The piece of work that I have chosen is the critically acclaimed 2019 thriller Parasite. In this movie we see a clash between two very different socioeconomic statuses. In the movie, a man from an impoverished family in South Korea fraudulently acquires a tutoring job for a very prestigious family to teach their daughter english. This man moves from one of the most impoverished parts of the city and starts spending a significant amount of time with this very wealthy family.
Throughout the story, the poor family is met with many different aspects of socioeconomic discrimination. Such as the rich family saying they have a horrible stench and treating them like servants. As the poor family starts to become more and more acquainted with this lavish lifestyle, things begin to complicate themselves. The poor family begins to feel comfortable lying to the rich family and start mooching off of the rich family, thus giving the film its name, Parasite.
Once the poor family begins to get a taste of a lavish lifestyle they don’t want to give it back up. This is understandable because coming from a life of poverty, why would they even imagine returning to their previous lifestyle, they now have jobs they wouldn’t have dreamed of having previously. At one point on the movie, the rich family goes on a weekend vacation and the poor family decides that they’ll spend the weekend in their employers home, destroying the place and enjoying a side of life they never would have previously dreamed of.
To avoid any spoilers for the movie (which I highly recommend watching on your own), I will summarize the main aspect of othering that I noticed throughout the film. The main theme of the movie is the disparity between classes in South Korea. The difference between living in poverty and being able to support your family. The lower class in South Korea is largely discriminated against, being thought of as dirty and unable to work, doing odd jobs just to skate by. This othering was extremely obvious in the movie because the upper class rarely considers the plight of the lower class and uses them to serve themselves thinking that the lower class owes it to them.
By James Schubert
Previously I had written about blood donations and the surveys that are required to be taken before donations can be accepted. In this survey there is a question directly regarding sexual interactions within the past year. One of the questions is specifically geared toward male donors and asks, “Have you had sexual contact with another male in the past 12 months.” I had heard about this from a friend who happens to be a homosexual and he said when answering the question, “yes”, he was immediately notified that he was unable to donate blood for that reason.
I see this as a form of systemic injustice because as a result of the 1980’s HIV/AIDS outbreak in the homosexual community this policy is biased and discriminatory toward the homosexual community. This is reflective of old statistics that to date have become outdated as there are treatments that halt the progression of HIV and there are also medicines that can be taken for pre-exposure such as PrEP. Another reason as to why I find this a systemic injustice toward the homosexual community is that regardless of sexual orientation, when blood is donated, it must be tested for various deficiencies such as iron deficiencies, blood disorders, and blood borne diseases.
I understand this question is a precautionary step to avoid any donations of contaminated blood. However, I find it discouraging to the homosexual male community that even though there are other ways in which it can be determined that blood is contaminated, organizations resort to asking a question geared specifically toward a certain group of people. From the story of my friend, he has told me that there is no exception to answering “yes” to this question. When questions like this are geared toward certain communities, especially when it is the definitive answer as to whether or not that group may participate in something as common as donating blood, it implies a bias against this group. As a homosexual friend, my friend has decided that he will not even consider participating in blood drives, donations, etc. as a result of this discrimination.
Below are is a picture of the questionnaire used for blood donations, you will see two questions (19 and 20) regarding males having sexual contact with other males. The link below is the LGBTQ+ donor policies and when scrolling to the MSM tab, the red cross explains the federal regulations and their understanding the impact that it has had on the LGBTQ+ community.
Donation eligibility requirements for LGBTQ+ community members
On 22 September 1980, Iraq invaded Iran to take over as the primary state in the Persian Gulf region. This came a year after the Iranian Revolution ended in 1979. Tensions between the two countries had often come to rise as there were often border disputes over oil-rich land. The invasion had begun when Iraq decided they were going to attempt to take advantage of the post-revolution unrest. This was later met with fast response by the Iranian government.
The Iraq-Iran war lasted for eight years before it was later ended by a ceasefire agreement chartered by the United Nations. This war was met with vast amounts of exception due to the questionable tactics used by both sides. This ranged from chemical warfare, attacks targeted on civilians, and the use of child soldiers. Throughout this time, the United States were keeping a close eye on the unrest due to the ongoing tension between the United States and Iranian militaries. Among these tensions, there were various other countries involved in the conflict. The United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and various other middle east countries all sided with Iraq and provided support both strategically, monetarily, and politically. This essentially left Iran to their own devices, isolated from support from any major country.
The war ended with 500,000 deaths of soldiers, 95,000 being child soldiers, of both Iranian and Iraqi descent while also reporting at least 100,000 civilian deaths from Iran and Iraq each. The Iran-Iraq war has often been compared to the likes of World War I due to the style of warfare. In the end, there was no clear solution resulting in none of the border disputes being settled and no justice being decided upon. This war had major implications upon the lives of the civilians in both countries. Left to live in a war-torn country with their lives destroyed from both the lives of family members being lost and also from having the cities they called home turned to rubble. The war went back and forth for years, leaving both countries in a state of economic despair.