Step Up

Thinking about the issues I will address in this blog I’m getting the ball rolling with certain women’s issues I have always wanted to address. But reading my peers’ ideas in class the other day made me think about addressing issues that I see occur in front of me daily. There is just so much to choose from; granted I know I want to focus on women due to the fact that I am a female and understand that perspective on a much higher level than I do males; however within women’s issues there are still several different spheres.

Sitting in my gender studies class the other day we got to talking about race and I started to look around the room and came to the quickly saw that I was the only black student in the class. Of course I was not surprised because I’m used to it, but I in my mind I knew what I had to do; step up and present the perspective of the black female. I originally wanted to focus on women in third-world countries seeing as how I am a foreigner, but the aspect of race cannot be ignored, it’s just right in front of you.

Before I go into the blog I must establish that race is an important factor in day-to-day relationships between people around the world because you can see it. You can see hair texture. You can see eye color. These physical features are just that, physical, and seen by the naked eye; no analysis necessary because what you see is what it is. If this foundation does not sit properly with anyone reading this post, please feel free to add or produce another reason as to why race is so important in our daily lives.

As a black female many readers might think I have the right to talk about racism and gender roles, but that doesn’t mean a white male cannot talk about it. What I am trying to get at is that I want everyone to be able to talk about gender roles in relation to race without worrying about their right (because they are white or of fair skin) to talk about true racism in gender roles.

African Grace

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10 thoughts on “Step Up

  1. I’m really happy that you are writing about race, and I’m happy that we have at least some racial diversity in this class because otherwise it would be SO BORING. My best friend in the whole world back home is black. She’s also a lesbian. So there is a lot of judment and discrimination that could come her way in society. I think she does okay, but one day she told me that when she is driving, there are certian things she worries about that white people don’t have to. She didn’t go into detail but she inferred that because she was black, if she was ever stopped by a cop then she might have more trouble getting out of the situation then if she was white. When she said this, my other colored friends around nodded in agreement and said their parents talk to them about how they should act if they ever get pulled over by a cop. This really struck me because I realized that not once do I ever need to worry about my race while driving. I am excited to see where this blog goes and I would love to hear your opinions and experiences (if there are any) regarding your race as you live day to day.

  2. This blog is really interesting! Talking about racism openly in a mixed race environment is something that is not commonly done, but something that should be done more often in order to start a productive conversation on race in relation to gender. I am excited to see what aspects of gender in relation to race this blog will cover, as well as what conversations are began because of it.

  3. I like the fact that you are putting the idea of race out there in ways that some people might be tentative about. It seems like you’re making it an open topic of discussion, making it seem more like human nature. I look forward to seeing what else you might have to say.

  4. I like where this blog is going and can see good potential in the future. I like how you address people to comment making them feel like they are part of the blog. Also how you specifically mention that anyone can comment no matter their race..etc. I am curious to see what topics are brought up in the blog. I feel like you did the right thing stepping up and informing people on certain subjects or aspects they dont know of. I think it is important to learn about another one’s culture. Without learning of other’s culture people become ignorant and the same mistakes and attitudes will continue in the future. I hope this blog will address important issues in today’s world and even inform people of past events or culture attributes. I am excited to see where this go, keep it up!

  5. I admire the way you presented this as an open discussion. This could have easily turned into a lecture from you to the world about how you percieve racism and gender roles from your perspective only. This blog is inviting and left me feeling like I could chime in with anything you were saying. I look forward to seeing how you explore those “spheres” of women issues while giving your own, unique personal insight.

  6. This blog also brought to my attention that I am the only Asian in our gender studies class. I agree with you that race is an important factor in how people interact with each other and perceive others. The other day, one of my friends was telling me how he have never seen a full-figure, curvy Asian girl. He not only made an assumption based on gender but also race; I think racism and sexism go hand in hand, and I cant wait to read your blogs about how the two ties in.

  7. Hey girl! I think it is awesome that you plan on addressing race in your blog, because I remember talking about this exact issue in my english class last year. We were discussing the play “Master Harold and the boys” (a play set in South Africa during apartheid–needless to say racism is a major theme in the play) and I quickly became aware that many kids in my class truly believed that racism is no longer a problem in America. At first I was dumbfounded, but then I took a second to look around the room just as you did in our class, and realized that I was sitting in a room of all white people. I was sitting in a room full of white people, talking about how awful racism was, but in reality not one person in that room had ever been discriminated against on the basis of their race because we were all living in a homogenous, upper-middle-class white area. Everyone in that room, myself included, needs a cold hard look from the other perspective, the perspective that your blog could provide me with. Keep it up girl!

  8. Your blog seems really interesting so far because of your perspective as a black female in college. I’m excited to read about your experiences and your take on things because, surprising enough to me, many educated people (well, educated enough to enter a university) still see color as one of humankind’s most important features. There’s one black male on my dorm’s floor and, just the other day, he was casually called out about his race. Someone was telling a story about a black person and, during the story, that person turned to my friend and said, “It’s ok to call your people ‘black,’ right?” Thankfully, the incident was played off as a joke but to see one of today’s young people bringing up race (in a story that had nothing to do with it) and then jokingly isolating a member of that race was shocking. Anyway, I’m really excited to see what you do with blog and can’t wait to see what you write next.

  9. I agree with you all that a blog about the intersections between gender and race is a great idea, and that it is brave to initiate such a blog. I think it is also brave for folks to post comments and take up the invitation for conversation.

    Word choice—which terms we choose to use—is always important, including in a conversation like the one on this blog about gender and race. Word choice matters in terms of our intentions and what we mean to say. But it also matters in terms of the histories of words which, whether we are aware of them or not, will impact how our words affect others. The words “woman” and “lady” and “chicks” all have different meanings. So do “Latin” and “Latino,” “black” and “Black” (as well as “gay,” “homosexual,” and “queer”).

    In terms of variations on the word “color,” the phrase “people of color” is used in the English language in our contemporary moment. It is a contested term certainly, but a contemporary one, and one that people frequently self-identify with in organizations working for racial justice and in critical race studies/theory. The word “colored” is usually more associated with the period of Jim Crow segregation in the U.S. When I hear the term “colored,” what comes to mind are photographs I’ve seen of “whites only” and “colored” signs above drinking fountains and eating establishments.

    As I write this, I’m thinking we should probably do a workshop in class soon about word choice. Perhaps we’ll research the histories of different words and consider how those histories may inform our word choices in writing today…

    What do you guys—I mean, you all—think?

    • Yes, I agree with the image that comes to mind when I read the word “colored”, whether it’s a scene I remember from the movie Remember the Titans or a page from my African-American history book the word pertains neither to positive nor progressive roots.

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