Text Review: Wadjda

This is a movie about a young girl, named Wadjda, who lives in Saudi Arabia with her mother and father. Wadjda is 10 years old and is in a stage of life where she is struggling with her identity. She goes to an all-girls school and seems to be headed down an unruly path. There are many things that show that Wadjda is struggling with her identity like, she has a little boy that is her best friend, she wears black converses instead of the standard black shoe that all of the other girl’s wear, there are many times in the move where she is showing her hair in public and she really wants to own a bike. All of these things are not acceptable for women to do in her culture. Her mother refuses to buy her a bike because in her culture, little girls do not ride bikes, she is told at one point that it will make her barren. Wadjda is torn throughout the movie about this bike and becoming a good girl. She wants the bike so bad so that she can race her best friend. In the movie she starts selling mix tapes and mix-tapes that she makes to try and raise money to buy herself the bike. These things are also frowned upon for women to do. While at school, Wadjda, learns about a Quran recital where she can win enough cash to buy the bike. So, she studies hard and wins. However, the headmistress of her school takes her money and donates it to Palestine. In the end, Wadjda’s mother buys her the bike.
Throughout the movie, there are small instances where we learn different things about how women are treated in Saudi Arabia. Wadjda attends a school for girls where the head mistress is very stern, she expels students for doing things that she deems inappropriate, even if they are untrue. We also learn about how these young girls are subject to arranged marriages and married off at very young ages. We learn about how Wadjda’s father finds and marries another woman because Wadjda’s mother cannot bare him a son. I want to also make mention that this film was produced in Saudi Arabia by a female producer. She is the first female producer to ever make a film in Saudi Arabia. The movie has won numerous awards (Wikipedia, 2021).
This movie relates to our class in numerous ways. It shows the intersectional identities that Wadjda is struggling through with being a young girl in Saudi Arabia. It shows how Saudi women are subalterns and they have no voice, there are many times in the movie that Wadjda tries to have a voice for herself but is shut down. It is also mentioned many times that women are to be seen and not heard. This movie reminds me of the graphic novel Persepolis.

Al-Mansour, H. (Director). (2014). Wadjda [Motion picture]. Saudi Arabia: Soda Pictures 192.

Scott, A. (2013, September 12). Silly girl, you want to race a boy? Retrieved April 07, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/movies/haifaa-al-mansours-wadjda-a-saudi-girls-discoveries.html#:~:text=%E2%80%9CWadjda%E2%80%9D%20is%20circumspect%20about%20putting,calm%20authority%20and%20devastating%20effectiveness

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, March 14). Wadjda. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:41, April 27, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wadjda&oldid=1012059141

Giermann Review

From the production of Dhar Mann Studios, the valuable example of systemic racism begins with a scene of a young boy and his father swinging on a swing set discussing getting ice cream after their fellowship at the park. Subsequently, a startled older woman approaches the two on the swing set asking how the older gentleman knows the young boy. The reason for the interrogation stems from her worries about an African American man socializing with a young Caucasian boy at the park. The man kindly replies that this boy happens to be his son. Out of disbelief, the worried woman does not trust his claim. She walks towards the young boy and asks whether the child is okay and whether he knows where “actual” parents are. The young boy explains that he is alright and subsequently the father interrupts to explain again that he just told her that he was his father and had adopted him. She angrily questions whether the man has paperwork to prove the son’s adoption. As many would-be continuously frustrated as many repeatedly question this dynamic relationship between father and son, the father suggests that the woman should never judge someone until you get to know them. The lady scurries off worried as ever and the scene ends with the father and soon leaving for the car.

As the two are about to take off for ice cream, the lady reemerges with another character, a police officer. The lady explains to the officer how the father is going to “kidnap” the boy and the officer demands the man step away from the child. The man pleas to the office that in fact, the child is his son and would like to show the adoption papers that are located inside the vehicle. With caution, the officer allows the request made by the man. As the officer thoroughly reviews the documents, he agrees that in fact, the child is the man’s son, and he is free to go. Out of curiosity, the woman asks the father whether he had the choice to pick another race for the child. The scene turns into the African American father explaining that the child had an abusive father after the loss of his mother. When the soon-to-be father came to the adoption center, the child was overjoyed to know that he was being taken home to his adopted father’s loving home.

