English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: georgia tech

Since 2008, what has been the gender spread of primary news anchors across the the 25 most-watched news programs in America?

Through our research we saw that women are generally underrepresented in the news at all forms and at all levels. We wanted to narrow our scope, so we chose to take a closer look at the most viewed news programs to see the impacts and presence or lack of diversity at this level. We chose this research question because it was a direct quantitative analysis of female representation in news programs. Rather than looking at programs across different networks, we chose to look at the top 25 most watched programs nationwide since those programs received the highest viewership and ratings and thus are most representative of the news Americans are consuming. Additionally, this question can be expanded to look at intersectionality in news networks and how both gender representation and diversity in other forms such as race and sexual orientation translate into audience demographics.

Will is one of the people in our group

We chose to look at “gender spread” since we cannot assume that every news anchor identifies as just male or female. This question is important as it reflects larger societal preferences that news corporations are acting on for profit, and this can lead to furthering gender roles into the news industry which in turn transpires back to the viewers. We can measure gender spread through the gender ratio of primary news anchors per program. Through this question, we expect to demonstrate that there is a discrepancy within the genders of primary news anchors on the 25 most watched news programs and determine if there are any fluctuations or patterns that may line up with a given year’s political or social climate. As such, we are interested in how these factors may have changed since 2008. It could be the case that the election of Barack Obama spurred an increase in diversity in TV news, but it could also be the case that there was some sort of diversity backlash against the idea of the first black president.

The Best Blog in the Game

How’s it going everyone? I am Adhav Arulanandan, no worries if it takes you twenty tries to get that right. I’m from Crystal Lake, Illinois, about an hour out from the Windy City. I am a first year Aerospace Engineering major (and Physics soon). I will be graduating.

My high school English classes ran the gamut from the boring and rote Literary Explorations III to the more exciting and free Creative Writing. They were always writing-heavy though, which was an issue since I was awful at writing going in to high school. All the practice helped me get a lot better, and it was through my Creative Writing class that I learned the issue was that I concerned myself too much with what I anticipated my audience’s reaction to be. I focused more on just getting my ideas onto the page with less of a self-inflicted filter, and I saw my writing quality rise. My biggest regret was not realizing this sooner, since I never had the opportunity to apply this to my speaking ability. I’m still a nervous wreck when I get up to speak to any crowd of more than zero people. This is (obviously) my first English class at Tech, and it is where I hope to improve my public speaking skills the way I did my writing in high school.

I haven’t watched much TV in the last three years, mostly because in my high school dorm, we didn’t have cable (I also procrastinated a lot, leaving myself no free time to watch TV, but let’s just blame my high school). I would, however, go home most weekends to Bears games and recorded episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Middle.

Don’t give me that look of pity, we’re relevant again.

My brother and I also tried to finish Friends, which for some reason took us three summers, and this summer we started BoJack Horseman. My junior year roommate binged Netflix shows, and I often watched with him, even during the following year when we were no longer roommates. The shows we watched (though I missed episodes in between), included The Office (US), How I Met Your Mother, and …

It’s been a while.

Orange Is the New Black, which is the series I will be reviewing for this class. It is a show about a women’s prison and inmate Piper’s journey through a life that she, at first, is clearly not cut out for. A friend introduced it to my roommate and I by gushing over the incredible job the creators do with character development throughout the series, and even by watching a few episodes of the first season I was able to see what he was talking about. I was a fan, but homework piled up and took over, so I never finished. But now I have an excuse: it is, literally, my homework to watch this show.

Fresh Off a Netflix Binge

Hey, y’all! My name is Bailey Moore and I’m from Norcross, GA. I’m a first- year BME student here at GT with a Spanish minor and an anticipated graduation date of 2022 (probably, hopefully, maybe in December #relatable ).

