All my spoons are in all the right places, if you know what I'm talkin' about...
Sexism in medicine is so rampant, that this exact issue can be so commonplace. At least both of us are being treated correctly finally.
Heart Disease has become one of the leading causes of death in Lupus patients, giving Kidney Failure a run for it’s money. As Chronically Ill patients, are hearts are more vulnerable to many issues than the rest of the population. But heart disease isn’t the only thing we need to watch out for.
The Lupus Foundation lists these as major risk factors for Lupus patients and I’ll go into each of them in more detail here:
So I just started a class called Sexism and the Humanities, and today was our first real day of class discussion. The short version: I spoke my mind and all hell broke loose.
Here’s the long version:
I’m not sure yet if the Professor is trolling us to get us riled up, playing devil’s advocate, or being completely serious. But he starts class by having me transcribe his notes onto the board…notes that say that social constructs are what define culture, not natural laws. Ok, cool. We influence each other over time and create a set of societal norms that don’t really mean anything outside of what we let them. Got it, we’re cool. Then he opens up discussion by asking a question:
Do all men cheat?
Now I have trained myself to be immediately critical of any sweeping generalization. Any statement that starts with “everybody does x” or “all these people do x” or “every time x”. Red flags go up, and for good reason! So I say, “No. Of course not. Just like not all women want to get married and have babies.” I assumed, being in a college level course specifically about stereotypes, that my answer would be met with a general sense of agreement or at least an acknowledgement against vast generalizations. Instead, I’m told that I’m wrong. That ALL men cheat. Then follows a heated discussion about stereotyping and generalizations that leads to a particular opinion of the professor.
He tells us that people are basically bad, and will do anything they think they can get away with, with no regard for anyone else. (i.e. all people would cheat given the opportunity; there is no such thing as altruism) And then the part that struck me as odd - that no one ever changes, and morality never evolves. Naturally, I question this. I bring up the more obvious examples: we don’t burn witches anymore, women can vote and participate in society, people can’t own other people. I explain that morality evolves in the same way that biology does - gradually. And that today might not seem better than yesterday, but it’s certainly better than 50 years ago, etc.
Hostility! I’m told that NOTHING is different in all our years of existence simply because racism, misogyny, and homophobia still exist. That we’ve come no distance and that there’s really no point in working to change things. And I’m about 90% sure that the professor was serious.
This discussion went on all class, with me citing statistics, and peer reviewed studies and being countered with generalizations and stereotypes. In a class about sexism! I’ve never been more frustrated!
Then the professor singles me out and says something to this affect:
"You care about this stuff now, but society will slowly chip away at you and eventually you’ll be sitting in your corporate office in your three piece suit, following the rules and procedures and probably doing terrible things to other women."
I snapped back, “Well, behind closed doors maybe.” And the whole class laughs.
In my opinion, the class laughing proves my point. They weren’t disgusted by or irritated by or offended by a lighthearted joke about homosexuality. I think no more than a few years ago I’d have been kicked out of class. Is our societies morality perfect? Far from it. Does a perfect morality exist? Probably not! But are things better now than they were?
Without question. My very discussion with this man proves it. He’s a black man teaching at a university who deserves and receives respect, and I’m a young woman who can challenge an authority figure and deserve and receive respect right back. This was not always possible, and is increasingly more possible each passing year.