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Tongues Becoming a Virtuous Woman: A Philosophical and Communicative Approach to Young Women's Speech

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Four hundred years after the word "virtuous," came to be associated with a woman's sexuality, today's female adolescent seemingly has everything. Yet, there is a psychological civil war raging in the psyche of the 21st century young American female because

Four hundred years after the word "virtuous," came to be associated with a woman's sexuality, today's female adolescent seemingly has everything. Yet, there is a psychological civil war raging in the psyche of the 21st century young American female because her mind is divided against itself due to the conflicting instructions of who and what she should be. She has so many choices; it is easy to become overwhelmed by them. Today's female youth is threatened. She communicates more and more, but her ability to express herself is inhibited because she is unsure of how to develop an authentic sense of self. It is a hermeneutic understanding of communication and what it means to be "virtuous" that can free young women to cultivate authentic self and continue to make decisions that support such a lifestyle. It is the aim of this thesis to reclaim the word "virtuous" for the benefit of today's young women. Deeper understanding of hermeneutics and communication allow us to view this word in a different light and read the entirety of Proverbs 31 as feminists. Young women have always faced challenges in adolescence, but a return to classical wisdom and philosophy will equip them to further advance themselves and their communities, rather than forcing them into a life of speaking tongue twisters. The virtuous young woman does not know what the future holds, but armed with the lessons of tradition and the fire of hope, she may speak a virtuous magic over the world with a tongue fit for the challenge.

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2018-05

The Story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

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The story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is one of a woman who defied the odds of her time. Sor Juana was a nun born in the 1600's in Mexico. From an early start, she had an endless

The story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is one of a woman who defied the odds of her time. Sor Juana was a nun born in the 1600's in Mexico. From an early start, she had an endless passion for knowledge and always strove to learn as much as she could. She went on to become a nun at the Convent of Santa Paula and used her intellect to advocate for women's rights. Though met with opposition, she wrote many poems, letters, and even plays which included her strong push for women's equality. However, the name Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is almost never mentioned in popular feminist discourse, despite Sor Juana being credited as one of the first feminist authors. This paper works to not only tell the story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in detail, but also works to answer the question, "Why do people not know about Sor Juana". By diving into the origins of the Feminist movement in the United States, the dark underbelly of Feminism is uncovered. Primarily, the topic of how racism in feminism has plague the civil rights movement, what damage has been done to people of color because of feminism's history, and how does that pertain to modern day feminism and Sor Juana. By telling her story through both written and visual aids, the voice of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is no longer silenced but free to tell her tale and move a generation.

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2018-12

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Envisioning Female-Strong: Reclaiming the Feminine Heroine of Young Adult Literature

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As a writer and reader of young adult (YA) literature, I find it is impossible to ignore the rise of traditional masculinity within new, adolescent heroines. In the 21st century, readers have seen the rise of supposedly strong female characters—heroines

As a writer and reader of young adult (YA) literature, I find it is impossible to ignore the rise of traditional masculinity within new, adolescent heroines. In the 21st century, readers have seen the rise of supposedly strong female characters—heroines who carry assault rifles and avoid their emotions. By relinquishing their emotions and their flaws, these heroines have sacrificed the qualities about themselves that initially made them appear so interesting. My desire to see more realistic heroines like myself developed into a creative fiction project that follows and acknowledges the voices of feminine heroines. I call these protagonists “female strong.” My project—a collection of linked short stories—is peopled with the types of heroines that are severely lacking in YA novels and in the film industry. In my own short stories, I have embraced the narratives about young women who are both strong and emotional. I wanted to create memorable female characters that the reader could root for simply because of their feminine strength, even if their flaws were naivety, or lack of confidence, or even if they failed to achieve their resolution in the end. Female-strong characters are vital because they present a view of women who aren’t purely fantasy; they are placed in the real and are feminine, too. In other words, they don’t have to be a gorgeous, knockout model who can kick butt; instead, they can derive strength from their intellect, or their intuition, or perhaps even from their emotion.

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2018-05

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You're Not a Potato: Communicating Body Positivity in a World of Self-Hate

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This research explores how to best communicate positive body images to women. This project was intended to improve a blog I created my freshmen year in college called You're Not A Potato where I used original illustrations to tell a

This research explores how to best communicate positive body images to women. This project was intended to improve a blog I created my freshmen year in college called You're Not A Potato where I used original illustrations to tell a narrative about body image issues. The thesis begins with an historical overview of body image issues and finds that women have been dealing with high levels of body dissatisfaction since the Victorian era. The thesis then recaps the role of traditional media as well as contemporary social media and the role they play in imposing rigid beauty ideals on women's bodies. After an analysis of social media culture, it becomes evident women still communicate about their bodies in a negative manner, not only towards themselves, but towards others. To address this issue, I define the Body Positive movement and explore how public figures are using social media to implement Body Positivity. To conclude this project, I utilize my new-found knowledge in body positive communication by impacting my university campus community. I started a "You're Not a Potato" Campaign for Body Pride week with the help of the ASU Wellness Team and designed and facilitated several engaging programs that reflected the values of the Body Positive movement to our students. Through this research, I discovered how our appearance-based culture has stolen self-confidence from young women today, but by the end of this project, I explain how we can attempt to rebuild our culture by effectively communicating self-love and body acceptance in our online and physical communities.

