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Intersection Of Racism And Gender In Construction Of Power And Naturalization

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The intersection between gender and racism is at the construction of variations of power, disparities in power, and the naturalization of entitlement/difference that is established in individual attitudes and behaviors through the consistent obscurance of power (Pettman 1992, p. 60).

Racism and gender intersect in their construction of variations of power through individual attitudes identifying individuals by points of difference in race and gender and through individual behaviors of using differences in race and gender to distinguish other groups of individuals (Pettman 1992, p. 60). First a point of variation in gender or race is identified- difference between individuals is noticed; this point of variation creates an individual’s attitude of the individuals being divided/ separated by this difference in race or gender; an individual’s attitude of separation from another-makes individual have an attitude that perceives the “other” individual only as separated from themselves based on race or gender;That point of variation in gender or race is then used again to separate in practice and eventually: form into an individual’s behavior of sorting, categorizing, dividing, and grouping individuals on the basis of differences perceived in the gender or race between themselves differently sorted /different groups of individuals; this individual behavior of sorting creates “groups of ‘OTHERS’” based on race or gender ( (Fozdar, Wilding & Hawkins 2012, p. Ix; Pettman 1992, p. 56). Ethnocentrism is a cause of any power variation (Moreton-Robinson 1999, p. 32-33).

Racism and gender intersect in their construction of disparities of power. They each start building through an individual attitude preference- that eventually contrives a rank of racism and gender into hierarchical scales. Next the pair continue constructing via individual behavioral practices- that forges a separation of races and genders into other groups of individuals on the hierarchical scale; acting to assign power disparities (Pettman 1992, p. 60). Using race and gender as mechanisms of categorization: classification distinguishes and forms“others as a group;” individual’s behavior practicing discriminating negligently forms an attitude toward the points of variations discriminated on; and subsequently begins to associate meaning to the sorted categories of race and gender: the individual’s attitude of race and gender is often biased and favors the category that they have grouped themselves into. Based on this, an individual forms their own preference in categories that expands the variations of race and gender as rankings, rated in a hierarchical system.This system this is the step where the bad notions of “other groups’” of genders and races come in: the attitude preferences instill disparities in the quality associated with- and therefore the power associated to groups of people. An individual often perceives differences in “other group(s)” a danger because it is unknown and a threat that risks what they do know; Fear influences individual’s behaviors toward groups of ‘others’ and it drives a need to act in a way that will “eliminate the threat;” this is exemplified to some degree in a great number of acts of racism and sexism. Shown, simply, by remarks like ‘they take our jobs’ or parents and adults of a community not allowing or limiting children’s exposure to the unknown “other group”(Pettman 1992, p. 56-60). Hughey (2011, p. 144-146) exemplifies this and depicts multifaceted effects of fear in his observations of the the white antiracist organization Whites for Racial Justice (WRJ):

The white male protection of white women from Black and Latino men accomplishes three goals. First, it reestablishes patriarchy through the assumption that white women need white men. The reification of this belief guides both the inter- and intra-gendered social interactions…Second, white male protective surveillance of white women from men of color discourages intimacy across the color line, maintaining a belief in white racial purity. Third, very few white members of either group questioned the assumption that black and Latino men posed a threat to white women, but instead used fear to propel their activism.

These also depict the parallel outcomes of the Cronulla riots in December 2005; but also of those from the fear that constructed black male sexuality and the gender roles of black and Indigenous families (Ho 2007, p. 292; Hughey 2011, p. 143). Fear of difference and the division of races and genders is an ”instrument of domination” that moreover, these interpretations lead to the unjust behaviors that colonization, imperialsism and modernization instilled, like slavery, opression, and the Apartheid. Regarding ‘other(s)’ as distinct “for the purpose of excluding, exploiting or containing them;” an individual’s thoughts and actions may have a limited impact- in addition to its inconsistency- as a whole or an event, yet they are the quintessence of what creates communal variations of worth (Pettman 1992, p. 56).

