Monthly Archives: April 2017

Gender Representation

In Suzanne Tick’s article “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society”, she argues that designers should focus a critical eye on society’s issues, particularly by promoting acceptance and change through their work. In her opinion, this is the opportune time for designers to start questioning how they incorporate gender sensitivity into their projects. Historically, society is predominantly male-based, so the ideology surrounding many aspects of modern culture is also shaped by masculinity. A good example of this would be men’s domination of the workforce, particularly in upper-level roles. These societal norms are beginning to be challenged, however, by a new wave of feminism. Celebrity speeches, legal adjustments, and increased LGBTQ awareness has helped push society towards a level of higher gender equality and representation. And with this new wave of feminism, comes a blurring of typical gender and sexuality identifying characteristics. Schools and business around the country are beginning to take steps towards greater gender inclusion, regardless of people’s preferences or self-identification. According to Tick, the industry that can take the greatest advantage of these changes, is the design industry. Since styles change so rapidly, the design industry is constantly evolving and adapting in order to match these pressures. Suzanna feels that a lot of social advancement lies on the shoulders of these designers, since they’re one of the first industries to react to societal and structural changes. The design industry needs to create with different human beings in mind, by creating pieces and designs that are respectful to individual needs. By doing this, designers can help create environments in which people can have their own individuality and identify however they feel most comfortable.

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis, 15 Feb.                             2017,           gender-society/. Accessed 27 Apr. 2017.

Modern Day Cinderella

“If the shoe fits, makeup your mind.”

Most teens make a poster, or maybe buy flowers in order to ask their date to prom. However, in Houston TX, a high school junior named Louis proposed the idea of prom to his friend Caitlan by buying her a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes and some makeup from Sephora. The shoes, which retail for about $700, are an expensive gift, especially considering the purchaser is in high school. What made this already spectacular proposal even better would be the word play which Loius used to ask Caitlan. On a plain white posterboard, Louis wrote out in gold letters “If the shoe fits, makeup your mind”. As an avid lover of puns, I immediately thought this was clever. With references to common sayings, Cinderella, and her gift(s), the word play could be reason enough to say “yes” without hesitation. The first part, “if the shoe fits”, originally comes from the saying “if the cap fits” alludes to a fool’s cap and dates from the early 1700s. Some believe that it changed to “shoe” as a result of the fairytale Cinderella*. Here, this is extended to not only include the gift which Louis purchased, but also the formal dance which he is asking her to. Prom is famous for its elaborate dresses and festivities, which closely mirrors Cinderella. The fact that he was able to tie all of this together, whether intentional or not, is commendable. The second part of his proposal, “makeup your mind”, may not have as many cultural references, but is still clever nonetheless. Since he purchased makeup for Caitlan, and he’s asking her to choose him for Prom, his play on “make up” is unmistakeable. Overall, Caitlin’s one lucky high schooler.

Article found on


King Kylie

Kylie Jenner: the famous 19 year-old which has managed to establish worldwide familiarity due to her looks, makeup line, and (most influentially) her family. Little sister to superstar Kim Kardashian, Kylie grew up almost constantly in the public eye. The famous reality television show, Keeping up with the Kardashians, debuted in 2007, when Kylie was only 10 years old. Since then, she has been a consistent topic of celebrity gossip and public recognition, not to mention controversy. It should come as no surprise that the Kardashian/ Jenner clan is often caught-up in scandals centered around their physical appearance, especially considering that many people believe their appearances to be the factor that made them famous to begin with. Most recently, the Jenner princess has caused some debate with one of her instagram pictures. Tom Sykes for wrote an article entitled “Inside Kylie Jenner’s Latest Photoshop Controversy”, where he can be quoted saying “Now however, and not for the first time, comes the utterly shocking suggestion that the fabulous lives of various K-folk as portrayed on social media may not, after all, be peak vérité”. This sentence, which is quite obviously filled with a substantial amount of sarcasm, points fun at the idea that the famous family is involved in another image scandal. The way in which the author delivers this message, however, paints a very specific picture (no pun intended). Tom’s article, which explains that many believe Kylie’s instagram picture (above) is photoshopped, gives both sides of the argument while also pulling in reference to sister Kim’s recent comments around body-shaming. Given the sarcasm in his earlier sentence, it could be perceived that Tom isn’t the biggest fan of the famous reality family, but he does a decent job of showing both sides of the argument, as well as painting Kim in a positive light. Overall, I feel that the bolded sentence above says a lot about the situation and the Kardashians/ Jenners in general. For a family that has such a negative connotation associated to them, they still manage to be the topic of conversation quite a bit. The fact that Tom took his time to write this article at all says a lot. He is also using a somewhat complex sentence structure, and uses words not everyone in middle America may be familiar with (vérité). To me, this suggests that the readers themselves are expected to be of decent intelligence, while also simultaneously being interested in the life of a reality television star. Moreover, I was lead to this article because it was featured on the front page of Google News. So even though there is this underlying distaste for the Kardashian and Jenner franchise, our overall fascination with them seems to ring through much more. It seems as though what people really love is to hate them.

