Summer Reading Assignment 2016
Westmoor High School
CHOOSE ONE VIDEO, ONE ARTICLE AND 1 POEM AND THEN COMPLETE ONE OF THE ASSIGNMENT CHOICES BELOW. YOU ARE WRITING ONLY ONE ESSAY, SO WHICHEVER TOPIC YOU CHOOSE, BE CREATIVE IN YOUR DEMONSTRATION OF THE PROMPT.
Emma Watson, UN Speech on Gender Inequality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-iFl4qhBsE
Ivan Coyote, “Gender Neutral Bathrooms”: https://www.ted.com/talks/ivan_coyote_why_we_need_gender_neutral_bathrooms
Eve Ensler, “Embrace Your Inner Girl”: https://www.ted.com/talks/eve_ensler_embrace_your_inner_girl
Joe Ehrman, “Be a Man”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVI1Xutc_Ws
Anita Sarkeesian, “Damsel in Distress -- Women in Video Games”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6p5AZp7r_Q
Jennifer Lawrence, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-stars?”
The actress opens up about Hollywood's wage gap.
BY JENNIFER LAWRENCE
OCT 14, 2015
When Lena first brought up the idea of Lenny to me, I was excited. Excited to speak to Lena, who I think is a genius, and excited to start thinking about what to complain about (that's not what she pitched me, it's just what I'm gonna do). When it comes to the subject of feminism, I've remained ever-so-slightly quiet. I don't like joining conversations that feel like they're "trending." I'm even the asshole who didn't do anything about the ice-bucket challenge — which was saving lives — because it started to feel more like a "trend" than a cause. I should have written a check, but I forgot, okay? I'm not perfect. But with a lot of talk comes change, so I want to be honest and open and, fingers crossed, not piss anyone off.
It's hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren't exactly relatable. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with [a penis], I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn't want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don't need. (I told you it wasn't relatable, don't hate me).
But if I'm honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn't say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn't want to seem "difficult" or "spoiled." At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being "difficult" or "spoiled." This could be a young-person thing. It could be a personality thing. I'm sure it's both. But this is an element of my personality that I've been working against for years, and based on the statistics, I don't think I'm the only woman with this issue. Are we socially conditioned to behave this way? We've only been able to vote for what, 90 years? I'm seriously asking — my phone is on the counter and I'm on the couch, so a calculator is obviously out of the question. Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn't "offend" or "scare" men?
A few weeks ago at work, I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, "Whoa! We're all on the same team here!" As if I was yelling at him. I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.
I'm over trying to find the "adorable" way to state my opinion and still be likable! [Forget] that. I don't think I've ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It's just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I'm sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share. Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn't completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a "spoiled brat." For some reason, I just can't picture someone saying that about a man.
Jennifer Lawrence is an Academy Award–winning actress.
Alison Flood, “Gender Imbalance in Children’s Literature”: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature
Emily Alpert Reyes, “'Men Are Stuck' in Gender Roles, Data Suggest”:
Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman”: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48985
Marvin Bell, “A Man May Change”: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175942#poem
William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182194
Rudyard Kipling, “If”: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46473
After viewing and/or reading from the lists above, choose one of the following writing assignments, and based on the sources provided (consider the above information from the “sources” for your news article or personal narrative)...
1. Write a news “article” (500 word minimum) about gender inequality from the
viewpoint of a gender that you do not identify with
For the purposes of this assignment, your news article will be fictional -- you may want to present it as an interview, for example -- but it should follow an expository format. Watch this YouTube video for tips on writing a news article: https://youtu.be/P9wjZBin0lM
2. Write a “personal” narrative (500 word minimum) where you discuss your
experiences with gender inequality from the viewpoint of a gender that you do not
As you know, a personal narrative is written about an actual event in a person’s life. For the purposes of this assignment, of course, your “personal” narrative will be fictional. Watch this YouTube video for tips on writing personal narrative: https://youtu.be/XTVWUKBjp1o
This is a graded assignment and is DUE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL