Filed Under (SW9) by Haley Ishimatsu on 25-10-2010

In the article ‘”Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick”: Government Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During WWII’, by Adrienne Niederriter (2009), the author explored how lipstick changed how women expressed themselves during the 1940’s. Red lipstick became a staple for women who were either in the war industry or serving in the military. For these women, the lipstick became the symbol of strength and female sexuality. It allowed them  to show that they were women even though they were doing what was considered a man’s job. Women were encouraged to wear make up and to fix their hair up while on duty. However, they found it hard to keep this routine when the demands of war left little time for the women to care for themselves. Women back in the United states had taken begun to volunteer to be featured as pin-up girls. These photos of these girls were supposed to give the men at war more moral. However, these pictures were controversial because some thought that these pictures were too sexual. Female sexuality was dangerous territory, but it was nonetheless needed. The use of red lipstick allowed women to become more independent in their social lives, and their sexuality (Niederriter, 2009).

The author of this article was able to complete the goals of Writing 20; engaging with the work of others, articulating a position, and situating writing in a specific context. Niederriter engaged in the work of others by finding ads, journals, and letters, from women in the 1940’s and interpreting them, even with decades of separation between these women and the author. She was able to articulate a position by stating that the use of red lipstick allowed women to discover their freedom socially and sexually. Niederriter had written this paper for a specific audience in mind, the modern men and women of today’s world. She was able to get this audience to understand the hardships of the women in the 1940’s and how the lipstick was so much more than just make up.

In another article called ‘Politically Incorrect: Gran Torino and Racial Facades’, by Laurel Burk (2010), the character of Walt Kowalski in the movie “Gran Torino” is analyzed. In today’s society, we are taught to be politically correct, even though we may harbor some prejudice in our hearts. Walt, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. He says many racist comments to his neighbors in the movie, but he ends up befriending the son of the neighbor. He was very politically incorrect on the surface, but held no real grudge in his heart. His actions spoke far louder than words. Walt took the son under his wing and taught him how to fix things and was able to help the son secure a job. In the end, Walt ended up leaving the son his Gran Torino, his most prized possession. Walt represented the exact opposite of how today’s world deals with racism. He did not care if he was politically correct, while people today stress over this all the time (Burk, 2010)

The author of this article was able to work with the goals of Writing 20. Burk was able to engage with the work of others by interpreting the movie “Gran Torino” in terms of racism. She also articualted her position that she believed that in today’s world of being politically correct can be very difficult  to decipher how a person really feels. She was also able to write in the context that she was writing for a fairly general audience and adjusted quotes from the movie accordingly.

In academic writing, all authors have to engage with the work of others. They use this information as evidence to form a position on a particular argument. Also, writers also have to write with specific audiences in mind to effectively get their point across. In my literature review I expected that my audience would have a fairly good background in science. Therefore, used terminology that might not be understood by a broader audience. My literature review would be inappropriate for Deliberations because much of what I wrote would not be understood.

Works Cited

Niederriter, A., (2009), “Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick”: Governement Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During WWII. Deliberations, 4-9

Burk, L., (2010), Politically Incorrect: Gran Torino and Racial Facades. Deliberations, 21-24

Filed Under (SW9) by Lindsay Gaskins on 25-10-2010

In “Politically Incorrect:  Gran Torino and Racial Facades,” Laurel Burk shows readers that in the movie Gran Torino, the character Walt is a good example of a person who on the exterior, seems blatantly racist, though through his actions, he seems to be the complete opposite.  This sparks a discussion on politically correct language in today’s culture.  Burk says that watering down our language when discussing race simply seems to have an inverse effect upon the situation, only making the person seem like they’re trying to cover up their racism instead of trying to be less offensive.  This seeming racism on the inside yet not on the outside has been dubbed de cardio racism, or “racism of the heart.”

