n: sexism

This was my thought for the day a little bit ago.

If you look at professional basketball and look at the ratio of black people to white people a case can be made that black people have better athletic skills (or at least basketball skills) than white people. I don’t have actual figures or anything, but the big basketball players I can come up with; Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, etc. are all black. I also don’t watch it, but the bits I have seen it looks like at least half the players are black, which is much higher than the norm of the population I am pretty sure.

Regardless, a case could be made. I don’t like it though and I do not think it is a good quality to generalize on, not just because “racism is bad,” but also the populations are so wide that those types of generalizations can’t be applied with much usefulness.

Something I wonder about though is what the world was like 60 or 100 years ago when the stereotypes of racism enjoyed a wider acceptance. How much were people shaped by the social standards of their day? How much did the average white person and black person conform to their stereotypes? To a person living then how reasonable would the argument of racial equality sound? Would they have seen all sorts of counter examples in their life and the world around them?

I think about it mostly because I am interested in gender and how gender expectations shape our society.

E just wrote about how gender affects his relationships. I see it in mine alot. Sexuality at least; I think that in some ways an aversion to homosexuality enters into mine and Wayne’s relationship. I am not really good at intimacy anyhow, so that is a complicated arena.

Anyhow, I see arguments that can be made about who I am based on my gender and my response is much the same as it is to arguments that can be made based on my race. I think that there are a variety of arguments that can be made and well supported, but the variety within the population of a particular gender makes using gender as a characteristic to generalize on prone to error.

I wonder sometimes how things will look 60 years from now. Will expectations be based more or less on external characteristics? The question that I was trying to put into words a few weeks ago was why are some people more comfortable with allowing classifications to change than others? Is there anything that can be done to increase a person’s comfortability with changing roles?

Roles isn’t quite the right word maybe. I mean a set of expectations; an understanding; a context.

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