Monday, January 31, 2011

Post 15, Question O: What Can I do

Taking this class has taught me a lot about the issues that others face (women, people of color, etc) but has also caused me to think about some of the issues that I have faced, being both the source and target of oppression.

I think the fact that I am more aware of the issues is one step in the right direction. I think in my personal life I will try to be more aware of the issues that others face.

I am not going to say I am about to go out and join various organization that are dedicated to ending oppression, I would be lying if I said that. Doing this requires a lot of work and dedication, and I think I do better by working on "small things".

One place I can start is within my social circle, I have some friends who hold beliefs about the issues we discussed in this class (racism, sexism, etc) but are well educated in the topics themselves. I will challenge them to think about it in different terms, the way I had to when I took this class.

Another thing I will start doing is having preconvied notions about people, without first getting to know them. For example I used to think it was odd whenever I saw a girl in a CS class. My friends and I (both male and female) would discuss this issue sometimes and come up with reasons why this might be the case. I see now that a lot of what we were saying was simply reaffirming others beliefs, not challeging them and trying to be more open to the idea of women being computer science majors. I think the attitude that "There are no girl CS majors" is the reason so many of them drop out after freshman year (in my experience we usually get 4 or 5 girls who start out in the program, but all but 1 or 2 drop it after a while).

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