Oh How Things Have Changed?

Today was a rather interesting. We looked at how different culture used communication and what was their idea of the use of rhetoric. As we were going over all of these things, we started talking about the formality within certain cultures and how the use of communication is restricted. It made me think about our society and how we have change, but yet have stayed the same.
The first thing that I could relate to this type of attitude and social construction was the evolution of women’s civil liberties and Black people. As it starts with women’s rights and liberties, there was once a time when women were only allowed to voice their opinion when they were given permission. If they voiced their opinion at any other time it was shunned upon and seen as inappropriate. If you look at society now, people would say oh how we have progressed and changed. They would look at the examples of women running their own businesses and being able to do for themselves along with voicing their opinions. But when you really look at it, how much have we really changed? True women do have more civil liberties than before, but we are still placed in categories as to what we can and can not do or what our ability as women will allow us to do. This is all deemed as correct in relation to societal norms. When you look at where women are now compared to the struggle and lack of civil liberties they had before, it is progress but there is still progress to be made.
When you think about the Black culture in general, oppression is one of the first things you think about, whether you intend to or not. As it comes to Black people they were not able to speak when they felt like it and if you were technical they were not able to speak or voice an opinion to anyone but a person who looked like them and knew what they were going through. Over the time this notion has changed, but how much though? When you look at society now you see these black people who voice their opinion all the time. But the problems comes with since everyone has the civil liberty of freedom of speech, everyone can voice their opinion but who will actually listen and take heed or action from what you are saying. If people are speaking just to be speaking and no one is listening or acting than what does it matter that they are speaking. This sense of freedom of speech is great because unlike other cultures where there is one set of opinions for everyone, here, everyone is able to voice their own opinion. As Black people, however is this notion of communication that has been given to everyone something that is taken for granted or just overlooked.
When you look at other cultures and compare what they deem as communication and what we deem as communication and freedom of speech, where does the difference lie? Yes we are able to state our opinion on any matter whenever and however we would like, but just because we state our opinion does not mean people will listen. If people do not listen and just continue to do what is deemed normal in society, then are we still restricting communication. What’s the difference between my ability to express myself and other people’s ability to not do the same? If no one is listening we are both having the same effect, which is not effect at all.


Southern Belle or Crab in the Barrel Syndrome

I finished watching the season premiere of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, and the only thing I could think about were stereotypes, negativity, and the meaning of a black southern belle. Let’s start with a black southern belle.
I don’t know what the character is trying to prove or what they except to be portrayed, but once she said she was a southern belle and then to see her character I became confused. It wasn’t that long ago that black women were not considered in no shape, form or fashion anything close to a southern belle, but once a depiction of a southern belle is displayed it is negatively. While I watched the episode all I could think about is what constitutes a black southern belle. According to the television is a conceited black women who gossips alot, thinks she is better than every other black woman who is either on the same level or some where near the same level, has money, a job, a man, and is very materialistic. I don’t know if this what the description they were looking for but it is what I got from the show. Not only is she all those things but she does not want to see any woman do better than her. Maybe I am wrong, but let’s move on to the stereotypes.
I understand that stereotypes exist so that we have some way of categorizing people whether good or bad, we can not live without them. Although this is true, you can deviate from them. The women on this show each have a stereotypical role, that most black shows have. Although the person may not truly conduct themselves in this manner they are allowing there character to be categorized in a stereotype. Black women are already so many negative things, and there stereotypes are still out there for them to be placed in. The show does not show any good traits of the characters and are not deviating from what is expected of stereotypical black women. The only difference in most stereotypes and this show is that these women have money.
The representation of the entire show is casting a negative light on how black women or self proclaimed southern belles conduct themselves. Negativity is not something that shows of this nature should strive for or women of this caliber live for. The approach that the show is taking is starting rocky but is succeeding because it is living up to the expectations of what people expect black women to be.
According to what the women on the show say no one has any money and they don’t know why that person is on the show. Typical of what stereotypical black people should feel and act like.
Just think on a few things: what is a black southern belle, why the repetitive stereotypes, and why all the negativity?