Girly Thoughts

May 5, 2008

yes, you are

Filed under: bias — judgesnineteen @ 6:08 pm

racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, and so on. Ok, maybe you’re an extra special exception, but most of us are, even those of us who really don’t want to be.

This article explains it. Via Feministing.

It does say there’s some hope for changing ourselves, so that’s nice.



  1. I may be doing a 4th year thesis on implicit discrimination next year. Would be interesting. Funny how the things that might be most helpful for making a nicer world, we learn the least about in school. No time after learning math, languages, arts, gym, science, history and geography. :S

    Comment by Lyndsay — May 6, 2008 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  2. It took me a long time to admit that I was kind of racist. Not overtly. Implicitly. And when it finally dawned on me, it bugged the crap out of me. At least now, if I do something without thinking that implies my racism, or I think something vaguely racist, I catch myself and ask, “What the hell was that about?” And I am improving. But I’m still working on what to do about it.

    It’s so painful to admit those things, even if just to yourself…

    Comment by Amelia — May 6, 2008 @ 3:46 am | Reply

  3. It is, so painful. When I realized I was sexist and there wasn’t much I could do about it, not immediately anyway, I felt so desperate, like there wasn’t anywhere I could go, not even inside my head, to get away from this crap. (I was really overwhelmed by the whole thing because my religion was involved, which I took really seriously, and because I didn’t have any feminist friends, just one “sort of feminist” friend who believed wives should submit to their husbands.) I didn’t realize I was racist until I got to be closer with some people of other races. I’ve had a really close Asian friend for forever, but I don’t really think of her as Asian. Besides that I just didn’t interact closely and continuously with people who weren’t white or Hispanic. But in college that changed, and I started to realize that my view of people was changing as I realized they were just like me – not completely, but you know, just people. I had thought that I already knew that, but somewhere deep down I didn’t. So yeah, now like you I can at least catch myself thinking something racist and try to change.

    Lyndsay, that’s really cool! Way to make time in school for something so important. But actually, I think history could be so much more helpful than it usually is for teaching people how real oppression is and how it works and how we can change it. But, for instance, my high school American History teacher gave our class a timeline on the feminist movements and the civil rights movement and had us study them over a break and take a test when we got back, so that he wouldn’t have to teach about them in class and all we would know was what date certain things happened. My world history teacher was awesome, though, she kind of subtly pointed out the history of sexism, I wish I had been open-minded enough to pay better attention.

    Comment by judgesnineteen — May 6, 2008 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  4. I think albleism might have been the biggest one for me. It might’ve even been explicit not in a way that I consciously acted on it because I knew that would be wrong but it was obvious enough that it scared me. It was like, “Why do I see this person as so different and not worth my time? I don’t want to see them that way!” I talk in past tense because it is better now. I feel much more accepting now. I suppose I have had similar experiences with racism. I grew up in a very white (french, english) city so didn’t really have a chance to be racist or accepting. So my reactions when I met more black people kind of scared me. It was like, “I never thought I was racist”.
    I now see what helped both these things change was a university volunteer trip to Mississippi. For five days we volunteered in schools and helped with hurricane clean-up. I was around more black people than possibly in my whole life and shared a hotel room one night with a volunteer who used a wheelchair. And I saw these people for who they were–regular people. I really think schools need to facilitate cooperative group work from an early age so we can see that people from as many groups as possible are in many ways just like us. It seems almost natural to want to be friends with people who look like you unfortunately creating an in-group and out-group based on sex, race, etc.
    I can’t imagine not wanting to teach those parts of history–so important. I remember learning about the women’s movement and civil rights movement around grade 5 mainly. It was good. Of course I don’t remember learning anything about sexism as it exists today.

    Comment by Lyndsay — May 6, 2008 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

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