Jul 01, 2020
In Forum V - Prostitution
Though I can't say the same for every individual, the first representation of prostitution that I can remember seeing was presented through the media, specifically TV. Movies like Pretty Woman, where the protagonist, played by Julia Roberts, is a prostitute paint a happily-ever-after narrative where she is "saved" from prostitution by a rich white attractive man who falls in love with her. Throughout the film, every beneficial thing that comes her way is a direct result of her profession. In shows like Game of Thrones, the depiction of prostitution is warped as well, showing passionate encounters between the prostitutes and their customers. Each one of them looks clean, well-fed, and carefully put together, dressed in enticing wear to draw in their customers. In various scenes, men and women can be seen drinking and laughing in brothels alongside the prostitutes. The ambience is warm, fun, and inviting. This, however, is rarely the case in real life. Prostitution is not a glamorous lifestyle. It's not a dating network to meet your future Mr. Right nor is it a world where women and men are looked after and can flourish economically. What we fail to realize when watching depictions of prostitution is that in the real world, there is no one to yell "cut" if something goes wrong. There are no rehearsals to ensure that that the individuals are comfortable with one another. There is no huge paycheck waiting for them at the end of the day. There are no enchanting "ladies of the night." For most people, prostitution isn't a confident choice, but rather a result of the circumstance. People involved in the sex trade industry often come from environments of poverty, racism, broken welfare systems and abuse, especially adolescents. Prostitution serves as a way for vulnerable individuals to escape from violent/oppressive homes. Unfortunately for many sex workers, especially women, sex work is not particularly safe. Field research conducted in 9 countries by the US Department of State reported that 60-70 percent of women are raped, 70-95 percent are physically assaulted, and 68 percent meet the same criterion for PTSD as veterans and victims of torture. Julia Robert's version of a prostitute is a fantasy and nothing more, a dangerous illusion that's perpetuated through media and serves to shield us from the shocking reality in which actual prostitutes exist. In short, the images of sex work that we are often shown are not only false, but harmful. Not only do we, as a society, need to become aware of this fact, but those who create such portrayals must recognize and change this rosy portrayal of prostitution that we have become all too comfortable in absorbing/enjoying. Sources: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=7108&context=etd https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ei/rls/38790.htm https://www.courses.psu.edu/wmnst/wmnst001_atd1/Prostitution/emily.html https://indyreader.org/content/media-portrayals-sex-workers-protecting-us-whom
Apr 01, 2019
In Cases of Depression
Justin Bieber, former teen heart-throb and one of the biggest celebrities in the world, is one example of an individual experiencing depression in the spotlight. His somewhat erratic behavior on social media as well as a deterioration in appearance were signs to many that something is wrong. In early February, reports broke out that Bieber was seeking treatment for his depression and in a very personal Instagram post, Bieber asked fans to pray for him and that'd he'd been feeling, "disconnected and weird." As many people forget, depression is a mental health disorder. It's effects are not those that should be taken lightly and a constant pressure to conform to certain expectations in professional and personal realms (as Bieber has too) can be extremely detrimental in such a weekend state. People have to remember this, as evidence by multiple memes online comparing Bieber to a gas station employee ue to his new wardrobe and facial hair. We all assume that celebrities live in a world that's is separate from our own, but they too have their own emotions and health issues. We fail to recognize that our words affect them as much as theirs affect us.
Feb 23, 2019
In Geriatric Depression
Mental health awareness is a relatively new phenomenon that began in recent generations. For many people, the time period they grew up in did not promote mental health awareness and issues like depression were not taken seriously. D you believe that the possibility of developing depression at an early age, specifically in a time period when mental health awareness was almost nonexistent for some, contributes to the high rates of elderly depression we see today? Why or why not?
Jan 18, 2019
In Adolescent Depression
Many comedians nowadays, as well as memes, Internet videos, etc. use the topic of depression as a source for jokes and humor. This practice is very common and not seen as a major issues. Do you think using comedy is an effective way to address depression? Why or why not? How do you think using comedy as a media effects the way people view the issue in itself?
Dec 13, 2018
In Forum I - Vaccines
In all 50 states, one is legally allowed to exempt themselves from vaccination for medical reasons. However, individuals can also claim exemption from vaccines for religious and personal reasons. What do you think about the validity of claiming a personal or religious exemption? Should state governments do away with such policies? Why or why not? Would it infringe on an individual's freedom of choice if vaccines were required in all 50 states? Why or why not?