Thursday, January 29, 2015

GT Seminar II: Racism in America

     In the past few weeks we have discussed different topics revolving around racism and it really sparks a lot of emotions. One of the biggest things that we discussed for me was cultural appropriation. It was a topic that I knew about and have experienced but I could never really put a name to the experience. These past few discussions have helped me do so. Basically, cultural appropriation is when you are expected to act a certain way or do a certain thing based on your culture from the people in your culture. That is what I have learned from the discussions that we've had. That also goes along with code switching which is changing the way you talk or act depending on who you are around. Personally, I have experienced this because I change the way I talk in school verses at home. At home I generally act with an Egyptian mentality because that is how I am expected to act. While in school, I act more "Americanized". There are certain expectations and standards that are set by each culture which they are expected to follow. Many cultures see you as the other if you do not act the way they expect you to.
     Personally, I feel like this is wrong. I feel this a reason why stereotypes arise. If there are set expectations within the culture already how do you expect other people to stereotype you based on that expectation? I feel like it is important for people within a culture to accept one another. I think that it is important realize that you cannot expect others to do what you will not do yourself.
     In addition to cultural appropriation another topic that we discussed that really struck me was intersectionality. This is basically discrimination based on two or more aspects of your life. This was a very hard and large concept for me. I didn't realize that there were so many subgroups when it came to discrimination. I personally thought that there was just several large groups. This part of the research and discussions were very enlightening to me.
     This whole part of the discussion made me think back to the video we first watched when we started this unit. The phrase that I remembered the most is that we need to stop labeling each other and start seeing one another as just human. If we stopped putting labels on one another intersectionality wouldn't even be a thing. In the same way when feminists advocate women's rights I feel like they need to advocate all women's rights because many black women see more hardships when it comes to being treated equal than white women. Overall, I feel like its important to make sure when you are in a movement like feminism that you are advocating all women not just a certain sect of feminism. In conclusion, this unit made a large impact on me nd it really opened my eyes to some things that I had never really noticed.