Sunday, July 4, 2010

Theorizing Privilege

Growing up in Northern VA, I feel that I was not as exposed to hard core prejudice. This is because at my school, I was so intermingled with people of numerous ethnic backgrounds and languages. I am Caucasian, but I had friends of a range of cultures that I surrounded myself with. Throughout my schooling, I watched countless multicultural fairs and lectures that celebrated the achievements and unique contributions of different races. However, because I am Caucasian, I probably couldn’t tell you the whole story of how certain groups were treated at my schools. I’m sure there was certainly still race discrimination. I have noticed that, due to a high percentage of Asian students present in my schools, there have been comments, not necessarily negative about their culture. They most likely face pressure and encounter annoying situations where other kids will try to sit next to them during a test because the stereotype is that they are all very smart. The problem I see with stereotyping is that draws attention to what should be important, the uniqueness and variations of each individual person. Stereotyping is like taking a person and seeing them as part of a group of a very specific type and ignoring the person’s true self.

I do recall experiencing gender inequality in my life. For example, I started Tae-Kwon-Do when I was five years old. I was especially weak even for a girl but I think that I was treated differently as opposed to the boys in my classes. For example, we were not made fun of if we did the “girl” pushups with our knees on the floor but there was no excuse for the boys. Also, they seemed to baby us more and have thinner boards for us to break. I think the instructors expected more of the boys and therefore pushed them to be superior to us..this can be applied in many things in life. Just because women are very rare in the Computer Science field doesn’t mean they are less capable, certainly many are. They are just not pushed hard enough or are discouraged from society to pursue the field.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot aggree more with your last paragraph! Often times women are not expected to do well in primarily male fields. If I struggle with my accounting class, it's ok... it's more of a "man" thing, or so I'm told. How are females to excel when people don't expect it?