Monday, July 20, 2009

On Neutrality

Judge Sottomayer's hearings last week brought to light the racism and misogyny inherent in our society. While these seem to be invisible to many of the older-white-men-in-suits, feminists and others have been pointing out this problem for a long time. Simone de Beauvoir explored why and how women become othered in The Second Sex (1949).

While white men in suits have held power, they are not the majority: white men are only 32% of the population. Women make up 52% of the population.

Unfortunately no one seemed to effectively call them out on their racism and misogyny while they were trying to hold on to their power. We need to be able to call people out on their statements instead of looking the other way, or ignoring them.

Steven Colbert did so with humor. Here is Steven Colbert's take on why white people might think they are the default or neutral, and every one else is "othered." From the color of band-aids(tm) before designs & cool colors to the color of the crayon in that big box of Crayola Crayons (tm) named "flesh" Colbert reflects back the non-neutrality of it all.

Steven Colbert on White as Neutral:

On a more serious note: Joan Tronto & I wrote "Truth and Advocacy" about the very gendered concept of citizen:

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