Month: April 2014

Tumblr…is evil

Tumblr is a blogging platform but quite honestly, not literal blogging gets done on Tumblr. While most blog sites originated as a means for people to rant about their nonsensical lives, talk about their likes and dislikes in entertainment media, or even give their views on news media while also linking and citing that original news media, Tumblr has taken that original platform and has made it so stupid that it shouldn’t even be considered a blogging or even a micro blogging site. I’ll call Tumblr what it truly is. Just. Plain. Stupid. Here’s why. I have a Tumblr. I actually have two. One Tumblr account hosts my short experimental films and videos, as I am an amateur filmmaker I want to get noticed and what better place to get noticed than on a site that has literally millions upon millions of users? Right? WRONG! My second Tumblr account emulates what most Tumblr accounts are. Mindless garbage. I reblog posts about cats and dogs, naked women, sex, food, clothes, movies, and other peoples opinions on things they don’t really understand. The worst thing is, my reblogs of all this mindless dribble gets more attention than the pieces of video art and films that I create and put on. My most popular post is a video gif set of Chef Gordon Ramsay knocking another person’s cooking, as he does. That post has about 65,000+ notes, most of which are reblogs. So something I create gets less attention than something that everyone already likes. Mindless dribble gets more attention than video based artwork that would ask the viewers to think a little. That’s why Tumblr is stupid. That’s why it’s making us stupid, because it doesn’t want people to think. Take a look at this demographic of who uses Tumblr based on a study done in 2011. Most are teenagers and young adults in their 20s. That’s our future y’all; the future of this country and the future of this world. Considering the amount of users that Tumblr gets, millions of our future generations are getting stupider and stupider because of sites like Tumblr. Tumblr is not a blogging site. It’s a way for people to speak in hindsight and talk about things and issues they don’t really know about. In his 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky states “When we change the way we communicate. We change society.” Well in a world where our communication relies so heavily on websites and social media, we can only imagine what kind of society we’re heading into, especially when millions of users on Tumblr live by what they read on their site. Posts that are clearly wrong get thousands of millions of notes, likes and reblogs. But if you argue against it, more often than not a Tumblr user will parade you with insults about why you’re wrong. Unfortunately guys like Clay Shirky and George Orwell had the right idea when they wrote their own individual books. Only problem is, why read a few hundred page book that’s going to open your eyes on the stupidity of the Tumblr society we live in, when you can watch a video gif on Tumblr about cats and then reblog it for your own followers to watch? As you can see, most of the Tumblr users online range from age 12-34. That’s most of the people reading this, that’s kids in high school, and that’s kids in the 8th grade.  That’s a wide age range of manipulation on the part of Tumblr. We all know kids today are easily manipulated online, they are extremely impressionable, and unfortunately they do a lot of what they do online for the acceptance of their peers. What’s worse it that they grow into this mentality and it affects us in a large way. “No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies.” This quote from Animal Farm is a perfect example on the mentality of most Tumblr users. If you don’t agree with Tumblr or you go out of your way to call them out on some of the BS they spew which gets thousands of people to reblog it, you’re well on your way of getting verbally assaulted by the social justice police of the Internet. SO if Tumblr allows people to say what they want, when they want, I can say this right? Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 10.55.11 AM Hell No! I was attacked via private messages by the social justice police.  They target my name, my ethnicity, my looks. They called me stupid. Here’s my favorite reply to the above picture:

“People like you are the reason that kids kill themselves. People like you are the reason I have scars on my wrists. Because you’re a fucking prick who gains self esteem by tearing down others’. Open your eyes and look to others in need, or else you’re gonna be pretty fucking lonely in your “pro-bullying” life. asshole.”

I’m not lonely. I have friends and family that love me. Was I bullied when I was young, yes. I have the marking to prove it. I complained to adult who did nothing to help me. So I grew a backbone and fought back. I have the markings to prove that too. As an older brother to two young men, I taught my brothers that most people will stand and watch as you get your ass beat. I told them not to be like me, I told them to fight back when need be. I learned that in Junior year of high school. That’s when my bullying issues ended. I taught my brothers this while they were in grade school. They have yet to come to me our my mother about bullying issues. Now my verbal assailant here is a mere 19 years old. I’ve got four years on her. She’s actually the same age as my younger brother. Now while I understand that bullying is an issue, I rose against it. I don’t hate it, I actually value what bullying is. I mean we’re the bully nation of the world. Bullying made me the guy before you. Asshole, sure. Likeable, absolutely. So in the end, I learned that if you don’t agree with Tumblr, you don’t have the right to be on it. Tumblr is a community with one mind, and those that disagree can blow it out their ass. And if you’re lucky like me, some teenager will attack you because you have an opinion that isn’t there.   Here’s a video explaining.

