How do I deal with certain things as a Self-Declared Woman oF Rich Ethnical and Cultural Background (WRECB)

Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

IMG_0211These past few days I have had interesting interactions with friends about gender and race discrimination, and I came into a few conclusions of my own.

Let me first tell you a little about me: I believe race and gender are of social construct. I was socialized as a typical “white girl”. My mother’s family is French of Italian descent, and I grew up among them; therefore, for the first part of my life: I was oblivious of many things related to race/ethnicity. Of course, I saw there were different types of people, from different continents, but I didn’t think that their differences transcended their physical appearances: some had straight hair, other curly, black skin, or blue eyes, etc… Most importantly, I was not aware of the concept that certain minorities could be discriminated against, and definitely didn’t recognize it could somehow affect (or rather was affecting) my life.

Things started to unravel later when my consciousness and common sense clashed in a sort of disbelief, then climaxed in high school where I finally met a bunch of people from different places, and who had lots of (preconceived) ideas, about lots of things, not unlike the people I had grown up with, amusingly… This lead me, over the years, not only to educated myself about these issues that pertained to my own identity and others, but also listen attentively and reflect on my own experiences as a Woman of a Rich Ethnical and Cultural Background (WRECB).

This social experiment led me to a few conclusions of my own:

Discriminations do exist, that is why it is important to be aware of them; but if you keep looking at something you will always find it: you can read into as such even, when there is nothing.

For instance, if you’re on the road and you see a hole on the ground, upon acknowledging it, you have a few choices:

  • You could stop and complain how people are negligent, and how they don’t care about other’s safety, and on and on, and on… making a lot of noise, and not really doing much about it.
  • You could maneuver around it, minding your own business
  • You could contact the authorities, so the problem is addressed, and someone will eventually fix it
  • Or even better, get some cement and fill the opening, preventing accidents from happening.

You might also not know what a hole is, either because you have not been exposed or nobody knew about it, or everybody else had special shoes that protected them from falling. It might take a few fall and hurt before realizing what it is and now be aware.

These examples are pretty straight forward, and if you didn’t get it, I am just encouraging you raise awareness and pro-activity, if anything.

I feel blessed I was able to learn (the hard way), and I ended up realizing that most of these roads I was (am) strolling had already been paved before me. In the process of discovering, I blamed others and denounced their lack of sympathy and/or compassion, I avoided tackling issues enabling, as a result, certain behaviors around me, I have tried to get helped from others, and I have also been proactive. From experience, the last two have been the most effective.

Bottom line, it is human to feel negatively drained by injustices. But the real question is: what are you going to do about it? How do you face challenges?

Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2014

This desire of being acknowledged, yet to be left alone

IMG_0078Almost everyday, I leave my house with this desire of being acknowledged, yet to be left alone. Acknowledged as that girl who enjoys being well put together. Although I hate to care so much about how I look, I will be honest: I meticulously stare at myself in the mirror at least once a day; However, I often end up taking “the looks” down a notch, downgrading, by changing outfits, avoiding wearing makeup, wearing an extra layer of clothing, so I will not to be solicited by strangers, cause I rather be left alone. And when it is still not enough, and someone vociferously indulges in a public space, I just stare back until I make them feel ashamed of themselves. When they whisper something as I walk by, I turn back and ask out loud: “excuse me sir, but did you ask something?” Most time, caught of guard they say no. I am assertive, but I won’t unnecessarily put myself in danger: I am very cautious, and constantly assess my surroundings, just in case. For some reason, I am overly sensitive to these type of injustices lately; I am literally enraged at how oppressed and constrained women are treated. Most of us are so used to it that we see it as normalcy. I tend to believe that long ago men realized how powerful women were; then, they had no choice but to create ways to control us, set boundaries and instill a sense of insecurity so to keep their influence. The more I think about it, the more I learn how things work, the more it makes sense: I feel as I am walking out of a fog, some sort of the awakening… I am like Neo when he finally enters the matrix: he can’t deny the fact, nor ignore the reality anymore. I am enlightened. #fightthepower

 

Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

 

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2014