First, in response to the original post that began this thread; I am a white woman. That needs to be stated since the conversation is concerning race and sex. But…does anyone actually know that? Because I could say that I’m black or a man. In a medium where people can communicate with whom they choose about what they choose and claim whatever suits them it is not unreasonable to question narratives.
Personally, unless I had something to point to that indicated a viable reason to doubt a particular story I would be reluctant to call out a stranger’s experience as anything other than what they portray. I’d likely just move along if I were in doubt.
As the assumptions made by people in relation to sex…this has become a ridiculously convoluted conversation.
As I write the word ‘sex’ in the sentence above I know that in Internet-land there are those that will insist that what I’m actually speaking about is gender. There are those that would balk at the fact that I have confined the perimeters of my conversation to cis-gendered. Some would sneer at the fact that I’m a privileged white woman. It is likely that there would be someone ready to claim that I suffer from internalized misogyny. Its a conversational mine field. So its no wonder people get offended since there is so very much that we are being told that is offensive. To someone. Somewhere.
You are right about the assumptions that people make about what they see. But let me ask you this: say you see a white man - weathered, sour expression, stained ball cap, a rumpled shirt opened over a dingy tee shirt and a pair of greasy work pants. He his tall and lanky and has a loping gait with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth and you happen to be in South Carolina…? What would be your first impression? Would you think ‘bubba’?Good ol white boy? Because that would be my first impression and I do live in South Carolina. And whether or not I was conscious of it I would adjust any interaction with him accordingly or until I found out differently.
This nonsense of not having preconceived ideas or expectations seems unrealistic. Looking at your profile picture I see two things immediately. One you are a woman (or at the very least are presenting as a woman) and that you are black.
If we are going to start down the road of pointing fingers at people’s presumptions then lets start with yours. First, you seem to want to take offense at people presuming that you are not an attorney but a paralegal. Is that a problem? Is there some negative connotation to being a paralegal? Do you think a paralegal might take exception to your insinuation that as an attorney you are being demeaned?
Second, aren’t you presuming that there is ill-intent in people’s misunderstanding your position? Except for the shoe thing — that was rudely dismissive and deserved to be addressed on the spot. Did you?
Sex between men and women has been called a ‘war of sexes’ for a reason. I believe its because men and women do not think the same. Our brains are different; we have different biological imperatives. Does that give either (any) of us the right to be rude? No. But to assume anything more than rudeness from a cat-call late at night or even in the middle of the day is a stretch. Some men believe its a way of expressing appreciation. And, frankly, some men will do it to get a rise out of us. But, if you are in a locked car and a man cat calls you and you are struck with fear or discomfort…? Then that is a problem you need to address with yourself as an unreasonable fear.
Women seem to be struggling with mass-group perception of imminent danger. We are raising a generation of hyper-sensitive children that believe if you are male or white that you are privileged, racist and sexist. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous and more than a little offensive?