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Thursday, February 15, 2007
Women and Minorities
We were having a discussion about race and gender inequalities after one of our Sunday gatherings a couple of weeks ago. A black, male friend of mine made the statement: "I'd rather be black than to be a woman of any color" (in reference to his view on which is harder, given our social stigmas). I was curious as to what others' thoughts were, especially if there are any minorities in our midst. Also, I wonder if our opinion of that statement would be different relative to which part of the world we are speaking of? Just thought it might make for some interesting discussion.

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posted by Cary Fuller at 3:21 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2/15/2007 09:48:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Yes, I have encountered this same disparity of linguistic preference. Since I have found no consensus, I just switch it up and use both terms and hope I get lucky, or at least spread out any potential offense... or if I know someone well enough, I ask them which they prefer. I wish there were just no racism and associated problems so we could all just be people and celebrate diversity without having to worry so much about stepping on toes.

  • At 2/16/2007 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Lydia

    I'd rather be black than to be a woman of any color

    I can see where he's coming from.

    Early this morning my sister-in-law gave birth to a son.

    I was happy to hear that all went well, of course, but I also felt a profound sense of relief.

    There are many things I enjoy about being a woman....but I can't deny that my nephew's life will be much easier as a boy than it would have been if he was born female.

  • At 2/16/2007 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    I didn't notice this question the first time around.

    I wonder if our opinion of that statement would be different relative to which part of the world we are speaking of?


    The life of a woman who lives in a part of Africa where female genital mutiliation, to give one example, is commonly practiced is going to be much more difficult than the life of a woman who lives in a society where it doesn't happen.

    But there are also differences within each society.

    Social class, sexual orientation, race, religion, marital status, disability....all of these things are also important factors.

  • At 2/16/2007 02:51:00 PM, Blogger Amy

    I agree with Lydia that the social practices of different cultures are significant influences with regard to Cary's question. What I deal with as a woman in the US is radically different than women who must suffer through genital mutilation, girl babies that are abandoned in China with their futures in significant jeapardy.

    My husband is Mexican. It cracks me up over the years how many people ask if he's Asian (he's an engineer). Although it's never been a really big deal and my husband doesn't care a lick, I was really taken aback that people were so surprised to find out he was Mexican.

    For me, then, I'm pretty happy being a woman in this society. There's a lot of progress yet to be made, but the conversation, for the most part, is open. As far as places in the world where women are mutilated, discarded or treated as a possession for use rather than a fellow human being deserving of dignity and respect, I pray that I can make a difference. I pray for God's protection.

  • At 2/16/2007 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    I think in many ways in our own western culture the hardest place to be a woman (esp if one is not naturally a fit with traditional female stereotypes and roles) is in conservative Christian Churches. Which is sad -- the very places where all people, including women should receive the greatest freedom and acceptance to express their God-given selves as gifts to the world is the very place where patriarchy pits traditionally oriented women against women who color outside traditional, male-defined lines.

    Yet being a man has serious drawbacks too. How much harder is it for a sensitive man to be validated AS A MAN? How much pressure do men face to be "good providers" even if they are naturally inclined to put spending time with their families first?

    In some ways, it's easier in (most) of our culture for women than men to "have it all" via spending a few years home with the children before going back to work, or working part-time, or going to school on a flexible schedule, or maxing out maternity leave before returning to work. These things are becoming more common for men, but they are still less acceptable than for women. And why should they be?


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