Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Handi- and you just don't know it

Do you know how many Americans have a disability? One in Five. Yes, one in five. But you might not have known that because of how society sometimes labels disability - an easy to see, physical handicap you are born with. Or maybe a broken leg. But actually there's a lot more to it than that.

Now it's time for a little personal experience, how exciting.
Last year I had stomach surgery. I was given strict orders from my doctor to not walk certain distances at one time (seriously, I was given a 600 feet restriction) and under no circumstances for the next three months was I to lift anything remotely heavy or walk upstairs. How easy this was for a college student with a backpack who gets to climb up mountains of stairs just to get to campus! How easy for anyone. So I was given a doctor's note and went to the Utah DMV and filled out plenty of paperwork to get a limited-time disability parking pass.
Everyday I drove on campus and had to show the guards my ID and my pass, and most of the time they eyed me wearily because >GASP
This went on for weeks and I got used to their glaring. One day Lance was with me and the guards threw a fit because of course we were both faking (People with disabilities can't have friends! Let a lone a fiance who drives them to school) and Lance got pissed. What Lance said to the guy was good enough for me, so we'll let that one pass.
Then one lovely day the university police were cruisin' around and saw me park and get out of my car and walk looking seemingly normal (minus the slight gimpish walking because you'd be surprised how many muscles you use in your stomach while moving your legs). The cruiser guy then got out of his police-looking car (which he left in the middle of the road) and chased me down. Seriously. He immediately accused me of faking and demands to see my parking permit.
Really dude?
While fuming, I showed him my disability pass, ID and doctor's note (which I luckily had with me) before he left.

So... what do you think? Have you ever seen someone park on campus and loathe them? Think, why the heck do they get to park up here, they don't look disabled. I did and sometimes still do. But I should know, maybe disabilities aren't always visible, huh. The first step to changing how disability is portrayed in the media is changing how we see and react to it in real life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

disabilities in the media

How often do you see people with disabilities in the media? Whether it be Down syndrome, someone in a wheelchair, blind or deafness, or ... dyslexia?

In a group discussion the other day, many people expressed why they don't think disability is shown as much in the media. 1) because it seems unnatural or like the media are exploiting them 2) the media just doesn't know how to get it right so they avoid the topic.

But what about in your personal experiences? What do you think? It's kind of a sensitive topic, yah? Do you find yourself avoiding those with disabilities? Walking on the other side of the aisle in a store so you don't have to make eye contact? Have you ever not known what to say, so you just don't say anything at all?

I have to say I used to be like that. But I'm getting better. A little boy who is two years old, three in October, changed that in me. And I am incredibly grateful to him and his family. Now when I see someone who is different from me I immediately think of all the people who love them, because I am someone who loves someone just like them. I can relive and transfer all of those feelings pretty easily. I think of all the amazing things that that person has done. And really, I think how amazing they are and blessed I am to meet them.

I want to see more videos in the media like this:

Please, take a second and share. What do you think?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Defending the faith online

(Lance posted this on our personal blog, and by personal I mean the blog I update that has mine and Lance's name on it. I thought it applied beautifully to the concept of this media analyzing blog, so I've re-posted it for your reading pleasure)

This is Lance...

I know I haven't made any posts, well ever, but better late than never. One disclaimer before I launch into my two cents: My thoughts will not match the "cute" decor of this blog.

Yesterday in class a discussion was started about defending the Church online in forums or comment sections of news articles. I was surprised to hear from many well educated university students that they were hesitant to respond to ignorant or slanderous comments. Either because they didn't know what to say or were afraid it wouldn't do any good. I have been thinking about this for ever since the class and this is my delayed response:

Our response to such negative comments is essential. It may seem that our comments don't do any good, but they do. I learned something in my marketing class which I think can apply. When it comes to marketing products there is a love group, a hate group and a swing group on which we can focus. In regards the the Church, the love group consists of members and those who know the Church well. The hate group consists mostly of bitter ex-communicated members and anti-Mormons. But the majority of people fall into the swing category- these people know little to nothing about the Church and have neutral feelings about who we are. Marketing strategy suggests ignoring the hate group because focusing on these people will produce minimal results and ultimately end as a waste of energy. Ideally what a marketer does is sell to the swing group through the eyes of the love group.

So how does this apply to online forums and comment sections?

Responding to the hate group is crucial because the swing group reads the conversation. When a rude, slanderous or inaccurate comment is made about the Church online we need to respond, not to slam the original comment, but to present the truth for others who will read the thread. If we don't respond those in the swing group we will be left with nothing but venomous misinformation. Many will mistake this as truth.

I work with chat so I've come across many who seek to slam the Church. Here are a few suggestions on how to respond:

1- Never get sucked into an emotional debate - if you lose your cool you will start to fight the hater and this never really represents the Church well

2- Take time to ponder your response - Back up what you say with logic, history, or scripture in a calm, factual, clear way. This may not work for the person you are responding to but you're not trying to convince that person anyway.

3 - Always be nice no matter how rude the opposition is - this is hard but so effective. When we are constantly nice to those who demonize us those watching the debate are touched by our love.

Well that's about all I got. Next time you see something online don't be afraid to stick up for the Church. Hopefully my thoughts are helpful.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

generic language

Are you offended by "male generic language?"

Like spokesman, policeman, fireman, mankind, etc

Personally, I think when you remember (which should be always but I'm forgiving) it should be spokesperson. Or police officer. Or fire fighter. But I'm not necessarily going to lecture someone for offending me and all women if they accidentally scream, "hey, would you please help me, I would like to be in contact with a fireman because my house happens to be on fire." Those screamers they just can't help it.

I recently read about a woman who took her husband's last name and added it to hers, and he did the same.

For example, if I were to use my maiden name and married last name (which I do)
Keri Lunt-Stevens

and if Lance were to do the same
Lance Stevens-Lunt

Is it just me or is that little weird? Do you think its sexist that the woman takes the man's last name? Or is sometimes referred to as MRS. Lance Stevens?

I guess I'm just "old fashioned." You?

Monday, March 21, 2011

the hunger banquet

This weekend = The Hunger Banquet = a chance to donate $10 to most likely sit on the ground and eat cold beans and rice BUT you pay it just in case you are lucky enough to be one of the few who gets to sit at a table and be catered to, or even sit in the back and enjoy pizza. The Hunger Banquet is a BYU sponsored event that gives people the opportunity to eat based on what income level they are randomly assigned, while watching performances and listening to guest speakers raise awareness about poverty. That $10 I mentioned earlier went to one of three charities, my choice. But of course, I was one of the lucky ones to score a seat on the ground, like just about everybody else in the room.

I know we were randomly assigned and the whole thing was supposed to make those on the floor realize what like 70% of the world is like, be happy your real life isn't like this all the time, and be jealous of the upper class sitting at tables being catered to. The "upper class" tables were supposed to realize how lucky they are as they enjoyed delicious food and clean water and saw that most people were on the floor eating crap. I know that was the purpose, but I didn't want to sit on the ground. I admit, I was pretty jealous of the "upper class" and I was starving. And I paid $10. So, just like in the real world of social class, Lance and I easily changed that. We snuck back outside, got in line again and did so until we got seated at the "upper class" table because that is how easy it is to move up in the world people.

Just kidding. It isn't that easy to just "move up" in social class or economic, education and social circumstances, like some may think. I've said it before, I believe in the American Dream. But I don't believe it's easy or even possible for everyone. Below is the food I ate. And guess what, it was probably about five times as big a portion as it should've been. And the brown water? Yeah, cocoa. So yes, you could say the Hunger Banquet fulfilled it's purpose and made me feel grateful for clean water and good food, among other things. But feeling grateful isn't enough, what have I done since then except feel lucky to be in such sweet circumstances, and feel bad for those who aren't?

Have you ever considered how much you have?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


To my girls, do you have to travel around the world to find yourself?

Or make every mistake to have life experiences?

Because of a good friend's suggestion, I'm reading "Eat, Pray, Love." To be honest, I was pretty uninterested in the beginning because the chick in the book is like: "I need to discover myself, so I am going to divorce my husband because having a family is too traditional and something that is traditional can't be right because it's not exciting enough, and I should travel the world to find what life is about and probably worship yoga and other oddities because that makes me unique. Oh and have an affair and be emotionally unstable because it proves I'm passionate."