I think this lesson teaches the consequences of the “single-story” narrative we learned from the very beginning of this course. Given the woman’s racist assumptions against the father’s race, she immediately assumed that the boy was in danger because of her single-story optics. Sadly, more often than not, we see systemic racism towards minorities because of racial assumptions that have been created from prejudiced biases towards African Americans and driven narratives from others.

Text Review: All American (Season 2)

The tv series, All American, takes place in California, mainly in the areas of Crenshaw and Beverly Hills. The show is based on a real story about the life of a football player, Spencer James, who is trying to make it professional, all while dealing with the issues with his home life and the issues of a black man. He grew up in the city of Crenshaw around a lot of gang violence and drug culture, all while his dad left him when he was a little kid. To make it big, he moved to a new high school in Beverly Hills, with a completely different atmosphere than what he was used to in Crenshaw. In Beverly, there is rarely ever gang relations and not a lot of struggle amongst those who live there. This is where Spencer began to experience some of the injustices that he was not always faced with in Crenshaw. A main example was when him, and a few of his teammates and friends went to a frozen yogurt shop. This shop was owned by a white woman, whom after Spencer and his little brother had a dispute then told him along with all his friends to get out. In this encounter, she called them all as “you people” became majority of them were black. Directly after this happened, police showed up to the shop and proceeded to tell them to show ID because an owner said there was a person loitering that fit their description. Along with this, one of the officers asked if Spencer was in a gang because there were gangs in the area. This entire encounter was a prime example of racially profiling. It shows two positions of power, a business owner along with the police system, using this power to profile and harass them because they fit the description of what they believe black people are, which in this scenario are troublemakers and gang members. This instance relates to a concept we previously reviewed of Martin Luther King jr. because even though he prided himself on non-violence he constantly faced profiling and discrimination from authorities and others who did not agree with him because he was black. This led to him facing assault from these positions of power and being thrown in jail because of the marches he held. I think the creator of All American, April Blair, wanted us to realize all the injustices that happen in the world even if they may not directly affect us. Along with this I believe Blair wanted us to question why these types of things happen so regularly and how can we work together as a nation to become educated and put an end to it? This show inspires conversation regarding identity, power, and injustice by showing how even in such a wealthy and well-regarded city as Beverly Hills has many of these issues, along with so many other places in the US, such as the place where the viewers are living.


Works Cited:

All American, created by April Blair, season 2, Berlanti Productions, CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television, 2019.

Robinson, Abby, and David Opie. All American Season 2 – release date, plot, cast and everything you need to know. 09 September 2019, Digital Spy, All American Season 2 – release date, plot, cast and more (digitalspy.com).

Dragon Ball Z text review

For this assignment I am going to be writing about how our class topics compares to the Dragon Ball Z Frieza arc.  A quick background on Dragon Ball Z is that it is a person named Goku, was born on another planet (Planet Vegeta) their race is known as Saiyans, and Goku was sent to earth, to destroy the human race.  When he landed on earth he fell down a mountain and bumped his head and was raised as a normal human would be raised.  He believed he was human until his brother came down and told him the whole truth and what the objective was.  Goku was too far gone as a human and did not care about his brother’s opinion.  He wanted to fight and protect earth, the people from his home planet did not like that.  That is the background on Dragon Ball Z, the saga I am going to talk about is when people are going to a certain planet, to search for the dragon balls to make a grand wish.