Annotated Bibs 7 & 8

Jayanthi, Akanksha. “The New Look of Diversity in Healthcare: Where We Are and Where We’re        Headed.” Becker’s Hospital Review, 8 Mar. 2016,            management-administration/the-new-look-of-diversity-in-healthcare-where-we-are-and-              where-we-re-headed.html. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

In the article The New Look of Diversity in Healthcare, Akanksha Jayanthi takes a stance on the current structure of diversity within the healthcare system, arguing that current healthcare leadership doesn’t actively reflect those they serve. She explains that while “42% of millennials identify with a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white”, these number aren’t represented when it comes to healthcare. She goes on to explain that the ratio of minority patients to minority board members is extremely disproportional. However, Ms. Jayanthi does show instances where this inequality is changing. Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) has numerous black Americans in leadership positions. What’s most interesting, however, is why companies like CHI are consciously making a shift. According to Jayanthi, millennials are viewing diversity in the workplace as a means to a business outcome, while older generations view diversity as morality. This means that certain health care providers, such as CHI, are pushing diversity not because it’s the “right thing to do”, but because they feel it will genuinely help their business. Another instance of this would be the creation and growing appeal of a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) in the healthcare field. According to Jayanthi, many medical schools and academic medical centers are hiring CDOs, including Yale School of Medicine. The goal of all of this is to create an atmosphere where the patients themselves can better relate to their care providers, which in turn will hopefully facilitate and ease these patients healing process- whatever it may be.

Since my previous sources have covered the topics of diversity and healthcare separately, I wanted a chance to examine these two factors together. Annotated bibliographies 5 & 6 examined the role of diversity in the workplace in general, but did not examine how diversity was represented or interpreted for healthcare. To completely understand George Washington University Hospital’s marketing technique, one must first understand the discourse community within healthcare. Akanksha Jayanthi’s article is a great first step in that direction. She reiterates what I was already starting to gather an understanding of, but it’s good to see this in writing from someone in the healthcare field. Akanksha explains that diversity is lacking, but there are attempts to change this. This stance could be easily extended to encompass GWH’s own website, as well as their YouTube video. What Akanksha does bring to the table, is a new view as to why this slow bridge of the diversity gap is taking place. Previously, when examining the rhetorical situation of GWH and the surrounding area, I didn’t give much thought to the generation(s) which resides and is treated there. As Ms. Jayanthi explains, millennials are now an increasing percentage of those who both work in healthcare, and those who are being treated. This change in generational presence effects the overall mentality of both environments drastically. Now, the mindset and background of this new generation must be taken seriously to accurately meet the needs of both parties (those working and those being treated). Instead of looking at these two groups separately, Akanksha Jayanthi helps shed light on the idea of examining these two together, in order to come up with a more complete and balanced understanding.

King, Meredith. “The Importance of Cultural Diversity in Healthcare | Brainwaves.”                              UVM Continuing and Distance Education, 25 Sept. 2014,            diversity-in-healthcare. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Mededith King’s piece entitled The Importance of Cultural Diversity in Healthcare discusses the importance of including diversity in the healthcare system. Unlike Ms. Jayanthi’s piece, King’s article is not soley based on the importance of diversity in leadership roles. Instead, King looks at diversity in every aspect of healthcare: nursing, speech pathology, physical therapy, radiation therapy, etcetera. According to King, numerous nursing, health, and medical schools are now looking to recruit and hire more people who are part of social/ cultural minorities. The main example which King uses to display this idea of increased diversity is nursing. Traditionally, nurses were middle-aged white woman. Now, however, there is a shift happening. The average age of nurses has increased, yet younger people are increasing joining the nursing profession as well. The amount of racial diversity is increasing, as well as the number of male nurses. Furthermore, the term “cultural competency”, referring to the ability of individuals to assist those of diverse and differing backgrounds. This concept is being taught more and more at academic institutions. But why is any of this important? King’s reason is to reduce health disparities. To her, and her numerous sources, it makes a difference when someone receives health care from an individual that represents them or their experiences.

