Inequality, Diversity and Reference Groups

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One topic that we have discussed that I find interesting and want to learn more on is sexism. Sexism happens all throughout the world and most women will experience some form of sexism multiple times throughout their lives. As a woman, I know that I will face some inequality in my life. It has actually already happened in my life.

Another thing that has affected me is the discussion of privilege. As a white, heterosexual, able person, I know that I have been given privileges throughout my life, and I will continue to be given privileges. I feel angry and frustrated when talking about gender inequality because it is not fair that people get treated differently due to their identities. It baffles me that some men think they are better than women causing them to treat women badly. In high school girls were less likely to be in the higher level math and science classes. During my summer job at a waterpark, I could tell that the male managers had a preference for the male workers. This caused my male associates to be given promotions and the title head-guard. I also saw that both parents and children would listen to male attendants over me. On multiple instances, I would ask a child to stop running and they would continue to run until a couple of seconds later when a male coworker told them to walk.

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Before the reading and class discussion, I never could understand why men felt so entitled. But according to Katz (2013), “deeply misogynistic, male dominated culture, where violence against women is disturbingly common”. I think we must start changing the way men and women are raised. Raise them equally, while teaching both males and females that they are each other’s equal. I also feel bad to think about the males who feel like they can’t express themselves fully without the stigma of others laughing at them.

According to Hackman (2014), “Men do not cry, women should always look beautiful (for men), men never ask for directions, women are natural care takers, men are tough, women are emotional, men are studs, women are domestic and so on. ”. Although we may only think these things are hard for women, men also can feel a great deal of pressure. I know a guy who has only cried twice since he was 8. When he was 8, he fell off his bike and broke his arm. At the hospital, the dad told him he was allowed to cry just once then left the room to let him cry in peace. The dad was almost embarrassed to see him cry. Since then, the boy has only cried one other time and seemed uncomfortable showing his feelings. Why should he feel he has to hide his emotions when he feels sad or hurt?

Society needs to change their views on male/female gender roles. This can’t be healthy for males to keep everything bottled up inside just to fit into society’s beliefs. I feel guilty when talking about privilege. Although I myself haven’t done anything to put another group down, I am still in the dominant group for most aspects of my life. I know that as a white person I am less likely to be arrested, will be charged lower prices, and will be treated seriously. I know as a heterosexual person, I can be in relationships openly, won’t have to worry about disapproving peers, and know that my sexual orientation won’t be used against me. I know as an abled person, I know I can get around places easy, I can fit it in work settings, I won’t get looked at as odd. My parents did not give me everything I desired but when they would deny me, I would think we were poor. I had no idea that the reason they were denying me an iPhone in middle school was not because we were poor but because I didn’t need it. I have no idea what it is like to be truly poor; it is not the fact I couldn’t have what I wanted but that I already had what I needed.

Since starting this class I have spent a lot of time thinking about others who have not had the privilege I had. I was very lucky to be born into my family and I am just really need to spend more time learning about diversity and what I can do to understand other reference groups.

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