Research Paper Draft #1

Angel Kinney


Professor Kitana Ananda

American Feminism: Embrace Your Inner Bitch

Why is it that women are continuously shunned or insulted for doing the exact same things that a man is praised for? For years women have been trying to get accepted for the leadership skills they possess instead of being called a bossy bitch. Some women are afraid to admit what they want in the bedroom because whenever they bring up the topic of sex they are called sluts and whores. It is about time that has changed, and throughout the years it has gotten better. Feminism has changed the way people view women in America today by showing that women are not just wives and mothers, that they are people even without those titles.

To begin, what is feminism anyway and why is it so important? Feminism is believing that all genders should be equal, that everyone should be paid the same amount of money for the same work, that pregnant women should have the workplace suited to her needs. One thing feminism is not is hatred of men. So many people think that if one is a feminist than that must mean that they despise men and wish to be rid of them, but this is not true in the least. Feminism wants men to be able to be whoever they want, to wear makeup if they want to because being feminine is not a bad thing. Feminism aspires to teach young boys and men alike that it is okay to cry and to show your emotional side after all everyone is human.

In Debra Beck’s article, she speaks about a time when people agreed with feminist views but yet they still denied being a feminist; this still happens today, nearly twenty years later. The reason that people reject feminism so largely is because of the way the media has always portrayed feminism until recently, that being that feminists are hairy lesbian women who hate men. This is not at all true, another thing that the media portrayed feminists as were women who were out to destroy family values like wives in the kitchen and mothers who only cleaned the house and took care of the children. The media did this in hope to scare people away from wanting to become feminists, and they sure did that. Yes, there are many feminists around the world but they are still looked at rather poorly because of how the media used to illustrate them. Another label that was thrown at feminists was the name “bra burners” when contestants of the 1968 Miss America Pageant threw their bras in trash cans as an act of protest. This also caused people to shy away from admitting that they were a feminist and would say the following instead, “I’m not a feminist, but…” (Beck).

This phrase is still largely around today and was also mentioned in Jessica Valenti’s book Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters which was originally published in 2007 and then reprinted again in 2014 when a few things changed like the cover of the book. This proves that the feminist movement has not caught everyone just yet and may never catch everyone. Beck’s information was almost twenty years ago and a few things have changed, the feminist movement is a lot stronger and a bit more accepted even though there are plenty of people who still think that it is unnecessary for the movement to exist at all.

Debra Beck also said that the reason women are not seen in the same strong light as men or as important is because of the theory of masculinity and femininity where men are illustrated as “good” and that women were the opposite of men, naming them as “bad” or “evil”. Going into more detail with this concept, the “good” men were also only truly considered good if they were “white middle-class, and Christian”, meaning that is you were a black Muslim, there was no place for you among the “good” men (Beck).
Now, the reason for all this negative light on the feminist movement all boils down to one major role player: mass media, back in 1992 most if not all decision-makers in the media were males. Since males are the dominant gender in America they did not want females to get certain rights that could damage their life, so they started bashing them in the papers and on the television and radio. No female wanted to be called a man-hating lesbian, well at least a good portion did not want to be called those things, so they stayed out of the movement. Some women who knew they were not lesbians still feared being called the term.

Once the media finally decided to address feminist issues it was still not exactly what the movement was looking for, many television shows and films portrayed women’s issues, but in a negative light or in a completely unrealistic way. For example, they had a publicized “catfight” between two different kinds of feminists, one a blonde housewife and another a brunette career woman, this proves that feminism is different to everyone, but showing it in a negative light does not help the movement progress. However, the media is not all bad, a social movement cannot thrive without the help of the media. Whether it is positive or negative attention that a movement is receiving, it is better than none. For instance, if social media completely disregarded the feminist movement, the third wave of feminism would not have happened and feminists today would not have a movement.

Works Cited
Beck Baker Debra. “The ‘F” Word: How the Media Frame Feminism.” NWSA Journal. 1998.
Dubler R. Ariela. “Exceptions to the General Rule: Unmarried Women and the Constitution of the Family”. Theoretical Inquiries in Law. 2003.
O’Brian Patricia. The Woman Alone. Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., Inc. 1973.
Valenti, Jessica. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters.
Seal Press, 2014. Print.