Frieza is known as the toughest being in the galaxy, people were not aware he was going to be on this planet, but he is a ruler and treats any race that is not his or under his army poorly and that he is better than them.

http://https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fvillains.fandom.com%2Fwiki%2FFrieza&psig=AOvVaw20GHcRbWubXvAk8b4BJkMh&ust=1619402050687000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIDGv_KkmPACFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD This is Frieza

The planet everyone is one, is called, “Namek”, Namek is the home planet of Namekians, Namekians are a race of people known as super intelligent but not the strongest fighters, they rely more on technique.  Frieza came to Namek and basically made everyone his slave and do work for him, find the dragon balls for him so he can make his wish, he became super power hungry.  Frieza was also not aware of people being on the planet also, he did not expect saiyans to be there, he calls saiyans the term “monkeys”, a term that has been used an American history as a very derogatory term, so right there is a big example of injustice of another race.  Frieza also blew up Planet Vegeta, because he was afraid of the saiyan race revolting against him as they were the toughest people under his army and he was worried them gaining enough strength to maybe overtake, and he was deadly afraid of the legendary Super Saiyan.  He believed it was just a made up myth, he would find out on Namek it is not true, as Goku turns into a legendary Super Saiyan.  He did not believe he was on a planet where he had all the power and bossed all the Namekians around that a legendary Super Saiyan would be there to fight him and ruin his whole plan and take all the dragon balls, he thought everything would come easy to him as many things have in the past.  Frieza in his racist and power hungry mentality lost sight of everything and lost his chance to get his wish of immortality.


Text Review: The Office “Diversity Day”

One episode of The Office that talks about injustice and ethnic identities would be season 1 episode 2 called Diversity Day. In this episode, Michael, the branch manager, decides that he wants to hold a diversity day to talk about diversity in the workplace with his employees. Michael addresses several issues with stereotypes of people from different ethnicities, however, he does not go about them in the best ways. He creates a game of headbands and each person is wearing a different ethnicity, the game does not go the way that Michael intended. He confronts Kelly who is Indian and starts speaking to her in an Indian accent, then Kelly slaps Michael. Michael realizes that this was not a very good idea.

Although this show does not properly discuss stereotypes and ethnic identities, it does show how hurtful these stereotypes can be to someone who is from that ethnic group. From the episode, it is clear that Kelly took great offense to Michael talking to her like that, so she slapped him. I think that this can be compared to Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of One and the Other. I believe that in this scene Michael views himself as the One and impersonates an Indian person as the Other, and when Kelly hears how Michael makes Indians sound, she is hurt by it. I believe that it is hurtful to call somebody out as the Other and make fun of who they are.

This show is meant to be a mockumentary sitcom, which is very comical, however, this is a very sensitive topic to be joking around with. I think that the creator of the show wants the viewers to think about the importance of diversity by asking the following questions. Were Michael’s actions an appropriate way to discuss ethnic identities? Is making fun of or copying someone’s accent rude and hurtful to that person, or is it funny? Were Michael’s ideas of a diversity day an effective way to approach the topic of diversity and talk about injustice and ethnic identities?

Here is the link to a video about the episode: https://www.nbc.com/the-office/video/diversity-day/3839859

Text Review: Persian Lessons

In the movie Persian Lessons, it tells a true story that a Jewish invented a language in order to survive World War I. He can not speak Persian, but in order to make a living and establish a good relationship with Tehran, he is therefore obliged to create language to survive in Nazi transit camp.

In this movie, there are a lot of places related to injustice, identity, and culture issues. For example, Jewish people are discriminated and biased to be very crafty and deceitful who deceive people most of time in order to survive in the tough life. It is a obvious stereotype to Jewish people because we can not only identify or judge someone based on what they are doing, but we need to connect their behavior with the background and their motivation. Facing the threaten of being killed, Jewish people struggles to survive so that they have to develop some strategy to increase the rate of living. In this movie, there was one picture showing that several Jewish people gather in a forest and waited to be shooted. They feel very feared but can do nothing. They wait to be killed. But at that time, a young Jewish man found that he exchange sandwich with another man and get a Iranian book. He started to pretend himself to be a Iranian and survive successfully.

