Case Study of a Writer Coming into this class, I thought I had a clear understanding of gossip. However, I don’t think I could’ve ever been more wrong. Originally, I believed that gossip was strictly talking about somebody behind his or her back in a negative light. Now as the semester is coming to an end, it is clear that gossip has a much deeper meaning. First off, gossip is essential in that it keeps everybody aware of what is going on in the world. Furthermore, gossip helps us build relationships; not only with the people discussing the gossip but also with the subject of what is being discussed. Gossip can also broaden what we know about the subject without actually observing whatever the subject is, in person. Without gossip, we wouldn’t know the latest news and what's going on in our world. Gossip is not always 100 percent factual so it is important to not believe everything you hear. Slandering or harming somebody’s or something’s reputation is another way that gossip is utilized in society. Gossip also prohibits privacy. A prime example would be celebrity gossip. You have to feel for celebrities, considering their private lives and things that they don’t want discussed about them are constantly being put in magazines, blogs, TV shows, etc. After completing this course, it is clear that there are both positive and negative aspects to gossip. Throughout the semester, we have read and discussed several different scholarly articles that definitely changed my views on certain topics. For instance, Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” was an eye opener. This piece was about how women are portrayed in movies as not having an importance
in the plot but just to be visually exciting for male audiences to look at and enjoy. I think that this applies to all types of media rather than just movies. Before reading that text, I never really thought how true that concept really is. Now, every time I interact with media in some way, whether it’s watching a movie, a TV show, etc., it’s difficult not to look at the ways females are being portrayed and what their purpose is. Another article that has absolutely changed my thought process about gossip and gender is “What Went Wrong” by Rita M. Gross. There is no arguing the fact that in today’s society, being male is considered the norm. Gross makes it clear that men have historically refused to understand and acknowledge their genderedness, which forces men to believe that they aren’t genderered but simply the “normal” gender. Now, looking at how society is and how people act toward the different genders, it more clear then ever that that is, in fact, the case. For my third essay, I researched the popularity of women’s sports. It is apparent that men’s sports dominate women’s sports from media coverage to just the subject of discussion between two people. Don't get me wrong; society has made some great improvements in increasing the equality between men and females. However, I don’t think we’re anywhere close to a post feminism society. It is obvious that this is a male-‐dominant society. Just to throw one example out there, women get paid less for doing the same job as men. We, as a society, have a lot of work to do to ensure that equality becomes evident between males and females. Society makes it clear that it is only acceptable to follow your gender norms. Some stereotypes of a man are enjoying sports, being brave and strong, being superior to females, etc. Some women stereotypes include being gentle, fragile,
organized, caring, and loving. If you are a male and posses any of the female stereotypes and vice versa, you are considered out of the norm. Crossing the gender boundary is simply not accepted by society and will result in you being excluded from the group. Crossing the gender norm boundary could result in abuse from the “normal group,” or slurs being directed at you. Being called gay is a common slur for somebody who doesn’t fit in his or her gender norm. Just because a male enjoys shopping or doing other things that are considered “girly” certainly doesn’t make him gay. Or if a female enjoys playing football or doing other “manly” things that doesn’t make her gay either. Society needs to start accepting that it is OK for gender’s to cross the gender boundary. One of the most effective things we did in this class was go through a draft-‐ by-‐draft process for each essay we had to write. For my E-‐portfolio, I chose to show my writing process for my final paper. My first draft clearly needed changes to be made. I was confused about how to incorporate a thesis sentence into the introduction, but help from peer review as long as receiving help from Molly; I was able to write a successful and effective thesis sentence. Then the second and third drafts came along and although my paper was improving substantially, I needed to progress some parts of my paper. I needed to work on voicing my own opinion as opposed to just using quotes. I feel like I was successful in revising my paper so that my voice was heard plenty. If we didn’t do a writing process and just wrote a paper and submitted it, not only would our papers be terrible, we wouldn’t be learning different ways to make our papers more successful. Whether receiving a voice from
my peers or Molly, I felt that the drafting process is a great strategy that made writing papers in this class easier and more engaging. Looking back at all of the essays, blogs and tweets I have completed for this class, it is now clear to me how much I have actually learned and how much my understanding of gossip and gender has changed. First off, our first essay was to create a fairy tale based on our initial understandings of gossip. After rereading my fairytale, it is apparent that my original views of gossip were that gossip can only be done negatively and to put down another person. Then, as a class, we began reading scholarly articles and discussing what gossip really is and the vital role it plays in society. After the discussions started in class and my understandings of gossip and gender were reformed, my second and third essays clearly changed for the better. The twitter accounts we created for this course were definitely helpful. If I was every confused about an assignment or wasn’t sure what we discussed in class, twitter was helpful in keeping me updated on what we did. In my opinion, twitter is more efficient and easier to use then email. If I saw something or had an interesting thought, twitter was accessible to use in a matter of seconds. The blogs allowed me to display my opinion on whatever the prompt was. In addition, I was encouraged to use pictures and videos to aid in expressing my opinion on the subject matter, which help my blogs be more successful. Yes, reading and discussing what was being taught in class allowed me to learn new ideas, but I truly believe that the prompts for each essay we had to write as well as the blogs and tweets assigned really allowed me to express what I was learning in the classroom.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating a portfolio for this course. Putting everything I have done throughout the entire semester into one website is definitely an interesting and unique idea. It allowed me to creatively express myself with font scheme, color scheme, etc. I chose my e-‐portfolio layout simply because I feel that it is eye-‐catching and people who come across it would be intrigued to see what my website is about. The e-‐portfolio allowed to express everything I have done throughout the semester and put it in one website. Coming into this class, I had no idea what to expect or what I was even going to learn. Looking at how different types of gossip impacts society, how the different genders are portrayed and accepted, and even looking at how gender norms and roles affect the world we live in really caught my attention. I’m not going to lie; there are times when I can be extremely closed-‐minded. This class has definitely helped me in being way more open-‐minded and accepting of things that seem different to what I am used to. Also, it brought certain subjects to my attention that I have never even crossed my mind. All in all, I am extremely happy that I took this course and have gained knowledge that I will be able to apply to everyday life.