Discussion questions

2.  How does gender and race impact who you are?

                Unfortunately we live in a world that is more defined by its differences than its common humanity.  Race and gender are two the greatest differences used to foster differences which in reality are non-existent.   From a young age we have roles forced upon us because of our gender or race and in some cases, both, roles which do end up not only impacting but also defining the roles that we ultimately will end up accepting because society has decreed it so.  A Caucasian woman in the US will have a very different view of the world compared to an Arab woman in Saudi Arabia because of the freedoms and possibilities she enjoys because of the basic tenets of American society.  Yet if that Arab woman was to immigrate to the US, she would most likely feel very uncomfortable with certain American notions, and retreat to Arab community in the US and continue to practice certain behaviors that were expected of her in Saudi Arabia, but which are considered barbaric here.  Even in places such as England or Italy there remains quaint notions about the position of women in society and despite these being developed nations the impact still remains great upon women in these cultures.

                As long as the majority of the people of this world still believe in archaic and disgusting notions of race it will remain one of the most divisive and destructive ideas today.  In Darfur, Sudan, the northern neighbors raid southerners for slaves, in the belief that they are somehow superior despite the fact they are both dark skinned peoples.  Yet for the southern children their world is enormously impacted by the fact that they must worry about being enslaved because of their race, and thus race is has the greatest impact upon their world.  In the US, African-American children are nurtured with the expectation of being musicians or athletes, because the racial stereotypes developed in the US have become the norm.  It is as self-fulfilling prophecy that can only happen as long these racial stereotypes continue.  As a result, African-American children do not see education as a way to success, but instead they look to the role placed upon them by the pressures ad divisions of race.  In the end gender and race push us into molds that world around us has made for us.




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