Flow- This Documentary Will Wash Away Ignorance

“We are 70 percent water. The earth has a water cycle and so do we.” These are two statements that open the film, Flow by Irena Salina. This amazing film moves from making the viewer realize how the water that runs through our air world, lakes and rivers runs through us and effects our health and well being. It makes us think about how all the chemicals and pollutants that we put into our water, end up in ourselves and make many people sick.

The film then continues to expose that the government has kept information out of plain sight such as the fact that the Bush administration made a deal with the company that produces Atrazine resulting in this harmful substance continuing to contaminate water here, when it has already been banned in Europe. The viewer is made aware that the water issue is yet another fight against corporations. Ever since powers such as the World Bank exceeded in privatizing water, more precious water has been waisted and contaminated. Large company names such as Thames Water, Vivendi and Svez are ones to watch out for. The dams they build not only contaminate water with rotting organic material but also release methane through the organic matter which contributes to global warming.

It is discussed throughout the movie how water systems could be more small scale and how more effective ways of cleansing such as ultraviolet light treatment could be used in a cheap and effective way to eliminate harmful carcinogens. Dams seem to be beneficial, mainly for corporations throughout the world, because they concentrate expanded water sources in order to sell and distribute large quantities from one site. Companies have even virtually stolen water sources in areas such as India and Africa where they charge more than people can afford for water from the dams. Then, the people end up drinking stream water that is further contaminated, and catching various sicknesses. 

The film concludes with hope; documenting various movements for better water systems such as a community in Michigan’s fight to keep their perfectly clean running community stream from being dammed and the proposal to add article 31 to the constitution stating that everyone deserves a right to clean, accessable water. 

Here is a trailer of the film. I highly recommend it.

December 12, 2009 at 9:42 am Leave a comment

In Conclusion…

Redefining our system of education may well mean redefining our goals, dreams, and values as a culture– the way we deal with the unknown, the way we think about and treat “the other.” Such changes need not be shied away from, in fact, discourse about education is potentially one of the best outlets. We are training a nation of Americans in every classroom, at every desk, with every assignment, and we have the choice to nurture either fear or hope, hatred or tolerance, apathy or action, celebration. Every moment a child spends in school, every interaction they have with a teacher or authority figure is a lesson learned about humans, about the way the world works. What will we choose to teach? The influx of minorities in our education system cannot be ignored, and doing so breeds the kind of fearful intolerance and insensitivity that is the underlying cause of so many of today’s problems. Instead of reinforcing a dysfunctional system, why not redefine, accommodate, respect? Let’s raise a nation of inlcusion, sensitivity, and compassion. 

December 10, 2009 at 3:39 am Leave a comment

A Discussion on the Sexualization of Girls in the Media, and its Consequences

At a young age women are sent the message that they need to be beautiful and sexy over smart and respectful. They are taught that the only way to survive in this world is through their looks, and they are sent this message every day. It is no wonder that at a young age girls are beginning to diet, dress seductively, and act as if they were 20 years older.

I recently went to see a movie by Director Darryl Roberts called America the Beautiful. I wanted to show the trailer because I think it portrays how rampant this Sexualization, and desire to look beautiful is played out in American culture.

Although not in the trailer, this movie does an excellent job of showing that although these cultural standards are forced on women, they affect everyone.

Sexualization is defined as when a person’s value only comes from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, made into a thing for another’s sexual use.

There are three main places in our culture where girls are told to act a certain way at the expense of their own desires:

1. Society (media)

2. Interpersonal Contribution (people in their lives encourage it)

3. Self Sexualization (the idea that if sex is rewarded, and they act sexually, they will be rewarded)

Society and the Media

The content found in current clothing ad-campaigns, clothing lines, and numerous TV commercials, catalyzes the Sexualization of young women, severe body self consciousness, and influences the way males treat women.

What is this commercial selling?

Did most of you know it was going to be that brand when the commercial began?

How are they selling the product?

What does this tell you, what does this tell women?

If you have seen this commercial, chances are kids a lot younger than us have seen it as well.

This commercial seems to be sending the message that if a man wears axe, all women, like animals will not be able to control themselves

Some commercial facts:

1. Women more often than men are shown undressed and are shown with more sexiness, depicted as sexual objects.

2. Of 72 beer and non-beer commercial ads randomly selected from primetime and sports television, 75% of beer ads and 50% of non-beer ads were reported sexist

3. In a study of Time and Vogue magazine, 40% of women were placed as decoration


People may argue that commercials are allowed to send degrading messages because they are usually only meant to be watched by adults who can make the distinction between right and wrong. No one can argue however that sexualizing products geared to 4 year olds have no harmful effects.


In case some of you haven’t seen a Bratz doll, or are unsure of their appearance, with tight clothes, big lips and midriff showing, Bratz dolls are unrealistic depictions of what and who a woman should be, confusing the mind of a developing child.

