Intersectionality

How do race,class, and gender impact our experiences? What a broad question! My first thought is how could someone even answer that! Listening to the girls speak in class this past week was awesome. I’m still having the hardest time believing those four are high schoolers. It was interesting to see the girls all reveal a piece about their social status. It seemed no matter where they stood that all had experienced some type of difficulty do their race,class, or gender. The Chinese girl had a grandfather who did’nt know how to read or write and a Grandmother who was taught to stay and help around the house (only). She said her father grew up in a small village in China and higher testing allowed him to escape his circumstances. He attained two Ph.D’s (one in China, one in US) and was very invested in his daughter getting a good education. The girl stated that her fathers up bring and her Chinese heritage are both huge factors as to why education is a huge focus for her. Another one of the girls was white, and from a middle class family. She wanted to go into musical theatre but felt limited in that pursuit due to the way she looked. She stated “being a white,tall brunette is a large category which makes it difficult”.The third girl was also from China and had very similar experience to girl number one. She also stated that being Chinese was huge reason their was such a focus on education in her life. A fourth girl (white) stated race had not impacted her life much. A fifth girl whose parents were from Bangladesh also put a huge emphasis on their children’s education. This one girl stated that she used to clash with her parents over their obsession with school. She later stated that she now thanks them for caring about her future. It’s easy to see that all these girls (with the exception of one) felt held back by either their race or gender at some point. I liked how even the white girl showed how her skin color had her at a disadvantage in her pursuits. It’s seems we all have setbacks due to factors we cannot control at some point in our lives. Here is a good read on intersectionality.

 

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