As a woman, I feel that I am always on the lookout for gender biases.
As a black woman, racial bias gets added to the investigation.
As a black, Muslim woman, I can’t forget to search the grounds for traces of Islamophobia.
I am a detective for the people–always ready to call out BS when I see it.
I am tired, y’all.
When listening to Dr. F’s story, the MAIN thought that crossed my mind was “Dr. M wouldn’t have pulled that mess if Dr. F wasn’t a woman.” (God forbid she was pregnant!) When I make observations such as this, I am often met with blank stares or even feelings of discomfort. Sorry. I am not necessarily concerned with whether or not that can be proven and upheld in the court of law. I am sure there have been many instances that would prove otherwise for other people. The point is that as a gender minority, in any male-dominated field…we need to be extra cautious when interacting with our counterparts. We should not be so quick to think that we will be equally respected, just because we are occupying the same space and have likely followed a similar path. This advice applies to any minority in their respective fields.
Gender bias does exist, even if we do not recognize it. Please don’t get me started on the myth that is “post-racial America.”
People that I interact with, coming to the conversations from places of privilege, do not often understand why I am always so quick to get out my magnifying glass, fired up and ready to investigate. I feel bad for a split second, then I reflect on what my good friend (in my head, obviously), James Baldwin had to say about rage:
“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious,
is to be in a rage almost all the time.
So that the first problem is how to control that rage
so that it won’t destroy you.”
As I continue to grow, I will try to heed his advice–to funnel my rage into efforts that will impact change. Forget passive comments during class. I got work to do and I need all of my energy.