Category Archives: Politics

Anti-Sexist Advertisement

My blog is traditionally a curation of my work, I also use it as a place to discuss things that concern me as a woman, an artist and a human being. Today I want to talk about sex(ism). Its rampant, despite the fact that this is 2017, sexism is everywhere. I experience it on a personal level as well as see people fall prey to it on a daily basis. I am here to tell you that we have had it. The idea of a perfect body, perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect smell, perfect image is false and absurd because we live in an imperfect world and without chaos, nature could not actually do its thing… However though this chaos comes order, and with this order comes imperfect perfection in all things.

Advertisements spread the cancer of sexism like Coca Cola sells high-fructose corn syrup. It is perpetuated with an idea of beauty that simply isn’t real and fueled by capitalism. Let me let you in on a secret, all bodies are good bodies. Period. Here is another secret, we are all human beings. We all poop, have body hair, experience pain and love and so on. Men have nipples because all babies are formed in the womb with the intention of becoming female, it’s not until later, when the sex organs develop that it is decided if those nipples will eventually become breasts. We are all feminine and we are all masculine, and however you feel the most comfortable is where you are meant to be.

In discussing body hair and advertising, here is a lesson on why and when women began shaving their armpits:

It wasn’t until 1915 that American women began shaving under their arms. The reason they did so was directly related to advertising! The sleeveless dress made its debut in the fashion world in a Harper’s Bazaar ad. Modern dancing and sleeveless dresses made objectionable hair out! And then of course, a flood of anti-armpit hair ads followed. Before long, being hairless was a thing and body hair (being human) was something to be embarrassed about. It was also was another way for marketeers to tell women how to feel about their bodies, and people got rich because of it. The idea that someone profits off of our insecurities makes me sick to my stomach, never should there be profits made on someones pain.

Lets take this a step further, what if there were no rules? What if advertising welcomed all types of people.

This is my anti-sexism advertisement.

 

 

 

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Tiny Vignettes of Life

In continuation with my series of intimate portraits of plant life, I’ve titled this piece Tiny Vignettes of Life because I feel it is important, especially in the current political climate, to hold onto ones own humanity. This photo could be a tiny vignette into any one person’s day. Maybe while doing laundry on a rainy day in November, the way the light falls on drying plant hanging in a window catches your eye, so you take note. In fact, I was doing laundry, and the light did catch my eye, but it was January in Chicago, and snow had now been replaced by rain, even thunder storms. During a time when climate change is denied,  our education system on the verge of being privatized, the very real possibility of the DAPL being constructed, our civil rights at stake; loving our neighbor and embracing our empathy as intelligent beings has never been more crucial.

In this fast changing world, holding onto the moments that make me feel human have helped manage the stress of what is potentially to come. Cooking a communal meal, observing the light and how it falls on an object, participating in good conversation, watering my plants and reading are rituals of living. What are some of your rituals? What makes you feel human?

I’m interested in what you have to say. Please send stories of your human experience to courtney@courtneypenzato.com.

 

Ting Vignettes of Life

 

 

 

 

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Show Your Support for COD Faculty!!!!!

The College of Dupage is one of the best educations you can get on a community college dollar. The photo lab has been like a second home to me for years. Being able to utilize the space there has helped propel my work faster and much more efficiently, than if I was relying on my own dollar and space to create and develop my work. The faculty that I have come to know and love so much in the photo department, have helped me improve my skills and knowledge of my craft, I owe a lot of what I know to them (you know who you are) I am publicly thanking you now. But my thanks goes beyond the photo department, every teacher I have ever had has taught me something, I had and have strong relationships with almost all of them.

Some time ago, I was sad to learn that the COD faculty have been without a contract for some time, and I was even more sad to find out that the administration wants to cut the full-time faculty, who have a lab component as part of their curriculum in half, during that lab time. The administration is under the assumption that lab is not lecture, and therefore less deserving of the full salary an english or math teacher would receive. As a student who rely’s a lot on that lab time, and the teacher assistance that comes with it, this upsets me quite a bit. If it were not for those teachers taking the time during those lab hours to work with me one on one, I would know half of what I know about photography. Is it true I taught myself a lot, well yes, but that’s only half, if that, of what I know.

