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Deviant behavior can lead to social movements and change. PBS NewsHour (2017) talks about the impact social media plays in social movements, but only addresses the information given via social media as being accurate. Are there negative impacts in regards to bad information and social media on social movements?
PBS NewsHour. (2017, June 10). How online social movements translate to offline results [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DTOc1uMOIU
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Three steps that I can take to be a better ally include learning the history of the oppressed group I would like to be an ally for, examining and healing my own prejudices, and become a friend with another member of an oppressed group. First, learning the history of an oppressed group creates a deeper understanding of the historical discrimination and prosecution they have received which can help change perspectives and foster empathy (Haefele-Thomas & Combs, 2019). In my open forum, I used the example of how my own understanding of LGTBQ+ discrimination was deepened with the realization that individuals could be arrested simply because they wore more than three non-gender conforming pieces of clothing. Second, examining my own prejudices is a crucial step in becoming an ally as I need to be aware of unconscious biases that I have that could unknowingly influence my thoughts and behaviors. Having awareness of the implicit biases I have is the first step in being able to challenge and change those hidden judgements residing within me. And lastly, I really thought the suggestion of building friendships with others in oppressed groups was a great way to become an ally. Having friendships with others in oppressed groups gives an individual the opportunity to learn about the relevant social injustices that are still affecting the group and create more positive feelings of trust between the different groups (Axner, 2020). I also thought that having friendships with people in oppressed groups would be a way to learn about the history of the oppressed group through an actual group member which would be a beneficial perspective to hear from.
An example of a group that has experienced some progress in social justice but has still been left behind would be the transgender community. Historically, transgender individuals have always been a part of society but have been called different names, such as hermaphrodite, or been left out of the conversation altogether. A huge progress for the global trans community was the appointment of Georgina Beyer as the world’s first known-trans person to be elected to major government office (Haefele-Thomas & Combs, 2019). Obviously, this was a huge step of progressive movement for the trans community but a secondary benefit from this was that Beyer was able to create more inclusive and representative laws for the rights of the LGTBQ+ community of New Zealand. An improvement that still needs to be made for the trans community is more media representation. As we have focused on how the media portrays diversity and minority groups over this class, I learned that often the trans community was either underrepresented or completely left out of media programs. Personally, I believe that the LGTBQ+ youth of the world deserve to see people representative of themselves in the media, as a focus of storylines, and as major political leaders of the world to give them more options for positive role models. The world has made some progressive steps towards inclusion and tolerance of diversity, and I am hopeful that our society will continue along that path.
It has been a pleasure to learn with all my fellow classmates and I wish you all the best in your future classes! Cheers!
Axner, M. (2020). Section 5. Learning to be an Ally for People from Diverse Groups and Backgrounds. Community Tool Box at the University of Kansas.
Haefele-Thomas, A. & Combs, T. (2019). Chapter 4: Direct Action, Collective Histories, and Collective Activism: What a riot! Introduction to Transgender Studies. Harrington Park Press, LLC.
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Hello everyone! One of the most surprising things I learned over this course came from this week’s focus on historical discrimination towards oppressed groups. While we have learned about the discrimination, unfair treatment, and lack of equality that the LGTBQ+ community has faced, the reality of oppression really sank in for me when I read about the dress code laws in the 50s. Again, I knew it was illegal at that time to be a homosexual, but I had no idea that an individual could be arrested for wearing more than three pieces of non-gender conforming clothing. As a person who wears both gender and non-gender conforming clothing, this was very sad to me and gave me a much deeper understanding of the daily oppression that minority groups faced.
My favorite topic that we learned about in this course was intersectionality. I loved learning about the multitudes of personal identity that an individual can have and how intricately they weave together to create the one person. I am a woman, mother, young adult, student, religious member, widowed, short individual. All my aspects of identity influence the other and it is almost impossible to separate one from the other. Due to intersectionality, I experience privileges in some areas of my life due to my identity and disadvantages in another. As a young mother, I experience the privilege of being able to take my children to fun events and be engaged with them, but I also have experienced discrimination and stereotypes from becoming a mother at 18 years old. This class really taught me to remain open-minded, to ask questions of others instead of relying on my assumptions, and to be tolerant and compassionate to all people. After all, we all want the same thing, equality.