It is worrisome when dolls designed for four-eight year olds are associated with and objectified adult sexuality

Little Miss Naughty Push Up Bras and Peekaboo Pole Dancing Kits

In 2007 England parents had a boycott against Tesco, a company selling padded push up  bras, g-strings, and pole dancing kits geared towards 9 year olds.

The company took the clothes off the market in early 2008, but it is still scary to think that the idea of those products was even thought to be OK.

Young girls are grasping for air in an ocean of sexual imagery. As early as Kindergarten they are being coached to dress and camp by Bratz Dolls that look like stripers, Disney heroines shaped like centerfolds, teeny-bopper websites that glorify hot girls – even products like kid sized thong underwear and pink plastic pole dancing kids.

Interpersonal Contributions


Parents in particular have a strong effect on the thought process of girls

In a three year study white mothers routinely engaged in fat talk about their own bodies and the bodies of their daughters concluding that girls seemed to be surrounded by excessive concerns over physical appearance and talk of feeling fat.

When girls hear their mothers talking about their bodies they are likely to see themselves as objects to be looked and evaluated and they are likely to feel shame and anxiety for not meeting cultural standards.

It takes only a small amount of people to engage in an activity for the whole population to be effected by it.

Only a small group of parents enter their daughters in beauty pageants, but the entire country witnesses inappropriately flirtatious young girls wearing fake teeth and evening gowns.

Self Sexualization

Self Sexualization is when girls think of themselves only as sexual objects, and begin to engage in activities to make themselves more sexually appealing.


Lolita Effect


Lolita, the flirty 12 year old protagonist of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita has grown into a cultural shorthand for a prematurely even inappropriately sexual little girl.

Girls see how women in the media act, and they begin to think that if they act that way they will get the same attention as the women on TV.

Eating Disorders

There is a positive correlation between young women’s mass media consumption and body-related cognitions and behaviors, in particular eating disorders and poor body image.

A variety of eating disturbances may begin as early as preschool

Girls as young as 6 are beginning to diet

The medias use of skinny models perpetuates the idea that women should be skinny

Effects on Men

Men go through many of the same pressures as women, and I would love to talk about them too, but there just isn’t enough time. I have to limit this effect to the way they think and treat women.

Media and culture cause girls to see themselves as sexual objects and society has conformed young males minds to think of sex as something as simple as a vending machine, put your money in, get what you want, and throw the rest away.

The Media may also effect men in a similar way to porn. Young men constantly exposed to idealized versions of females may have difficulty finding an acceptable partner and enjoying intimacy with a real person.


Media literacy, extra curricular, and girl empowerment groups are crucial for giving girls the tools they need to be confident, strong, and smart individuals.

Media Literacy Organizations, such as the one I volunteered for called About-Face, helps girls look at the media critically and create active interpreters of messages rather than passive consumers

Extra curricular’s lead to self satisfaction rather than low self esteem. Playing sports allows girls to focus on what their body can do rather than on how it looks.

Girls groups encourage girls to become activists who speak out and develop their own alternatives. These groups give girls the opportunity to discuss their self confidence and body image in relationship to the culture. These groups get girls to question social norms and find ways of gaining confidence.


It is important for all of us, both men and women, to see how the media affects young girls.

peace, love, and ({})’s,

Bitter Barbies

December 10, 2009 at 2:58 am 1 comment

My blog post…

I posted my blog at http://www.centralbasin.org/blog/2009/12/07/department-of-water-resources-estimates-record-low-water-allocations/comment-page-1/#comment-12750.

December 9, 2009 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

Outside Comment

Here’s the comment I posted on a local news source in response to the article “Report: Immigrants are the Pillars of the US Economy.  http://www.topix.com/news/immigration/2009/12/report-immigrants-are-pillars-of-the-u-s-economy#lastPost

December 5, 2009 at 12:07 am Leave a comment

Made in L.A.

So I really had no idea what this documentary was going to be about. I thought possibly American Apparel, because I know how much they pride themselves on having their clothes made in the U.S. I had heard hear and there about the Forever 21 boycotts, but I didn’t pay much attention to them because I like shopping there. The ladies in this movie were so cute. I wished I were there with them because although you hear of stories like theirs all the time, usually it isn’t that emotional. These women all came here (America) and risked their lives on the way all for basically nothing. They had hopes of the American Dream, and instead were placed at the bottom of the racial economic system America has set in place.


December 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm 1 comment


Out of Curiosity, I went to Teen Vogue Magazine website to look up what they had to offer when it came to sex in general. I just searched “sex education” and I found millions of updates of the filming process of Sex and the City 2 and one small article about a short film made by teens in Boston about sexually transmitted diseases and about the new “spark” of safe-sex campaigns as opposed to simply sex education or abstinence education. The article had a link to the article by the Boston Globe and asked the readers of teen vogue to comment about it—so I read the comments.


November 30, 2009 at 5:22 am Leave a comment

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