Jewish people experienced the cruel treatment in World War I and were killed and injuried in a countless number. Some of us may have some impression toward Jewish people that they are briliant and even very deceitful. But if you try to feel others’ feeling, you will not have the same stereotype to them. You may also try to deceive other for your own survival. Therefore, we can not have injustice to Jewish people based on the wrong impression






The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us is a memoir written by Reyna Grande. Reyna tells the story of her life and the struggles she faced growing up in the 70s and 80s. Reyna for the majority of her childhood lived in a little village in Mexico with her mother and two siblings. Her father had left for the United States when she was about 4 years old and had never returned. While living in Mexico, she lived an extreme poverty having to share her food with her entire family. As she got older, her father returned and took her and her sister to the United States. Grande’s life in the U.S was no more different than it was in Mexico except no she faced discrimination for being Mexican and undocumented.


The most interesting theme of the memoir was how Grande tried to find her identity growing up. As a kid she was proud to be Mexican and even bragged about how her dad lived up north which resulted her getting into fights. At first she had everything a kid could want since her dad would send money but after a while it stopped and it caused her to be more confused. Her mother would send her to work at a families friend house and she for the first time saw an American, which prompted her to wanting to live with her father in the U.S. Once Reyna arrived in the U.S everything she had been taught about her culture had to be forgotten. Since she had arrived undocumented, she couldn’t tell anybody she was coming from Mexico. Her fathered forced her to on speak English which caused Reyna to forget Spanish at a very young age. She ended up bleaching her hair off and skim as she was trying to fit in with everyone at school. Reyna grew up with her half sister who was an American citizen. Her father didn’t force her sister to speak English and was encourage to continue her Mexican traditions. It showed how Reyna’s status forced her to Americanized in order to be protected while her sister was free to be who she wanted.


The memoir did depicted the concept of the “one and the other” as seen in our course. Reyna was seen the as the “other” due to her immigration status and was therefore forced to submit to her fathers commands in order to not be deported. Reyna was given the mentality that expressing herself would lead to tragedy and was therefore forced to become a perfect American. Reyna’s sister Izzy, was seen as a carefree child. Her parents didn’t care about her identity as much because they knew she was protected. She was able to party, get a job and talk to the neighbors. In this situation she’s seen as the “one” because of their status in the U.S. The memoir showed how a lot of immigrants try and become the ideal American and in the process loose their connection and identity to their culture.


Text Review – Switching Identities among cultures and societies

The book I’d like to talk is named The Dispossessed, which is a science fiction. The author Ursula K. Le Guin depicts the interactions between people in two planets, Urras and Anarres. The protagonist Shevek was born and grew in Anarress and continued to become a physicist. He betrayed his home country and then left Urras and went back to Anarres agian, which confused me a lot. But after learning a psychological theory named Social Identity Theory (Abbreviated as SIT theory in the following text), I can use the theory to explain the behavior.

The SIT theory suggests that as a man who lives in the society, everyone needs an identity, which is a “self – reference that create and define the individual’s place in a group. People create in-groups and out-groups and compare the group level to create their identities. To be more specific, people discriminate others who do not belong to their social groups, which is called “out-group discrimination” and favor their own social groups, which refers to “in-group favoritism” to secure their identities.

We can use the SIT theory to analyze the protagonist Shevek’s behavior. The first time Shevek escaped from his homeland, he felt terrible about his original social group. Shevek wanted to flee from the mob and Anarres, since he thought that the society in Urras was better for him to stay comparing to his original community in Anarres. Applying the term out-group discrimination, Shevek switched his identity from Anarres to Urras by discriminating his original community. In order to secure his identity, Shevek must find something better in society of Urras.

However, Shevek found a lot of injustice within the society of Urras, including the poverty, the inequivalence of the property, and the extravagance of the elites. For Shevek’s case, he viewed issues that even did not exist in his original social group in Anarres, so Shevek failed to complete the second step, the in-group favoritism, of securing his identity, since he was unable to integrate into the society of Urras. Shevek questioned himself about his previous choice. For he did not find enough reason to accept the Urras society, Shevek left Urras and went back to Anarres again.

