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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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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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Language Used when Covering People with Disabilities

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News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center

News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center of the story. A story about a disabled person is primarily about their disability, with their other accomplishments framed by it.

As one example of the victimhood narrative, ABC News used to run a special called My Extreme Affliction as part of 20/20 until 2012. As the name implies, the specials covered people with disabilities, specifically extreme versions. One 2008 episode on Tourette’s syndrome described Tourette’s like it was some sort of demonic possession. The narrator talked about children who were “prisoners in their own bodies” and a family that was at risk of being “torn apart by Tourette’s.” I have Tourette’s syndrome myself, which made ABC’s special especially uncomfortable to watch. When not wringing their metaphorical hands over the “victims” of disability, many news outlets fall into the “supercrip” narrative. They refer to people as “heroes” who “overcome” their disabilities to achieve something that ranges from impressive to utterly mundane. The main emphasis is on the disability rather than the person who has it. These articles then exploit that disability to make readers feel good. As a person with a disability, I am aware that it impacts my life, but it is not the center of my life. The tics from my Tourette’s syndrome made it difficult to speak to people when I was younger, but even then they did not rule me.

Disability coverage, however, is still incredibly important for promoting acceptance and giving people with disabilities a voice. A little over a fifth of adults in the United States have a disability (CDC: 53 million adults in the US live with a disability), so poor coverage means marginalizing or even excluding a large amount of people. Journalists should try to reach their entire audience. The news helps shape public opinion with the stories it features. Therefore, it should provide visibility for people with disabilities in order to increase acceptance. This is a matter of civil rights. People with disabilities deserve fair and accurate representation.

My personal experience with ABC’s Tourette’s special leads me to believe that the media, especially the news, needs to be more responsible in their reporting. Even the name “My Extreme Affliction” paints a poor picture of what to expect. A show that focuses on sensationalist portrayals in pursuit of views further ostracizes people with disabilities. The emphasis should be on a person and not their condition. The National Center for Disability Journalism tells reporters to “Focus on the person you are interviewing, not the disability” (Tips for interviewing people with disabilities). This people-first approach is the way to improve disability coverage: Treat people with disabilities with the same respect as any other minority group.

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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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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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Hashtag Feminism: An Analysis of Social Media as a Feminist Platform

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This paper examines the relationship between feminism and social media and evaluates the ability of social media to function as an effective platform for the advancement of feminism's objectives. In the decades before social media became an integral part of

This paper examines the relationship between feminism and social media and evaluates the ability of social media to function as an effective platform for the advancement of feminism's objectives. In the decades before social media became an integral part of culture, the popularity of feminism deteriorated and feminist voices were unsure that it could be revived or popularized again. However, in recent years, women have used social media as a mechanism to communicate and disseminate feminist ideas. The birth of what is called "hashtag feminism" has been a fundamental shift in the way feminism is done and advocated for in modern culture. In light of this dramatic shift in venue for feminist conversations, academic feminists are asking a series of pertinent questions: Is social media good for feminism and the achievement of feminist objectives? What, if anything, has feminism compromised in order to fit into 140 characters or fewer? This paper argues that social media has provided a platform for feminists to share their stories, which has aided in the building of feminist constituencies. This is the most important work of feminism, because it is making society more receptive to feminist principles and ideas, transforming our culture into one that can accept and fight for feminism's objectives. This paper will examine a series of case studies in which social media has hosted feminist conversations. It will analyze the impact of this social media as a venue for feminist narratives and evaluate the use of social media as a feminist platform in the movement to achieve feminism's objectives.

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2015-12

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Wolf Girls and Witches: Women and Feminism in the Films of Hayao Miyazaki

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Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki is famous for his numerous film featuring female protagonists. These protagonists have been examined for their conformance and deviance with regard to widespread stereotypes of masculine and feminine traits. Miyazaki's female characters tend to

Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki is famous for his numerous film featuring female protagonists. These protagonists have been examined for their conformance and deviance with regard to widespread stereotypes of masculine and feminine traits. Miyazaki's female characters tend to exhibit nuanced and varied traits, with a balance of traditionally masculine and feminine characteristics. They also tend to demonstrate and moralize on larger social issues such as environmentalism and gender equality, advancing ideals for both Japanese and Western feminism. The status of these female protagonists as cultural icons is contrary to wider film trends that exclude women from the spotlight except when they conform to rigid gender roles.

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2013-05

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A Tribute to the Women Among us

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I have conducted a creative that captures the power of women through an artistic perspective. The title of the creative project is “A Tribute to the Women Among us,” because this project’s purpose is to express gratitude for the women

I have conducted a creative that captures the power of women through an artistic perspective. The title of the creative project is “A Tribute to the Women Among us,” because this project’s purpose is to express gratitude for the women that fought for the rights I have today, and for the women I encounter in marches, continuing the fight. I have taken photographs of women and children at women's marches in the United States and in France, yielding a total of 10 photographs I will be presenting at my defense, and printing out to sell. All the profits made from the photographs will be donated to planned parenthood.

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Date Created
2019-05

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The Intersection of Islam, Women, and Sexual Violence Prevention

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Sexual violence is a problem that is present in communities worldwide for individuals of every gender identity and religious communities are certainly not immune, including Muslim communities. This project will explore how sexual violence manifests in Muslim communities while also

Sexual violence is a problem that is present in communities worldwide for individuals of every gender identity and religious communities are certainly not immune, including Muslim communities. This project will explore how sexual violence manifests in Muslim communities while also discussing how sexual violence is rooted in cultural patriarchy rather than the religion of Islam itself. Islam is a religion of radical gender equality. The religious discrimination against women that has been witnessed throughout the past fourteen centuries is actually the remnant of unequal gender dynamics found in pre-Islamic patriarchal culture. Sexual violence is explicitly prohibited in Islam, as evidenced by the Qur’an and ahadith (records of the Prophet Muhammad’s life) and has no place in the global Muslim community, referred to as the Ummah.

This paper also delves into feminism in Islam and argues that Muslim women should not be forced to choose between their faith and their human rights; rather, women should be able to obtain an education and should play an essential role in the interpretation of religious texts.

The purpose of this thesis project is twofold: to examine the intersection of Islam, women, and sexual violence prevention as well as to develop and apply a sexual violence prevention curriculum that can be implemented within Muslim communities. The textual analysis of this project will include discussions regarding the primary source of the Qur’an as well as the secondary sources of ahadith and existing literature written by Muslim scholars, primarily female Muslim scholars. This will allow for an analysis of how women are portrayed in Islam as well as how Islamic texts and traditions challenge the patriarchy and rape culture in which sexual violence manifests. Using this foundational knowledge, the goals of the sexual violence prevention curriculum will be to facilitate a discussion between Muslims regarding what sexual violence looks like and what rape culture is, create support networks for survivors, discuss what to do if a friend discloses that they are a survivor or victim of sexual violence, reduce roadblocks to reporting, and analyze literature on feminism in Islam in order to support a movement for sexual violence prevention.

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2019-12