Race is Socially Constructed post 2014

To say race is socially constructed is to shed light on the misconception that race is a scientific concept. Race is often used as a way to ‘judge a book by it’s cover’. It often by-passes reading the sleeve of the book or the preface.
Though physical characteristics are a product of genes, the environment, and melanin in the skin- white supremacy groups exist. White supremacy, the belief that white people are superior to and should dominate people of other racial backgrounds, is a fallacy. The groups are rooted in maintaining white economic, legal, political, and social privilege. White supremacy was more prevalent during the Civil Rights movement when the group found themselves scrambling during a time of great social change. Probably the most notorious of these groups is the Klu Klux Klan (kkk). The klan committed acts of terrorism (murder, rape, arson, etc) in opposition of the redistribution of rights and power to African-Americans. This genocide was executed under the guise of racial superiority when in reality there was no biological evidence to support their racism. There never will be. Above all they sought to maintain their ‘advantage’ in society.
White privilege, a term for a set of societal privileges that benefit white people over people of other racial backgrounds, is prevalent in the United States. Flesh colored bandages cater to typically one skin tone. “Ethnic hair care” products are often kept separate from the ‘hair care’ product aisle. Visiting a hotel, the shampoo and conditioner is compatible with one texture of hair. There is also a matter of preference in employment. In 2003 a study using artificial job applications showed that those with “black-sounding” names were 50% less likely to receive a call back. Even those employers claiming to be “equal opportunity” were bias. White privilege is a societal advantage based on race – not merit, education, experience, or wit – but of skin color. Currently there is a White Privilege Conference available to the public that provides a ‘think-tank to promote change in a positive direction’ and an opportunity to obtain academic credit. Their mission is ‘to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color to work toward a more equitable world’. The White Privilege conference welcomes students, teachers, social workers, health care workers and those in a corporate or spiritual field of work.
We have progressed over the years. I have mostly referenced the division between white people and African-Americans here, probably because that divide is one I have witnessed the most from my own perspective. White supremacy groups paint a target on the back of all other racial backgrounds just as white privilege creates a disadvantage for non-whites across the board. The white privilege conference is an acknowledgment that these disadvantages can be changed ,and the targets removed ,and that society can be altered for the better.


Gender and Socialization post 2014

    Gender can be found at the root of many social inequalities. On one side of the fence you have young boys observing dominance and aggression to be masculine, and on the other side you have girls being conditioned to be passive and nurturing. Ideally, the fence is broken down and the grass is green on all sides. Due to inequality and intense social pressures, females are left to tend to the soil on the wrong side of the fence.
At an early age children are shown just what is expected of them. It’s Christmas time. Susie is given a diary, baby doll, and a toy kitchen appliance while Tommy receives a rubix cube and a remote controlled car. Susie now has a way to vent her feelings, tend to someone other than herself, and cook something. Tommy will surely be taught the algorithm that solves the cube, but before that he will drive his new toy car recklessly. Tommy’s learned aggression and knowledge gained will later land him an executive position and high paying salary. Susie utilizes her talents in nurturing and plants flowers on the wrong side of the fence.
Out of the 195 nations around the world, the U.S. places 47th for gender equality. The United States is a patriarchal society which gives men the advantage. The Equal Pay Act, implemented in 1964, was suppose to eliminate women being paid unfair wages. Female workers are still only paid 77 cents to the dollar of what their male colleagues are earning. Women make up only 4.2% of chief executives at Fortune 500 companies. Only 18.3% of seats in congress are held by women and as of 2013, women make up 24.2% of state legislators. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation not to have paid parental leave policy mandated by law. Thus, only 16% of employers in the U.S. offer fully paid maternity leave.
This isn’t 1848. Women aren’t being denied the right to vote, assumed uninterested in politics, and are not solely responsible for ‘home matters’. Progress has happened. However, it is also imperative that it continue. Women currently dominate the personal-service industry, or pink collar jobs, while men advance to executive and management positions. Young girls are being taught to censor what they wear so as not to ‘distract’ their male peers. Women are being objectified in television adds to sell cars.
While the fence has been chipped at and slightly dismantled- it still stands. Gender greatly determines socialization; woman are still made to feel as though they must work ‘feminine jobs’; are still treated differently by coworkers and bosses, and sadly are still objectified as sexual machines. These gender roles greatly influence the way women perceive their world and what is available to them especially at younger ages and when no none is present to show them differently. These roles greatly influence the way men perceive where women should be ‘placed’ in society and how women should treat men. The fence continues to set us apart.

[we are our own worst critics]

That being said:

I’ve realized something about my Husband and I. It’s something that we have in common. I did not realize that this -thing- was so crucial to the framework of our relationship until recently.

We are very critical of ourselves. Not as a whole. As individuals. We analyze our faults, we are cautious as to how we approach others, and we strive to be as self-aware as we possibly can.
We don’t argue. We don’t point fingers. And we often reassure one another.

What we have going for us -works- in our marriage.

I am lucky to have married my Best Friend.
I am also lucky to have found someone who is so confident in who they are that they build people up, rather than tear them down.

We are genuine people. And if at the end of our lives we have nothing else but ourselves, I hope (above all else) that we are still genuinely “us”.

Moving on,
Why do people feel the need to put every person on this universe in a box? Or, even worse, a gender in a box?
We are fashioned at such an early age to be competitive.

Here’s the skinny.

I don’t compare me to you; You don’t compare you to me.

I hope that every single person out there reaches “Their Success”. By that, I mean: The bar they have set for themselves. Whatever goal that may be, I hope they reach it. My heart especially goes out to those, like myself, who have the short-term goals. The ones who set the bar daily. “If I can just get here, then I can get here.” I hope you do. I hope everyone does. From those who are pocketing their latest paycheck so that they may finally sport the SUV they have always wanted, to those who are just looking for the hour and a half they need to finally do the freaking dishes.

This jealousy thing that people fling everywhere. Why can you not just see the awesomeness that someone else has and use that to work harder in your own life rather than harbor hateful feelings for that person, or worse withhold how you feel for them entirely- and your relationship with them shuts down? See what they have that you want, tell yourself that you have goals in your life that you need to work harder on- move past it and be genuinely HAPPY for that person. Because you should be.

The only person you should ever EVER compare yourself to is: You.
The “two yous”. The YOU that you once were, and the YOU that you strive to be.
Everybody else has their own people. They have their own box.

I do not believe we should all be put on the same plane. In a big box.
I don’t want to share a box with any of you, I have my own.

We are all much to different to be reduced to a “comparative pros and cons list”. Our value lies in the way we make other people feel.

I just want to be the best person I can be, for my son- if for no one else.