EYE OPENING THINGS MY SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR SAID THIS SEMESTER
Thanks Dr. Milner!
- •The idea of the "superhuman/magical negro" is alive and well.Black men, particularly the young and healthy ones, are perceived as being physically stronger to superhuman (read, inhuman) lengths. This is why Michael Brown and many others end up having more force used against them than necessary. Plus, black kids are less likely to get enough medicine, and black people are less likely to be referred to specialists by their doctors.
- •If men got periods and had babies, things would be WAY different.The issue on taxing sanitary products would not be an issue. They'd get a year of payed parental leave. Men would brag to each other about how much they're bleeding.
- •People feel the need to know a stranger's ethnicity so they know how to interact with them.So that's why people always ask me where I was born! We're so afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, especially in social situations, so we tend to get uncomfortable when someone's background is ambiguous on sight.
- •It costs to be poor.People with low income often can't afford the down payment on an apartment so they end up paying more every night for motels and inns. They can't buy in bulk to save money because they can only afford five rolls of toilet paper at that moment, not thirty. Low wage work is exhausting, demoralizing, and workers are often abused or mistreated but can't speak up in fear of being fired since they're so easily replaceable.
- •People say a couple looks good together if they look alike.So that interracial couple just isn't a good fit.
- •A person's sexual behavior doesn't have to align with their sexuality.I'm embarrassed that this never fully occurred to me earlier. It really does get lonely in prison.
- •"Man and Woman" is not treated as "A and B" but as "A and Not A"When a baby is born with male and female genitals, the doctor will often remove the male genitals because anything that doesn't fit our normal description of male is female. So man is the default and woman is the other, rather than being two separate but equal things.
- •You have to know how the system works to get ahead, i.e. "cultural capitalism."So there's tangible, measurable assets like money and then stuff you just have to know- how the law works, the right questions to ask your doctor, what colleges are looking for in your application, how to negotiate a salary, etc. These are the resources you only have access to if you're around the right people; that's why a lot of rich athletes end up broke because they don't have a team of people who can tell them how to budget and invest, unlike a CEO or anyone from an old money family.
- •Speaking of sports, they're not nearly as fair to their players as you'd think.Male athletes get payed very comfortably while many female athletes can't make enough to buy an apartment. When schools need to include more women's teams, they often add sports that mostly white girls play. Black athletes aren't given positions that require "intellect" or decision making roles like coaches. Kids can't pursue any sport they want because some can't afford the high costs of equipment and traveling.
- •Situational/symbolic ethnicity is a thing, and it's pretty much only for white people.White people can redefine their ethnic identity according to how relevant or beneficial it is to a situation, so an American guy who's mostly Irish, never been to Ireland, and rarely thinks about Ireland or Irish culture can claim his heritage for a day so he can drink too much on St. Paddy's. But I can't walk out the door and decide to not be treated like an Asian person for a day (whomp whomp).
- •No Child Left Behind is the worst.Because teachers are only evaluated by their students' test scores, they only teach what's on the tests, and there's a lot of stuff that's NOT on the tests.
- •Online education is the worst.They're more expensive and less effective at actually teaching- basically a way to get more money out of people who can't go to a physical classroom because they're already working so much to make ends meet.
- •Affirmative action is the best.A black person typically has less privilege and is under more stress than a white person, so if a black person is performing at the same level as a white person, they should do even better when given opportunity that erases those limitations.
- •There's a glass escalator for men in female dominated jobs.Men are still seen as inherently better even in female dominated spaces, so a man is more likely to be promoted to head nurse or school principal more quickly.
- •We only have the word "white trash" because all the other colors are already trash.And white stereotypes tend to be positive or beneficial. Are you going to hire the guy who's stereotyped as nerdy and responsible or the guy who's violent and lazy?
- •Male genitals are technically more vulnerable, but women are seen as weaker because of their genitals.Plus, a lot of textbooks describe ejaculation or sperm as triumphant, active, and aggressive whereas the egg is passively waiting and menstruation is wasteful or a sign of failure.
- •Lesbians are powerful because they don't need men, so men sexualize them to get that power back.A nod to all the lesbian porn that is clearly not made for lesbians.