Racism, Sexism, and all other forms of “ism’s”, have dragged a whole lot of weight over the past decade. The initial saga around these issues, probably centuries ago, was characterised by slavery, patriarchy, and a lot of victimization. However, what we have seen over the last decade – more or less – has been a whole lot of retaliation, activism, and protests by those who were ordinarily on the receiving end. Today, we have numerous feminists, various bodies and movements for the rights of women, we have had many black activists, with equally loud movements for the rights of blacks across the world.
However, a few personal and very random occurrences have forced me to take a relook at these issues. We all know Racism is bad and Sexism is terrible, but asides the force that the “victims” have intensified in fighting back, not much has changed. Even with a black president of the United States and more women in power, these issues still lurked. On these issues, one similarity exists – bullying. A dog-eat-weaker-dog environment, and a case of the majority preying on the minority. Possibly, this only issue that holds all the pieces together. You would see why.
I stumbled on a question a while ago online where a young person was asking why ‘Black’ was called “minority group” in the United States. The answer he got, was that any race can be a minority depending on its population as compared to the population of the dominant race. So, while Hispanics and Blacks are Minority groups in the United States, Whites are the minorities in South Africa. Also, while we fight against the victimization and terror on blacks in the United States, we forget that some Whites are also being victimized in South Africa.
When we hear racism, the most natural picture that any regular person – especially African – would think of is centred on Slavery, Apartheid, extrajudicial killings of blacks by the Police in the United States, and so on. Part of the reason racism in general is still a going battle is because of the one-sidedness with which the fights have taken. The gruesome reality of racist South Africa and some of the radicalistic attacks the blacks have meted out to the whites also in South Africa, have been conveniently bypassed by the most of us – including me.
Either way, it is all racist. Hence, racism is not restricted to Whites attacking Blacks or vice versa, but the dominant race preying on the minority race and the stronger picking on the weaker. In other words, I am categorically saying that racism is a spill off from bullying.
On Sexism (and Feminism)
One question I have avoided answering for such a long time is if I was a feminist or not; I have still not been able to answer it for various reasons – including double standards and convenience. That’s a story for another post anyway. Two days ago, the usual feminism argument also came up with a male friend of mine and his theory was the basis for this entire post. His theory was that the entire feminism battle is just a case of the stronger person preying on the weaker person.
Sexism is not solely applicable to women, but just like racism, it is natural to think of feminism struggles when we hear sexism. So, even though there are women who force their will over men, women who initiate domestic abuse, and some roles that segregate men; we focus on only those that place women as the victims. My friend’s theory was that women attack women too, so rather than fight for women and equality of the sexes, we need to understand that the situation is simply a battle of the stronger versus the weaker person. There are of course, certain extreme cases that could contend with it – like women in Saudi Arabia are extremely relegated to the background.
However, viewing these issues from a slightly different perspective may just offer the solution we have been searching for. Solving bullying by sensitizing people not to impose their strength on others smaller than them, and raising kids not to feel better than others who seem minor to them, may just be it. What do think?