Document Analysis Essay

In the first source titled The Council of the City of New York, council members Williams, Codd, Foster, Friedlander, Gerena-Valentine, Messinger, Olmedo, and Wallace spoke about the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Department of State and how they should release all Haitian refugees that were being held in many different facilities throughout America. In this document is relaid to readers that there were 22,000 Haitian refugees that were held in prison in eleven different centers all across American soil. They had entered the United States illegally and were not deemed as citizens, for they had left rather quickly due to political repression and economic deprivation. Out of these a mere fifty-three were held in Brooklyn and were not given equal rights by the establishment, these prisoners were supposed to be released, but they were not because of other cases that came into the mix.

In the second document, January 2nd Coalition for the Defense of Haitian Refugees, it told readers that between the United States and Puerto Rico combined there were 3,000 Haitian refugees in just a year and a half. From July of 1981, the Reagan administration had captured and imprisoned Haitians that were fleeing from terrible economic struggles and repression, as mentioned in the first document. The American public felt that if the United States government continued to take the side and support repressive and corrupt governments then it is also responsible for the amount of Haitians coming to America to get away from their bad government. The January 2nd Coalition wanted to emphasize putting the Haitian refugees in concentration camps before being deported in a case he called “immigration emergency.”

These documents are similar because they both clearly state that the United States practically held the Haitian refugees as prisoners when they only came here to get out of a type of imprisonment within their own corrupt government.Both documents relay how the prisoners, or at least some of them, were supposed to be released but were not and that the American public did not agree with what the government was doing in relation to the Haitian refugees. A difference that I found to be particularly interesting was the Puerto Rico was also involved in the imprisonment of the Haitian refugees. The article that was in regard to the January 2nd Coalition stated that the Puerto Ricans and the Americans had a sum of 3,000 Haitian refugees in concentration camps alone. That is a large number, but nothing compared to what America had in detention centers all across the country.

Unfortunately, I did not learn anything about my research topic in particular, but I did find these two documents to be interesting all the same. Though not interesting enough to change my research paper topic, I still enjoyed learning about a part of the United States that I had not heard of before, though it is upsetting that after we were so against the Jews being put into camps such as the ones we were creating, that we would do the exact same besides from killing them, unless we did that too which I would not be surprised about.

Paper Sketch

American Feminism: Embracing Your Inner Bitch

Why is it that women are continuously shunned or insulted for doing the exact same things that a man is praised for? For years women have been trying to get accepted for the leadership skills they possess instead of being called a bossy bitch. Some women are afraid to admit what they want in the bedroom because whenever they bring up the topic of sex they are called sluts and whores. It is about time that has changed, and throughout the years it has gotten better. Feminism has changed the way people view women in America today by showing that women are just as powerful as men, just as sexual, and deserve to be treated with the same respect.

Main points:

  • Before reading this paper one should know why they are a feminist, even if they continue to say that they are not.
  • With fresh eyes read just how powerful women can be
  • Women have every right to be accepted as sexual beings just as men are accepted.
  • Men are respected, admired, and praised when they tell people what to do and act like a leader, women are only called bossy. They deserve to receive the same respect that men are given for their leadership skills.

Valenti, Jessica. Full Frontal Feminism: a Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters. Seal Press, 2014. Print.

Reflection Questions

  1. I feel that I was able to develop a strong and interesting thesis based on the little bit of research that I have done. Some parts of my thesis like the last point I made about leadership skills need more support from a different source than I currently have. I will find new information by looking at the college’s many research websites and reading different books on feminism.
  2. My next step is to do more readings and research regarding how males are more respected than females, how females are shunned for being sexual, and how the disrespect has lessened over the years that women have been fighting the patriarchy.

The Path Home Project

During The Path Home Project presentation people who immigrated from countries like South Korea, China, and Honduras talked about their experiences when they or their parents came to America. They also spoke about the process of obtaining their green cards and citizenship paperwork. Two speakers, Sun Byun and May Chen, who are two to three decades apart faced the same inhumane treatment in the workplace despite their age difference. Another speaker, Sagraria Mendez, explained how she fought for her rights by joining the Union in order to get compensated what she deserved and send money back to her family in Honduras. As she spoke about her experiences, Donald Trump’s name came up and she was not the only one to mention him. At the end of the presentation the presenters were hopeful that new immigrants will be treated fairly in and out of the workplace.