Who taught this girl these things? Does the media teach us to have unrealistic expectations? After watching a movie, do you feel better or worse about yourself? What about after flipping through a fashion magazine? Do you feel like if you aren't Photoshop beautiful, in love with someone who brings you flowers everyday and keeps a journal of the witty things you say but isn't clingy and loves your mom and rainbows and babies, than you are failing in life?

I just finished the book today, and have my own opinions on the book now, but want some reader (or movie watcher) feedback. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

pink is for girls... right?

Let's take a short quiz slash perform a teensy experiment. Look at the following pics.

Did you think the first one was a girls room? The second a boys? The third, who knows? Why?

Who teaches us blue is for boys and pink is for girls? (and yellow is for neutral babies) Does it make a man less manly to wear pink? I'd say it does more so (to some people) than it does for a girl to wear blue. But still, who decided that?

Please imagine there is a short clip pasted here from "The Office" season 3. The one where the new girl from Stanford brings in her baby and Pam says "she is so cute." And then the chick is offended because the baby wrapped in pink is actually a little boy who's favorite color happens to be pink. But screw hulu for not letting me post, so just imagine it k.

Continuing on, man in pink.

Does it weird you out when a guy wears pink? You might say no. But even if it doesn't bother you, do you do register at all 1) Hey that guy is wearing pink 2) That's a little weird, but whatever 3) Omg he is so confident and self assured to be wearing that omg so sexy 4) FAG. Yeah, you probably do. But I bet that doesn't happen when he wears green, blue or black. Growing up we're taught from before we are even born what our gender roles in. Just look at baby clothes, accessories, toys and decorations. Babies are even color coded on their way home from the hospital in little blue or pink beanies.

I'm fine with that. I'm fine with mom's buying pink blankets and binkies and dolls for their girls, and blue pajamas and trucks and balls for boys. But it does bother me when, see above BYU shirt photo, it gets out of control. Really? Why does BYU Bookstore make/provide pink BYU shirts? BYU's colors are blue and white. Not pink. I don't see any pink shirts in the boys sections. Call me weird, but I think this is a little gender stereotypical. I don't care if some girls like pink better or if pink is for girls and blue is for boys, BYU's colors are not pink. So please don't make this ugly shirt anymore. Thanks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

are you racist?

Are you racist?

The University of Washington, University of Virginia, Harvard University, and Yale University think they've put together a test to help you figure that out.

Visit this link and click the "I wish to proceed" at the bottom. Select the "Race IAT" from the list, and run through the test.

(sorry my computer sucks, you're going to have to actually copy and paste this into your own url. I know, so time consuming)

I took the test. Apparently I have "a slight automatic preference for African American compared to European American."

Whatever that means. Who thinks these actually work? Clicking a key too slow reveals the truth about me! Who would've thought. I can honestly tell you I am not racist because of what I see on TV or in the media. I'm racist because of experience (just like girls are sexist because "all guys are jerks" and guys are because sexist because "all girls suck at driving" and all Irish people are stubborn because I've met two, and all white people are obese and rich because that's what's on TV, and all black people love fried chicken and watermelon because I don't know why)

racism/sexism = stereotyping with little actual knowledge = stupidity

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Just a little housekeeping, after two weeks of posting and only seven posts, this blog has seen 167 page views, 11 comments and 8 followers. The most views, thus far, go to "black and white."
Do I have to say "bitch" in a post to get people to read it?

I was reading something yesterday about voting but it applied to journalism, blogging and just the media in general, I thought.
I won't say it as good, but it went a little something like this:

Read, but don't comment
Disagree, but don't tell anyone
Have an idea of how to make it better, but keep it to yourself
And definitely don't, DON'T, vote

Or comment on this blog. Haha now I realize to some extent if I wrote good content it would appeal to more commenters etc. I take responsibility of that. But I also realize there are 167 viewers and despite them being unique hits or return readers, many are not commenting.
I'd appreciate your opinion on what we're talking about here. So just a little plug for me and my blog, tell us what you think!

