This book is a really great tool for people who have not noticed how biases come explicitly and implicitly. I have been lucky to take courses and workshops on biases before, but it is always important to keep on learning. Biases are when you favor one thing over another, and that really affects our everyday lives. We all have biases, but it is what we do with them that makes the difference.
Activity #1 – Job Association
Used car salesman: Sneaky
Lawyer: Quick on their feet
Teacher: under paid
Doctor: Older male
It is quite ironic because one day I do want to be a politician, but I certainly do not want to be corrupt. I know I am capable of not being that, but it shows that everyone has something against them. Also, we are the problem why other people cannot just be who they want to be without a stereotype.
Activity #2 – IAT Tests
Result for Gender/Career: “Your data suggest a slight automatic association for Male with Career and Female with Family”
I remember one of my professors told us she took this test, and she was surprised that she got this result. She is a working mom, and she is fighting against that old stereotype that women are more equipped for the home. I am really focused on gaining a career, and then having a family when I am ready. My own experiences with biases shows that I am also fighting against my own unconscious bias. It is crazy because the women figures in my life have gone against that stereotype, and yet I have this association. I am willing to go against that bias, and do me! I also think that there is a perception when men are the ones taking care of the household. That needs to be changed also.
Activity #3 – Personalization
As I have been growing up I for certain have a few things that set me off. The first thing that comes to mind is when someone is ignorant. It is not necessarily hearing something ignorant about myself anymore, but when I hear a stereotype about someone else. I think we all have had a class where someone says something that could be seen as extreme or ignorant about a group of people they are not talking to without accountability. Usually the professor will try to change the conversation, or they will say something to correct the situation. It stresses me about when someone says something ignorant like a stereotype about Mexicans or black people to me. I do not like this because being a woman of color I do not understand why people feel comfortable telling me this. Just because I am not one of those groups does not mean that people should assume I would not be offended. This is a perfect example of biases. I do know that having light skinned has its privileges. Especially in higher education it baffles me how people are not going out of their way to see different perspectives. We are supposed to open our mind because we are going to be the leaders of our world soon. With this privilege I know that instead of talking on behalf of people I need to pass the mic to people who do not have that right. I leave silence after someone says something ignorant, and I ask now “What was so funny about that?”. It is one thing to say it, but in the moment sometimes I forget. I have to work on that.
Activity #4 – Devil’s Advocate
I usually do not enjoy when someone in a group of people likes to play devil’s advocate. Usually it was the kid who just wanted to stir the pot, but I have to do the same. I did it with myself, and I did it on whether to have a gap year or not after college. I respect people that do, but I feel like I could not do that. I hope I will have a plan after college, but it is not in my culture to be able to take a break like that. I argued that, and then I wrote on a piece of paper all the reasons why it would be a good idea. I think it was interesting because both sides would be right. I realized things that I did not think of initially. Matthew talked about the different places he learned, and how that the things he thought were right may not be the truth for other people. I went to a high school that had majority people of color, and I experienced so many people outside of the school not giving us the benefit of the doubt when it came to crime of scandal. It was because of where we lived and who was at the school. There were less resources than other schools, so the change of more success was limited in the first place. It is hard to not automatically assumes, but it is important to keep yourself accountable.
Activity #5 – Get Out of the Zone
I think my experience going here to UMW has been me getting out of my zone. I identify being Asian woman, and in almost every situation I am in I am the only one or one of three in a group. I used to go to a high school that was predominantly Latino and Black, so I never really was in an environment with people that look like me. I notice being the only Asian in a class or group automatically. I think what I notice the most is the advertising of the school. I was asked to have my picture taken to show underrepresented communities that you can be an RA, but I was notified only after it was published. I was not told before. I know they had good intentions, but I really felt used. I really do hope it helps someone else think they can be put in the spotlight, but there is always reasoning behind being noticed as the only person that looks like you in a group.