Works Cited

  1. Orwell, George, and Erich Fromm. 1984: A Novel. New York, NY: Signet Classic, 1961. Print.
  2. Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1954. Print.
  3. Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.
  4. Shirky, Clay. “Clay Shirky Quotes.” Clay Shirky Quotes (Author of Here Comes Everybody). Goodreads, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. <;.
  5. O’Neil, Luke. “PTSOTL: Why Tumblr Is Making Us All Stupid ))((.” PTSOTL: Why Tumblr Is Making Us All Stupid ))((. PTSOTL, 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <;.

Media Ownership Across Various Platforms

Blog 3: Less than a dozen corporations control the entire media landscape; making it virtually impossible to escape influence as a viewer, listener, and reader. Not only do these institutions control what we view on television, but a corporation such as Clear Channel is the largest radio station owner in the country. These media conglomerates have ownership in television, film, and print where consumers have no choice to be bombarded with relentless campaigns that don’t fulfill community needs.

Women comprise over 51 percent of the U.S. population but hold less than 7 percent of all TV and radio station licenses. People of color make up over 36 percent of the U.S. population but hold just over 7 percent of radio licenses and 3 percent of TV licenses. Of the 1,349 commercial television stations in the United States: 4.97%, are owned by women and 3.26%, are owned by minorities. Women and minorities make up 51 and 33% of the population, respectively. Lack of media diversity leads to poor coverage of issues regarding minority groups, limited availability of roles for minority actors which allows more opportunities to represent more than the common stereotype and it reduces amount of information available to non-English speaking communities.

Very few companies have a tight grip over the services we like to use. The public i disillusioned with the idea that they have choices as to what services they can purchase, when in reality, it’s all the same thing.

In addition to the oligopoly of ownership, media companies use different different platforms to expand their respective stories and use this as well as synergistic storytelling as an economic ploy that ensures ownership of the specific intellectual property across the multiple platforms. The Matrix movie trilogy is a great example of such because, with great success, the story is told through the video game, a number of animated features, and comic book short stories. A story does not necessarily have to be told across different platforms as unique experiences are offered to the audience. The nationwide scavenger hunt launched prior to Batman: The Dark Knight generated record breaking buzz even before the movie was released.

The Viral Campaign seen around the world

Companies use the technique of multimedia storytelling to allow their content to be displayed over a variety of media platforms. A lot of the time, however, they do not necessarily have to tell a story or experience. It does not necessarily have to remain coherent in that sense. It, more than anything, offers the audience options to interact with the specific product/service. And ultimately, it ensures the company has covered its entire basis as to how it can reach its audience. For example, ESPN broadcasts the SportsCenter on television, but viewers can also stay up to date through their ESPN SportsCenter app on the phones, ESPN Magazine, ESPN Radio, and they also have Watch ESPN online for those on computer.

The Halo video game franchise is one of the most successful franchises across multiple platforms. The bread and butter, of course, are from its award -wining video game series. The games expanded into best-selling novels, comic books, anime, live-action short-films, online parodies, and possibly film.

The original Halo video game trilogy began in 2001 on PC and Microsoft’s Xbox video game console. The game itself pushed the sales of Microsoft’s hardware. In between the sequels, novels were with and released they told he stories of other characters in the games. While not canon, each book old a story ta helped expand he Halo universe. And because the franchise is still such a world phenomenon, fans have he ability to produce their own web-shorts fueling the Halo fire even more.



All imagery are copyright of their respective owner. I do not own or am affiliated with these companies, and do not condone the use, or distribution of these images and/or videos. Use is solely restricted to informative and educational purposes.


Hooks, Bell. “Cultural Criticism and Transformation.” Media Education Transcript(1997): n. pag. ]<

Lutz, Ashely. “These 6 Corporations Control 90% of the Media in America.” Buisness Insider.Published June 14, 2012. Web.

“Who Owns the Media?.” . National Conference for Media Reform, 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <;.



Self-Taught vs Formally Taught Musicians: WOMEN EDITION

Hailing from a musical family, I’ve noticed that every musician in my Family are males, except one female who is a singer. I created a documentary in which I compared and contrasted the practices of self taught and formally taught musicians, focusing on the success level of autodidacts, which is an individual who indulges in self-teaching. All four musicians were males, unintentionally of course. While I was creating this project, I thought to myself focusing on female musicians would be quite interesting. Most women I know that are into music focus on vocal ability as opposed to playing an instruments. I’m a part of the Rutgers Newark jazz Mosiac and there is one female musician who plays the saxophone, the rest are males.  While focusing on the theme of musicians who decided to teach themselves and those who are formally trained, this project focuses on the perspective off female musicians. I have an interview set up while a young female musician named Kezia Harley who is a self taught guitarist and also a violinist named Stacy Beltran. A female musician that caught my attention was a Israeli born violinist named Miri Ben Ari. She gained fame in 2004 by playing melodies on rap songs on BET. Eventually she began working with Jay-Z and Kanye West. 