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2018-05

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Analysis of Retinoid X Receptor (RXR) Homodimerization Driven by RXR Ligands Using Yeast Two-Hybrid

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Bexarotene (Targretin®) is an FDA approved drug used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), as well as off-label treatments for various cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Previous research has indicated that bexarotene has a specific affinity for retinoid X receptors

Bexarotene (Targretin®) is an FDA approved drug used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), as well as off-label treatments for various cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Previous research has indicated that bexarotene has a specific affinity for retinoid X receptors (RXR), which allows bexarotene to act as a ligand-activated-transcription factor and in return control cell differentiation and proliferation. Bexarotene targets RXR homodimerization to drive transcription of tumor suppressing genes; however, adverse reactions occur simultaneously when bound to other nuclear receptors. In this study, we used novel bexarotene analogs throughout 5 iterations synthesized in the laboratory of Dr. Wagner to test for their potency and ability to bind RXR. The aim of our study is to quantitatively measure RXR homodimerization driven by bexarotene analogs using a yeast two-hybrid system. Our results suggests there to be several compounds with higher protein activity than bexarotene, particularly in generations 3.0 and 5.0. This higher affinity for RXR homodimers may help scientists identify a compound that will minimize adverse effects and toxicity of bexarotene and serve as a better cancer treatment alternative.

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2015-05

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Characterization of Second and Third Generation, Novel RXR Selction Agonists for the Treatment of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

Description

Bexarotene is a commercially produced drug commonly known as Targetin presecribed to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Bex mimics the actions of natural 9-cis retinoic acid in the body, which are derived from Vitamin A in the diet and boost

Bexarotene is a commercially produced drug commonly known as Targetin presecribed to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Bex mimics the actions of natural 9-cis retinoic acid in the body, which are derived from Vitamin A in the diet and boost the immune system. Bex has been shown to be effective in the treatment of multiple types of cancer, including lung cancer. However, the disadvantages of using Bex include increased instances of hypothyroidism and excessive concentrations of blood triglycerides. If an analog of Bex can be developed which retains high affinity RXR binding similar to the 9-cis retinoic acid while exhibiting less interference for heterodimerization pathways, it would be of great clinical significance in improving the quality of life for patients with CTCL. This thesis will detail the biological profiling of additional novel (Generation Two) analogs, which are currently in submission for publication, as well as that of Generation Three analogs. The results from these studies reveal that specific alterations in the core structure of the Bex "parent" compound structure can have dramatic effects in modifying the biological activity of RXR agonists.

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2012-05

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Rewording Revolution: A Philosophical Detour Through Romanticism and Feminism

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My thesis argues Romanticism and feminism are utopian allies, and Romanticism, understood as a philosophical movement, should be recognized as an essential aspect of critical feminist theory. I claim feminism must be understood as holding an undischarged utopian potential, liberated

My thesis argues Romanticism and feminism are utopian allies, and Romanticism, understood as a philosophical movement, should be recognized as an essential aspect of critical feminist theory. I claim feminism must be understood as holding an undischarged utopian potential, liberated and inspired by a dynamic neo-Romanticism. This critical discourse gives birth to Romantic-feminism, which reinterprets Romantic works and rereads feminist theory, cultivating their shared revolutionary aspirations. While the claim that feminism buoys Romanticism—potentially creating a space for a singularly genuine kind of Romantic thought—is fairly bold, the core of this project rests upon an argument of even greater magnitude: feminism is as in need of Romanticism as Romanticism is in need of feminism. In fact, feminism is in desperate want of the revolutionary, aesthetic, and utopian vision of Romanticism, and a reinvented, reinvigorated feminism capable of confronting grave contemporary issues will not be possible without philosophical and artistic Romantic influence. A dynamic and progressive feminism not only betters Romantic texts, but provides the only possible condition for the realization of genuine revolution within Romanticism as a whole . As such, the second half of this project focuses on close readings of three poems by 19th-century women: “On Being Cautioned Against Walking on an Headland Overlooking the Sea because it was Frequented by a Lunatic” by Charlotte Smith, “The Lily” by Mary Tighe, and “Lines of Life” by Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Approaching these Romantic works will necessitate an openness and welcoming of both tradition and the strange, a critical emphasis on intersectional feminist concerns, an innovative critique of modernity informed by Marxist and socialist thought, a willingness to transform (the text, the self, and the world), and revolutionary and utopian desires.

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2016-05

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Mapping the newly menstruating body: Qualitative analysis of teachers' experiences with menstruation education and ""hygiene"" curriculum in elementary schools

Description

Menstruation curricula in elementary schools presents an opportunity to better examine the early teachings about menstruation, as this is often the first time that young people learn about gender difference within school sanctioned curricula. A closer examination of this pedagogical

Menstruation curricula in elementary schools presents an opportunity to better examine the early teachings about menstruation, as this is often the first time that young people learn about gender difference within school sanctioned curricula. A closer examination of this pedagogical moment from the perspective of educators helps us to understand the dissemination of the shame narrative present in menstrual socialization. Six teachers were interviewed about their experiences with administering the menstrual health curriculum in elementary schools across a large southwest metropolitan area. A discourse analysis of these interviews was completed in order to find themes of language used surrounding menstrual health curriculum. Themes of shame, legislative restrictions on sex education curriculum and personal narratives surrounding menstruation are discussed in addition to the current neo-liberal structure of public health curriculum. Future research into alternative modes of education on menstruation is proposed.

