Text Review of “The BFG” by Roald Dahl

The work I selected to analyze was The BFG by Roald Dahl. The BFG or Big Friendly Giant is about a friendly giant (named BFG) who lives amongst huge man eating giants. The friendly giant with his companion Sophie sets out to stop the giants from killing innocent human beings. BFG and Sophie convinced the Queen of England they needed her army’s help to stop the giants. The giants were stopped and everyone lived happily ever after.

The BFG was “othered” by his fellow giants. He identified as the runt of the group and assumed the role as the outsider. Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex, explains that, “ if the Other is not to regain the status of being the One, he must be submissive enough to accept this alien point of view” (Beauvoir 1). At first this is exactly what the BFG did. He assumed the role as the other and allowed the other giants to walk over him.

However, Sophie, an orphan who befriended the BFG, talked some sense into him. Sophie reminded me of Marjane’s grandmother in Persepolis. She told him wise words to help motivate him to save the humans. The BFG turned a switch like Marjane did when she shouted “I am Iranain and proud of it!” (Persepolis 200). He set out to stop the giants from all the pain and torture they have caused. 

Cultures collided when the giant met with the queen. This parallels humans coming together from different cultures. As we have learned throughout the semester, cultures colliding sometimes causes bad things to happen when people do not accept them. This luckily was not the case. The queen accepted the BFG into her palace and they formulated a plan to stop the other giants. 

I believe the author wanted us to take away several themes from the book. One of the main themes being don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This means don’t categorize a person as the other and yourself as the one. Sophie did not condemn or “other” the BFG for his speech impairment (because he never was taught) yet sought to help him in every way she could. We are all equal and deserve to be treated with respect. 

The BFG is not the best conversation starter around identity, power, and injustice but I do believe these ideas are relevant throughout the story and there is a lesson to be learned. If you have some time, I strongly encourage everyone reading this post to read or watch The BFG with these themes in mind.

Have a great summer everyone! I hope you all stay safe and healthy during these tough times.

The Hate U Give

When choosing a topic for this assignment, I knew right away what I was going to choose. The movie “The Hate U Give” is a great movie to choose to talk about for this assignment. This movie was made in 2018 and demonstrated injustice, identity, and power. This movie is about a 16-year-old African American girl named Starr who is constantly going back and forth between two worlds which are the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. But one night, she witnesses a fatal shooting of her childhood friend at the hands of a white police officer that changes her life forever. Starr goes through this traumatic event and tries to fight for justice for her best friend Khili. At the end of the movie, she ends up telling the world what happened and that he deserved to live even though the white officer got away with it. She is faced with the pressure from both sides of the community when trying to find her voice and to stand up for what’s right.

Throughout this movie, Starr struggles with finding her identity because of the mostly white prep school that she attends. She explains that she has to watch how she talks because she doesn’t want to come off as “ghetto” in a majority rich white school. She comes face to face with one of her white friend’s reactions and racist comments that she says about how she felt bad for the police officer, when he was in the wrong. This movie also demonstrates white privilege because the officer got away with the murder of Khalil due to being white. In one scene, Starr has a conversation with her uncle who is an officer. She asks him if Khalil was a white male, would he have told him to put his hands up or shot him right away when seeing him reach into the car and he said that he would have asked him to put his hands up because white males are less threatening then African Americans. He explains that this is why the officer shot first and asked questions later all because he was an African American male. This not only demonstrates power but also injustice. This movie is nothing but white privilege and injustice to the point that every scene would be a great example. This movie portrays Starr and Khalil as this “otherness” that De Beauvoir explains in this text. A great example of otherness in this movie is when Starr goes to school. She explains that she is treated differently than everyone else because she is black. They try to “act black” and she explains that she has to watch the way she acts and talks to not be considered ghetto. She explains at the beginning that she has to be two completely different people when it comes to school and at home. Her father also treats her white boyfriend Chris like this “other” when Starr brings him home to meet her father. This movie is a great example of everything that we have been learning in this class and I recommend seeing it because it is a great movie especially for this class. I think this director wanted the audience to take away from this movie that there is still racial injustice going on to this day due to someone’s color of skin and that we need to speak up to end racial discrimination and injustice.

Text Review of “the 100” Season 2

Selected Work: The 100 Season 2 (TV series)

The 100 is a science fiction drama television series whose story setting is 97 years after nuclear holocaust devastated almost life on Earth. There mainly three races in season 2: Sky people who lived in a space station orbiting Earth, Ground people who are survivals on Earth after nuclear holocaust, Mountain people who locked themselves in fortress before the nuclear holocaust. Sky people have high-tech and plan to transfer from the space station to Earth. Ground people are almost primitive and brutal. Mountain people have high-tech, but they must stay in the fortress or wear suit because they cannot survive from radiation on Earth. The number of 100 stands for the 100 young criminals exiled to Earth from the space station.

