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.
2 thoughts on “I am tired, y’all.”
Dr. M pulled it with me too.
I just recently had a very heated and emotional discussion with a friend over the topic of anger in the face of damaging, historic, and unimaginable oppression in all sorts of areas, ie. sexual assault, racism, all phobias. People who have been hurt, generations that have been hurt, we/they are angry and we/they wish that someone would decide it is worth it to acknowledge us/them and our/their pain and stand up to those who perpetuate it. And yet, I tend to hope there is a balance between the anger and the empathy and love for even our/their enemies. Something powerful can happen to our/their enemies through love that may not happen with anger. I hope love might lead to true heart change and friends/allies instead of the oppressors eventually being forced by social pressure to change their actions even if their hearts and beliefs do not change.
However, I must be very careful to give space for my anger and the anger of others. Anger, hurt, brokenness, and even the deeper emotions of shame, sadness, and helplessness, must be felt and must be acknowledged and affirmed. There is great reason for great rage and that is true and real.