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Archive for the ‘feminism’ Category

Gender vs. Race

The thoughts materialized into actual expression first when a friend said, “Women in sum make up a higher majority than Blacks in sum and it’s always been that way so laws favor women, overwhelmingly. Especially white women. That’s why the current presidential campaign dynamics are so astounding.”

People forget the 15th Amendment came before the 19th Amendment. And that got me thinking. Which do I identify with more: marginalization by way of my gender or marginalization by way of my race?

Gender.

I can identify with all that is biologically, sociologically, and psychologically associated with being a woman. Not so with being Asian.

In either the academy or the professional realm, any time the going got a little tough, the women were there for me. When I needed someone’s confidence, I went to a woman regardless of her race, not an Asian man.

Asians don’t stick up for each other unless something abhorrent that really shocks the conscience happens, like a hate crime. And even then, it’s not exactly reflex. As an Asian, you’re on your own. Asians don’t stick their necks out for other Asians if it means it will compromise their own social standing among whites. That’s why you never see huge Asian movements. Asian women may stand up for Asian women though; and Asian men for Asian men. Gender makes the difference, not race.

So forgive me for siding with my gender over my race. 

In this country, it’s more challenging to be a powerful woman than it is to be a powerful minority man. The rationale is a man, no matter what his race, won’t go postal on you just because he’s menstruating this time of the month. The rationale is a man, no matter what his race, won’t miss work because he has morning sickness, will be delivering a baby that day, or has to switch to part-time work now to take care of said baby.

A man with some balls, no matter what his race, is always an admirable thing. A woman with some balls, even if she’s a privileged white woman, is still freaky, scary, and not to be trusted.

A minority man going cutthroat for the gold is beating all odds. A woman going cutthroat for the gold is condemned for “not knowing her place in the world,” which is, you know, the kitchen or the secretary’s desk. We’d like to think we’ve progressed beyond that, but we really haven’t. No one chastises a woman for not pursuing higher education, for not putting everything she’s got into her career. A man who doesn’t make something of himself in his career, though, is definitely chastised for not quite being a “full man.”

And let’s not even talk about being a minority woman. Or a minority gay woman. Then the less visible and vocal you are, the better it is for us all. Really. Either way, it’s that woman-factor on top of being minority or being gay that really breaks us.

So forgive me for siding with my gender over my race.

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