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The Impact of Legally Blonde on Women Entering the Legal Profession

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This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional

This thesis seeks to understand how the film Legally Blonde has portrayed the interaction between femininity and women. Specifically, this paper will consider how feminism—defined through the context of the era and Legally Blonde—has empowered women to enter male-dominated professional workspaces—specifically in consideration of the legal profession. The feminism presented in Legally Blonde can be characterized through Elle Wood’s simultaneous displays of intelligence and focus on typical feminine interests: such as marriage, cosmetics, and the like (Marsh, 2005; Lucia, 2005; Hoffman-Longtin & Feldner, 2016). The “third-wave” feminist era surrounding Legally Blonde promotes the duality of women in expressing femininity and holding agentic capability (Dole, 2008). This thesis uses the film’s definition of feminism to consider the changes in women entering the legal profession, the identity of women who connect to the film, and the media’s responses and portrayal of the film. Legally Blonde defines feminism by presenting women as both intelligent and typically feminine—challenging the typical gender role of women in society with her expression of capability and seriousness. While the film elucidates a definition of feminism based on femininity and female agency, some women may not fit into this definition based on the lack of consideration of intersectionality in the film. While the film underlines a changing shift in acceptance of women’s expression of femininity, the film’s message may not apply to all women. Yet, Elle Woods remains a role model for many women to attend law school and her impact is emphasized in popular culture even today.

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2020-05

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Hysteria, Hegemony, and Horror: An Analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper"

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The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is historical, medical, and literary. The project includes five parts. The

The goal of my thesis is to examine gender roles and their implications on mental illness in the short story of "The Yellow Wallpaper." The context of this thesis is historical, medical, and literary. The project includes five parts. The introduction is an analysis of the various literary criticisms associated with the short story. The second part is research on Charlotte Perkins Gilman and her journey with mental illness. The third part is research and background information on mental illness in the 19th century. The fourth part is research and analysis on the social, political, and economic context of the 19th century in the United States that affected the view of mental illness in the period, such as gender roles. The final part of the thesis is an analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." The analysis focuses on gender roles of the story and how these relate to the depiction of mental illness. This analysis takes into account the historical background and research when studying the context behind the story. In conclusion, the research and information in this thesis provides a new criticism for readers to consider when analyzing "The Yellow Wallpaper."

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2018-05

Encouraging Civic Engagement for Kids: Activity Booklet for Ages 8-12

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Civic education in America should be focused on empowering future generations to take full advantage of their rights as citizens and realize their potential to incite change. Even at a young age, it is important that we educate children on

Civic education in America should be focused on empowering future generations to take full advantage of their rights as citizens and realize their potential to incite change. Even at a young age, it is important that we educate children on what it means to be a United States citizen so that they can begin cultivating their personal political experience. As soon as the child is at the age where they can begin to understand basic political and governmental concepts, they should be encouraged to start thinking about their roles as citizens in a Democratic government. More often than not, young adults express that they wish they had been exposed to the political climate earlier on in life. When a lot of these adolescents reach voting age, they are woefully under-educated and apathetic towards their participation in the civic sphere. This activity booklet was designed to not only educate but also empower and inspire kids, and to really get them excited for their futures in the civic sphere.

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2018-05

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The Evolution of the Public Perception of Feminism

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Over the last 30 years, the public has become somewhat less willing to accept the “feminist” label. However, most Americans indicate support for general feminist ideals. In fact, many of these ideals have become so prevalent in American culture that

Over the last 30 years, the public has become somewhat less willing to accept the “feminist” label. However, most Americans indicate support for general feminist ideals. In fact, many of these ideals have become so prevalent in American culture that they are not considered feminist anymore. This thesis will examine the reason behind this disparity and analyze where public opinion began to shift. The disparity between the definition of feminism and the definition perceived by the public will be explored along with the idea that the American people still want and need a “feminist movement,” but that its current state is not resonating with the majority of the public.