Hearing everyones similar yet different stories made me realize that immigration and race are issues that are connected. The way people of color have been treated throughout the years is exactly the way immigrants were treated and continue to be treated. The darker skinned a person was, the more harmful they were treated and this still goes on today. For example, I am half white and half black. Because I am light skinned I have not been treated unfairly due to my race. However, so many other people have and I want to use this presentation to better understand those people who have had to work exceptionally hard to get accepted in America. Many of my darker skinned friends are still not feeling fully accepted because they are insulted for their skin color or shunned because of it. The presentation touched me so much that I am thinking of studying law and becoming an immigration lawyer.

My Research Topics

Two research topics that I am considering are “Feminism in Zimbabwe” and “The History of Cherokee Indians in Michigan”. I came about these topics by way of my heritage and the fact that I am a woman. I know a little bit about American feminism, but not very much about feminism in other continents or countries. I can research American feminism on my own, but I want the African Feminist Movement to be known and appreciated in America. I chose Cherokee Indians as my focus because my father is Cherokee and Blackfoot Indian as well as black, since I do not know where the black part of my heritage comes from, I figured this would be a better topic.

My original topics were “The Feminist Movement” and “Cherokee and Blackfoot Indians”, I specified them to the previously mentioned topics because I felt like American Feminism is too well known and Cherokee Indians are a great foundation for my heritage. Some things that I know about Feminism is that is is the movement by which women are fighting for their right for equality, and not only that, but justice too. I say justice as well because there are some things that women need that men do not. For example, men do not give birth, so they do not need certain accommodations to make the workplace suitable for their pregnancy. I do not know much about Cherokee Indians at all, just that my father’s family is originally from Alabama, so I may find that some of the Cherokee Indians resided there before it became more populated with other races and ethnicities.

I plan to use the online sources provided by the college library mainly and possibly some of the hard copies provided in the archives section. I plan starting with Zimbabwean feminism by asking the question “How did it being?” I plan to start the Cherokee Indian research by finding out where in “America” they had resided before Columbus came and changed everything.

Educational Narrative

I would have to say that my earliest memory of learning would have to be back when I was in about second grade while doing math. I do not remember exactly what we were learning, but I believe that it had to do with algebra or multiplication. I was in White Cloud elementary school in Newaygo County Michigan.

White Cloud elementary is where my love for math flourished, I have loved mathematics since I was much younger than that age, but the stimulation that elementary mathematics brought to my brain was amazing. My best memories in White Cloud elementary school would have to be a trip that we took to the Zoo when we got to see so many beautiful animals. Though at the time I was not vegan; now I will never see Zoos as a place of pleasure again. My worst memory of that school had to be when a friend and I got into an argument and the assistant principal took her side of it and I got into serious trouble. A few challenges that I have encountered as a student would be that in all of my years of schooling I still do not know how to take care of things like taxes and insurance because I was never taught.

My mother would not be able to help me with school work very much, but she would always encourage me to do my best and assist me where she could. My grandfather did the same, he always encouraged me to strive for greatness and put school first. Feelings that I associate with learning are excitement and curiosity. I feel excitement because I love to learn new things about the world and curiosity for the same reason.

I think that the person who has taught me the most in life would be my mother, not in the way of schooling, but in the way of surviving life. For example, she taught me how to be a more selfless person. The most important thing that I have learned from her is to always try your best and work hard, but to not beat yourself up for a grade that is lower than an A. When I was younger I would punish myself if I got less than an A on a lot of my work because I felt that if it was not an A then I was a failure. She taught me that that was not true and I should still be proud of my accomplishments. The significance of my story is that whether you are learning in a classroom about the quadratic formula or learning from your parents about how to do things in life, it is all about learning new things. I want readers to take away from my story that being the best and always getting an A is not necessary to succeed in life, a B+ is just as good.