Looking around GAC, anyone can see that Gustavus is not exactly the most diverse college campus. With the Emmy’s just behind us, all over the news are reports about the award ceremony’s diversity, or better said, lack of diversity again this year. But how important is representation in the media anyways?
It turns out, representation is much more important than many people might think. When children don’t see themselves in the media, they have a harder time imagining themselves in any situation other than the one they are in.
“It’s hard to [have] confidence in something if you never see anyone like you doing it,”Assistant Director of the Diversity Center Janet Jennings said.
Minority representation numbers in the media are quite staggering. According to Business Insider, in 2016 only 13.6% of speaking characters in television were black, 5% Asian, and 3.1% Hispanic.
And the little representation people of color receive is often the same cookie cutter character. This can lead to bias and problems in real life. When a white person grows up with very few people of color around them, sometimes the people that they see on TV become what they expect of all people of that race or ethnicity.
“Media needs to represent a wide variety of diverse people of color, not just one type of person,” Jennings said.
Not seeing anyone like you in the media is also just a terrible feeling. For example, up until the last few years, there have been very few happy queer stories in the media. Many times, someone in the couple would end up dying, moving away, or the couple would just break up altogether, if they even existed in the first place.
Not to mention that if there ever was any queer character, they were male. If there was a happy story, oftentimes any straight relationship that the woman had would be totally invalidated. This phenomenon is most often referred to as bi-erasure.
It can be disheartening to never see anyone like you in your life or in the media. It often leads to queer people questioning if their identity is valid or even real. Imagine almost never seeing someone like you portrayed in a positive light.
So, you can understand the joy that a person may feel when they see a bisexual person in the media. This kind of joy can be applied to any sort of minority group that gets the chance to see themselves on screen. Seeing someone like you can give a person the confidence to walk with pride for their identity or race.
Another group that people may not have thought of as underrepresented are women. While women make up 51% of the population, they are still considered a minority based on their status in our patriarchal society. According to Business Insider, of the 4,583 speaking characters studied from the top 100 films of 2016, only 31.4 percent were female.
“American media is dominated [by] straight white men. Everyone should have the opportunity to be represented. More diverse women should get the spotlight,” First-year feminist Emily Falk said.
And when women do have prominent roles within a film or TV show, they are usually one of the three or four cookie cutter female “personalities” that have been picked from a hat. When women and girls do not identify with these cookie cutter characters, they feel the need to change how they look and/or act.
“Society’s standards for women are unrealistic, and the media should and would be a great place to see strong and emotionally vulnerable women,” Falk said.
But what can be done to diversify people we see in the media? According to Jennings, producers need to start hiring more writers that are people of color and inviting diverse people into the room.
“There are so many stories to be told, and we should give them a chance. Directors and producers need to understand that there is market for these types of movies,” Jennings said.
Falk agreed. “People in power within the media need to open their eyes and widen their gaze,” Falk said.
There are things that students can do here on campus as well. You can always stop by the Diversity Center if you want to talk. Jennings advice is to simply reach out to people of color and other minorities on campus. Jennings also recommended to educate people who may not be educated and to listen to other students’ stories
“There are a variety of ways to connect with people who are different than you–you just need to go the extra mile,” Jennings said.
When you see yourself, you see what you can be. Let’s not close those windows of opportunities but expand them so that we can recognize ourselves in the characters we love and fully see what can be.
. Hold on, that’s not what we’ve been told, right? Aren’t conspiracy theorists old, wacky guys who believe that reptilians run the universe? Yes, those conspiracy theorists definitely exist. Just like there are people who go full crazy on just about any other subject available. While the idea about reptilians might have been true, and very well could still be, such thoughts have been ridiculed and laughed at so many times that even the expression ‘conspiracy theory’ is being stigmatized.
Well, if conspiracy theorists were once seen as being a movement for oddballs with unconventional ideas about the world, that is about to change. Instead, it is now turning into a full scale online movement. With the world wide web allowing new information to be publicly available because of freedom activists who risk their life leaking documents, the conspiracy theorists are not the same people as they once used to be. In fact, I would like to make the point that we are all, or at the very least should be, conspiracy theorists.
Conspiracy theories exists along all magnitudes. A small conspiracy theory would be that your college coach doesn’t play you because your hair is brown. Stupid, for sure, but that is a conspiracy theory nonetheless. However, internet movements found on sites like 4Chan and Reddit - whose r/conspiracy recently moved up to top 60 of all subreddits - seem to all agree that a larger, global conspiracy is now entering one of its most critical phases. It involves Syria, it involves the Clintons and it involves pretty much anything tied to the the monetary system, a system which was empowered by an idea put forth by the Rothschild family almost a century ago.
You know, the Rothschilds? The family who helped set up the Federal Reserve and the central banking system which is now one reason why just about every country on the planet is in debt to someone else? Yes, the Rothschilds are the founding fathers of the monetary system, the same monetary system whose only factor of credibility is that it heavily relies on that everyone relies on it. Quite frankly, it’s a joke, and the punchline won’t make you laugh.
When the advocations for ‘cash-less’ societies are being put forward, and you don’t think it’s a bad idea because, after all, who can keep track of all those damn coins anyway, what will you think when a negative interest rate removes money out of your account on a monthly basis, just like a tax?
Sometimes, the easiest way to understand a disease is to look closely at the symptoms it produces. How is it that in times of financial trouble, the only industry that does decently well is the one that includes banking? If we move the perspective even closer to our everyday life, why are all football stadiums all named by banks? If everyone else is llosing and only one industry is winning, I’d insist that the game is heavily distorted to encourage that industry.
N ew topic, same conspiracy. Who could tell me what is actually going on in Syria? There is a war, sure, it would be hard to fake images of buildings being bombed. However, who could specifically tell me who is fighting who, and what the final goal of the war is? To defeat ISIS? Sure, how about this;; define ISIS for me. It is not hard to understand why the conspiracy theorists are getting more grist to their mills. Who benefits from the wars, not just the Syrian wars, but any war? There are obviously a variety of answers to a question like that, but broadly speaking, it causes two things. First of all, it causes mass movement, meaning people are forced to go places they normally wouldn’t. This creates debt, because as people who have nothing tries to enter places where people have things they need capital to be able to sustain a decent life. Who benefits from this? Creators of debt. Banks. Secondly, what do you do when a
building is bombed? You rebuild it. With what money? Debt. What is interesting is the fact that in 2000, Afghanistan, Iran, Cuba, Libya, Syria, North Korea and Iraq were among the few countries who did not have a Rothschild structured central bank. In 2016, those countries are now Syria, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. How that might be is up to your own interpretation.
It does get scary when you realize that almost everything that effects everyday lives are tied to the senseless monetary system we are forced to endure. The Clintons are definitely involved, all you have to do is follow the campaign money. Is Trump involved, maybe. Probably. Most likely.
The ability to view the grand perspective is of highest importance. This is what conspiracy theorists do best. They can understand how dots connect on the bigger picture scale. So before you dive head in to back any presidential candidate this fall, please take a step back and ask yourself one question.
What the hell is going on?