Friday, March 25, 2011

Equality in gender across the world.

In Alexis De Tocqueville's "The Equality of the Sexes," he describes about how European women have more equality with their men than America does with theirs. In Europe, women are both given the same duties and rights as men. In essence, women and men in Europe are alike with the only difference being physical attributes. However, Alexis De Tocqueville states that if they are both equal, they are both being degraded by creating weak men and disorderly women. I believe that this statement is false because there are no given laws that men should be strong and women should be orderly. It is implied in society about these gender roles and allowing the genders to become equal can actually make the society stronger as a whole because there would not be any discrimination in the workforce or even at home. 
In America, the gender roles are widely established and adopted in society. According to De Tocqueville, "The Americans have applied to the sexes the great principle of political economy which governs the manufactures of our age, by carefully dividing the duties of man from those of woman, in order that the great work of society may be the better carried on." This statement opposes Europe's view on women because in America, the gender have split into different paths while Europe has one path. However, in America, for decades women have been trying to push for equal rights with men, especially in the workforce. I believe that if the genders were to literally become equal in America, it would cause a huge shift in our economy and society. For example, it is widely disputed on that men get paid more than women. If women were to get paid the same as men in every job in America, that could cost our economy, millions, if not billions more in debt than we already on. Aristotle said, "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." Of course all men and women are born equal, but  it has become a way of life in America that there will always be inequality and equality will be a very hard issue to push for. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

If I were born a girl...

          If I were born a female, my life would be somewhat different mentally, emotionally, and physically. As I observed in everyday life, I noticed that most girls get along better with males and talk to more males than females. For me, I talk to much more girls than guys, but if I were a girl, I would probably prefer to hang out and talk to boys. Also, I would probably be more caring to other people because being a male, we generally are less caring towards others and females tend to care more about others. I would probably worry more about my appearance if I were a female. This is because females do not asks the males out, so they have to look their best in order to get a male they're interested in to ask them out. As for being physically different, I would probably not be as fit as I am as a male. Males tend to believe that being physically fit with a nice body would attract females, but if I were a female, I would care more about my facial appearance than my body appearance. Also, I would probably not work as hard at my job because at my job females get paid less than males.

         I feel that all of these changes would probably come true because gender roles are implied in America. Females are supposed to be more caring than females. They are suppose care more about their appearance. Males are usually suppose to take out the trash or go to work to provide for family. For example, a woman is expected to do the housework and cleaning while the male is suppose to work and provide for the family. Although this is not always the case, the majority of the time it is. I hear more about males working and females tending to the house than females working while males tend to the house. This is primarily because of the 1900s. The idea of a nuclear family where the father works, the mother is at home cleaning and making food, and the children going to school greatly influenced American societies today. Also, in the 1900s, females were seen as inferior to males, so they got paid less. In America today, they are still paid less than males. Society has taught me that gender roles allow the male and female to have distinct characteristics and behaviors that shapes the society it is today.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hierarchy, Assimilation, Pluralism, or Separatism?

Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective by George M. Fredrickson