Monday, March 7, 2011

following the Facebook chatter

I know, I know, two BYU basketball posts one right after another. This is just me shedding a little bit of light on how I use the media. This is a Facebook conversation I had last week with people I don't know! It all started when someone posted something (negative and uninformed) about BYU basketball and the hot topic Honor Code on a mutual friend's page.. and this isn't even half of it. And yes, you're right, I had to join in. I am amazed, daily, about what people say online. I wonder if people talk the same way when they are face to face as they do online, or if the media has created a wall for people to hide behind. What do you think?

Hutch Hillebert
I agree that there is CONSEQUENCE'S in life, but not getting kicked off a team. There has been several other ATHLETE's that broke the code and it was covered UP.. HINT stunt for BYU.. And if this athlete was all they had and with out this young man they are going to be out of the championship thats crazy.
March 3 at 8:12pm · LikeUnlike

Hutch Hillebert
Plus, if you really read the Honor Code half the campus should be expelled.
March 3 at 8:14pm · Like

Hutch Hillebert
I understand the Honor Code trust me, I have myself raised my right hand to a few Codes. I live by them! And one is to PROTECT the right of the American citizens, so that we can have these talks. FREEDOM of......... I think we can take the talk off line some day, because the press understands the Church more than the Church wants them too I think.

Willie Hamblin
He made a mistake not like he killed someone. The kid was honest and got kicked off the team. What they did isn't going to help the kid in any way with his problems. I don't think it hurt the chances of a championship in any way cuz they had no shot anyway.
March 3 at 9:08pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Keri Lunt Stevens
This has all been very hilarious. Just curious, do any of these comment-ers even go to BYU? Or do they just like to knock on something they don't understand? You don't have to agree with it but you could at least respect that some are trying to live it and that the school has enough integrity to hold everyone accountable, even if we don't like the outcome of Davies CHOICE. But in life, everything has consequences, some not as open as others, but hey, he knew what he was doing and what was at stake when he did it.See More
March 3 at 9:33pm · LikeUnlike

Willie Hamblin all thats going to do is teach kids to lie to stay out of trouble because if there honest there worse off.
March 3 at 9:35pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...

Hutch Hillebert
Knock something we don't understand....???? I don't agree with it, because like I said they need to treat all their students the same. That's not being done though.
March 3 at 9:40pm · LikeUnlike

David E. Elmer
I got kicked out of Byu approved housing for being honest about stuff.... all the closet porn addicts down the hall stayed.... the alcoholics down the hall lied, and stayed. I understand the policies of BYU, and like I said before, I understand that they only apply them to athletes if they get caught publicly. The biggest pervert I've ever met was on their dance team.
March 3 at 9:42pm · LikeUnlike

Mark A. Wilson
Well, as someone who once was living that honor code, and became disillusioned with those around me who lied when confronted, I think that institution of learning (I can't include "higher") needs to crack down on ALL students, not just some.... It's nice to see _some_ athletes are being scrutinized, but there are many more that need to be disciplined, IMO. Being honest is of part of the code, but there are plenty of liars still on the campus! The best thing I ever did was transfer to a real university!!!
Regardless, I think, if this denies BuY a trophy, it was worth it!!! I wish I could have seen the UNM beat BuY the other night!!! It looks like it was a great game for the Lobos (who are now my favorite team...until they play UU)!!!See More
Friday at 4:47am · LikeUnlike

Keri Lunt Stevens
First of all, I guess I don't understand why everyone is all upset about someone getting disciplined for doing something wrong even if they were "honest" about it. That doesn't erase that what he did was wrong.. if that was the case no one would ever lie. Wouldn't that be great, you could steal something but as long as you are HONEST about it, you're free! haha.
Friday at 12:23pm · Like

Amanda Nicoll Bedford
I know lots of guys who played for there football team and broke the code every weekend and saw it first hand. I think if they crack down on one they need to crack down on all of them. I don't agree with it. I understand it but I feel bad for the kid he was being honest and trying to do whats right and he got slap in the face while there is SO MANY more kids out there doing the same.
Saturday at 1:55pm · LikeUnlike

