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2/28/2015

Violating a Social Norm by Michaela Jenae Frew

My experience violating a social norm
For an assignment in my sociology class, we were asked to violate a folkway social norm. In every society, there is an unspoken set of rules for our behavior. These are norms. A folkway norm is one that someone would notice if it was violated, but there wouldn’t be major repercussions. For this project I walked around a store asking strangers to tie my shoe. Kids usually learn how to tie their shoes around first or second grade. High school age kids typically know how to tie their shoes and would not ask strangers to tie them. I chose to break this norm because I wanted to do something fun and out of my comfort zone. My brother actually helped me come up with the idea. I was bouncing around ideas with my mom and my brother said something about his shoes being untied.

I carried out this experiment by untying one shoe then asking strangers to tie them. I had to bite my cheek sometimes to keep from laughing because I felt very ridiculous. I made sure no one saw me untie my shoe and that the people I had already asked didn’t see me ask someone else or see me with my shoe untied again. I encountered a roadblock when I went to untie my shoe again after I had walked away from a younger boy who had just tied it and realized that it was tangled into a knot. I had to sit down and figure out how to untangle it before I moved on to the next person. I asked ten people to tie my shoe: five women, three men, one teenage girl and one younger boy.

The results surprised me. I expected most of the people to laugh at me and refuse, but only three people gave me responses like that. One person, a woman who looked to be in her twenties, looked at me and said “You’re serious?” and when I responded with “Yes, I’m sorry I just can’t do it” she said quite rudely, “go play with someone else, or let my six year old son do it because he doesn’t know how to either.” The teenage girl looked about my age, and  when I asked her she stared at me for a few seconds and said “Man, that’s wreck!” By which I’m guessing she meant that me being unable to tie my shoe is unfortunate or something like that. She then started laughing very loudly and turned to an older couple, whom I am assuming were her parents because of the way they talked to each other, and said to the man, “how about you do it. That sounds like a job for you.” I awkwardly stood there while the man and teenager walked away for a few seconds then I went away too. My sister was around the corner and heard her and the man tell the mom and the mom was scolding her giving her a lecture because she wouldn’t help me. When my sister told me this I felt bad and didn’t want to get the girl in trouble so I told them it was a project I was doing for my sociology class. The girl looked surprised and looked as if she felt bad for being rude. Most of the other people agreed, but with strange looks and comments like “Really?” and “Okay then.” One woman refused because she said she had bad knees and she couldn’t get down there. She said that if she could she would.

The impact this experiment had on me is that people are nicer than I thought they would be. There were a few people who were rude and refused, but for the most part, I was wrong. I also learned that I am not as brave as I thought I would be. I had to work up the nerve every time I asked someone, and it usually took a few minutes to build up the courage. There were some people that I was too nervous to ask. There was a group of middle school age kids that intimidated me because they were loud and there were four or five of them. It was a lot easier to talk to the adults than the younger people.

2/13/2015

Sexism in Comics



 

 

Sexism is defined by Merriam Webster as
1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women 2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. I would like to focus on the second half of this definition. Sexism is just one variation of the larger problem which is prejudice and ignorance. Ignorance and prejudice make roots in the minds of individuals most easily when society treats them as truths. Culural prejudices can be seen in art music and entertainment. Comics being a very popular form of creative expression are no stranger to sexist, racist and overall ignorant ideas.




According to DC Comics in 2014 their creative staff was made up ninety one point two percent male and nine point eight percent female creators. Marvel had 10.8 percent female creators. While these are all time highs for females in the field their is still a long way to go. Modern comics tend to appeal to a larger male than female audience. This is largely because of the way in which female comic character are portrayed. If comics are to evolve in such a way that they accurately represents all groups regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender.


 Neil Gaiman's Sandman series is considered ground breaking by many comics fans and contemporary literature critics alike. It is notable because it featured homosexual relationships in a positive light and depicted the struggle of a transgender woman. It also got many women interested in comics and helped to launch the Vertigo imprint of DC and with it a new age of comics.


 With more female creators and comics like Sandman progress will surely march on. Unfortunately today societal prejudice is still reflected in the medium. Ultimately this will become a thing. Comics are a strong tool to express ideas and accelerate social change.



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Image source: http://www.sparknotes.com/mindhut/2013/08/16/sexism-and-diversity-in-comics-a-heated-debate

2/11/2015

Lizzie's Cosplay Interview





I recently contacted a young Danish cosplayer named Lisette. She is primarily Doctor Who cosplayer and she's incredibly talented. I emailed her some questions and she got back to me the other day. If you have interest in cosplay and or Doctor who I urge you to read on.









1 What is it about Doctor Who that appeals to you?
I love the morals in it. It teaches the way of life; how we shall treat each other and what goodness mankind can have. It’s not only about a man traveling in a box, but it’s about love and loss and sacrifice. I love the personality of the Doctor and I like that even though he is a rolemodel and a hero, he is not always nice. He is just an alien. It’s exciting to, through the companions eyes, to discover other adventures and to explore the Doctor. I have never been a big fan of Sci Fi but there is just something about Doctor Who that really caught my attention.