Musicians who are formally taught may have an upper hand on musicians who are self-taught in terms of knowing music theory. It is good to have that foundation. When you a formally trained, you learn how to not only play but to hold your instrument correctly and you are given the tools for you to find “who you are”. However, self-taught musicians view music a little differently. Music is created by human emotion. Those who created their own music and sound choose to create a sound that conveys their personal feeling as opposed to playing a piece from Beethoven, which would be playing his emotions. Some musician choose not to learn formally learn music because they feel they cannot formally learning something artistic. It’s all about feeling, emotion, and vision. However, one saying may discredit that theory. It is wise to know the rules to break them properly. 


Smith, Carlee. “Pros and Cons of Being a Self-taught Musician.” Berks County News Reading Eagle Newspaper. N.p., 8 Oct. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

“Classical Trained Musicians vs Self-Taught Musicians.” Classical Trained Musicians vs Self-Taught Musicians. N.p., 20 Oct. 2010. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

Jacobs, Alex. “”Self Taught” Musicians – Alex Jacobs.” Awakening360. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013

De Vivo, Marcela. “The Benefits Of Being Classically Trained As A Musician.” Dotted Music. N.p., 4 June 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

Wilson, Casee. “Music Theory- Do “real” Musician Need It?” FALLING IN GREEN. N.p., 5 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

Vitale, John L. “Formal and Informal Music Learning: Attitudes and Perspectives of Secondary School Non-Music Teachers.” N.p., May 2011. Web.




Kristine Villanueva

For my project, I took my blog called What the Heck is Going On and incorporated more media analysis. I believe that while it’s crucial to stay informed, knowing where your information comes from is also as important.

One example post that I have on my blog that includes media analysis is about the coverage of the Boston Marathon. I included a recap of last year’s bombings as well as CNN’s controversial coverage. I linked their apology as well. I mentioned that this year’s winner was deemed “un-American” by CNBC, which sparked much debate.

I also wrote posts that feel relevant to Generation Y, like Beyonce’s latest album and the rise of “listicles” from Buzzfeed. Among these, my post controversial post was about Avril Lavigne’s music video for “Hello Kitty”. Interestingly enough, what was revealed were people’s feelings about cultural appropriation versus cultural exchange. Some argue that since Lavigne has a large fan base in Japan, her actions are justified. However, I provided a deeper analysis of the video, saying that her attempt at a connection with her Japanese fans failed because she does not interact at all with her Japanese background dancers, making them appear more like props or dolls.

After maintaining my blog, I realized that it’s not that my generation isn’t necessarily closed to the idea of staying informed. They just don’t know how to use the tools and technology given to them. They also are unaware of how to keep a mindset that always scrutinizes the media or questions their motives. Either people see these problems in the media or they believe that people like myself are looking too deeply into things even though they have hardly scratched the surface.

I will continue keeping up my news blog in the future, in hopes that people will read and realize the importance of the news.


Final Project: Intraracial and colorism within the African-Community

Throughout history, blacks have had a certain stereotype and negative connotation associated with their culture. Cruelty and discernment is something that the African-American community has grabbled with for as long as they have inhabited this nation. Unfortunately oppression and or discrimination has now embraced and entirely different approach towards displaying the vial and callous attributes of blacks. The introduction of the mass media into an even now muddled state of affairs has shifted the direction of mass consummation of stereotypes.

Before the invention of televisions and the internet, common knowledge of the African-American community where merely assumptions or stories made up to keep blacks with a certain economic status and standard within society. The playing field had now shifted with the introduction of the mass media; viewers could now see negative images of black on a broader scale. A sudden transferal of how rapid and the range in which the message could get across would grow in momentum, mass media would catapult the destructive images of blacks at lighten speed. Which will further contributed immensely towards such preconceive notions of the black women and men over time.

In the article below, such social issues and factors are presented to shine a light on exactly how destructive the media can be in determining the livelihood of a particular group.
• Mass media have played and will continue to play a crucial role in the way white Americans perceive African-Americans. As a result of the overwhelming media focus on crime, drug use, gang violence, and other forms of anti-social behavior among African-Americans, the media have fostered a distorted and pernicious public perception of African-Americans.(1)
• The history of African-Americans is a centuries old struggle against oppression and discrimination. The media have played a key role in perpetuating the effects of this historical oppression and in contributing to African-Americans’ continuing status as second-class citizens. As a result, white America has suffered from a deep uncertainty as to who African-Americans really are. Despite this racial divide, something indisputably American about African-Americans has raised doubts about the white man’s value system. Indeed, it has also aroused the troubling suspicion that whatever else the true American is, he is also somehow black. (Balkaran).

(Stephen Balkaran), touches on issues between blacks, whites, and the media, he states that it stems back to the beginning of building the United States and how little has changed to correct the ongoing problem. (Stephen Balkaran)< amongst many others are plugged into the exact source of disconnect with media and race wars. Many arguments can be made to state otherwise, unfortunately, it has been proven that such racism is ever present and here to stay.