Activity #6 – The Power of Privilege
The idea of oppression Olympics in the book reminded me of the book Americanah. Even though I am a woman of color I do have more privilege due to my race. There is a lot of growing that I can do as far as making sure I open up to people who have more privilege than me because I might be that way to someone else who has less privilege than me. Right now, people are feeling guilty of their privilege. They want to help, but they do not know what to do. This is a really interesting time for the term privilege because it inhibits conversation from happening. I think both sides need to listen, and acknowledge that both sides can be validated to an extent. Someone struggling financially who is a white male can acknowledge that a person of color can struggle also. It can also be seen the other way.
Activity #7 – Diversity Inventory
- Asian, Female, Buddhism, Heterosexual, Middle-Class, Student, Extrovert
2. Black, Male, Atheist, Gay, Middle-Class, Extrovert
3. Black, Female, Atheist, Gay, Middle-Class, Student, Introvert
4. Caucasian, Female, Christian, Heterosexual, Middle-Class, Student, Extrovert
5. Latino, Female, Christian, Heterosexual, Lower-Class, Student, Ambivert
I really gravitate towards people that do not look like me because that is what I had to do for the most part. It is interesting because I have gone to a few Asian countries, and I weirdly feel out of place. I just have been so used to being with people that do not identify me, but in other ways we are similar. I do not try to go out of my way to get a person from each group, but I tend to be friends with them. Like here, I end up seeing other people of color on campus because we all go to the diversity events on campus. It is interesting seeing it typed out. My friends were always called the “Little Model U.N.”.
Activity #8 – Cultural Inventory
- The last three books you read: Americanah, You are Not that Special, The End of Protest
- The last three movies you saw: The Big Sick, Coco, LadyBird
- T.V. shows I watch: Parks and Recreation, Bob’s Burgers, Blackish, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
- Favorite music artists: Bruno Mars, Clean Bandit, Sam Smith, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kelly Clarkson, Khalid
As far as culture goes I do not really have a diversified inventory. I have really only watched and listened to people from America. Some of these things I have gone out of my way to watch, and then I end up enjoying. Some of these choices were made to specifically show another perspective of life to the public.
How are they similar to you? I oddly enough have more shows than I thought with female leads. I think there is a surge to not only have more female leads, but to have them be intricate characters. I also like that the shows I have are all very different, but they all fit my kind of humor. It shows that there can be different kinds of people on the screen, but it will still be entertaining.
How are they different from you? They are different in that they mostly other stories that are not similar to mine. I come from an immigrant family, and I am Filipino. There are shows now with Filipino Americans without accents, but a lot of the media I consumed before was not like that. It is okay to be different because if the show is done correctly we all can feel the same problems with just being human and interacting with others.
What else did you notice? – I like mostly male artists, which I think is interesting. I need to work on that!
Activity #9 – Question Your Assumptions
I think that this demo was interesting. I know that I get people telling me what I am, and I do that to other people. I do not try to make microagressions for other people,but I automatically assume how someone identifies. That is wrong. I got the Asian-American part because I identify that way as well. As for the other parts there are some that are racially ambiguous, and sometimes people think that way for me also. It is time for me to not do the same that is done to me, or it will be a cycle.
Activity #10 – Listening Lunch
I had a lunch with a friend I have, and she is one of the most open-minded people I know. She does not have the same views as me, but she knows how to have a productive conversation. We talked about hot topics like political parties, abortion, immigration, and cultural appropriation. I think we all just hear one of those buzz words, and we already are waiting if the other person is on your side or not. If they are not on your side you already have an argument in head to go against them. I think when I react when someone says something extreme I am in initial shock, but then I weirdly stay calm. I used to feel so attacked because microagressions affects me that I always have to feel guarded. I think I have seen so many people yell at each other, that I know that is not the answer. I have learned from dealing with conflicts is that making people feel that you are truly listening without extreme judgement makes them feel comfortable. It is not good to make a tense situation more tense. She is from the rural area, so hearing her side it makes sense why she feels the way she does. The government is not looking very well after rural areas. I learned to really make eye contact with her to connect. I learned that just because you belong to a party does not mean you agree with everything the party wants. There were some things that we agreed on, and we are more similar than we thought. We can still be good to people, but having conversations that open up to the other side really can make a difference.
Overall, I really liked this book! Thanks, and have a great day!