Sunday, July 5, 2009

Theorizing Privilege

Prejudice affects my life I many ways. Personally, because I am a bit heavier than most girls, I have experienced that it is harder to easily make friends with others. Also, I do tend to dish out prejudice as well. If I see someone wearing a really short skirt, I will tend to prejudge them as being slutty. I see ideologies show up even at places such as JMU. A lot more of the English and creative writing courses that I have taken here have been taught by women. A lot more of the business courses I have taken have been taught by men. I think this also causes gender inequality. I feel that (though I do not know for certain) teachers in business courses get paid more than teachers in English courses.

I think hate crimes maintain systems of inequality by reinforcing aspects of racism. There are definitely more African Americans killed in hate crimes than Caucasians. Also hate crimes where an employer doesn’t hire a man because he’s black or white or asian encourages others to hold similar situations that bars opportunities for a specific race.

Some images of hate crimes that I can recall mostly revolved around gay males at my high school. These males were picked on and shunned in the boys’ locker rooms because the straight males didn’t want the gay males to ‘look at them’ in a certain way. Honestly, the situation infuriated me. I don’t see any point in shunning someone for being homosexual. If they aren’t purposely bothering you, then you have no reason to be so hostile to them.


  1. I liked your thought on how it isn't right that homosexuals are shunned because the other guys didn't want them to "look at them in a certain way". Many people don't understand that homosexuals or lesbians are not attracted to all other people, just like how heterosexuals aren't. I can be standing next to a man getting dressed and have absolutely no desire to look at him and can be not attracted to him, even though yes, he is a man. I am not attracted to every man. Homosexual men are not attracted to every man. This prejudice that they could "lokk at them in a certain way" is ridiculous, unfounded, and unfair.

  2. I really like that you admit that your own gendered prejudices! I know that I do the exact same thing with the stereotypical ''JMU girl' (even though I fit the stereotype myself sometimes), but I don't think I would have recognized that behavior in myself. A lot of the time such prejudices are based out of fear and ignorance, and with this (at least for me), it's in the fear that I'll be judged in comparison to them. There's a difference in how people (men and women) treat you when you fit the norm versus when you fall outside it. Their presence as a 'superior' group devalues my own by contrast.

    I agree with you and Anne on the matter of homosexuality. It's fear and ignorance again. I guess that when your sexuality becomes your defining quality in society, you also take on every single stereotype of it.