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2019-05

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How to Create a Narrative Poetry Collection: Feminism and Reflection

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Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and

Through my research I had considered how feminism and reflection can be used in narrative poetry. In addition to research on narrative poetry, I had self-published a narrative poetry collection titled 100. which I self-published on Amazon through kindle and a hard copy. The study of feminist poetry is looked at in my research in order to further apply feminism and reflection to narrative poetry. The joys of feminism, culture, identity, and empowerment are discussed and explained throughout my poetry collection. There are three waves of feminism, and I focused on writing in the third wave feminism which doesn’t have a cohesive argument, but focuses on sharing stories that are unique to women. As well, third wave feminism discourages patriarchy and encourages socio-political action. Some common, and re-occurring themes include my transformation process during college, spirituality (my faith), and nature. In order to further my poetry collection I had looked at many feminist authors on culture, and narrative poetry collections in order to see how the creative process works, and how I could better benefit my narrative poetry through feminism and reflection on growing up and what it means to be a woman. I had encountered and tried to reflect highly on the unique stories I have encountered being a woman raised of a Catholic identity in Ohio. This collection of poetry is meant as a reflection on my college experience as a female, and sharing the empowerment I have as a woman that I hope to share with others.

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2019-05

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Conceptual Obstacles and Opportunities for Conservative Feminism

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In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate,

In the midst of our nation's heightened political climate, it seems as if politics is polarized more than ever. Voters witnessed the impact of identity politics in the previous national election. As Facebook and Twitter are flooded with political debate, it seems as if the ability to engage in civil discourse has been lost. In the past election cycle, women's issues were a major focal point. Firstly, the country was presented with the potential to elect its first female president. Discussions of workplace diversity, the gender pay gap, and racial divide brought up serious concerns of inequality. Women were infuriated so much so that they organized all across the nation and came out strong, but not unified, in the notable Women's March. The March was arguably politically fueled and perceived by conservatives as an anti-conservative movement. Since the March was purposefully scheduled the day after President Trump's inauguration, the idea of "resistance" was interpreted as "anti-Trump." Interestingly enough, a pro-life feminist population was excluded from being sponsors of the movement. This story received national coverage, and is a topic of debate. The 2018 Women's March proved to be just as political with speeches encouraging people to only vote Democrat in the following elections. The Women's March is a microcosm of our nation's inability to find common ground. This project will explore the ideologies of conservatism and feminism and develop the concept of the "conservative feminist." In this study, we surveyed students studying political ideologies at Arizona State University, assessed results, and then conducted informational interviews to explore those results in greater depth. Accordingly, this thesis explores questions such as: Why did a civil rights movement become seemingly polarized? What are the semantic and conceptual obstacles to "conservative feminism?" The goal of this analysis is to explore the stigma of political ideologies and labels, and to open the discussion for better understanding of feminism, conservatism, and conservative feminism.

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Date Created
2018-05

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On Islamic Feminism: Feminist Interpretation of the Quran and the Fight for Gender Equality

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In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam

In this essay, I discuss Islamic feminism from the point of view of its proponents. By this, I hope to engage Muslims and traditionalists. Islamic feminism is the fight for gender equality, as a challenge to the way traditional Islam has perpetuated patriarchal power structures in the Muslim world. Today, feminist sentiment is on the rise in the Islamic world as more and more women are becoming engaged in this fight for gender equality. Islamic feminism reclaims the Quran as its justification and involves the struggle for gender equality grounded in this justification. I divulge into two linked claims: a normative one where gender equality is justified in Islam, and a descriptive one which posits that male domination over interpretive powers has distorted the way Islam has been practiced traditionally, thus placing women in a disadvantaged position. Islamic feminists, I have found, seek to reject the widespread patriarchal interpretation of the Quran by first, reinterpreting the Quran as an equalizing force, and then implementing Islamic feminism in the public sphere. I show that they do this by engaging politically and civically through activism, education, and political involvement — this I refer to as civic Islam, highlighting that public engagement is an inherent Islamic duty. For this end, I cite several countries — including Iran, Yemen, Tunisia — in which Islamic feminists have taken up the mantle as activists, and what their impact has been through brief case studies. In the end, I include my reflection on Islamic feminism as a college-educated Muslim woman having grown up in a Western, liberal society.

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2017-05

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Me and the Suicides: A Novella

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In my experience as a reader, depictions of depression or suicidal ideation in fiction are most often conveyed through social realism or otherwise realistically grounded writing. This makes sense given the subject matter, as one would intuitively think to depict