In George M. Fredrickson's Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective, he described four basic conceptions of how ethnic or racial groups relate of differ from each other. The four basic conceptions are ethnic hierarchy, one-way assimilation, cultural pluralism, and group separatism. The Ethnic hierarchy deals with a dominant group that claim to conceive themselves as societies' higher class and claim rights and privileges not to be shared with people who are deemed unfit for equal rights and full membership. The one-way assimilation deals with equality, but by allowing others to put cultural differences aside and adapt to the cultures and traditions of that society. The Cultural Pluralism concept shows how instead of trying to delete differences between ethnic groups, celebrates the differences among them because it is deemed healthy for society. Lastly, group separatism is the concept that a cultural or racial group withdraws from society and interactions from other groups to govern themselves. Fredrickson wrote this essay to describe each of the ethnic relations in American society and also to show how groups that are different should interact and cope with one another to create a cohesive society. He stated that the best society would be one that deals with cultural pluralism because it is inclusive and based on the decisions of individuals to construct their own ethnic identities. All of the others deal with discrimination, superiority, or separation. I agree with his statement because if American societies were to integrate into one group of individuals with similar customs, over time the distinct cultures and languages would die out and everyone would be the same. Also, if American societies separated due to ethnic group, race, or economic status, it would lead to a segregated nation, such as the United State's history with the north and the south and slaves. In cultural pluralism, being difference is accepted and this allows America to become a diverse and unique nation. However, Fredrickson merely described the negative effects of the other three ethnic relation. In ethnic hierarchy, though the people are separated by economic status and race, it allows the society to be organized so that people with similar attributes and aspects can interact with each other. In one-way assimilation, as a person adapts and assimilates to American culture and traditions, it allows everyone to communicate and interact with each other without miscommunication. For example, in Bulgaria, nodding your head means "no" and shaking your head means "yes." It is the complete opposite of American culture. So if a Bulgarian immigrant were to adapt to American culture, there would not be miscommunications. In group separatism, even though a group or race were to separate and move to a distinct area, it would not be entirely bad. Of course American society would be known as segregated, but this allows the group to be with their own kind that have similar cultures. In Jonathan Kozol's "Still Separate, Still Unequal," he states that even though Brown v. Board established separate, but equal, the schools are still being segregated. If a black child went to an all white school, he would feel unsecured because he is not around his own kind. This is the same concept as group separation. If a white man lived in an all black neighborhood, he wouldn't feel like he's in the right place. However, America takes pride in having a diverse population and thus, cultural pluralism is ideal because it celebrates the differences among groups. In essence, this diversity will help allow America to be a world ally because in the future, there will not be a majority or minority in America. It would just be a mixture and melting pot of difference cultures, ethnic groups, and races of the world.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading Response #1

Prop 8 Hurt My Family
In this text, it is talking about how Proposition 8 caused physical and emotional harm to the LGBTI individuals. Studies have shown that those who live in states that have passed marriage amendments experienced increased psychological stress, verbal abuse, and homophobia. However, it is not only these certain individuals that were harmed. Their immediate families were also affected because they are associated with that individual. I feel that this is an issue that should be resolved by the people and not the government. In this text, it illustrated about the harm and abuse to the LGBTI individuals, but not the affect to the straight individuals. Therefore, I believe that this text is one-sided. It makes us feel more passionate and emotional towards these individuals, but how did Proposition 8 affect the straight people? How did it affect their families? Also, I feel that this shows the disrespect people have towards others in America. The phrase, "Treat others as you wished to be treated," is the golden rule that these people do not follow. The majority of Americans may stay quiet and never say anything, but there will always be those who oppose certain decisions and speak out, in a disrespectful manner. I believe that there should not be a Proposition 8 in California because it should be the peoples' decision. However, I believe that religion is the main reason as to why some people accept Proposition 8. In my religion, to be a LGBTI individual is considered a mental illness and is shunned upon. Same sex marriage should be decided by the people. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who I am!

Hello, my name is Thai Nguyen. You may be wondering why my URL is "" Well the truth is that I truly am an average Asian. (Stereotype-wise) My academic grades are usually always A's because I am expected from my parents to make straight A's. Otherwise, they will yell at me for weeks about my lousy B in English class. To most people, a B is great, but to my parents, it's unacceptable. Also, as to the typical stereotypes about Asians and math, I do enjoy and do well in math classes. Next, Asian males are typically short in height. For instance, I am only a mere 5 foot 2 inches. Another aspect as to why I am an average Asian is because my first and last name is not American. It is a typical Asian name. I speak Vietnamese at home and English everywhere else. Usually while I am in class, I do not talk much because I know that listening and paying attention to what the professor has to teach is essential to succeeding in the class. I enjoy playing tennis and badminton on my free time. I am majoring in Computer Science at Georgia State University. I chose this major because I enjoy working with computers. Either it's dealing with building a computer or programming a computer, I enjoy it and I believe that I chose the right major. Despite the fact that computer science deals with a lot of math and binary numbers (zeros and ones), it is something I hope to do for my future career.  To sum everything up, I am a laid-back Asian who focuses in school, and not so much on my social life. Therefore, you can see that I am a typical average Asian.