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2014-05

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Sexy Superheroes and Damsels in Distress: Sexism in Superhero Media

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Fifty years after the beginning of the modern feminist movement, there is still much to criticize when looking at female representations in all types of media through a feminist lens. With the enormous popularity of the superhero genre in so

Fifty years after the beginning of the modern feminist movement, there is still much to criticize when looking at female representations in all types of media through a feminist lens. With the enormous popularity of the superhero genre in so many media \u2014 comic books, films, television, comic-cons \u2014 now is the time to ask: how much has the depiction of female superheroes changed? Due to the huge amount of superhero media, there is a wide range of depictions of female characters. Will new audiences be presented with empowering female protagonists or simply new variations on the same basic character types? This thesis will explore that question by, first, presenting an historical overview of superheroes in their various media. It then turns to the history of female superheroes, comparing them to their male counterparts to trace the ways in which they were presented as characters in their own right, or as merely appendages to the male characters. Some female superheroes represented a new type of female protagonist: powerful, independent, and committed to fighting justice. In others, the female superheroes were simply retreads of already existing perceptions and expectations of women. They were less powerful than their male counterparts, dependent and clingy, and fighters of injustice only because it made them better girlfriends, wives, or prospective wives. The thesis also looks at the visual depictions of women, who never seem to have fully broken away from the oldest dichotomy in Western culture: the virgin or whore. Female superheroes have, for the most part, been drawn as either demure, modest, girlish figures, or as highly sexualized, sometimes borderline pornographic, figures. After completing this historical overview, the thesis turns to an examination of what many have hailed as the most progressive contemporary depiction of the female superheroine: the recent television series Jessica Jones. For many fans, the character breaks important ground in the superhero genre. Jessica is a realistic, multi-dimensional character who channels strength by overcoming her PTSD and defeating her former abuser. She is not dependent on male characters, and her interactions with others show that she is a self-sufficient, compassionate person who can both control her own sexuality as well as pick up a minivan. While the character herself is not overtly feminist, her characteristics, interactions with others, and the story itself have feminist overtones. Jessica Jones shows us that it is possible to have a multi-dimensional, lead female protagonist in a superhero show.

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2016-05

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Looking for the Female Gaze: The Search for a Feminine Practice of Looking

Description

In today’s economy, advertisers understand that sex sells. The foundations of this concept, however, are influenced by patriarchal expectations that women are first and foremost sexual objects for men. Women are sold beauty and demeanor expectations for them to utilize

In today’s economy, advertisers understand that sex sells. The foundations of this concept, however, are influenced by patriarchal expectations that women are first and foremost sexual objects for men. Women are sold beauty and demeanor expectations for them to utilize when making themselves attractive for men and men are sold the idea of beautiful, docile women. This dynamic perpetuates strict definitions of acceptable gender displays and reinforces socially permitted gendered behavior. As a society in the 21st century, we understand the damage of sexist ideals, but where we fall short is in the monitoring of channels that perpetuate and maintain those stereotypes and how affected the public really is by the male gaze, and lack of a female gaze, in media. In this paper, I search for a female gaze, but in doing so recognize the inequalities inherent in yet another gendered practice of looking and instead steer the conversation towards personalized perspectives informed by an understanding of the dominant practice of looking and its inverse.

The primary perspective from which people are depicted in media today is shaped by the male gaze. The male gaze is comprised of patriarchal ideals and relies on the understanding that the spectator or viewer is a standard human being, which heteronormativity tells us is a man. From this perspective, the scope of visual representations of men and women in media has been molded after the hierarchized gender displays within which masculinity has primacy over femininity. By presenting a limited spectrum of behavior acceptable for men and women, the media hegemonically manipulates the social constructs of gender and gendered behavior across all levels of society.

This honors thesis applies semiotic and feminist methodologies to engage visual forms of media through art, film, and social media to challenge the social constructs of gender perpetuated and reinforced by dated stereotypes of gender and gendered behavior. First, the theoretical foundation will provide a framework for semiotic and feminist analysis of visual representations of gender in media. Then, I will present data representing the real-world impact that this social construction of gender has on adolescents in America using The State of Gender Equality for U.S. Adolescents, published by Plan International Inc. I will then bring together the explicated methodologies and evidential data alongside my own experiences as a female consumer of visual media to reveal alternative practices of looking that do not revolve around patriarchal norms, looking for a female gaze. In doing so, I hope to present recourse in the face of persistent use of sexist imagery across all levels of our culture and every medium of visual self-expression by providing tools that can be used to interrogate gendered perceptions and inform self-examination in pursuit of a feminist practice of looking.

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2020-05