The topic of the story is the conflicts between these three groups. When the 100 teenagers first come to Earth, they are attacked by Ground people because Ground peoples’ culture teaches them to kill any possible threats. In Ground peoples’ viewpoint, the 100’s identity is different from that of them. However, as de Beauvoir indicates in The Second Sex, “the other consciousness, the other ego, sets up a reciprocal claim”. Ground people are also othered by the 100 because they are brutal and primitive. After all Sky people land on Earth, they take over the lead of the 100 because they have more weapons and people. The 100 are stilled othered because they were criminals.

Mountain people arrest Ground people and extract their blood for survival and “other” them because Mountain people think Ground people are brutal and they are not the same kind of species. And the advanced technology enables Mountain people to treat Ground people as others, like de Beauvoir discusses how power relation constructs the concept of Othering. However, Mountain people initially want to make friends with Sky people because they think they all have many similarities and the same culture. The identity in their views is culture-defined.

However, when the conflicts between Sky people and Mountain people grows, Mountain people are exterminated at the end of the story by the united army of Sky people and Ground people. There are many innocent people are killed.

The story focuses on group difference. Every group has its own problem of survival and has to harm other groups in order to solve the problem. They all have “goodness” in human nature, but they have to do something “evil”. I think the author wants us to take away is: when there is no conflict, people define identity based on the number of similarities. However, when a conflict grows as a group issue or race issue, identity will be redefined. The final winner of the conflict is the one has much more power. And there will be many innocent people involved and being killed which is injustice and unavoidable.

Yo, Is This Sexism?

Xixiang: The phenomenon that women only occupy a small proportion of STEM fields has existed for decades. I think the opinion is divided over that if this is sexism. We can talk about this issue and analyze them deeply together today.


Haoxiang: Yeah, I also mentioned it in my Diary of Systemic Injustices. I found that some surveys indicate that, for STEM areas in America, the female worker only has 15% of the engineering workforce. The main reason behind this is women’s pregnancy will increase companies’ costs. Companies need to not only give them long-term maternity leave but also continue to pay their insurance fee. Meanwhile, during that time, companies need to find substitutes for them to remain the project in operation. Because of such concern, most companies in STEM fields prefer to recruit males. Do you think this is a kind of sexism?


Xixiang: I think we can’t deny that if the female workers in labor, it may cause the company to pay the higher cost to make her job done. However, I think that giving birth to the next generation should be the responsibility of all society, but not pushing this responsibility to just females. Also, we shouldn’t make them fall into a vulnerable group because of this irreplaceable contribution. Therefore, I think the case you mentioned should be classified into sexism.


Xixiang: I also noticed that some people hold the view that the amount of female students in the college who are studying the STEM major is significantly lower than the male students. Therefore, this naturally leads to the result that most of the STEM job positions are occupied by males. In other words, they think it is not caused by sexism, but just many female students didn’t choose STEM majors in college. What do you think?


Haoxiang: In my mind, the cause of this phenomenon is because many females know it is not easy for females to find a job in STEM fields which causes them to avoid STEM as their major in university. And I think it is a result of sexism. 


Haoxiang: However, there is another scenario. In general cases, males always have better physical strength than females, which makes males able to adapt to a high load working-environment. From that point, many people claim that the reason why many companies prefer to recruit males is that these companies only want to maximize their profits instead of having a bias on females. So they don’t think it is sexism.


Xixiang: I think I can’t agree with the people’s points you mentioned. Nowadays, most of the job positions in the STEM field don’t have a very high requirement for physical strength. For example, like software development, the most vital factor of brain power but not the physical strength. Therefore, although the average physical strength of the male may be stronger than the females, I don’t think hiring more male staff can help the company raise profit.


Xixiang: Following what I just say, some people also claim that the average level of the college degree of females is also lower than the males. Although we can say the difference of physical strength between males and females doesn’t count too much on today’s STEM working environment, in the field of brainpower, males still perform better than the females. Therefore, the reason why we see the company select more males than females is just that the male’s average education level is higher than the female’s. They don’t think it is sexism.


Haoxiang: It might be true that in the past decades males often have better performance than females because of educational differences. However, in recent years, some statistics reports show that the proportion of college-educated women has nearly matched that of men. However, as the proportion increases, the fact that it is difficult for women to find a job in STEM fields doesn’t get changed.


Xixiang: Yeah, from the discussion we just made, I think the phenomenon that male occupy much more workforce in STEM fields represent sexism. It reminds me of the class materials we have read in the first two weeks in this semester. As de Beauvoir says in her novel, “The Second Sex”, the male has always been on the more powerful side in the comparison with the female since ancient times. For instance, the male is referred to the Sun, but the female is referred to as the Moon. With the rise of the feminist movement in modern times, the status of the female has a significant promotion. However, the prejudice among females since the ancient age still exists in many people’s minds. The unfair treatment women faced in the STEM workplace can clearly represent this issue.


