Understanding Oppression Media Challenge: Day 1 - Women’s Oppression
Day 1: Women’s Oppression
Topic 1 - Salary Disparity
- Latinx women earn 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- Native American women earn 60 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- Black women earn 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- White women earn 79 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- Asian American women earn 87 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- American women generally earn just 82 cents for every dollar paid to American men. The average annual salary gap for American women is $10,157 compared to American men.
Topic 2 - Women in Healthcare
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett has been recognized as a pre-eminent scientist in the US and is widely credited as a pioneer in the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Article: “Why Middle-Class Black Women Dread the Doctor’s Office” by Yasmin Anwar
Black Americans, particularly Black women, have experienced a long history of racial discrimination when visiting the doctor’s office. This ranges from a fear of being dismissed to real harm committed by medical professionals through explicit and implicit bias.
For example, Black women often face toxic legacies where doctor’s believe they have different pain tolerances than white women. Furthermore, fat-phobia and racism are intrinsically linked, and Black women with health concerns are often dismissed based on the doctor’s perceptions of their weight and bodies. Black women experience lower-life expectancy, higher rates of infant and mother mortality, etc.
Topic 3 - Sexual Assault
- 1 in 6 American women experience attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes
- 94% of female rape survivors experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- American Indian women are more likely to experience sexual assault than any other group of women in the United States
Sexual assault vs. Sexual Harassment
- Sexual assault: refers to sexual contact or behavior, often physical, that occurs without the consent of the victim.
- Sexual Harassment: is a broad term, including many types of unwelcome verbal and physical sexual
The #MeToo Movement was originally founded by Black activist Tarana Burke in 2006, but the movment didn’t find global recognition until promoted by white actress Alyssa Milano – highlighting the ways in which white women’s voices are often centralized in conversations about sexual violence by popular media. Burke notes that the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo Movements are similar in their need for intersectional justice.
Article: “Black Women and Sexual Assault” - National Organization for Women
Sexual assault against Black women in America has a long history. Women of color have been hypersexualized since the 15th century by white colonialist powers. The myths about Black women were used by white colonists to justify the barbarity of slavery, sexual violence, forced pregnancy, and other forms of sexual exploitation and coercion experienced by Black women. These myths continued into the era of Jim Crowe and still manifest today, and this has meant that the sexual violence experienced by Black women has gone unpunished far too often.
Topic 4 - “Professionalism” and the Policing of Black Bodies
Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business completed a study that found employers were less likely to interview Black women with natural hairstyles compared to white women. The study confirms that implicit bias like this upholds structural racism and workplace discrimination.
Topic 5: Fannie Barrier Williams & Women’s History Month
This talk spotlights Fannie Barrier-Williams, the first African American woman to graduate from SUNY Brockport, then the Brockport Normal School, in 1870.
Barrier-Williams was a Progressive Era writer, orator, and suffrage reformer who championed Black women’s civil liberties in an era fraught with racism and sexism. An important figure in national and transnational arenas of women’s rights history, it is timely to talk about Barrier Williams on or near March 8, International Women’s Day. Foregrounding Williams in commemorating International Women’s Day, this talk examines race, gender, and empire, focusing on the mythologizing of equality for all women as it intersects movements for women’s rights.
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