Undesirable depictions of African Americans are readily available and can be located, in the news, on the internet, on radio talk shows, movies, than it was common in previous decades. On the other hand as of recent, the diminuendos have changed where as being black no longer stands for the pants dropping, uneducated, welfare seeker, and or deviant individual. We now have a black President so now it is time for black people to sit back and reflect on the strides we have made. Unlike my counterparts, the above statement of having a black President hardly indicates any change towards white cultures views of blacks. It is not unnatural to assume or to think that the manner in which African-Americans are look at has drastically change compared to the decades before but that assumption in itself is of falsehood. In actuality, we still abide by a particular outlook by other cultures. Our self-worth is still an ongoing battle as of present.

But the question of self-worth should also be placed on the African-Community in regards to buying into such stereotypes. Should blacks take some responsibility for what is placed in the media, when I say this I am referring to Hip Hop and the Rap lifestyle engulfing our current black peers? Plastered across music videos you are shown rap singers selling a disparaging way of life, i.e.: promoting a fast way of making money, eliminating rival gangs, evoking drug use, and exploitation of females sexually. Have we become what our founder fathers fought against, have we lost our way and given it to what are assumed of us? What would Marin Luther King say about the contemporary disillusionment hunting our youths; I highly doubt that this is what he evasion for a community that has undergone devastating blows in their quest for equality. So why have we encompassed such portrayals?

Unfortunately, the pendulum swings both ways, yes both the media and the African-Community play an equal role in which society has deem us villains, due to the hue of our skin. More importantly it has divided the black community, creating a new trend that highlights complexion. The darker intone entails that the rate of success is quite dismal compare to your lighter skin counterparts rate of climbing any ladder. This is crucial because it feeds into the self hate of oneself and trickles down to the hating of others or individuals within your own social group. It is not sad enough to contend with being black and the way in which society views you, but now you have to compete with your fellow brother and sisters that have undergone the same struggle for the right to be view as people. My Movie touches on such the social issues of colorism and intraracial within the black community. It chronologically presents how blackness has changed with the growth of America , while still remaining a beacon to the fact that really little has changed, and race still remains prevalent, But now more so it has become a issue of deciding what color black you would rather be associated with.

Misrepresentation and Stereotypes of Mannequins (Final Project)

My final project was inspired by a disturbing site in the major clothing store “Forever 21”. What caught my eye was two mannequins that were black-faced with white features. These were the only mannequins in the store dressed with disrespectful quotes on them. They were dressed as if they were going to be featured in the latest Rhianna or 50 Cent video; one mannequin even had the words “Holla Back” across her shirt. This was a very disturbing site for me because this store was clearly pushing racial stereotypes through mannequins. The store is trying to appeal to the African American demographic in the wrong way. These images that Forever 21 is pushing are wrong, and are seen in other major clothing stores across America. Many store try to appeal to White shoppers, because they feel that they have the most money to spend, therefore a lot of major clothing stores have White mannequins . Whenever most major clothing stores try to come out with ethnic looking mannequins they play to the stereotype. Why can’t the ethnic mannequins have regular cloths, like the White surrounding mannequins? Why can’t all women identify with mannequins? Why do ethnic women feel offended when we see mannequins like two displayed in Forever 21? I needed the answers to these questions and more; so thats why i decided to construct a video of images and interviews for my final project.

This video was also inspired by the classes readings, for example Bergers “Ways of Seeing” definitely gave me a better perception on representation, and how people of the world perceive. Readings such as Practices of Looking by Sturken and Cartwright, and Bell Hooks analysis on how there is a lot of misrepresentation in ads. Overall I feel that the class broaden my perspective on how I view and how people view.  I really took away a lot of valuable teachings and inserted them into this video. – Where the video lives -A blog “Art in The Hands of a City Slicker”

What It Feels Like For A Girl: The Price of Being Trans and the Misrepresentation of Trans Women in the Media. (Final Project Paper)

By: Douglas Reyes


Trans Flag.

Transgender people are classified as one of the largest misrepresented groups within the spectrum of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) community. This is largely inflicted by the negative connotation indoctrinated in the mind of the masses by popular media outlets. Several media outlets slander the image of transgender women with crude, and obscene depictions of them within popular media culture. They are portrayed as sluts, prostitutes, deceitful and/or misleading of oneself to others. Several media outlets, such as television and film represent transgender women as mentally ill, and/or psychotic/killers; such as movies like Sleepaway Camp, Silence of the Lambs, and demonically possessed and/or evil as most recently portrayed in the character of the ghost “Bride in Black” in both Insidious 1 and 2. Mainstream portrayal of transgender women in the media is greatly inaccurate and in the long run damages the social representation of transgender women overall.