In my experience as a reader, depictions of depression or suicidal ideation in fiction are most often conveyed through social realism or otherwise realistically grounded writing. This makes sense given the subject matter, as one would intuitively think to depict mental or emotional trauma in a very sobering way, but I felt that one could merge the topic with a more absurdist, magical realist-inspired style while staying reverent to the emotional experience. I also find that stories that approach their subtext too seriously can stray very easily into plain didacticism, as opposed to a work that tries to entertain first. I concluded that conveying the experience of isolation and depression through metaphor would be the most emotionally rewarding or enlightening experience for the reader. The central premise of the story is, to me, a metaphor; a young man isolated from society, and haunted by past experiences, who comes to be literally haunted by ghosts with similar experiences. From that starting point I wanted to explore the perspectives of several of the ghosts in a multiple-protagonist format, structuring the present-day storyline around the flashbacks of three of the ghosts. I wanted each of the ghosts' backstories to present a kind of variation on the larger cultural "depression narrative", with some of them perhaps being more recognizable cultural symbols (such as Kryz in the role of the traumatized former soldier), but all being shown in specific, idiosyncratic ways. The content of each ghost's storyline came, again, from thinking of ways to metaphorically represent their particular emotional issues; Sarah, for example, literally has no shadow in a world of people with shadows, while Kryz's job on a film set full of artifice may mirror the artificiality that he sees in everyday interaction. These flashbacks making up the bulk of the narrative puts the ostensible lead character, Officer, in a backseat-narrator position a la Nick in The Great Gatsby, with the ghosts' experiences also working to inform his emotional status. I feel that the form of a work of fiction should reflect the nature of its content in some way, and given that my subject matter is mental illness, it made sense to me to arrange the various stories in a fragmented fashion, taking inspiration from authors like Thomas Pynchon and Irvine Welsh, as well as the non-fiction book A Brief Introduction to Madness. Finally, I wanted to convey a sense of absurdity in the events of the story, again taking influence from these authors. In my experience and observation, depression and mania are often responses to a world that makes little sense, from people unable to cope with the reality around them. I feel this goes hand-in-hand with an absurdist view of the world, and hopefully the unrealistic details of these stories, and the way character treat them as normal, should convey a sense of bafflement for the reader.

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2017-12

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Paraprosdokian: A Short Story Collection

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Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at

Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at a 24-hour diner, a blind fair ride operator with a propensity for accidental murder, a hapless son of a clumsy dental assistant, a literary scholar stuck in an addiction to both Kafka and pornography, a kid who learns that writing is not a formula, and a high school death that nobody cares about. Some pieces unfold parts of 21st century culture that have been knotted in ambivalence, like how men raised on pornography reconcile with intimacy, while others are as simple as trying to encapsulate the experience of growing up in what is often perceived as an artless suburbia. The project aims at mixing prose with photography to create, as Ben Lerner describes it, “a constellation of language and image”—a complete artistic product. Using the work of a local Arizona photographer, the collection complicates a reader’s elementary notion of a “picture book” by forcing the reader to view photographs beyond exposition or symbolism. The title of the collection comes from a term used in comedic rhetoric that refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a statement or phrase reorients one’s understanding of the whole. Under this definition, the collection seeks to amend its author and reader’s orientation to Phoenix in a quest for empathy, giving pathetic characters a chance to speak without ever sacrificing a touch of humorous joy.

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2018-05

You Belong to Me: A Visual Thesis

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You Belong to Me is a creative project that unites photography, creative writing, phenomenology, queer theory, and cultural analysis to form a cohesive picture of the nature of transgender identity, the values of fictive kinship and community building, and the

You Belong to Me is a creative project that unites photography, creative writing, phenomenology, queer theory, and cultural analysis to form a cohesive picture of the nature of transgender identity, the values of fictive kinship and community building, and the (hyper)visibility and erasure as visual metaphors. My project begins with Marta Cunningham's 2013 documentary "Valentine Road", which takes on the February 2008 murder of Lawrence "Larry" King, who was killed by another student. This is a source from which I gather my foundational thoughts about the institutionalized violence faced by gender non-conforming, queer, and transgender students, paying particular focus to Larry's life as one representative of those most in need of institutional and communal support. I then translate my analysis through my own photographic endeavors, which include returning to Oxnard, Californa, where the shooting took place, as a means of physically documenting my conception of queer recursivity. This theoretical framework informs my visual work and acts as a lens through which I locate other queer and transgender creatives with whom I was able to connect only through experiencing the trauma of Larry's murder. I utilize Maggie Nelson's invocation of "the many gendered mothers of my heart" in order to craft a family that inhabits a self-created and self-defined space where marginalized identities are able to exist. I conclude that this project is the first step in a larger dialogue about the aforementioned themes, necessitating material and sustainable changes in the lives of vulnerable youth who witness violence from multiple angles via legal, medical, and social institutions.

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2016-05