Monthly Archives: February 2012

Valentine’s day…

I decided to post this on Valentine’s day because I figured it was an easy day to bring attention to relationships. In this case, I mostly wanted to address issues related to the “ordinary” initial advances. I found this article on a few days ago. It starts with a woman being asked whether she has ever had any unwanted sexual contact. As I read the article, I began to feel, well, violated. The experiences described were uncomfortably familiar. If not for me personally, they were similar to stories heard from friends.

To make matters worse, a few days later I found this post (also on reddit) that literally made me nauseous. What these girls are saying is unfathomable to me. My gut reaction is to punch them in the face/sterilize them for their idiocy. But then, the more tolerant, liberal side of me leads me to the conclusion that these girls have maybe just never been taught that they are worth something – that they have intrinsic value because they are women, and moreover because they human beings.

But whose job is it to inform these women of their value? I’d say parents, but how easy is it for parents to talk to their kids about this sort of thing? In many ways, America’s puritanical views/religious system/support for politicians like Rick Santorum has taught children and parents that talking about the sexual part of a romantic relationship is taboo. I’m not trying to say that it is religion or democracy’s fault, but that in cultures where your (male/female) body is not considered inappropriate, parents may be able to impose values on their daughters that reaffirm the power, strength, and significance of being a woman…and that this would lead to more women being likely to stick up for themselves.

While working in Europe this summer, a friend of mine said that he thought American TV was funny because “God forbid you see a nipple, but you can curse and watch people get blown up all day long.” His opinion is valid though. I’m not trying to say that nudity should be everywhere, but we are all human. All women and all men have the same parts as all other women and men.* So, what’s so scary about that? All of this pent up anxiety over parts that we are supposed to cover because they are inappropriate? But everyone else has them too? I don’t really get it. Again, I’m not advocating that people run around naked, but I do think that a comfort level with one’s own body is important. Because, maybe then, instead of being afraid, you can respect it. And then, you can teach others to respect you, both physically and emotionally.

I’m not quite sure where, but at some point, these girls posting about Chris Brown were failed. They have allowed what I’ve heard termed as “rape culture” infiltrate their lives. I hope that the amount of attention being paid to these comments may help people become more aware of this, but it’s still a huge problem.

So, on the “most romantic” holiday of the year, on the day when so many people wish that they had more romantic attention, I think that more attention should be drawn to ensuring that affection is given in an appropriate manner. That this attraction is not shown by making women feel helpless or that their bodies are not their own.  Both sexes need to stop perpetuating this culture in which women are objectified and controlled by the larger male in their lives.

Finally, I’ll note that I wasn’t sure if this post was appropriate or inappropriate. However, as I’ve been typing, I’ve realized that though the content isn’t quite related to classwork, I’m really finding blogging to be an outlet in a way that I didn’t expect.

*Sorry, I’m leaving out transgenders/hermaphrodites in this.

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Carl Sagan had a short set of videos made from quotes and lectures of his called The Sagan Series. Similarly, there is now a slightly shorter version for Richard Feynman in what is called The Feynman Series. This is the first video in which he describes Beauty. Part of my interest in this series comes from the fact that Feynman indirectly inspired me to be an engineer. By indirectly, I mean that my high school math teacher, who very directly encouraged me to be an engineer, considered Feynman to be his intellectual hero. His liking for him and how he would explain his work was, well, inspiring…because here I am now getting a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

Feynman Series – Part 1

Enjoy 🙂

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please allow me to introduce myself…

After reading a friends blog post in which he very formally introduced himself and his life, I realized  in blogging, your identity and who you are are somehow different. But how is this possible? They would seem to be the same thing, but on the internet everything changes. What I post here is a reflection of my thoughts and feelings, things I like and things I don’t, i.e. it is personal. However, in this instance it doesn’t really have anything to do with my identity, who I am as a physical being and what it says on my resume. It could be about that, but it’s not Facebook/Linkdn, and I will never put a picture of myself up here.  My identity has more to it than what I look like and what is on my resume, but it’s not a part of what’s on my blog. What is there is more of a collection of things (things is so vague that is actually exactly what I mean here) that get my attention. Anyway,  this is obviously a newly developed thought, but I figured the most appropriate place for me to write about it is my blog…

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First Post

So this is my new blog? And by new, I mean the only one I’ve ever had. Since I almost never read instructions, I’m posting now just to see how all of this works and what it looks like.

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Hello world!

Welcome to Blogs@VT Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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