans. Progress has certainly been made since the time of Lincoln and Kennedy, but not enough progress. Racial inequality still permeates every aspect of America like smoke lingering after a fire. In fact, looking at our current presidential administration it appears that since Kennedy we have gotten worse in how our president addresses these issues. However, the public has gotten better with addressing these issues, with the rise of social media people are able to publicly express themselves as they please and as seen recently, an increasing amount of people are using their platforms to speak up. Now that at a grassroots level people can make public statements denouncing racism you could say we’ve improved upon these issues, however, looking at the people we’re supposed to be able to turn to in unjust times it also seems like we’ve taken several steps backwards.

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Blog #3

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

The narrative suggests that there is a close relationship between reading and freedom. The knowledge that reading provides gave Malcolm X the ability to think critically, and an understanding of the world that can only be received through literature. For example, “My homemade education gave me, with every additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America” (581). The “sensitivity”, or understanding, that Malcolm X found through reading is closely associated with freedom. To understand a truth that society does not want you to know allows you to fight against an oppressive system, eventually freeing yourself from the grips of tyranny. In addition, “As I see it today, the ability to read awoke some long dormant craving to be mentally alive” (580). Malcolm X describes critical thinking here, the ability to read unlocked a thought process that he describes as being “mentally alive”, which means that what he had learned from literature allowed him to look at society and understand how it has been able to continuously keep black people down. Reading and freedom are so close in relation because it is not until you learn to understand and process information that comes from literature that you can shake off the shackles of oppression. Often times, oppression is not obvious, it stems from some tiny crack in society and blooms into a full blown culture that kicks a group of people down repetitively. Through reading, freedom can be reached, you can’t fight an invisible enemy, but reading works hard to reveal the not so subtleties in oppression.

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Blog 2

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

Language was a constant source of challenge in Amy Tan’s life. English specifically, challenged Amy in both school and her professional life. For example, “While my English skills were never judged as poor, compared to math, English could not be considered my strong suit”(14). This shows that despite the fact that Amy is a professional writer, English posed a challenge for her in school. In addition, “At I first I wrote using what I thought to be wittily crafted sentences, sentences that would prove I finally had mastery over the English language”(19). Even while beginning her career as a writer of fiction, Amy still felt challenged by the language and struggled to craft sentences that would prove that she had overcome the challenge of English. Language had shaped Amy, it made her feel as if she had something to prove, something that could only be proved with the mastery of English. Amy’s writing was her way of disproving assumptions made about her based on her culture and the many versions of English she spoke. The many variations of English that Amy used, either at home or professionally, made her acutely aware of the fact that there are many ways to communicate within the English language, even ones that weren’t deemed proper. Amy says that the term “broken English” makes her cringe, this is indicative of her acknowledgment that language can be used many ways and is not in need of mending if it works as a form of communication.

I think that people who learn English as a second language or grow up in households that speak multiple languages are probably more in tune with the language than people who are native speakers or speak solely English. To hear a native speaker speak the language you are learning makes you more aware of how you and others around you speak that language because you feel like you’re constantly studying by listening to how others are speaking. I do like to listen to how people pronounce their words or what words they chose. I relate to Amy cringing at the thought of broken English because I feel like there’s a misconception that the way people from The Bronx speak is not proper. However, I don’t think that the way we talk makes us lesser English speakers.

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Class Introduction

Posted by Cordelia Vohnout on

Hello my name is Cordelia Vohnout (she/her), and I intend to major in dance.               

Something that caught my attention on the syllabus is that we will be able to record our thoughts on readings and share them with the class. This is exciting to me because I really enjoy discussing literature with my classmates and I’m glad that despite the fact that this is an entirely online course, we will still be able to discuss with each other. I am a little nervous about the amount of essays we have to complete in this course because I’m used to having one essay due every three months, as opposed to one due each month. Writing essays isn’t something I necessarily struggle with, however, I do get overwhelmed easily and I hope that I’ll be able to stay on track with my writing.

The qualities of good writing are simplicity, strong or unique vocabulary, and personality. Writing should be easy to follow but also unique to the person who’s writing it. In order to be a good writer you should know how to get to the point while also clearly explaining all your ideas. If your ideas are well developed and presented clearly they should be interesting to read, while also being understandable. Being able to write well is so important because writing is a main form of communication. We write every day whether it’s on social media, for homework, or a personal journal, we’re always trying to convey our ideas to each other through writing and being adept at it makes communicating with others much easier.

I keep a journal which I try to write in at least once a week and whenever I go on vacation I always write down the days events, so I would say that informally journaling is the easiest type of writing for me, but I also like to write stories. Writing about myself or a character I’ve created is my favorite type of writing because it’s therapeutic to get out my feelings on paper and in the case of writing stories, creating characters and worlds is fun because you can create any person, situation, or world you can imagine. The most difficult part of writing for me is writing about things I’m uninterested in. When I’m passionate about a topic writing comes naturally to me, however, when I’m forced to write about something that I’m not particularly interested in the writing becomes more of a chore.

I’ve been dancing for years and I intend to make it my career after college. While theres not necessarily any writing involved in dancing itself, writing definitely has a role in the dance world. Dance journalism is something that many dancers do alongside their professional career or after they’ve ended their careers as performers. Dance and writing are also both art forms, which means theres a lot of potential to use writing creatively or to develop an idea to later choreograph. Dancers and writers have a lot in common because they both take an idea existing in their heads and turn it into something physical that can either be watched or read. Conveying ideas or stories to others is the goal of both writing and dance, the only difference is the medium.

 

 

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