WGST 303 Day 18 Workplace & Intersectionality

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WGST 303 Day 18 Workplace & Intersectionality

  1. 1. Dr. Sara Diaz WGST 303: The *isms: Race, Class, and Gender Gonzaga University Workplace Discrimination
  2. 2. Intersectionality - History • Sojourner Truth • “Ain’t I a Woman?” • Black Feminist Movement 1970s – Combahee River Collective • The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. (1977)
  3. 3. Intersectionality - History • Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989) – Legal scholar • Workplace discrimination laws only allowed bias claims along one category of discrimination. Race OR Gender OR Religion, but not both. • This left some black women who’s experience sits at the “intersection” between race and gender with no legal recourse for bias claims in the workplace. • The “intersection” metaphor was a bit more literal • Intersection as place for “collisions” which left black women injured.
  4. 4. Intersectionality in Dukes v. Walmart •Crenshaw’s argument is still current: •2011 Supreme Court decision ruled that 1.6 million women Walmart workers could not be defined as a single “class” because of the fact that some of their discrimination claims were also about race and class. •The case is proceeding in a state-by-state manner. But the SCOTUS decision set precedent.
  5. 5. Discussion •What are some of the experiences of workplace discrimination described in the Walmart v Dukes case?
  6. 6. Your Questions •From where did the "angry black woman" stereotype come from? How is it affecting African American women in the work force today?—Serena
  7. 7. The Mammy • Dark-skinned • Fat • Older • De-sexed • Nurturing • Servile relationship to whiteness • Sassy (sometimes)
  8. 8. The Sapphire • Mammy without nurturing • Precursor to “Angry Black woman” • Emasculating • Usurps men’s role • Unlike Mammy may be seen as being overly sexual but in an unfeminine way.
  9. 9. Angry Black Woman • Emasculating • Irrationally angry (esp. about civil rights) • Plays “race” card • LOTS of examples in media.
  10. 10. Welfare Queen • Origins in The War on Poverty • Moynihan Report 1965 • Angry black women are the cause of black poverty. • Welfare-Rights Movement • Historically denied welfare. • Ronald Regan – campaigned on welfare abuse • Racialized discourse to cast black women as drain on the system.
  11. 11. “Fit” • Is the only way for a [woman of color] to move up the employment ladder, to fit in with their white collegaues? Why is issue not more widely discussed?—Brandon • After reading two pieces about the stereotyping and harsh judgement put upon women of color in a usually white work place, it makes me wonder, is success only available to latina and black women who are willing to assimilate and leave their culture at the door?--Bailey • What does it mean to have etiquette and emotional labor for African American women defined as performance? How does it describe a generalized bureaucratic passive aggresive level of personal deportment? (in reference to A&C pg 195)--Nichole
  12. 12. Effects • In the "Keep Your 'N' In Check" Article, it is quoted, "Being direct and speaking your mind is never encouraged. In fact if you do, you encounter a world of silence and avoidance..." Is there a risk of being the opposite of this, too quiet? Would this make a women of color in the high position work place seem less able to do that job or less educated because she does not vocalize as strongly? Is there a middle ground between these two ways of behavior? And why should women of color in the work place have to worry about this behavior? In what ways is it different for men of color? --Megan • Because African American women must always be "on" when working so they are not perceived as overly-sexual or "angry", do they suffer from psychiatric disorders? It is possible for these women to develop an extremely unhealthy mental state due to the constant fight or flight response when in the workplace? In the future, would there be a possibility for a disability wage for African American women who had to wear down their mental state in order to maintain work?—Olivia
  13. 13. Fix it! • What are some ways that we can change the norm of having the workplace be a 'traditionally white male citadel'?—Emily S. • What can we do to change this system of inequality in employment? Lilly Z. • Majda-Voting??
  14. 14. SDI discussion • In groups: • Can a single with no kids person make it on minimum wage get by on minimum wage in your city & state? • How about a person with your socially defined identities? • How does the hardship effect the scenario? • How do you make decisions about how to get by in your scenarios?

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