Monday, January 21, 2013

I am thankful to have witnessed Richard Blanco deliver his phenomenal poem at the presidential inauguration. It gives me a lot of hope for our country, our people and our progress.

I feel better too, about community, and recognize that gender gaps I see, are in large part inflamed in my own mind due to my past. I am very consciously aware of gender differences and sometimes this is a barrier as I am suspicious of what I view as the patriarchy. There is still a ways to go regarding this reality. But my own issues with abuse and power in regards to men has me too inflamed at times. It is a non-issue for some women, I recognize. Yet, I sense there is still a ways to go regarding gender gaps, respect and equality. When I was teaching, younger women that were my students often expressed disbelief in gender inequality. I think this is in large part due to a belief that they would be treated as equals in the workplace. Similarly, some people argue that now that we have an African-American president, issues of racial inequality are ridiculous. But my observation of anti-Obama advocates in Texas, shows me we still have a ways to go. And it was wonderful to see Obama addressing the issue of gay rights in this country too!

I experienced a great deal of gender bias in grad school, where most of the students in my PhD program were male. The sense of authority and entitlement that came with being male, in my opinion, was often similar to that same sense of authority and entitlement that came with being white. So overall, I am somewhat suspicious of male privilege. This is what I think I was wanting to say before, but couldn't seem to come up with the right words.Chicano men sometimes do not realize that they too can contribute to the old patriarchy.

Despite so many past concerns regarding gender bias, and what I believe to be real-life experiences of injustice, I have hope that things are changing. As a woman who was sexually abused as a child, my sense of gender based inequity is charged. I am a firm-believer in gay rights, but I would say that being gay does not preclude one from being patriarchal.


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