Haoxiang: Yeah, I totally agree with you. The reason why many people don’t think it is sexism is that they are a group of males who are Ones in our story. As de Beauvoir mentions in The Second Sex, “The other consciousness, the other ego, sets up a reciprocal claim”. Because males are not experienced in searching for a job as females, their point of view is different from females. They never have the dilemmas faced by females. The reciprocal claims against each other lead to that many males don’t think it is sexism but most females think it is.


Haoxiang: What’s more, decades ago, women’s rights had not been liberated totally before. The factors like educational differences and social prejudice against women’s work led most STEM jobs which require sophisticated skills to be occupied by males. And the sexism of it leads to the phenomenon that females are Othered in STEM fields. In order to solve the issue, in my mind, females also need to make efforts. Like de Beauvoir mentions in The Second Sex, “the Other is posed as such by the One in defining himself as the One. But if the Other is not to regain the status of being the One, he must be submissive enough to accept this alien point of view.”

How Everyday Discourse Contributes to Sex Discrimination

By Sarah Goulder

Although we have made great strides in creating a more inclusive and progressive world, there is still much work to be done to limit (and hopefully one day eliminate) sexism, homophobia, and overall hate.  The ways in which these injustices manifest today is much more subtle than it once was. For instance, the kind of inequality that Simone de Beauvoir references in The Second Sex is much more obvious and severe than what is seen today.  However, her ideas on othering and its consequences still apply to sexism and other areas of prejudice.  Currently, the things we say, how we act on social media, and what we see on television and film all contribute to the persistence of systemic injustice in the modern world.  Specifically, I would like to focus on sexist and homophobic discourse in everyday life and in american media, as both of these areas contribute significantly to the perpetuation of discrimination and bias.  


A recent encounter with a terribly unoriginal and sexist joke sparked my interest in writing about this topic.  A friend of mine recently said a version of the “make me a sandwich” joke about another woman.  My blood started to boil, but I remained silent and let it go because I knew that my friend was not an actual misogynist.  In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have. That type of “joke” is an example of why sexism and gender discrimination still exist. Casual comments rooted in prejudice (whether it’s sexism, racism, or homophobia) are indicative of a much larger issue how we reinforce everyday bias and discrimination.  Here is a link to a blog site that does a good job of explaining why this particular joke is problematic.  Going beyond sexism, the way we speak (and where we do it) have real world consequences that many people would rather not acknowledge.  This article discusses a few recent(-ish) examples of celebrities and comedians, like Stephen Colbert that have engaged in “casual homophobia” by using anti-gay tropes and language.  Despite our intentions, casual prejudicial discourse prevents us from moving forward culturally and makes it difficult to create political and legal changes to unfair policies.  

Systemic Injustice in A Disney Movie? You’re Joking Right?

By Alyssa Suarez

No, I’m not joking!

I was watching “The Princess and The Frog” the other day on Netflix when I notices that there was some systemic injustice in the movie. In one scene, Tiana just got done raising enough money to buy a place that was going to be her father’s restaurant. At her best friends party, she ran into Mr. Finner, which is who she bought her place that was going to be her restaurant from. She then found out that someone offered more money then her for the place. After the Mr. Finner told her this, he then said something to her that was an example of systemic injustice. After Tiana told them how long it took her to save that money up, they said “Exactly! Which is why a little woman of your background would have had her hands full trying to run a big business like that. Your better off where your at.” This is an example of systemic injustice because they are assuming because she is African American that she can’t or would struggle running a big business even though they didn’t exactly come out and say that. They just sugar coated it all though I also think they did that due to this movie being meant for children. I never really realized this until I began to watch this movie again.

When looking at New Orleans’s background, the African American population began to grow. Some slaves were able to earn their freedom there, and others came to New Orleans from present-day Haiti, fleeing a slave revolt there and bringing along Voodoo and other traditions. (New Orleans) If you click on the link, you can learn more about New Orleans’s history. New Orleans’s history is important when understanding Tiana’s background, as Shannon explains her background in the video below. If you fast forward to 7 minutes she begins to talk about Tiana’s background.


Tiana deals with hardships as an African American woman who is taught that working hard is the only way she will pursue her dreams. When Mr. Finner made that comment about her, that was systemic injustices. That caused Tiana to fall into the category of Otherness. As Simone de Beauvoir explains in her article, Tiana falls into the category not only due to being a woman but also as an African American. Which is an example of intersectional identity, as we talked about in week six.

When watching The Princess and the Frog not many notice that their is racial discrimination because it is systemic injustice. By making this comment, this demonstrates an example of Otherness, which Simone de Beauvoir talks about in The Second Sex “Introduction”.

I think it is important to understand what systemic injustice is because if you pay attention, you will see that it is everywhere just like I notices in my favorite movie “The Princess and the Frog”.