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alex davis t. myers eng101 05 mar.

2008 portfolio 2 – rough draft 3 if you don't have anything beneficial to say, don't say anything at all since the beginning of storytelling, there has been a constant distribution of ideas that describes nearly any logical situation. in most stories, there is an antagonist and a protagonist who are frequently engaged in a conflict of views, actions, and emotions. often times, this scenario can apply to real life struggles as well. the current condition regarding the feminist movement is an exception to this rule however. in the earlier nineteenth century, there was a large-scale change in the way that women perceived themselves socially. as with all earlier generations, this triggered a movement that defined the times. in recent years, it seems that this emotional rat race has become somewhat stagnant. some modern writers who think they are producing material that will excel women's social standing are in reality the antagonists encouraging ideas that true feminists would feel are propelling gender inequality. lynda barry has ventured into one of the most interesting and informal forms of writing known to mankind; the graphic essay. although this is a much less serious form of expression, authors are able to convey the precise imagery of their ideas. in barry’s autobiographical graphic essay entitled “girlness”, she immediately identifies herself as a tomboy. she has no shame in her identity, but does not seem happy about her image at the time. barry’s mother was one of the main factors attributing to her social image, as she almost never bought barry anything unnecessary. barry’s interactions with the neighborhood girly-girls could easily be described as

a clash between two worlds. when barry would try to play with her feminine peers, they looked down at her with disgust in her choice of clothing and toys. the girly-girls couldn’t be more disrespectful to barry, and it wasn’t until she met an asian girl named mariko that she saw what an alternative home life would be like. mariko’s mother was even more offended by barry’s appearance, and treated her like a rabid animal, not allowing contact with mariko’s toys. later, mariko is heartbroken upon soiling her fancy tennis shoes in the mud. these events help barry understand that being a tomboy has it’s advantages. at the end of barry’s essay, she describes taking in a 13 year old girl named norabelle. barry immediately begins buying her a tremendous amount of girly goods that her own mother never would have allowed her to own. barry is hurting norabelle, by giving her the very goods that would encourage the lifestyle of an unpleasant girly-girl. by beginning to spawn another one of the people that made barry’s childhood miserable, she is completely contradicting everything she had learned in her youth. another example of contradicting ideas in feminist writing can be found in emily prager’s 1991 essay; “our barbies, ourselves”. prager manufactures the argument that barbie was invented by a man who hoped to use it as a weapon to destroy the female image. she then states her unhappiness with the barbie doll’s unnaturally proportioned physical features, and even goes so far as to say it’s unfair that she never got to see the ken doll’s genitals as a girl. prager’s reasoning for this displeasure completely disregards the idea that mattel (barbie's manufacturer) probably didn’t want to become the world’s leader in miniature plastic groin. does barbie’s love life leave too much to the imagination? yes! barbie is designed for young girls who, for example, pretend to go shopping with barbie. prager on the other hand, constantly fantasizes about the plastic

couple’s sexual exploits in a non-functional hot-tub. prager feels that barbie’s physical complexion has resulted in the recent popularity of plastic surgery procedures. in addition, the ken doll was so physically perfect that it eliminated the author’s chances of finding a man that could fill the void that ken created. now, the victimized author must face a life of solitude, thanks to the barbie doll collection. however, prager “loved” her barbie, and is hardly qualified to write about social trends caused by it. by publishing this article, she is only encouraging a reverse in the progress made by women everywhere who are dedicating their lives to the social advancement of women. offensive language has been a part of human life since the beginning of communication. basic rhetoric states that different people find different things offensive, so it is usually easier to attack someone based on a noticeable physical attribute, if the goal of an exchange is simply to offend. things that people cannot change usually qualify as grounds for the most hurtful language, although some may not be bothered by such statements whatsoever. in order for language to be truly offensive, the words used must be specific to a racial, sexual, ethnic, social, national, or gender group. barbara lawrence’s essay “four letter words can hurt you” describes how she feels about some of the derogatory terms used towards women. lawrence’s main argument is that women are being denied their individuality in the eyes of society. she is calling for sexually charged offensive language to be brought to public attention, as people may be unaware of the injustice taking place. lawrence couldn’t be more wrong about the causes of this offensive language. the author thinks that because women are socially insignificant, language has surfaced that describes how some

people view their status. women are actually a widely recognized group, and this language has only surfaced to be used offensively, no differently than any other form of disrespectful language. when used correctly, this slang can be extremely offensive, but not differently than any other form of offensive dialogue used at most hurtful of times. there will always be offensive language used specifically towards women. its existence does not necessarily indicate an inequality among sexes.