This semester has introduced me to many new ways of thinking and analyzing things I see, both online and in person. This course has influenced me by allowing me to open my eyes to other perspectives and views that people may have based on their lived experiences and personal biases. I think that it is important to know how to look at things you come across from different perspectives, as you can see things you may have missed by doing so.
An idea that has really affected me that we have discussed this semester would definitely include feminism. I consider myself a feminist, and it is something that I hold really important to myself. I find it important to fight for equality. The way feminism was discussed in class made me very happy, as it was presented in a positive light and how feminism really is, rather than how some people portray it.
Although during class discussions, feminism was something that everyone seemed to agree with, one thing that really impacted me and stuck with me would be a conversation I heard between a guy and a girl during class. We were discussing feminism and how it affects people as the guy started talking to the girl. He started off by saying "I agree with feminism and everything, but..." then he went on to talk about how he everything was better in the 1950's, when men were men and women were women. He mentioned that he misses the idea of ballroom dancing, women doing feminine things, and men doing masculine things. The girl he was talking to looked uninterested, and kind of annoyed, but he continued. After, he started talking about how women think differently than men, and how their brains are different. Women, apparently, memorize things rather than learn them, so women don't think things through, whereas men learn how to do things and think more things through, using common sense. According to his theory, women did not use common sense and couldn't think for themselves. He went on to say how that's why women shouldn't be pilots, because they cannot handle stress, and how they shouldn't be in the military because they aren't strong enough or as physically fit as men. He even went as far as describing men as being "built as tough as jeeps," and women having "beautiful curves," making them not able to be in any forces. He talked about how he didn't want someone next to him in a war who couldn't do as much push-ups as him, and therefore wouldn't want a woman next to him. Throughout their entire "conversation," he would constantly interrupt the girl he was talking to, and she was getting visibly irritated. Needless to say, she never sat with him again after that.
I think that the guy's first comment about agreeing with feminism completely contradicts with every single thing he talked about after that. It was really frustrating hearing him speak like that as the class was talking positively about feminism, and it even stopped me from paying attention to class as I was listening to his misogynist rant. I almost spoke up and shared my ideas about their topic and help the girl he was talking to get out of the conversation, but decided not to get involved, as I'd probably just get interrupted by him, and have him "mansplain" everything to me, like he was to the girl he was talking to.
I think the most influential way to use visual media is to find something taboo that may be considered controversial, and use it in a positive way to spread your message. Although the advertisements for clothing that used people of different races united together, I don't think that they used a taboo subject properly. Although, for the time period, it was strange to see coloured people and white people together, the advertisement didn't make sense to me.
I tried to use something considered taboo for my group presentation. We did gender issues among women, and I included a picture of a woman topless on the slide about male privilege. Women's nipples, especially in media like Facebook and Instagram, is banned and not allowed to be seen. Men's nipples, however, are perfectly fine. I think that this, in modern society, is ridiculous. Women's nipples should not be an issue, as they are made up of the same thing as a male's nipples.
I think visual media has been used a lot in society. I think that visual media definitely has a positive effect on society. Visual media, whether intended to be good or bad, makes society think and analyze what they're seeing. When people see something, like an advertisement, that they think is bad, they aren't quiet about it. An example of this would include Nivea's recent advertisement, displayed above. Although I truly do not think this advertisement was meant to be racist, it can definitely come across as so. In a lot of cultures, white is a symbol for purity. White symbolizing purity is also a common theme when it comes to wedding dresses. I think that Nivea was trying to say that their deodorant does not allow your sweat to stain your clothes, however, as a skin care product, it came across as white skin meaning purity.
As seen above, it did not take long for people to recognize that the advertisement had an unintended racist message, and they exposed it. I think that this is why visual media is so powerful in society, because it holds so much meaning. Society, especially the younger generation, are not ignorant or quiet when they see something online that they do not like, and they are not afraid to expose it. Nivea has had to issue apologies for their advertisements due to the negative impact it had. Visual media is also so impactful because it is everywhere. When you're on the bus, there's advertisements, on your phone, there's pictures all over social media apps, when you're walking downtown, there's billboards and signs, at home, your television is all visual media. Visual media is literally everywhere, trying to spread their message, and it is a big part of modern society.