Keri Lunt Stevens
how would you suggest they "crack down on all of them?" it's called the honor code because it's on your honor. Unless they admit or get caught, a lot goes unnoticed. It sucks, but it's not like BYU is turning a blind eye or playing favorites.
Saturday at 2:49pm · LikeUnlike

Tyler K Elmer
Keri hit the nail on the head. Just like a bishop isn't going to grill you in his office. You can either tell the truth or lie. Kudos to the kid for getting his priorities in line and coming clean, and kudos to the Unitversity (kills me to say it) for enforcing rules on a starting player.
Saturday at 7:47pm · UnlikeLike · 1 person

Friday, March 4, 2011

the HONOR code

I don't know what Brandon Davies did, nor do I care to know. He did something wrong, he admitted to it, and the Honor Code office decided it was big enough to suspend him from the BYU basketball team and maybe even the university. That's the nature of the Honor Code, and what I feel the nature of life should be. We do something wrong, we admit to it, and though being honest is definitely the best policy, we get the (sometimes negative) consequence.
Anyway, the point of this post is, how the media dealt with it. If you don't know what I mean, google Brandon Davies. Or Davies' girlfriend. Or even BYU basketball, you'll find it covers the page. You'll probably learn that most sources are saying Davies was kicked off for violating the Honor Code due to having premarital sex. Many of those articles' source: The Salt Lake Tribune. Want to know the source the Salt Lake Tribune used? Wait a minute, they didn't use one.

"Provo • BYU center Brandon Davies was suspended from the Cougars’ nationally ranked team for the remainder of the season because he violated the school’s honor code provision that prohibits premarital sex, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned." Read Here.

First of all, The Salt Lake Tribune learned? Lame. Second, does that say he HAD premarital sex, or that he violated the school's honor code THAT prohibits premarital sex (as well as cheating, having a beard, wearing immodest clothes, drinking, drugs etc) and the Trib just happened to leave those out? Subtle, isn't it. How do we feel about this? Does this make anyone lose trust in the media?
Anyway. The guy did something wrong. He signed the Honor Code, like we all have, and he knew what was at stake when he did it. He also knew he was a public figure on campus and apparently to the world, so him violating the Honor Code has more severe repercussions than say, if I did. Right? Because who cares if I do? I'll just get kicked out of school. But if he does, the whole world knows about it. So though he knew what he was doing, I still feel bad for the guy since the whole world knows about it too. And yeah, a lot of people probably break the Honor Code here at BYU and don't get kicked out. That's because it's called the HONOR code, you know, on your honor.

Side note: to the haters of BYU and the Honor Code, that's cool, go rot in ... haha just kidding, take a joke. But really, think about it before bashing what you obviously don't understand. BYU is not punishing Davies for being honest, BYU is punishing Davies for doing something wrong. If all you had to do was tell the truth when you did something wrong and you'd be set free, no one would ever lie.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

black and white

I don't care if you think I'm racist, because I'm not. Nor have I forgotten about slavery, or the Civil Rights era etc. I have a lot of respect for people who have been discriminated against, and even worse, been inflicted with violence, because of something as trivial as race or gender, and made it through "being the better person" even though it SUCKED. But I do have a point to make, and I just have to say it blows my mind that people get so offended by the "Nigger" word (even I feel uncomfortable typing it) but nobody bats an eyelash at the (much easier to type) "Bitch" word? Hmmm.. When did racism become more important than sexism? I'm not really one to say (or think of someone) as either word, because to me both are equally offensive and have plenty of connotations and hurt feelings attached to them. But I can't say I'm particularly "sensitive" to the all of the "anti-prejudice" needs of some of the black rappers who refer to women as "bitches" (white rappers, and a-whole-heck of a lot of other people do it too, I know) but then get PISSED if a white person even thinks the N-word. If you call me and other women a bitch I should be able to call you, and my "homies" when I'm joking around, whatever the heck I want, whether it be the N-word or the "spik, gringo or cracker" word, right? Not so (or just) "black and white" now is it (what a funny use of that cliche)? Or maybe we could all just stop calling each other insults? Surprisingly enough, I happen to like being called Keri.

So, what do you think?