When u get a boner in public
I like UW. I really like UW, actually. I feel like I have a place here, that I have something to contribute, and it has a lot to offer me. One thing I especially like, much as I might complain, is that UW challenges me in so many ways. One of which, I have noticed more and more recently, is a challenge of my world view in regards to relations among races, religions, genders, sexualities, and classes.
Of course, I have for the most part always been aware of tensions among different groups of people. History and stereotype tells me Blacks and Whites don’t get along, Christians and Muslims and Atheists don’t get along, women are held subordinate to men, sexual minorities are held subordinate to heterosexual cisgender people, and of course the poor and middle class are exploited by the rich. That these views are rooted in reality has not escaped me, but my experience growing up has led me to believe that our society is evolving beyond such conflict, and that therefore these conflicts are not a natural, given consequence of diversity. This is a belief I have held firmly for several years now: we are all humans, no matter our differences, and peace among us is, with enlightenment and love, inevitable.
Though my peers in Lakewood/Tacoma probably do not usually think about diversity-relations (is that even a term?) in such terms, I do believe most share this view. Just because I’m White and Asian and you’re Black and Hispanic, just because I’m Atheist and you’re Protestant, just because I’m bisexual and you’re heterosexual, just because I was lucky enough to be born to well employed parents and you were born to parents who cannot find better paying work, none of this says anything about the potential for our friendship. Most see our community this way; it is not any of that, but rather one’s personality that dictates compatibility for friendship. This idea can be scaled to our whole society, and how I have always seen it, there is no such thing as “white interest” or “black interest” and if there were, they wouldn’t be mutually incompatible. There is not even “straight interest”, though I suppose there is “gay interest”, but really it is more “equality interest”.
To be clear: as a bisexual, biracial, atheist, middle class, liberal, college student, human being, I have never felt marginalized for any of that. Not once. I have felt guilty, and I have felt proud, but I have never felt marginalized. I understand some do feel marginalized for being some of those things that I am, but this has been my experience.
Now, the point of this mini-essay. This quarter, I am taking a class called Comparative Ideologies: Human Rights Movements. So far we have studied the Black Power ideologies and movements, and we are currently looking at feminist movements. Gay rights is next. Through our readings and discussions of the movements, I have come to find my world view, that we are approaching a society wherein most of these differences (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class) are less and less relevant, is a minority view. I have come to learn that many believe minority subordination is inevitable. More surprising, I have been introduced to a belief in some that integration of cultures, particularly American Black and American White, will lead to the destruction or corruption of the former. Many believe women’s subordination is an inherent consequence of capitalism itself. Yes, I was aware of Marxian belief in class conflict, but that so many actually believe it to be spot on is just surprising to me.
My introduction to the widespread belief that in fact these conflicts are natural and are going nowhere soon has challenged me significantly. Yet, upon further thought, I find myself unconvinced. The implication is that my world view is wrong, and therefore lack of diversity-conflict (again, probably a made up term) is unnatural. I simply refuse to accept this. I refuse to accept that my core friend group (and a few of my close friends from my childhood), which includes all of the following and then some, is unnatural:
- White, poor, Christian, straight, female
- Asian, poor, nonreligious, straight, female
- Mixed Asian/White, middle class, agnostic, straight, female
- Black, middle class, Christian, straight, female
- Black, middle class, Christian, straight, male
- Mixed Asian/White, poor, mostly nonreligious, straight, female
- Asian, middle class, mostly nonreligious, mostly straight, female
- Hispanic, middle class, Christian, gay, male
- Asian, middle class, Christian, gay, female
- Mixed Asian/Black, Christian, straight, male
- Asian, middle class, nonreligious, straight, male
Honestly, I don’t have a philosophical argument to back up my beliefs, only my experiences. I appreciate that UW is offering me a challenge to my long held beliefs, many of which I have yet to explore deeply, and I appreciate that I may be wrong. Maybe my experience is unnatural. Maybe I’m just blind to the conflict among the diverse peoples of Lakewood and Tacoma. Even if I am, though, I think I prefer to keep my belief, because wouldn’t it be wonderful if I am right, that the natural state among humans is peace and that our racial, religious, economic, and sexual differences do not inherently drive conflict? I’d like to think so.
Wonderful Valentines Card to give to a friend or loved one!
"America’s native language is English!"
I have some rather shocking news for you friend
"We live in a world where losing your phone is more dramatic than losing your virginity"
Um ok but I don’t recall my virginity having 16 GB of memory with all my contacts, music, photos, calendars, and apps or costing over $200.
my phone is an expensive and important material object and not a useless social construct put in place to shame and commodify women
Plus I remember where I lost my virginity.