The Struggle of Being a Woman of Color
Women have always struggled with being considered equal. We tend to face the difficulties of being a woman by itself; but then there is the problem of being a minority. Usually women of color face more difficulties because of their gender and race/ethnicity. This is what is referred to as intersectionality. In Angela Davis article Women, Race, and Class The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework: A Working-Class Perspective she mentioned how women and men used to work together and how both of their work was considered valuable regardless of gender. Angela Davis stated an important point “Within the pre-capitalist, nomadic economy of the Masai, women’s domestic labor is as essential to the economy as the cattle-raising jobs performed by their men. As producers, they enjoy a correspondingly important social status.” Before a capitalist society existed women and men’s work were considered valuable where as today we struggle with that wage gap. Why is it that one’s salary depends on your gender? I have heard of male doctors earning a bit more than female doctors even though they have the same level of education and probably the same amount of experience. “Although the “housewife” was rooted in the social conditions of the bourgeoisie and the middle classes, nineteenth-century ideology established the housewife and the mother as universal models of womanhood. Since popular propaganda represented the vocation of all women as a function of their roles in the home, women compelled to work for wages came to be treated as alien visitors within the masculine world of the public economy.” Why is it that before, domestic work was considered valuable and now it is not given any importance? When people think about housework they quickly associate it to house wives. House work seems to be a duty that should be done by women. The unfortunate thing is that it is not given the value that it should be given. Women are now working jobs and still coming home to clean, cook, and take care of the kids. The hard part of it all is breaking the stereotypical idea of housework just being for women when it should be associated to both men and women.
The struggle is even more difficult for women of color. Women of color have many times been depicted as not being good enough. They have felt a sense of inferiority and unfortunately our skin color sometimes determines how we feel about ourselves. I have known people who consider brown or black skin as a bad thing and white skin as beautiful. This is when racism comes into the picture. In the media world many lead actresses are usually white women. When we watch movies or television shows we usually see women of color being the maids. We never really see white women playing that role. It is interesting how even in the media women of color are seen as inferior. And since domestic work is not given the same value as it was given before we tend to think of it as an inferior job. Another thing is that we are not used to seeing men play the role of maids on television. It just feels weird when we do see it. We should think about the role of domestic work being considered as just a job for anybody because both men and women should play a vital role in it. I believe that women are the ones who struggle the most with life; especially women of color. We are considered minorities so it is always nice to see how someone of the minority group is actually succeeding in life and setting an example that we are not limited to want we can accomplish just because of our skin color. Gina Rodriquez is an example of someone who is succeeding in life especially in the media world. She is the lead actress of the television show Jane the Virgin. She was given a Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy series. In her speech she acknowledged her Latino community which was important for her and people from the Latino community. Gina Rodriguez is just one of many minority people who are creating an image that women of color can also exceed in life.
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