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me, still shook that we get to call enjoying TV homework

I was in the IB Diploma Programme in high school which meant a LOT of writing and speeches and more writing. This is my first English course at Tech, so I’m enjoying a little bit of a twist to the old monotonous English classes I dreaded in high school. Can you tell I’m a STEM major? I do, however, enjoy making infographics and doing oral presentations, especially creative ones rather than the long literary analysis speeches I’m used to because I feel interested and engaged myself when I use those methods of communication and I feel that the comfort and confidence of the communicator has a large effect on how the message is communicated. I struggle with nonverbal communication mainly because I haven’t practiced it or really looked into its significance. I am hoping to improve my nonverbal and electronic communication this semester, especially with infographics, body language, and voice tone, because I feel that they could contribute to making me appear more put- together and knowledgeable than I may be.

In reference to the course theme, I have a ton of experience with both TV and Feminism. I watch Netflix more than I’d like to admit and I even have a tattoo on my wrist of the equal sign which I got after the Women’s March here in ATL, but I haven’t previously combined these two passions, so I’m excited to see what the course has to offer. I also tend to watch the same types of shows when I watch. For leisure, I watch laid- back adult comedies like Modern Family, Bob’s Burgers, and The Big Bang Theory, and for Netflix binges, I go for thrilling dramas like Bloodline, Sherlock, and  Stranger Things. I hope that this course will show me new types of shows and let me expand my thinking about TV and how it can reflect our culture as an art form.

Image result for emma watson gif

I guess you could say I’m kinda an expert. heh. (10 points if you understand why I chose Emma Watson for this)

 

For this semester, I have chosen to review Fresh Off the Boat because I like that it shines a light on immigrants in America and I want to widen my scope of TV viewing to include a wider range of characters. It is about a first- generation Asian- American teenager who is uprooted from Chinatown DC to suburban Orlando with his family as his father chases the American Dream. Although the show is humorous, I also think that immigration is a huge topic in our political climate right now and I’m interested to see what opinion this show will argue. With that said, let’s get binging!!

 

Image result for fresh off the boat

me, in the car, constantly irritating my friends by singing loudly and not well

 

Netflix Is The New Homework

Hello! My name is Lauren Garrett, I am planning on double-majoring in business administration and international affairs, and hopefully I can somehow manage to graduate in May of 2022 (we’ll see though).

This is me right now, stressing about how stressed I am going to be.

I love English, and every English class I’ve ever taken has been a personal favorite! I took AP Language and AP Literature in high school, so I didn’t take English 1101, and now I’m here. I also wrote for an online Buzzfeed-type website for about a year, submitting articles weekly that ranged from coffee shop reviews to rants about our modern society. Although I cringe now when I read them, I feel like I am fairly apt at writing, and this is definitely my favorite mode of communication. My least favorite would probably be nonverbal since I tend to be sort of twitchy.

 

Honestly, I was never raised watching television with my family beyond sports games or the news, so I didn’t ever really get into binging shows. When I watched Netflix, it tended to be mainly for the cultural relatability – aka, I watched only the mainstream shows so I could understand the references and pretend that I knew what people were talking about. I also went for the lower commitment shows, like The Office or Parks and Recreation, where the episodes were fairly short and didn’t require a ton of previous knowledge of other episodes. Even shows that I loved fell into the void of “never to be finished”, so getting into The Good Place was a weirdly exciting event for me. I’m excited to continue to spend evenings in my dorm with my roommate watching shows for this class!

 

However, I do know a bit about feminism. In high school, I formed a feminist club that was aimed at bridging divides between the missions of feminine empowerment and common misconceptions (such as trying to end the stereotype that “feminists hate men!!1!”), and we experienced enough success for the club to be continued on into this year. We did multiple service projects such as professional clothing drives for a local shelter that helped victims of domestic abuse get back on their feet, and we led discussions in high school English classes that were reading feminist literature on how these themes carried over into modern-day society. I am definitely no expert, though, and I certainly never really thought to consider feminism in the context of mainstream media – this class calls to me!

I have chosen to review Orange Is The New Black this semester, a show about a woman getting through her prison sentence in an all-female prison, mainly because I’ve been wanting to watch it since it first came out and never got around to it. Based on what I know about it, however, I am excited to see how each woman is portrayed through the lenses of not only gender but sexuality and background stories. I believe that this show will make for great analysis and discussion of many of our course themes.

Let’s get watching!!