Burk then continues with a discussion on the plot of Gran Torino and how Walt’s racial slurs, though shocking to an audience today, are not actually representative of how he is, and in fact, inside, he is not a racist.  Burk uses the movie Gran Torino to structure her paper, first discusses politically correct language today, then following the plot of Gran Torino to show how though at the beginning of the movie, the audience may write off Walt as a complete racist, since we are so unaccustomed to hearing racial slurs, but as we look closer at Walt’s actions, it becomes clear that he is in fact, not what he appears to be.  His neighbors, who are asian, may hear him use a lot of offensive slurs and stereotypes against them, but in the end, he actually takes the teenage boy in the asian family, Tao, under his wing, and in the end, makes the ultimate sacrifice for the family’s well-being and safety.   This shows the audience that Walt is really a “de cardio nonracist.”  Burk not only engages with the movie Gran Torino, but also with other papers on racism and uses these to back up and help articulate her position on racism and being potilically correct in an interesting way.  Burk would present an idea from a paper or the movie, and then interpret it and bring in her own ideas to make it relevant to her paper and tie together her thesis.  It was very well-done and put together.  This piece is well-situated in Deliberations because, like Burk said herself in the little paragraph under her picture, it was tough to strike that balance between what was acceptable to include in a paper such as this, but not being to PC in a paper discussing just that.  Despite this challenge, I think she strikes the perfect balance.  The thing that struck me most about this piece was the way that the author was able to discuss being PC and de cardio racism by simply following along with the plot line of a movie and letting that foster discussion points.  I thought the way she wove that together was masterfully done.

Though my literature review and Burk’s piece were obviously on vastly different topics, there are some very basic similarities.  We both have a thesis, which we develop throughout the piece, and also begin with a sort of introduction at first on the topic to segway into the greater point.  In my case, I gave some background information and examples of damage done by purple loosestrife; in her case, she gave a little background information on the evolution and creation of PC before the segway into Gran Torino.  There are also many differences though, especially since my literature review asks for introduction and research on beetles, whereas her review asks us to consider an aspect of how our culture has evolved.  I don’t quite think my literature review would fit into Deliberations because I wrote it with the intention of it being read by an audience from Frontiers, so I wrote on their level of background knowledge and more towards their interests, whereas the casual reader of Deliberations would be completely overwhelmed by some of the scientific jargon and concepts that I present.

Filed Under (SW9) by Max Castillo on 25-10-2010

In “Politically Incorrect: Gran Torino and Racial Facades”, Laurel Burk takes an interesting look at how politically correct language can have the opposite of its intended effect. The essay opens with an example of a student who is so worried about being PC, she can concentrate on nothing but the racial differences of her peers. By trying to be 100% PC, 100% of the time, the attitudes of the person come off as a facade used to hide their true feelings. To tie into this, Burk then introduces a concept called “racism of the heart” which can be witnessed by the above example; people use PC as to not offend anyone, when they truly feel otherwise. After explaining this concept, Burk then delves into exploring the racism shown in Gran Torino. The main character, Walt, is portrayed as a blatant racist without any consciousness of being PC at all. Towards the end of the movie though, Walt is shown as a case opposite to the idea of “racism at heart”. While Walt is a rampaging racist on the outside, his genuine feelings prove he does not truly feel this way, as seen by his actions at the end of the movie. Because his previous views of racism were obvious, the change Walt undergoes at the end of the movie is seen as authentic, and not one just to be PC.

The author uses a only a few other works besides the movie, which is okay because the situations she was talking about are so obvious in everyday life and speech, examples and researches need not be given. It was really interesting that she used a pseudo-hypothetical situation the start the paper, yet these situations happen everyday. The example works well because it makes the reader wonder how they talk and what they mean on a daily basis (I know now that I constantly debate with myself on whether to say “black” or “african-american”). I believe that hypotheticals should only be used in writing when the situation is apparent in daily life, such as this internal conflict on how PC to be. Unfortunately, not many hypotheticals like this can be used in writing a scientific literature review. However, the overall layout and format of the two papers (this article and our literature review) seem to be relatively similar; both papers took one major example and did a “case study” on it. My use of Wright et al.’s SeaKleen article is comparable to Burk’s use of Gran Torino. Then we both looked for other examples to use to compare and contrast with our primary resource, which in my case was Gregg et al.’s article while she used the hypothetical/”racism of the heart” examples. Both papers seem to be written under a very similar format to argue a thesis, but the methods for using examples differ quite a bit. For example, Burk was allowed to use direct quotes and hypotheticals, while we were not. And in the same vein, aspects of the literature review would be completely foreign to Burk’s work.