Buffalo Bill, Silence of the Lambs.

Media defines transgender women as controversial spectacles within any format of television and/or movies they’re featured in. They’re made fun of, called out of their name; depicted and classified as males within popular news media/periodicals they are featured in, even though they clearly define as women. For instance, popular media news outlets including FOX News, The New York Times, and The Post to name a few, have come under attack by transgender rights groups, and civil liberties organizations for incorrectly defining, slandering, and purposely misinterpreting transgender women, and their preferred gender identity within news/media stories. They are seen and represented in popular mainstream media/shows as vile, disgusting, loud, uncanny, uneducated, disrespectful, trashy, and ill-mannered. Transgender women are the largest misrepresented minority group in existence within popular media and culture. The ridicule and misrepresentation of transgender women in popular mainstream media needs to stop! Transphobia needs to be addressed accordingly, and taken seriously as would any expression of homophobia, or racism within popular and mainstream television, movie, media/culture.


RuPaul’s Drag Race using transphobic terms.

The misrepresentation of transgender women is not exclusively to blame on the media. Transgender women are also negatively represented within the LGBT community! Yes, the same community that is supposed to be there to help any LGBT identified individual flourish and express themselves openly and accordingly to their preference and gender expression. Words such as “tranny”, and “she-male”, are used within the linguistics of the LGBT community to identify and describe transgender women. These forms of expression are completely disrespectful, and derogatory to the gender identity of transgender women. For example, the popular television show RuPaul’s Drag Race, featured on the LOGO TV network, came under attack by transgender rights groups for its use of these words within the verbal and scripted context of their programming. During its current six season, the use of these words have been strictly prohibited, and measures have been taken in order to exclude this type of verbal context from being used within the show. With this move, hopefully LGBT identified individuals understand that the use of the terms “tranny” and “she-male” to identify transgender women is highly derogatory and completely unacceptable.

6a00d8341c730253ef010535ee7bfe970b-640wiNot only is the use of these terms a problem within the LGBT community, but also the lack of acceptance of transgender women within. Gay men, as well as lesbian women tend to scrutinize, and outcast them. They are oppressed not only by society, but also the LGBT community. A community that should be accepting and open to people’s identity and preference is also suppressing one of its main key individuals! If it weren’t for two transgender women, Sylvia Rivera along with Marsha P. Johnson, LGBT identified individuals would not have the rights, limited as they are, to express themselves freely as they do so today. These transgender women fought for the rights of LGBT people during the Stonewall Riots, their legacy should be respected. As well as the forthcoming transgender identified women who are fighting for the sake of the LGBT community for acceptance within mainstream society. They should be given the respect they deserve as the “daughters” of these pivotal members of the LGBT community.

TransgPCtrans-g1-051313ender women face many obstacles in life in order to freely express and help bring forth the person that is truly inside. There’s a psychological struggle and pain transgender women are exposed to, before they come to terms with their identity. Often times, transgender women are scrutinized and rejected by family members, and kicked out of their homes at an early age. They are faced with extreme hardships, and in desperation, and strive for survival, some transgender women resort to prostitution in order to make ends meet. Transgender women have more of a risk of being poor, and homeless, and are left with the choice of prostitution due to discriminatory factors, such as employment agencies, jobs, housing agencies, and social service administration centers. Within these centers, transgender women are denied their civil liberties and their basic rights as people. Their need for services, food, and shelter are all the basic necessities these women strive for, and are often times turned away.

trans_sq_1A common factor why transgender women resort to some dangerous means in order to make money (prostitution) is the lack of healthcare, and insurance benefits for them. They often resort to extreme and dangerous methods in order to feminize themselves through hormonal, and aesthetic surgeries within the black market industry. They are given cheap alternatives, fillers (usually hardware store substances not licensed for internal use) by supposed “healthcare” professionals to enhance and feminize their appearance. In certain cases, these “procedures” are done in highly unsanitary, and unhealthy conditions. In many cases they lead to tragic results, which sometimes end in irreversible damage, internal harm, and/or even death. There have been several accounts of media outlets that have reported on the dangers of these street procedures done by unlicensed, and unprofessional “doctors”, who play on the insecurities, and vanity of transgender women in order to trick them out of their hard-earned dollars. There needs to be an awareness, and exposure of these fraudulent “doctors” who falsely mislead transgender women into receiving these cosmetic surgeries, which they are not licensed or even medically certified to perform. Through an exposure of these so-called “doctors”, and procedures transgender women can become more aware of the dangers that lurk close by, and expose the opportunistic people who will play on their insecurities in order to make a quick buck. It’s of great importance to expose these issues either through more televised media news coverage, and mainstream periodicals on the subject.

