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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.  


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