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Realizing the Truth

Since reading Roy’s Making Societies, and the movies in class, I have realized how uneducated I am about the true meaning of race, class, gender, and sexuality. It’s very ironic how true it is when we say that race, class, gender, and sexuality are socially constructed. Throughout my life I have always had certain views of race, class, gender, and sexuality-mostly what society has taught us and what my parents have passed down to me. I only saw gender as boy or girl, or race as being something that is real. Since I come from such a small town, before the University of Minnesota I had very little encounters with people who are different from me. Since coming to school here, my eyes have opened greatly, and since reading the text my eyes have opened even more. I will admit that I feel very stupid, and I think most of our population should feel uneducated as well as to the workings of our societies. We, as a whole, have created these systems and categories trying to pass them off as biological or genetic or part of life, when really, there is no evidence backing them. It really hit me hard on Tuesday when we watched the movie and they showed first the science class and everyone thought their DNA would match up to people with similar skin color and gender, people naturally put themselves with people who are “like them?, yet really we are all really alike. That is not to say our personalities and things like that are the same, but we as humans are all equal. It is truly sad however, that all humans do not get treated equally. Next in the movie whent they showed the different brains and body parts of whites vs. blacks it was disgusting to see how they distorted the images to make black people more animalistic, inferior to whites. What I do not understand is why white males, back in the 1700s felt that they needed to make themselves better than everyone else? No where in the bible, anywhere does it say that whites are better than everyone else, or that males are better than females, or that we should have rich people and poor people. In Making Societies, Roy gave great evidence proving how wrong and how socially constructed our views were even of things such as time and space. Before reading his book I never thought twice about how time was created or why it was created, I ignorantly thought that the days of the week and the months were just part of life-that they had existed since the beginning, yet once again I was proved wrong. In many other societies things such as time are different; in other societies they do not have races. It just astonishes me that we as a country and a society live by “rules? that are not necessarily accepted or expected elsewhere. I think that it is a reach to say that we could un-do what we have done, however, I definitely think hat we as citizens need to be better educated in the workings of our world, and we need to see the truth about so many things that come as second nature to us.

Comments

Thank you for expressing this view, cause I believe it is one that not many people realize. Going through our day to day lives people do not understand the impact their beliefs have on our society. Whether people are just talking with friends or talking about the current election; issues of race, class, gender and sexuality and the values we place on these words today are a result of how we have socially constructed them over time.

I completely feel the same way. Before Roy's "Making Societies" I especially viewed the concepts of race and gender as being something taht was natural. I don't think anyone ever directly taught me about gender or race because it was perceived as being so natural; there are males and females and different races because that is how biology works. But I found out this is completely wrong. Roy did me a favor by tearing apart my views on race and gender and showing me the truth of how these are socially constructed concepts. I feel Roy did a great job challenging my views and opening up my eyes to things I never saw before.

It seems as though we have similar pasts. I also grew up in a small town and had little encounters with people who were different from me. I'm a transfer student so thi is my first year at the U of M, and this is truly the first time in my life that I am having encounters with people who are different from me. I am learning so much and also feel very lucky to have this opportunity. I feel that this class has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I have never thought about before.

I can definitely relate to your posting! I like how the previous comment states that he feels "lucky" instead of "stupid" to learn about these things. I think that's a great perspective. We can not help where or how we were raised, but it is now a great opportunity we have to learn and help others learn. The movies and readings in the class are very powerful. I found the "time" section of Roy fascinating as well. How arbitrary but yet culturally engraved in us as "real"! Thanks for sharing in your blog!

It seems the more I am exposed to, both in and out of the classroom, the more I am aware of how much I don’t know. These readings have challenged my perceptions about the influence of society. Like you, I am absolutely saddened and amazed that we have been able to get away with such inequality for hundreds of years. How did these notions of inequality snowball to the extremity they are now at? What would it take for us to reverse years of injustice? How can we reshape a whole society’s meaning and value on race, class, gender and sexuality? How much time do we need for the wounds that have been made through injustice to heal? I find that although asking these questions doesn’t necessarily provide answers, it challenges me to personally reexamine the way I interact the world, which makes me feel as if I am at least beginning a dialogue which might lead to, at the very least, personal change.

This Blog hit very close to home for me. I feel the same exact way about how the definitions of Race, Class and gender that have been presented to me under my social construct. I don't feel stupid, I feel very lucky to have such an opportunity to learn about other definitions and understandings of these words. Through this class I have a feeling for a lot of us , we will have a lot of eye opening things presented to us.