The simple action of categorization tends to fall into its predisposition and it grows into sexist and racist attitudes, both fortifying one another: ”Gender is coded to mean women; race is coded to mean black, or at least not-white,” proceeding until hinged by “superiority” of one side, the two sociological concepts independently and conjointly inflict themselves into the attitudes of an individual and eventually impose in one’s behaviors controlling communications by intra- and interpersonal relationships (Gianettoni 2010, p. 374-386). The resulting derivative of hierarchy is still saturated in its own deprave roots of power inequality-as thematic dominance remains constant to the dominant -“individuals who control this process (men, Whites, nationals, and so on)”- And only constantly absent to the individuals of the subjugated groups- “others”; “Other” has been objectified by their bodies, stereotyped/exploitation of their sexuality, limitated/ restraints put on their interracial contact, lessened/ identified as less in order to help someone else (dominant) create/find an identity (Hughey 2011, p. 143; Gianettoni 2010, p. 374-386).Women bear alternative experiences of the male’s and the public’s power disparities through the combined subjection of race and gender- making their respective discrimination: Notably within categories of the labor market, the ideals of gender and feminen roles, and in subjections to danger; the additional increase of apathy in response to these happenings is commonly attributed to the female experience as well (Pettman 1992, p. 54-77). The roles of women in the labor markets have been vastly socially and economically under-valued in addition to their lack of respect and payments (Gianettoni 2010, p. 375; Pettman 1992, p. 75). Constructed ideals of gendered roles buttress women as ‘dependent’ and ‘passive,’ undermining their value and the value of their contributions at home, as well (Pettman 1992, p. 68 & 75-76). Both of these in turn accent gendered inequality favoring men’s rights and merit.

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These also prop men’s position to be heads of the household- granting familial control and thereby control of violence conducted in the family: Danger everywhere is relevant for women, but the greatest amount occurs at home; showcased by Australia in a country-wide research study surveying its women of ethnic-minority, concluded that 81 percent of them “believed domestic violence to be a Serious problem within their community “ (Pettman 1992, p. 61, 68 & 72-74). However, there is further inequality in this inequality: despite the advantages and benefits over women that men as a group have been assigned, further disparities in power erect themselves in following the fabrication of hierarchy including race (Pettman 1992, p. 62-63 & 66). Naturalized power disparities turned into tools in individual behaviors as an “analysis of domination, exploitation, servility, subordination, oppression and marginalization” (Barrett 1987, p. 35). Where in these people of superior biological characteristics ”have the power to classify, to name, and therefore to ‘construct the Other’”(Gianettoni 2010, p. 375).

Racism and gender intersect in their construction of the naturalization of entitlement through individual attitudes naturalizing gender inequalities and racism; and through individual behaviors of ranking racism and gender by hierarchy of ‘natural biological differences’(Pettman 1992, p. 60). Finally, racism and gender parallel in reasoned “obvious biological differences:” making an individual’s attitude of a ‘preferred’ race and gender seem like the normal/ way of life; the hierarchical system of ranked genders and races is justified in individual attitudes/ normalized and/or overlooked from conscious thought; individual attitudes of naturalization of entitlement turn into individual behaviors reflecting naturalization of entitlement (Pettman 1992, p. 60). From original sin, through social Darwinism of the 1900’s, to contemporary or ‘new racism,’ or “ representations of the New Right,” racism and other socially relevant mechanisms of ranking have been greater “coded” in conditions or “terms of difference” rather “than inferiority,” and by which socio-biologist that “assert the primary claim of kin” and a termination or a “ closure against others as ‘natural’” (Pettman 1992, p. 56). As a ‘question of nature,’Sexism and racism are free to compose differences and inequalities power (Gianettoni 2010, p. 376). Whiteness envelopes “the human condition” and “defines normality and fully inhabits it;” constructed through its own communications and ingrained and naturalized in the bonds of society predating to Imperial England: White cultural values, media images, superiority in academics, all the way to dominance being represented through street names after white British monarchy, white supremacy ideas are trained, neutralized, normalized, merited, and “applied to all areas of human experience”(Dyer 1997, p. 9; Johnson 1999, p. 3-5; Moreton-Robinson 1999, p. 28-33). Racism and gender intersect at their consistent obscurance of power through individual attitudes toward identification and through individual behaviors of not identifying themselves through racism, gender and power (Pettman 1992, p. 60). Identity- or therefore lack of it- is (one of) the most central thematic sociological concepts interlaced throughout the exploration of this relationship. Race and gender are used to identify individuals within the ranking hierarchy system that is used to identify power. Power, racism and gender are poorly- if at all- defined, confused, and inconsistent and the absence of definition attributes to their obscurance of power. anonymity is the most consistent identification & it is the identity of the concepts of interest: gender, race, and dominant groups all remain directly unidentified and obscured (Fozdar & Farida 2009). Without a definition of these, defining power is, too, barred, because power cannot be construed without determination of its constituent elements.