Although these two sources of mine are extremely similar, they focus on two different aspects of diversity in healthcare. Jayanthi’s article is centered around heathcare’s leadership team, while King’s piece is more centered around the nurses. This is almost a blue collar, white collar comparison, yet it’s easily found that diversity matters on both sides of the spectrum. What I like about King’s piece, and why I ultimately decided to include it, is because I feel that looking at healthcare from a nurse’s standpoint is much more accessible. By this, I mean that although diversity in leadership roles is extremely important, nurses are the ones who have much more direct contact with the patients. The nurses have quite possibly the most face-to-ace contact with the patients, so their representation almost means more to me than the hospital’s leadership. This is not a view I really took prior to reading this article. If I apply this logic to GWU’s website and YouTube video, then GWU actually paints a much more positive picture of diversity. Both the website and video show minorities in nursing roles, which I mentioned, but seemed to overlook the significance of, before. King’s article sheds light to how important and evident that growing diversity is.

The Commonplace of GW Hospital


The George Washington University Hospital posted the above video on their YouTube channel to provide a short explanation of their hospital for prospective and current patients and their friends/family.  The video, posted on July 16, 2013, shows clips of the surrounding city of DC, as well as dramatizations of surgeries and patient/doctor interactions. The most interesting to note for our purposes, however, is the use of diversity in this “ad” (or lack thereof). My original essay, centered around the racial inclusion of GW Hospital’s website can be easily extended to encompass how GW Hospital represents themselves on other platforms. To be completely fair, it must be noted that this video was produced about 4 years ago, while the website is updated regularly, so the comparison is not completely 1:1. Yet, this video is the only one which GWH has released that could be taken as an overall ad for the hospital, so they haven’t felt a need to change their representation. As for content, this video does include some minorities- but barely. There are three different clips which show woman of color assisting in a medically professional role. However, the majority of people in these clips are white. Those in roles of highest prestige (the main doctors/surgeons), are white males. This closely represents the image which GWH gave off on their website. Even all of the patients being treated are white. The woman of color (there’s also possibly an asian woman featured but it’s difficult to tell) are assisting the doctor(s). It seems that the overall message from this video is to focus on the excellence of the health care provided, rather than the inclusivity of the staff and patients. This is neither “good” not “bad”, just an observation. Its also important to note that there is some attempt at inclusion- this video is not simply black and white (no pun intended).

Annotated Bibliographies 5 & 6

Ingram, David. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Diversity in Workplace.” Chron.comHearst,          2017,          Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

In Advantages and Disadvantages of Diversity in the Workplace, David Ingram explains that there are two main positives and two main negatives of having a culturally diverse workforce. In order to understand what these advantages and disadvantages are, Mr. Ingram begins by explaining that diversity in the workplace references employees with different “national origin, primary language, religion, social status and age”. According to Mr. Ingram, the two advantages of having a diverse workforce would be diverse experience and learning & growth. For David Ingram, a diverse experience benefits companies with the ability to pool together the diverse knowledge and skills of various workers. This collection of knowledge, in turn, strengthens workers’ productivity and responsiveness to changing social and economic conditions. The benefit of learning and growth coincides directly with experience, especially with the understanding that exposing people with different backgrounds to one another enables them to learn from each other’s experiences. However, this exposure also leads to the negative aspects of workplace diversity- namely the inability to embrace or accept others’ differences. David Ingram refers to these negatives as communication and integration issues. He says that although these differing backgrounds can lead to a larger base of knowledge for problem-solving, it can also polarize and segregate people is they are unwilling or unable to expand their knowledge base.

For the two sources used for annotated bibliographies 5&6, I wanted to expand on the primary argument of my initial essay- which was diversification on George Washington University Hospital’s website. Therefore, these two sources don’t directly reference GWU Hospital, but rather the issues that I’m using the Hospital’s website to address. In order for this to work, diversification must be examined on a cultural and economic level. Basically, I’m saying that for the answer of “4” to matter, we must examine “2+2”. In this instance, one of those 2’s is diversification in the workplace, or diversification on the economic level. GW Hospital showing a diverse staff working at their health-care facility is only of importance if it is deemed by the discourse community that diversity matters. That’s where David Ingram’s short article comes in. Here, David is explaining both the positives and negatives associated to workplace diversification. However, the very fact that he wrote this article means that there is a mutual societal interest in the topic, aka diversification matters one way or another. I wanted an article that talked about both the good and bad repercussions of diversification, because I don’t want this argument to seem one-sided or uneducated. It cannot be completely ruled out that GW Hospital might willing choose not to show diversification with good reason.  

