Essay, Research Paper
American Culture and Gender vs. Racial Differences
With all of the social and economic gains made by women and ethnic groups through the past 30 years, it is amazing how America still focuses on both gender and racial differences. It doesn’t matter if you are African American, Caucasion, Asian or whatever. Society, no matter how “politically correct” it is claiming to be these days, still tends to stereotype all walks of life.
One of the most noticeable focuses of today is ethnic difference. An example of this is the Hip-Hop generation. Mostly thought of, as young black males who is disrespectful, loud and unintelligent or young white suburbia trying to be like those black males. This stereotype couldn’t be more incorrect especially since most of the artist and musicians of hip hop are very intelligent, family and community oriented, business men and women or producers that just happen to have the gift of lyrical poetry. These people are enterprising and know how to market themselves and others in a highly competitive, ever changing business. The main focus of America towards this group is anything negative that will perpetuate the stereotype about hip-hop culture consisting of loud, violent, angry blacks. Little or nothing is ever said about the good things some of these entertainers do for their communities and various charities.
In the workplace there is both a gender and ethnic gap. One may say that there is more focus on the difference in the work habits of men vs. women, than ethnicity. Where in truth, there is an issue when it comes to women and men in the workplace. Men are thought to dominate most positions of authority and managerial positions in an office environment. Most women are looked over for positions not mainly because of them not being qualified, but because of non-work related commitments and issues that many women face due to having families.
With the differential treatment women have to deal with, it is twofold if you are a woman of color applying for the same position. Ethnic women are looked over for positions in a lot of cases because of their image is not what most of corporate America deem to be professional. For instance if a black woman wears braids or an elaborate hairstyles, then she is not professional. People already have a predisposed view of ethnic women concerning their work habits and attitudes. This makes it harder to advance in the company without having to prove themselves twice as much as their white counterparts.
Even though today’s generation is more open and ‘color-blind’ than their previous generation, there is a bigger focus on anything racial than gender. Take interracial relationships. It isn’t really a big issue if there is a black woman dating or marrying outside of her race. However, there is controversy when it comes to a black man dating or marrying anyone that is not considered ethnic. This is thought to become an issue to most black women due to the lack of black men that most black women deem as good men. Also, it is said that black men may see dating a white woman as a ‘trophy’ or that it denotes ‘status’. On the other side of that thought, many white men have an issue with white women dating or marrying black men. This is because of the stereotype that most still have of black men and their worth or character. In a lot of cases of a white women marrying a black man, if a child results in that union, once there is a divorce and the woman marries back into her own race, the child is treated differently.
Most people may be beyond racial issues or gender issues. They have lives to live and more important matters to deal with. However, in America as a whole, even with the attitudes of many towards ethnicity mellowing, tend to focus more on race than gender. Gender differences are still an issue depending on where you live, but if you are ethnic you will still tend to have it twice as hard.