I tend to be very skeptical of any study, teaching, or philosophy that contains language like “women tend to be like this” or “women tend to want to do that” or “women will think like this rather than that”. Why? Because women have been so marginalized throughout history that many have internalized what societal expectations are for them, rather than who they really are. So don’t look at the average results. Look at the outliers. The women kicking butt and taking names. The women defying all expectations. Those women are far more indicative of the future of humanity! #bigotry
Megan Westra recently asked an interesting question on Twitter: “what have you done in the last year to decenter and/or deconstruct whiteness in your life?” I appreciated her question and answered it thusly:
I’ve come to admit my white privilege. I used to recoil at the idea, thinking if I hadn’t personally committed any overt racist acts, I was not a racist and thus not to blame for anything. I’ve since come to realize I have a reponsibility to fight back against systemic racism.
If I’d had more room in my tweet, I would have admitted I’m not sure what the most effective way is for me fight against racism and #bigotry, but I do know I’ve started by examining my own actions. I intentionally try to go out of my way to listen to and respect the voices and art of people of color, and I encourage their promotion in all fields of endeavor. And if I’m ever given any authority to recommend candidates for a team, panel, conference, whatever…I intend to put in a lot of effort to find people from the margins to make sure they get first dibs. This doesn’t make me a great person. It just means I’ve grown a little bit more aware than some of my white peers, for which I am grateful.