The Story of Arvin in Less than 500 Words

Hi everyone! My name is Arvin Poddar, and I’m a business major (I may switch to CS because of my development background) set to hopefully graduate in 2022. English 1102 is my first English course here at Tech. The last English classes I took were AP Lit and AP Lang, both of which were very similar in the sense that they centered entirely on the analysis of writing selected by the teacher. The reason I’m excited about this course is that unlike the aforementioned ones from high school, we will be focused on a whole new mode of communication, and I get to choose the content I want to analyze.

One thing I distinctly remember having a hard time with in English courses (and I still feel this applies now) is class discussions of the material. For one, I prefer listening to the discussion more than participating in it, which I’ll definitely have to fix. I also feel that the few points I contribute to discussions are not always as insightful as those of my peers. Oral communication in general is not exactly my strong suit, but given that this class will involve lots of discussions, I am looking forward to improving myself. Hopefully, as the class progresses, my ability to analyze will improve so that I can contribute more valuable points. I’ll also have to get used to Twitter, which I’ve never used before. I’m not a frequent social media user (other than Instagram, where I post about twice a year), so tweeting regularly may be a challenge. Other than this, I love to communicate in the other modes, especially through visual mediums (graphics, presentations, art).

However, one thing that won’t be an issue for me in this class is the theme of television: I love TV shows. The first TV show I ever watched start to finish was Breaking Bad, and since then, I’ve finished many more (including Silicon Valley, Scream Queens, Game of Thrones, Narcos, Big Little Lies, Westworld, Modern Family, Black Mirror). For this class, I have chosen to watch “Fresh off the Boat,” a comedy about a young boy’s struggles with the cultural differences between his American peers and his Asian immigrant parents. I chose this show because it felt very relatable. Both of my parents are immigrants from India, and they will likely share a lot of the traditional values that the protagonist’s Chinese parents have. I have been through the challenges of balancing the culture of my family with that of my surroundings. Thus, the show may not be an exact representation of myself, but it is close enough that I will be able to provide personal insight into the plight of the main character.

Me when I came to Georgia Tech (GIF from Fresh off the Boat)

I’m looking forward to watching my show and getting to talk to all of you about what you’re watching!

Buzzing and Blogging

Hello everyone! I’m Katie Earles. My plan is to double major in Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) and Public Policy and to graduate in spring of 2022 (though I’m not opposed to taking a victory lap and ending up in 2023).

My roommate and I at #TargetNight with Buzz?

If you can’t tell from my majors, I love English. In fact, I probably would’ve majored in it if I had ended up at a liberal arts college. But, because I also love science, and Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts is beyond amazing, I ended up as a Yellow Jacket and couldn’t be happier.

I’ve loved reading and writing ever since I was little. I keep a running list of books I’ve read and books I want to read, so looking at the list I can remember what was going on in my life when I read specific books. Here are a few recommendations if you’re looking for a good book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Middlesex, Pride and Prejudice, The Glass Castle, Water for Elephants, A Brave New World, My Sister’s Keeper, Americanah, and When Breath Becomes Air.

This is me trying to read in the car and being distracted by how cute my dog is.

In high school, I was an attorney on our mock trial team, and editor on the newspaper, and an actress in many theater productions. I love storytelling, whether that be in an article concerning marijuana use on campus, a song about heartbreak, or a closing argument on behalf of the defense. What I am not so great at, however, is the ability to communicate electronically.

I’m one of those people who always prefers a call rather than a text. If I text someone asking them how their day went and they reply “Fine,” how am I supposed to know if they really mean it? Verbal cues are so so helpful; when talking to someone you instantly know how they’re really feeling, even if their words don’t say so. In this class, I hope to feel like a stronger, more confident electronic communicator.

Frankly, I signed up for this class because I saw we would be watching The Good Place, which is a show I love. I wouldn’t say I watch TV on a regular basis, but I definitely have phases where I’ll watch a show almost religiously. Stranger Things, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls, and Psych are a few shows that I’ve watched all the way through. For the following blog posts, I’ve chosen to watch and write about New Girl. I’ve watched a few episodes before, and the characters seem funny and somewhat relatable. Of course, watching any TV show seems like a pretty enjoyable way to do homework.

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