In her paper, Politically Incorrect: Gran Torino and Racial Facades, Laurel Burk discusses political correctness in contemporary society and the concept of de cardio racism, or “racism of the heart.” Current society is obsessed with being politically correct in an effort to not offend anyone. However, by trying too hard to not racially offend anyone, people are thinking too hard about racism and are fixated too much on the differences in race. In the end, political correctness will mask the bigotry on the outside, but hide the racism on the inside of people’s hearts. Burk discusses how the opposite is true in the movie Gran Torino. The main character Walt is portrayed as “a full-blown, unrepentant racist.” However, she shows us that in this character does not really have racial hatred in his heart. In the end, Bush states that unfortunately politically correctness causes people to hide what they feel so that racism hides in people’s hearts, making it difficult to determine whether people really think what they say they believe.
The author used a variety of sources to support her chain of thought as the reader was guided through the piece. The main outside source her work engaged with was the movie, Gran Torino, but she included several quotes on people and their beliefs on political correctness. She focuses mainly on the movie itself, but as she summarizes the movie and its themes, Burk weaves in quotes on de cardio racism and studies on the effect of being in a politically correct society. The way this piece of writing was approached felt a bit different from the writing done in our invasive aquatic species class. This piece felt like an analysis of a societal issue and how it relates to another major work, in this case, Gran Torino. The work done in invasive aquatic species, particularly the literature review, took more information from various sources, none of which seemed bigger than the others as did Gran Torino. However, both writing pieces from the two classes still demanded the essential goal of articulating a position with the aid of the compiled information from the sources. The work in the invasive aquatic species class is much more scientific oriented and therefore, requires more solid background research and much more information heavy, while this piece by Laurel Burk is more of an analytical piece with a few sources to back up the analysis/opinion; many of the statements are what one got out of the movie and not pure fact.

Filed Under (SW9) by Shane Stone on 21-10-2010

Laurel Burk’s “Politically Incorrect” is a paper that discusses the effects of political correctness on life and racism in film. She opens the paper with a hypothetical situation that most people face who worry about racism. Personally I have experienced it. She then explains the purpose of political correctness and its affects on society. Next she introduces what I think is one of the most important concepts of the paper, de cardio racism or racism of the heart. This is when someone lives and acts the same towards everyone, but is truly a racist. I like how she introduces this idea, but then juxtaposes it with Gran Torino. In this film, the protagonist, Walt, lives by the opposite of de cardio racism. She explains this and develops her support for her thesis as her summary of the film progresses. I like this because it makes her paper seem like a film as they develop together. In this article, I feel that she does not use the work of others as some of the other articles in Deliberations. A lot of her ideas are original and she mostly cites the movie script. Aside from that, she uses the concept of de cardio racism, which is not her idea. Her position is that political correctness was created to stop racism, but did not work out too well. She focuses on this in the beginning but then moves on to explain things that have been created due to political correctness. As already mentioned, I enjoyed how her paper developed as the summary of the movie progressed. Also, I was particularly pleased when on page 40 I finished a paragraph and had an idea based off what she write. The next sentence stated exactly what I was thinking. Her ability to write what the reader think create a connection with readers and makes readers want to read more because they connect more to author’s ideas.

In Paul Neal Jordan’s “Religious Satire in Hollywood” explains how satire allows for the most honest opinions. In his paper he opens with excerpts from an SNL skit, which shows its use in politics. Then he uses Borat and Saved! to show how movies can use satire to address controversial views and opinions. In his paper, Jordan uses other papers and opinions to support his claims. A lot of the ideas that he suggests are elaborated on with the work of others. Jordan uses historical evidence, the writing of Twain, Voltaire, and Swift, to show that satire has been used throughout history to expose flaws in society and show ridiculousness of some issues. Also, He even uses direct quotes that perfectly match his opinions as seen in the use of a McMorris quote on page 43.  He articulates his position with the title, the highlighted captions throughout the paper, and his use of metaphors and anecdotes. I like a lot in this paper and it was my favorite one of Deliberations. I like him opening with SNL because it starts the paper on a light note and gives the reader an understanding of his position. Also, I like how he uses Borat and Saved! to support his position without summarizing the movies. Some people would summarize the movies and make a brief connection; he did the opposite which is better. Also, the quotes are integrated well and used properly. Additionally, the use of metaphors and anecdotes were appropriate and useful. Being Jewish, I especially appreciate the anecdote about Auschwitz.

Both papers are very different from the Literature Review I wrote because, according to the writing studio, a literature review is a “critical analysis of a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison to prior research.” In their papers, they get to come up with there own ideas and express their opinions with the support of other work. I had to base my opinion based off research and statistics I found and researched. Also, their papers have much more of their insight and point of view, whereas mine was limited to suggested proposed at the end. Overall the papers are similar because we engage in the work of others, articulate a position, and situate writing in specific contexts.