Transgender transgender_hate_crimes_111810women are the number one target group within the LGBT community, in regards to cases of hate crimes (beatings, slurs), discrimination (job, community), and harassment; transgender people across the continental U.S. experience three times as much police violence as people who don’t identify as transgender (in reference to individuals within the LGBT community, as well as the heterosexual community). A common factor is that there’s also a connection to this when it comes to trans identified individuals who are part of a particular minority group (African-American, Latino). When it comes to the aid of transgender women who were the victims of hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment there is a greater cause for outrage when it comes to the reaction of authority members (mainly police). Often times, authorities that are sworn by the law to defend and protect them mistreat transgender women. Many times they are turned away, laughed at, and even ridiculed by police officers. This discourages transgender women to seek help from authorities when in need, but also creates a greater chance for sick individuals out there to keep tormenting, and taunting them for pure pleasure and amusement.

TvT-TMM-Map-2008-12_ENA great, and concerning issue is the lack of exposure in the media, as well as newspaper articles on the subject of trans crimes. During the past years, there has been a rise in homicide that receives little to no exposure within mainstream media outlets. These homicides unfortunately are of transgender women. These murders, often times are thrown under the table and are never discussed, or even heard of. On several occasions, there are stories of other transgender women, and officials who expose these crimes. These personal accounts, and police recorded evidence, give exposure to tragic occurrences were transgender women are found dead, chopped up, and abandoned under beds in suitcases in hotel rooms all over major cities. Not once have these crimes been reported on televised networks, or newspaper articles. You either have to seek the help of officials (if they’re willing), in order to find out about these cases. A majority of the time these crimes are left unfounded, and remain unsolved for the entirety of the investigation. It’s a complete and utter disrespect to transgender women to carelessly exclude these cases from the media, and even a greater travesty to not put much attention in the desire to find who committed these horrendous crimes! These crimes need to be exposed, and taken more seriously within the context of media, but more importantly by the authority personnel who are responsible for these cases!

tumblr_mhsiukKYe01rt1b3do1_500The transgender community is a diverse, complex, and interesting entity that needs to be better represented, and explored within popular culture and media. People need to become more educated on the lives’, and struggles of the transgender community; either through better representation, and/or education. This can come about through more exposure, as well as media outlets with informative services that educate people on the major issues of the transgender community. It is also important that transgender individuals voice their opinions, and become more active within popular mainstream media. They must work diligently with mainstream media outlets to give more exposure to influential transgender people within popular and mainstream culture/media.


Janet Mock.

There’s a lack of positive reinforcement on the accomplishments of trans women in the media. Young transgender women need to be presented with positive transgender role models within media, and popular culture. Transgender celebrities like, Laverne Cox (Great character actress, Orange is the New Black, writer, producer, activist), Candis Cayne (Nip/Tuck, Dirty Sexy Money, Drop Dead Diva), Janet Mock (former staff editor, People Magazine, activist, author), and Carmen Carrera (Model [Elite Model Management], burlesque performer, reality TV. personality, activist), a few among the vast transgender identified celebrities, create a more positive outlook on the eyes of young trans spectators, and creates positive media role models of transgender women, that greatly represent transgender women in a positive light. These are transgender women who are striving for a change, and have a positive image to look up to. By concentrating on these transgender women the ridicule of transgender women within mainstream media will come to a halt, and they will be treated, and respected accordingly to their great accomplishments.

tumblr_lxpbprEG3t1qek1nqIn conclusion, even though there’s a poor track record when it comes to positively representing transgender women within media, there has definitely been a slight rise in the exposure of the transgender community. Not strictly in a great light, but in due time positively represented transgender-identified women, will indeed be a commodity within mainstream television, and will become something of the norm. In time, we can only hope there will be better representations of transgender women within popular media outlets, influenced through the activism and exposure of rising, and popular transgender celebrities. As a people, we have much to learn about the transgender community, but we should embrace them as you would any other minority group, and cherish them as the amazing, and inspiring individuals they are. No harm or disrespect should come to them, in the end of the day they have the same desires we do… to strive, and better themselves as a people. Welcome them with open arms, accept them as they are, and only then we will rise above, and against all odds!

I AM: Trans People Speak is a project created by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and sponsored by GLAAD to raise awareness about the diversity of transgender communities. It will lift the voices of transgender individuals, as well as their families, friends, and allies. Transgender people have a wide range of interests, experiences and backgrounds that are too often ignored because of their trans identity. Together we can make a positive change in the visibility and representation of transgender people by focusing on the full individual.

For more information, go to or

I AM: Trans People Speak is a campaign created by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and sponsored by GLAAD to raise awareness about the diversity of transgender communities. It will lift the voices of transgender individuals, as well as their families, friends, and allies. Find out more at and

Part 1: Barbara Walters catches up with a girl who says she was born in the wrong body.

Part 2: How will puberty affect Jazz’s quest to live as a girl?


All imagery, videos, and captions are copyright of their respective owner. I do not own or am affiliated with these companies, and do not condone the use, or distribution of these images and/or videos. Use is solely restricted to informative and educational purposes.