2 Why is it that you decided to become involved with cosplay? i have always loved dressing out and did it every chance I had. I didn’t knew about cosplay before I had entered a costume completion on facebook for fun with my Rose Cosplay (which were the reason for how I got my first ever cosplay) and I have loved it ever since. Never understood how big it was until I attended my first convention and saw just how popular cosplaying was and through the compliments I got for my cosplays, my interest grew bigger.





3 You most frequently do variants on the character of Rose Tyler. Do you relate strongly to Rose?
Both yes and no. she is way more secure and cocky that I could ever be but I do somehow relate to her through the series and she just grew on me. I think it’s the difference between her and me that does that I love cosplaying her so much. It’s always fun to be able to be a complete different person than who you normally are.

4 Do you have a personal favorite Doctor Who story? Oooh that is a tough one. I think it has to be Water on Mars because I just love the darkness and the change in the Doctor through that episode. It is so much more different than a typical Doctor Who story and even though I love Rose, I find the stories where the Doctor is on his own (like Midnight and the Specials) more interesting.

5 How long does it typically take for you to complete a cosplay? it varies. Most of my cosplays are bought so it all depends if I need to find it before a con or if I have the time. If I have the time I can be very patient until I find the right alt or better, the SA piece. If I don’t have long I am going for what I can find on the time and hope it will be okay for it but I always prepare at least 2 months before a con. So all in all it takes me between a week and a year to complete a cosplay. I still have many half finished cosplays which I am just waiting to complete.

6 If you were to join the Doctor in his travels where would you want to visit first? Hmmm good question. I think I am more interested in the future than the past. Not my own but just to see how the world evolves and I would of course love to visit other planets. But there has never been a certain moment on my mind when people have asked me the question. I would love to go anywhere as long as it would an adventure.

7 Are there any cosplayers you look to for inspiration?
I look up to all the cosplay friends I have. They are amazing and have always been there to help me including my boyfriend. I never looked for inspiration in particular at anyone. I like to run my own show and put my own touch to my cosplays but I am always open for ideas and help. One of my favorite cosplayers though has to be Starbit Cosplay as she is so talented and is a born chameleon. Haven’t seen a character she couldn’t look like and I can’t help being a bit proud that we are both Scandinavians.

8 If you had to choose a franchise other than Doctor Who to cosplay what would that be?
I think it would be Harry Potter and Marvel but it’s difficult to say as Doctor Who is mainly my life. I have always been a Harry Potter fan so I can’t help starting on that one and I have always wanted to cosplay Black Widow from the Avengers. One thing I also wanna try and cosplay is horror characters as I am a huge horror fan. I am planning on doing a Saw cosplay for Halloween.  



9 Of all the cosplays you have done so far which have you found most difficult to complete?
 
The ones I have found most difficult must have been those I chose to get SA pieces for. Finding SA clothes can be quite difficult especially for Rose and some pieces are rarer than others. I waited a year to finally get my hands on the School Reunion Jacket which is my all time favorite. Another cosplay which is still not complete is the Girl in the Fireplace because I am very picky with selecting jeans and I haven’t found the right ones yet.

10 What characters are you currently working on? I am not working on anything at the moment but I am keeping my eyes out for pieces to my Fem!Master cosplay and I am hoping on starting on my Poison Ivy cosplay soon which is going to be the first cosplay I am going to make myself.







And that's all from this impossible girl. If you want to see more of her work you can visit the Lizzie's Cosplay Facebook page on which she posts frequently. Thanks for reading. If you wish to see more of what this blog has to offer you can follow us using Google plus, subscribe or like Sentience on Facebook. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments. Run!


2/04/2015

Supernatural "There's No Place Like Home" Review

I'll admit going into watching the most recent episode of the Supernatural "There's no Place Like Home" I was worried. The trailer had my favorite character Charlie Bradbury behaving very strangely. Supernatural has a long history of killing off beloved characters and Charlie's death didn't seem incredibly unlikely. Look the episode "There's No Place Like Home" did not bring Charlie's death. It did however bring up some good points about human nature and the necessity and beauty of imperfection  This episode presents Sam and Dean with a very peculiar problem.


   Charlie has been split in half. She is two highly dysfunctional people. One Charlie is completely innocent. The other Charlie is a murderous badass representing the dark side. I've got to say I'm quite pleased with how the show handled the philosophical question of what makes us who we are. Early in the episode Sam and Dean are looking into Charlie's past. Sam suggests she was deeply trouble and Dean refuses to believe him saying she was a good kid. The truth of  course was always somewhere in between.







  The episode ends with Dean nearly beating the dark Charlie to death and in effect doing the same to her other side. The "good" realizing the necessity of a dark act murders the evil wizard of Oz and becomes whole once again. After healing some Charlie leaves Sam and Dean Charlie leaves vowing to help Dean with the Mark of Cain which is causing his own darkness to grow to an unhealthy degree.


   Charlie is a strong, badass female character who pushes boundaries and is incredibly lovable. This episode is incredibly effective because it examines her on every level. It does not sugar coat anything or make humans out to be simple monsters. This episode shows us that the end we all must have darkness and light inside ourselves  and we should not fight that fundamental aspect of our nature. Thanks again Felicia Day for another great episode of Supernatural.