Vinjamuri, David. “Diversity In Advertising Is Good Marketing.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 11 Dec.      2015,            Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.

David Vinjamuri wrote an article for Forbes magazine about how diversity in marketing is beneficial to both the company and consumer. This article, conveniently entitled Diversity In Advertising Is Good Marketing, has a very basic premise behind it: we are more likely to identify with someone that looks like us. David Vinjamuri explains that human beings are more attracted to people who look similar to them, and this similarity encompasses physical appearance, attitudes, and subtle cues. The entire premise behind an ad is to get someone to want to buy the product, and Mr. Vinjamuri says this is most easily done when the consumer can see themselves using that product. It goes almost without saying that the best way for a random individual to see themselves using a product, would be if the represented consumer looked and/ or acted as they do. Diversification in advertisements and marketing helps reach a wider range of consumers, since everyone looks and acts differently. However, according to Vinjamuri, diverse marketing still has a long way to go to be truly encompassing of America’s population.

Since the conversation of diversity in the workplace has already been addressed, the flip side of that coin, or the presence/ importance of diversity in marketing, must also be brought to light. As discussed above, for my argument of GW Hospital’s inclusion (or exclusion) of diversity to matter on their website, I must first prove that diversity matters both on the producer and the consumer sides of the spectrum. Since the presence of diversity in the workplaces encompasses the economic side of the argument, what is left is the social side. Unlike for source #5 however, I did not choose an article that discussed both the positives and negatives of diversity in advertising. In this circumstance, I felt that was unnecessary. Instead, I wanted to focus on what exactly could be gained by using diversity in marketing, since the alternative would be to simply continue on with the status quo. My argument, brought down to its core, is centered around the idea that GW is not being as diverse as they could be, and that is bad. In order for their lack of diversity to be “bad”, the consumer must come a viewpoint that they want to see diversity in marketing (otherwise there would be no foundation to build an argument on). Mr. Vinjamuri’s article is filled with fairly elementary information, yet it’s important to understand. He’s saying that an individual wants to see diversification because it is easier to empathise and relate to, and relating to an ad is the basis behind successfully selling a product or service.


Commonplace 11

Part 1)

This is a sign which appears on the outside door of a bathroom located on American University’s campus. (From what Professor Hoskins has told the class, this bathroom is located in an area where many faculty and visiting benefactors/ alumni conduct business). The specific location of this sign is an indication of the type of audience which AU is trying to reach- and therefore also a direct indication of the message they’re trying to get across. The sign reads clearly, explaining that the bathroom is to be used by everyone, regardless of gender identity. But what does this mean in terms of context and situation? AU is known as a liberal college, and this sign definitely falls in line with that mindset. Gender-neutral bathrooms have been a big topic in the news lately, with various elected officials stating very different viewpoints on the topic. By displaying this sign, AU is not only establishing itself as a socially liberal space, but they are also aligning themselves with politicians and laws that hold the same view. By design, this alignment is simultaneously distancing AU with politicians/ laws that hold opposing views. It would be fair to say that this sign goes far beyond simply defining bathroom use. The appearance of this sign suggests that AU knows those seeing it are aware with the current political and social scene, and anticipate how those people feel. Since this is located in an area where donors and important/ influential people of the AU community engage, it would be accurate to assume that AU is displaying something that not only holds their own views, but also what they anticipate the views of those important people to be.

Part 2)

“Shall property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

Root: shall property continue

Key words: University system, college, university, continue, exempt, taxation, affordable

Rhetorical Analysis: As the key words above point out, I think the main takeaway from this sentence is continued taxation exemption upon college to remain affordable. Two huge issues in politics right now are affordable higher education and taxation rates upon high-earning individuals and businesses. This sentence raises a question which could definitely raise quite a bit of debate. However, this sentence is very strategic in its worded. If the last four words were removed (to keep costs affordable), then many peoples’ answer would most likely be very different. Without context, the idea of a person or business avoiding taxes is very unappealing. Yet, the addition of affordability changes the rhetorical situation quite a bit. Suddenly this is no longer a simple “yes” or “no” question. Its also interesting how the sentences contains the word “continued”. This establishes that the university has been practicing this action previously, which adds an element of seniority- the same way firing an established employee is very different than firing a new one. By adding “continued”, the fact that the action existed previously is also brought into question. To end it now would also be challenging the fact that it was ever in place. This question is like the adult version of a child asking their father something like “Can I keep having fun with my friends even though I have to clean my room, because mom said I could?”. The sentence from the Georgia Referendum to amend the State Constitution is establishing the fact that this action has been going on, and it has been accepted, and there’s a decent reason that its been going on.