As a result, the protagonist Shevek is always trying to build his identity by comparing various social groups to find which one is better, while finally he cannot tell which society is absolutely advanced than the other one because those two all contain problems. The SIT theory explains why Shevek moves between two cultures again and agin and why Shevek’s mind finally did not belong to any of these two groups of Urras and Anarres, as he fail to form his identity in the end of the book The Dispossessed.

Text Review “The 100”

In the show “The 100”  created by Jason Rothenburg it follows a science-fiction-based human society. This society of futuristic humans has abandoned earth for hundreds of years and has decided to send down 100 teenage criminals to test out the planet. When the 100 humans get to earth they discover an entire primal, Native American-like human society. At first, communication is hard and they start a small war. This results in large casualties but afterward, peace is formed between the surviving humans and “grounders.” They later unite their forces to fight against other outside factors throughout the show including AI, weather, humanoids, and aliens.

The show’s main plot revolves around how two human cultures, who were once hostile to each other, grow and adapt into their own that incorporates everyone’s best interest. The “Grounders” valued honor, tribe leadership, and a one for all mentality. They believed in the survival of the grounder population and that only. The futuristic humans have a society based on individuality, strict punishments, and irrational thinking. They are in my opinion more anarchical and unstructured than the “Grounders” society is. After working together throughout the seasons, one even was finally being able to merge them into one society. Both the “Grounders” and the 100 are locked into a bunker for 6 years and forced to turn to cannibalism to survive. This was the turning point, instead of fighting and eating each other based on different cultures, they chose to do it based on crimes against the newly found “WonKru.” After leaving the bunker both cultures were fully immersed within each other. Unfortunately, it took great tragedy and adversity to do so. 

This show draws many parallels to when the Europeans made their first contact with the Native Americans. Unfortunately, real-life didn’t end as the TV show did. The Native Americans were wiped out and controlled. If Europeans decided to integrate with them like in the show “The 100” the outcome for humanity could have had a much more positive light. A more rich culture that wasn’t built on blood. Based on how human nature is though, I believe something catastrophic would have happened to unite both, similar to the bunker in “The 100.”

Text Review: Andy Weir’s 2011 Novel, The Martian

A fantastic book, later a major motion picture, that I would like to discuss and review for this assignment is Andy Weir’s 2011 novel, The Martian. The Martian is a science fiction novel that follows NASA’s Ares 3 manned mission to Mars in the year 2035. After a violent, life-threatening storm on Mars, the crew is forced to rapidly evacuate from Mars and astronaut Mark Watney is left behind in the chaos of this event. The rest of the book describes the extraordinary struggles that Mark faces while stranded on Mars in addition to the incredible ingenuity that both he and the large supporting group of agencies and individuals back on Earth exhibit as they work to bring Mark back safely. The latter aspect of the book is what I really enjoyed about it and why I am writing about The Martian for this assignment. As an aerospace engineering student with work experience in both government and private industry, I can say firsthand that many diverse areas are life are not adequately represented in STEM, and specifically, in aerospace. In other words, STEM and aerospace, due not accurately reflect the general population of the world, or in NASA’s case, the United States. In the Martian, NASA reaches out the Chinese National Space Administration for help and we see many historically underrepresented groups of engineers, including females and minority racial groups, contributing to the goal of bringing Mark home. Differences between culture, gender, race, politics, etc. are transcended and the world comes together for a greater goal. I found this to be incredibly inspiring when reading the book. In this class we discussed the One and the Other dialectic which I think The Martian very significantly does not depict. Nobody points fingers and judges other people and cultures. Nobody is primary and no one else is secondary. The Martian is really important and significant to me because it is an amazing look into a better future world of aerospace which nicely ties together both my passion and my desire for meaningful change as represented also in topics from this course. It also has a great sense of humor and grasp on technical concepts, which I appreciated. Many of you have probably read the book or seen the move already, but if you have not, I highly recommend it!