Here’s a link to my personal blog Included is the photo-spread Identity, featuring LGBTQ identified residents of Newark, as well as Rutgers-Newark student body. This was a collaboration with the students of Rutgers-Newark, and Hycide Magazine for the class Photography Workshop run by Prof. Nick Kline. Thanks to the members of Rutgers-Newark LGBTQ & Diversity Resource Center, as well as Newark residents for the wonderful photo-shoot. Visit for upcoming events, and gatherings catered to Rutgers-Newark LGBTQ community.


“Day Of The Woman: Trans Women and the Horror of Misrepresentation.” Day Of The Woman: Trans Women and the Horror of Misrepresentation. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <>

“An Article I Wrote On Misrepresentations of Trans People in the Media That the Media Misrepresented.” Elliott DeLine –. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <>

“Transgender Woman Arrested after Injecting Fix-A-Flat into Patient’s Rear End .” NY Daily News. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <>

“Posts Tagged ‘12th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance’.” Standing On The Side Of Love. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <>

Are Police Profiling Transgender Americans? | Al Jazeera America.” Are Police Profiling Transgender Americans? | Al Jazeera America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <>

Blog Post 3: Paying for your ideas

In the 1980’s Bell Systems held a monopoly on telephone service. The government stepped in and forced AT&T the parent company to break up the monopoly. In 1984 a settlement was reached for the creation of several regional Bell companies. These regional companies would be vastly different from the smaller companies that AT&T had purchased to create this monopoly. The history of telecommunications monopolies has become important over the past few years as we begin to see the rise of an oligopoly. The media that we consume, the representations they convey, and the methods used to disseminate to the masses are owned by a select few. You could even go as far as saying they are the invisible hand that controls this puppet called media.

Bell Systems history


One of the few companies that is a part of this group of “content controllers” is Comcast. Comcast in 2011 attained the majority share in NBCUniversal. This combined the larger cable provider and ISP with one of the biggest content producers. This enabled Comcast to control all facets of television from production to delivery. This is not the only acquisition that has occurred over the past few years but one of the largest. Another is Comcasts pending merger with Time Warner. Time Warner, which is “the world’s second largest entertainment conglomerate”. Most people are against this because they will have more control over media and the landscape.

Comcast response to Time Warner merger

Media Ownership Chart

Media ownership can have a huge impact on society. It can alter society as a whole. One major example is the media coverage of the occupy movement that swept across America. It came as a beacon of hope that was supposed to cause “a radical rethinking and restructuring of government, power, and wealth in the United States” (Vitchers). The only problem is that the movement did not change the society as much as some had hoped. In fact most of the coverage on the occupy movement was on the brutality that the protesters suffered at the hands of the authority because they were a problem. The protesters were not loitering to change business policy but causing turmoil for locals as reported by the media. This has a lot to do with media ownership because the companies that were being protested against were the ones that were “filming” the protest. This creates a conflict of interest the rest of society that saw this was getting a biased view of this movement and it eventually fizzled out. This has happened not only in America but even when Egypt killed the internet before elections. Media is supposed to give an unadulterated look at society and the ideas that flow from it, but all to often there is an undertone, an agenda, that is put forth by those delivering the content.

Occupy Wall Street: The revolution will not be televised– Tracey Vitchers

NBC News On Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement

Fox news Occupy Movement

Why doesn’t the news follow up the claims by society about the corruption?

Specifically, media ownership can have an impact on a select group in society. Women have often been portrayed as a secondary player in the male dominated world. They are not only used as objects through media, but their voice is rarely heard. Women are often seen as just a small market. Therefore they are usually pushed to small markets and not given a shot at the big screen. This creates an endless cycle that put women in a demoralizing position as it pertains to media ownership. Real Grrl provides a way for women to have complete grasp on the media they create and the image they are trying to convey. They give a way for young girls to showcase their ideas.

Just like Real Grrl there are alternative media sources that try to parallel the mainstream media. One of the most widely known is Anonymous. They are a hacktivist group that provides knowledge on issues that involve censorship, security, and governments. They have exposed news about SOPA, NSA, and Edward Snowden. The mainstream news is censored by large corporations such as News Corp. and governments. To get their point across they use nonviolent operations to express their ideas. Their primary form of attack is through Taking over websites or as far as exposing classified data. When the wikileaks debacle occurred that exposed government battle plans the mainstream media. Their primary distribution medium is through the internet. Because of their loose heirarchy system  they can be hard to define, but their primary focus is to expose what mainstream media will not.

History of Anonymous



In conclusion the mainstream media and ownership of that media belong to a select few. Most people do not realize how small their choice of content really is. Even though you may feel like you have a bunch of choices of television channels, magazines, radio and even internet access, all of these are controlled by a group of conglomerates that use different programming to push the same agenda. Before the internet there was really no medium for a single individual to reach the masses because ownership was tightly controlled. As the 21st century continues media and the ownership will become varied because of sites like WordPress and Youtube. With these tools you can begin to dispel the stereotypes and breakdown the control of the media you come into contact with.


#UnderstandingFeminism- What Does Feminism Mean To You?

Throughout the semester, we have talked about sex, gender, race, and representation, reading texts from Bell Hooks, Melissa Harris Perry, Jean Kilbourne, and other gender theorists. The discussion about gender in today’s society is a very real and prevalent one,  as Judith Lorber says “Everyone “does gender” without thinking about it.” So the question becomes what do we do about everyone “doing gender”? that’s where the concept of Feminism comes into play. Feminism means different things to different people, for those who don’t understand it, Feminism is some type of political movement spearheaded by man hating, angry women, who complain all the time; think Rush Limbaugh’s “Feminazi” comment. For others, feminism is a lifestyle that promotes “social
political, and economic equality of the sexes” think Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Image via Youtube

Understanding Feminism For The Non Feminist and The #UnderstandingFeminism photo project are continuos projects that will transcend beyond this class, but for the purposes of my final project I decided to take 3 girls who participated in the photo project (myself included) and tell their stories about what feminism means to them, why it is important, and how they include this in the fabric of their everyday lives.


Ashley Okwuosa

Understanding Feminism For The Non Feminist




“I don’t think that I understood what Feminism was for a very long time, not only did I not understand it, I actually didn’t care much for it. It wasn’t that I was afraid to identify as a feminist, I was more oblivious to the idea of gender inequality. Growing up in an African home, I was made to believe that certain ideas about gender roles in both familial and societal structures were mainly cultural and there was no need to question them. It wasn’t until college that I began to realize how skewed my thinking was, and like everyone does in college, I tried to create something. I see the blog as a conversation starter, or a place where conversation about feminism and gender (especially in relation to today’s popular culture) is fostered. I tend to use the terms conversation and communities when describing the site, because to me feminism is more of a paradigm shift. When you begin to experience the inequalities that women are faced with, just because they are women you can’t help but want to try and change that attitude”

Temitope Ogunniran


What Does Feminism Mean To You: Video


Damilola Iyiola



Work Cited 

Judith Lorber- Night To His Day: The Social Construction Gender 

tedxeuston: We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Media Matters For America: Rush Limbaugh defends his use of the “feminazi” as “right” and “accurate” 

*All images taken by me, unless specified otherwise*

Rookie Mag: A Fresh Voice

With the media being an immediate part of our societal structure, it’s hard not to be influenced by it and the message it perpetuates. Although we are constantly surrounded by media, it becomes hard for us to reproduce what we already have to create new content. The laws and restrictions by large companies make it hard for us to successfully build off already existing content to create something different, that is without having to pay hefty fines and going through tedious procedures.

How do the tight claws of copyright infringement affect our society and technically infringe our creativity? I decided to look at the monolithic world of female publications with a focus on teenagers. There are magazines such as Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and J-14, these magazines have been around for a number of years, and as the times change the way that they interact with their readers and build their content change. But who and how are their readers being represented?

Seventeen recently released an issue with pop sensation Miley Cyrus as their cover star. Cyrus might seem like a great choice for a teenage female magazine, but what is interesting about Seventeen’s cover subject is that the it is an unauthorized cover story. Cyrus did not approve of the magazine using her as their cover subject, and the publication went as far to use a stock photo as their cover image. Seventeen Magazine claims that

Seventeen readers love Miley Cyrus and they’ve been begging for her to be on our cover. She ranked high on the March issue’s Girl Power List — her independence and confidence make her an icon for this generation. Miley’s currently on tour promoting ‘Bangerz’ so what better time than now to celebrate her and give our readers what they want.”

This makes for an awkward and uncomfortable situation, who is Seventeen really writing for? Cyrus has been known to attract magazine sales, but is she really a representative of the publication’s target audience? This is where I introduce Rookie Mag; Rookie Mag is an independent online magazine for teenage girls, the site was created by Tavi Gevinson who helmed her personal blog Style Rookie for many years before she decided to create Rookie Mag.


The New York Times credits Gevinson with “Inspiring Young Women to Create Communities of Self-Empowerment” Which is basically what Rookie Mag does, unlike other sites/publications which dictate what to wear, eat and how to live out your teenage years, Rookie Mag creates a conversation about how to make it through the murky waters of being a teenager. Rookie is a site where the readers are almost as or equally as important as the editors. From an observer standpoint, I like to think of Rookie as less of a publication and more of a community, it creates conversation as opposed to dictating and it leaves room for honest and open interaction between the readers and the editors.

Rookie has done something not many online publications have considered, it has somehow done away with the hierarchal structure of publishing that leaves no room for reader input, Rookie is a holistic representation of teenage girls because they listen to the girls they write for.


Works Cited