Expos Assignment 5 Final Draft

Expos Assignment 5 Final Draft - 1 Francis Arcede:...

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Francis Arcede: Assignment 5 (Rough Draft 11/8/07) Traditions and Change: Which Remains? Traditions, customs, and generally accepted ways of life are staples of any modern day society; whether of historical, religious, or even familial origin, traditions and beliefs run significantly strong and appear to be unchangeable in the lives of people. Keeping in mind the dynamic and ever changing nature of society however, challenges to norms and changes are almost inevitable. Beth Loffreda’s essay “Selections from Losing Matt Shepard: Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder ” highlights the complications that arise after the hate inspired murder of a gay man; originally accepted views towards gay people are reconsidered and flipped completely upside down. Similarly, “The Naked Citadel” by Susan Faludi exposes the unique breeding of young males according to the constructs of a single sex military academy, and yields gender role variations. Both Loffreda and Faludi fabricate a divide between generally accepted views of gender/sexual orientation, and developments within society that challenge the norm. Tradition and change often negate and come into conflict with each other; however, their complicated natures also give way to wider modes of acceptance and attitude and cannot be limited to a single solution or view. Standards and accepted norms can run so deep in a specific society that any change would appear radical and unheard of, and people for the most part are hesitant in accepting differences. In recalling the murder of Matt Shepard, Loffreda quotes Beck, a bewildered and shocked media official’s response to the hate crime: “Nobody expects murder here – nobody. This is not a place where you kill your neighbor… This is a good place” (317). Acceptance of a standard can blind people to the evil capabilities that their fellow community members can harbor hidden within their hearts. The fact that Shepard’s murder was in a quiet Wyoming town 1
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also contributed greatly to the overall shock value of the crime; no less had the murder been of a non-gay man, the subsequent media explosion would not have occurred. People grow to be content with their standards of living, and become oblivious to any prejudices that are growing or changes developing. Running on several parallels to Loffreda’s story, Faludi’s account of the male cadets’ lives in The Citadel displays their reluctance to accept change in the form of the military academy becoming co-educational. Responding afterwards not only citing traditional but practical reasons, men were asked: “How do you, in fact, feel about whether women should be allowed to attend?” (132). The fact of having to pose the question at all in the first place
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Expos Assignment 5 Final Draft - 1 Francis Arcede:...

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