Racism and misogyny, as they relate to my personal experiences

The root cause of racism comes from the greed of the white ruling majority, which has historically allowed and continues to allow acts of racism. This also includes the colonization of different countries by white male supremacy, from Columbus enacting a mass genocide of the Native American to the Boxer Rebellion in China in the 20th century.  

The connection between racism and sexism is that they both push down on people that do not fit a person’s image of superiority. Although sexism is acted on in different ways, forcing women to deal with limitations in jobs, hours, pay and even respect in every moment of their life is structurally ingrained in society. Susan B. Anthony and Frida Kahlo are both women who changed the unchangeable and became symbols of women’s liberation. Sexism is similar to racism in that it is only noticeable to members of that marginalized group. To outsiders, the incidents become part of the background, or may seem like they are not of extreme importance.

Sexism takes place when someone has been placed a limiting role because of their sex. For example, sexism exists in the form of gender roles when a woman is normally seen in a kitchen or taking care of a child rather than working as a carpenter or builder, which are seen as more masculine professions.. In my culture it has been so normal to have a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and daughter be the caretaker of their husband, father or grandfather even after coming home from work. These women have become the caretakers of the man in Mexican culture. After these women come home from work, they have to tend to their husband and children like a second job while the husband can rest after a long day of work. That is what has been normalized for years and it is slowly changing. 

Racist and sexist ideals are infused into Hispanic culture. I was raised in a household of two cultures, one being of the land I live on and the other that I was brought up in. When visiting Mexico, my aunts and mother would tell me to go help one of my aunties. I would hardly hear my family ask the boys to help with the chores around the house or cook.  I would always hear stories about favoritism in nieces and nephews and even grandchildren based on their skin tone. One aunt had mentioned that we should not associate with people with a darker complexion.

Praise of family members who are whiter is an issue. It is horizontal oppression that is integrated into the community from the adaptation of white supremacist societal expectations. The oppression harms and divides a group that is already a marginalized community and makes them vulnerable to systemic oppression and abuse. 

Chinese culture and Mexican culture have a few similarities, but Chinese people have grown up using formalities for their elders. They have grown up in a society that focuses on respect for their elders rather than one sex. There is also colorism integrated in Chinese culture. An example of this is shown in “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” by Dongning Zhu. When the female lead actress introduces the actor Xiaotian Tang to one of her relatives., they say he has a darker tone and suggested that she go with Gu Weiyi (Lin Yi) because of his lighter complexion.

 The media supports white supremacist logic in unapparent ways when racist and sexist events are written off as “just accidents” or someone “having a bad day.” It is not the same when a racist attack occurs and Allegheny College is trying to sympathize with the minority group that has been affected. The College utilizes the same face to issue an ineffective blanket statement for every minority group even though it may not be useful and does not always represent the individuals of the affected minority group.

The proposal I have to solve the problems in addressing racism and sexism is to declare them to the public as they are without excusing anyone for their actions and without attempting to appeal to both sides.  A first step towards solving these issues in the Allegheny College community is to properly address and commemorate the lives that have been lost and give support to those that have been affected by these traumatic events in a way more meaningful than an email. The reason why the proposal would be much more effective than just continuing ones’ day as if nothing has happened is because we treat it as a serious issue rather than an everyday event.