This week has really made me reflect on my own gender identity and intersectionality. Illustrated in Justin Hubbell’s comic strip, “The Great Divide,” most people struggle to place individuals in rigid, unyielding, stereotypical gender boxes: boys and girls (Hubbell, 2016). I have to admit before learning what I know now about gender, I fell victim to this practice of rigid pigeonholing. Although I have always prided myself on being open-minded and progressive, I had never thought about gender being on a spectrum. This is partly because I never really gave too much thought about gender. After taking the quiz, “Which Gender Are You Subconsciously?”, I really started reading and watching the rest of the class readings and videos with my own personal gender in mind (Which Gender, n.d.). I received an 80% Female and 20% Male result. The percentages really helped me understand that each individual has characteristics that fit under BOTH man and woman groupings/categories. It was easy for me to think, “Okay I am 80% girl, so I am mostly a girl.” But what about people who received 50% boy and 50% girl? Would they have to choose which gender they are MORE likely to fall under? How are these people supposed to pick a gender? I believe that I was brainwashed throughout my entire childhood to credit my gender to my sex. I was not taught anything else. All I knew was that I had a vagina, so I was 100% a girl, right?! It wasn’t until this week that I thought of myself as anything but a girl. Now I understand gender in a whole new light. I hate that the word “gender” even exists, because then you are required to answer the question, “What is your gender?” I believe that if gender did not exist, people would have an easier time embracing their true, real, androgynous qualities, which would benefit the world by having happier, more confident individuals living in it.
As I continue to self-reflect on each reading and video, I find myself realizing my white privilege. As stated in The Huffington Post’s video about White Feminism, “White Feminism is feminism that ignores intersectionality” (H., 2015). Although I have realized that me being white has given me numerous opportunities that others simply do not get, it wasn’t until after watching this video that everything began making sense. Purely out of luck I was born into a white, middle-class, American family. I began to realize this luck (or privilege) early on in my life, but I never put time into understanding other lives and their intersectionalities. Now that I am capable of understanding intersectionalities other than my own, I cannot imagine living in a world that is constructed against you. Instead of fighting for my own liberation from the systemic society that favors men over women, I should consider fighting for all of humanity’s freedom. A white feminist like myself may get offended by the large pay gap between men and women and decide to fight for “women’s” equality. However, these white feminists tend to forget that us women are NOT treated equally. As stated in the video, “White Feminism aims to close to wage gap between men and women, but what it fails to recognize is that most of the time Latina and black women make even less than white women.” So wouldn’t that be a little condescending to fight for an equal pay rate without first understanding that white women are to black women as men are to women. Feminists who are not white, cis, or straight must look at white feminists as hypocrites that still receive MORE equality than themselves. I think in order for all feminists to reach equality, white feminists must first recognize their favorability and privilege.
H. (2015). Why We Need To Talk About White Feminism. Retrieved June 05, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v+VNdZcegK1IQ
Hubbell, Justin. “The Ultimate Break Down of the Gender Binary—Why It Hurts Us All.” Everyday Feminism. 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 05 June 2016.
Which Gender Are You Subconsciously? (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from http://www.answers.com/article/30745959/which-gender-are-you-subconsciously?paramt=null