I thought Paulina’s presentation on lactivism was really interesting. I liked how evaluated how the two sides, one promoting breastfeeding above all else and the other advocating for choice, could be viewed from a feminist perspective. I thought this was an insightful choice for a few reasons. First, as a college student all of my feminist experiences and knowledge is removed from motherhood and my experience with the intersection of motherhood and feminism is usually about how having a baby doesn’t mean I have to stay at home. Obviously, there is a lot more to it and Paulina’s presentation made me think about how feminism interacts with motherhood. Related to the idea of motherhood, another interesting thing Paulina brought up was the idea of choice. This is a central argument in the abortion debate, but when you talk about women’s choice in motherhood, I think it’s a little different. On one hand, it is the women’s choice to breastfeed, but that choice also has to take into account what is best for the baby. Lastly, her research reminded me how the feminist movement doesn’t have the same amount of unity that I see with ethnic or racial groups, and it made me wonder if part of the reason is because of the way feminism treats motherhood. I’m pretty sure there are some people that write about feminism and motherhood, so am interested in looking into that topic.
The presentation that I feel that I learned the most from was probably Shay’s on Blaxploitation. I learned the most from that mostly because it was a topic that I felt that I was already sufficiently introduced to, which made digesting the information easier. I loved learning about the new movies and information out there about activism in this industry. I was particularly fascinated by Melvin Van Peebles and his choice to make a film about black people that would reflect the culture. Shay’s presentation made me want to watch films like Sweetback which was quoted as being able to make African-Americans stand tall and proud with each other.
I was also particularly confused about how black people were said to be represented as sub-human in film before the world war. Shay’s presentation chronicling the development of African-American in film was particular enlightening and really helped me understand how this came to be.
I thought Lena’s presentation on the alt-right was fascinating. I think living in the Bay Area has given me a distorted view of anything that is not highly liberal/progressive, and the objectivity in which she presented her topic was great. I especially appreciated the screenshots of comments that she included, as well as the entire overview of what the alt-right aims to achieve, what it celebrates, and what other groups view the alt-right as. Though I abhor most of what the alt-right stands for, as this administration continues into 2020, I look forward to further researching the alt-right (and its effects on this presidency) with a foundation of objective understanding.
Rudi’s presentation made me very curious about Native American activism, both within and outside the context of Alaska’s pebble mines. Given that Native Americans represent less than 5 percent of the American population, I’d love to learn more about what kinds of techniques activist organizers can use to encourage solidarity and make their voices heard. Moreover, given that most history textbooks focus so little on Native American history, how can Natives continue to spread cultural awareness?
Zoe’s presentation taught me a great deal about how powerful large agricultural businesses are and how much they’ve been able to shape our perceptions and habits around food. I’m glad she cleared many of my misconceptions and focused on all the ways that agricultural businesses have been suppressing food activist efforts.
I was most surprised by Neel’s presentation since I didn’t realize how unfairly Black Lives Matter was being evaluated until I began to understand the context into which this movement was born. The direct comparison with the Civil Rights Movement was very helpful in proving that unlike the 1960s, the more pessimistic BLM serves to unveil the many forms of racism that have since been swept under the rug.
Jessica’s presentation showed me that the “model minority” myth is merely a subtle means of quieting and dismissing racial activism. It’s inspired me to acknowledge that implicit biases can be just as dangerous as explicit ones, and that bringing light to these systematic injustices is the key to resolving them.
I found Renee’s presentation on internet activism under the Chinese firewall to be extremely interesting. The concept of this type of activism is extremely dynamic. Using censored social media interaction to undermine and rebel against the government is interesting as is, but the way in which the activists use the confines of government censorship to their advantage is extremely interesting. I love that these protestors often use humor in the form of visual mediums to oppose their oppressors and then claim to just be goofing around, or “having fun on the internet”.
I also loved the presenter’s use of images and graphics in the presentation. I always try to avoid putting too many words in my powerpoint, but I never really consider the use of trigger diagrams or symbols, which Renee used extremely effectively (examples include locks, trains, real and modified logos). Overall, It was a well delivered presentation with an extremely engaging visual aid.
Sol’s presentation about extremism in animal rights activism was really interesting. I learnt a lot about the extreme steps taken by the animal rights activists and how they have lowered the effectiveness of the overall movement. It was really interesting to learn about the internal divisions between animal rights groups and how that needs to addressed in order to increase people’s awareness about cruel situations animal live in.
I really enjoyed David’s presentation about how money has influences the politics in the United States. Coming from India, I always thought that my country is the only democracy with a corrupted and a rigged political system. But it was really interesting to know that the situation here in the USA is not extremely different. This made me think about how regardless of the location, money and power has been the reason why people have resorted to unethical practices.
All presentations have been extremely informative, and it was great to learn more about the problems different activist groups face while challenging some of the existing policies! Before this class, I hadn’t thought much about how social issues are addressed and how such rallies have influenced and transformed the society we live in.