Let me break down the domino effect; if full-time staff only made half of their salary during lab hours they would have to take on more classes to make up the difference, therefore having less time to interact with students one on one. Then there would be less classes available for adjunct (part-time) faculty, so thats means potentially less classes offered but most certainly less instructor variation. But wait… there’s more… (as Jeff Curto would say)

The administration is using the COD website as an outlet, and is slandering the faculty. They have been publicly and privately asked to take the comments off of the website, but regretfully voted against it at this months board meeting.

Quote from the COD website: “College of DuPage does not believe the demands on an instructor overseeing an activity class, such as a drawing studio lab, are equal to the demands on an instructor teaching traditional lecture courses. “

Quote from Joe Collins, COD’s Executive Vice President, when talking about “studio classes”: “There’s no prep, no outside grading — other than he finally grades whatever the drawing is that they do”

It is truly an outrage, and I take these comments very personally, as someone who rely’s on those labs to learn.

So, in response, the faculty scheduled a rally on April 19th before this months board meeting. They had quite a lot of student support. However, apparently we as students can’t think for ourselves, because according to the Board Chairman, David Carlin, the faculty is coercing, threatening, and manipulating us for support. He went as far to say that our grades were being threatened. He also stated that by organizing a rally, and spreading the truth about the slander against the faculty is somehow manipulation? What happened to taking a stand against wrong doing? People have the right to congregate and protest what they don’t believe in. I was livid, how dare he insult our intelligence like that? As if we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, and treating us as if we are cattle being lead to slaughter. We pay the tuition, we help make all these new renovations possible. We are much more important to the College of DuPage than the board is making us out to be, and perhaps willing to admit.

I am so furious, I am preparing a speech for next months meeting. I was born and raised in Glen Ellyn, I am also a student. Mr. Carlin wants a community opinion, he is going to get it.

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Love Your Boobies!!! Support Planned Parenthood!!!

Normally, I would never use my photo blog to voice my opinions on politics. This blog is dedicated to my photographic work that I create on an everyday level, as opposed to work that may be selected for my website exclusively. But this is just absurd.

Susan G. Komen, has released plans to cut off all funding support for Planned Parenthood as of the first of the year. May I mention, that the funding designated for Planned Parenthood are solely for the use of breast cancer screenings. They are claiming that Planned Parenthood is misusing the funds provided by the Komen Foundation. However, right-wing congressman, Cliff Sterns is against Planned Parenthood simply because he is pro-life and is leading this bullshit investigation. He is also wasting our tax dollars in the process! Now I ask, what the fuck does abortion and breast cancer have to do with each other???

I take personal offense to this choice, because I am a 28-year-old woman without health insurance, and places like Planned Parenthood make it possible for women like me to keep up on my female health. Last year alone, Planned Parenthood was responsible for over 700,000 breast cancer screenings. That is a lot of women who will be unable to get regular breast cancer screenings, and may become more susceptible to breast cancer in the future. That is a devastating thought, especially because a foundation that devotes its life to ending breast cancer is the cause of such devastation.

What is even more outrageous, is that pro-life supporters consider this a victory! So, I pose this question, how is it that groups who claim to be “pro-life” are celebrating that over 700,000 women will go without breast exams, and because of it, are more likely to die of breast cancer??? This is a fact that has been stated by the Cancer Association of America. So, clearly they only care about the death of a fetus, and not the death of a woman without health insurance. See, I think that is fucked up, and it doesn’t make any sense. Either be 100 percent pro-life or don’t. Sorry assholes, life is life, whether it’s a fetus or a Latino women, or a 28-year-old white woman, like me. It has no fucking race or color. But these right-wing groups seem to be really good at putting all of us in our own little place. And they claim to know sooooo much about what Planned Parenthood is about, in quoting a republican senator from Arizona “You don’t go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol checked, but you do go there to get an abortion. Which is well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” When the fact of the matter is, abortions make up about 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood offers as a whole. Moron!!!

So, having that said, love your boobies, and support Planned Parenthood in this inexplicable decision to leave low-income women out in the cold. To see more on this story, visit http://www.democracynow.org.

Yours Truly

The Lens Baby