Likewise, individuals do not identify variations of power from these points of difference in gender or race; variations in power/power inequalities, like racism, remain unidentified; because the threat is seen as the values and the cultural differences of the “Other” -not the points of differences, race and gender, themselves (Gianettoni 2010, p. 375).

The confusion of power identification and the enigma of identification through racism and gender is propagated by inconsistencies in individual attitudes and behaviors: such as in how seemingly each entity of society is holding multiple positions within various ranking mechanisms- as per the case of a black man- he is occupying the “dominant position in terms of gender relations” and simultaneously the “dominated position in race relations”(Gianettoni 2010, p. 375-376). moreover, characteristic of the bestrode (or “others”) is an implicit identity -for themselves and for the dominant- that is only possible in companion with “heedless lack of self recognition” by its opposition; together they fabricate an opaque allusion to the identity of power and of dominant individuals that is hiding behind a vague accumulation of theories and ideas of racism, gender and much more known as the “universal point of reference” (Gianettoni 2010, p. 375). The group of dominant individuals: are not seen as dominant, nor are they aware/ see themselves as dominant or as a particular group (Gianettoni 2010, p. 375). White people do not identify themselves as dominant because dominance has become internalised to them; although still experiencing it, conscious awareness of power is numbed by racism’s naturalization of entitlement- leaving the identity of power unbenounced to the powerful as well (Moreton-Robinson 1999, p. 29-33). White people, dominance and superiority is invisible and it “thrives also on invisibility” (Dyer 1997, p. 42).

Pandemic namelessness is presumably also reason for the unseen fact that it is only the “other” that holds multiple hierarchical positions. Similarly to women, black men were victimized by naturalization in being diminished to their bodies: white elites used the origins in forced labor to objectify and reduce black men to immense, tenacious and brainless shapes- rationalizing the harsh conditions they were put under; and yet, contrastingly, the “emasculation thesis” that formed black male masculinity weakened and feminized them simultaneously (Hughey 2011, p. 143).

This motif of power and/or dominance obscurancing used again is synonymous to likewise bewilderment of such in practices lacing processes of difference naturalization: through which the overlapping categories of gender and racism are instilled and the relations between genders and between races are delegated (as inequalities) without explicit expression- seemingly subconsciously (Pettman 1992, p. 60). Ethnocentrism obscures power inequality and the naturalization of entitlement (Moreton-Robinson 1999, p. 32-33).

References

  1. BARRETT, M. 1987. The Concept of Difference. ​Feminist Review,​ 0​,​ 29.
  2. Dyer, Richard, 1990, ‘Coming to Terms’, in Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures, eds. Russell Ferguson, Martha Gever, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Cornel West, MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 289-98.
  3. FOZDAR, ​F, Wilding R and Hawkins M. ​ 2009. ​Race and ethnic relations, ​South Melbourne, Vic., South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press.
  4. Fozdar, F Wilding, R & Hawkins M 2012, ​Race and ethnic relations​, Oxford University Press, Victoria.
  5. GIANETTONI, L. & ROUX, P. 2010. Interconnecting Race and Gender Relations: Racism, Sexism and the Attribution of Sexism to the Racialized Other. ​A Journal of Research,​ 62​,​ 374-386.
  6. HUGHEY, M. W. 2011. Backstage Discourse and the Reproduction of White Masculinities. ​The Sociological Quarterly,​ 52​,​ 132-153.
  7. Ho, C 2007, ‘Muslim women’s new defenders: Women’s rights, nationalism and Islamophobia in contemporary Australia’, ​Women’s Studies International Forum​, vol. 30, pp. 290-298.
  8. Johnson, Parker, 1999, Reflections on Critical White(ness) Studies, in ​Whiteness: The Communication of Social Identity​, eds. Thomas Nakayama and Judith Martin, SAGE, California, pp 1-9.
  9. Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, 1999. Unmasking whiteness: A ​Goori Jondal’s​ look at some ​duggai business, in ​Unmasking Whiteness: Race Relations and Reconciliation, ed. Belinda McKay, Griffith University, Griffith, pp 28-36.
  10. PETTMAN, J. J. 1992. ​Living in the margins: racism, sexism and feminism in Australia, ​North Sydney, N.S.W., North Sydney, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin.

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