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I have faced more discrimination for being female than I have for being black.

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In a recent conversation on this discussion forum I made the following observation, “It is interesting to observe how women are not nearly as devoted to Hillary as Black folks are to Obama.”  I usually share quotes from these forums on social media. In reaction to this quote Zane a very popular author wrote the following:

“Women tend to be bitter toward other women and don't want to see them succeed. I am riding with Hillary to the end and my stance has never changed. In my life I have faced more discrimination for being female than I have for being black.”—Zane, 213 time AALBC.com Bestselling Author

The main reason this struck me is that I have watched Zane's career grow from the beginning.  I've witnessed her get a lot of grief for no other reason, that I can conceive, than her Blackness.  I've even written about attacks on Zane a number of times.  I know if Zane were white she'd be far more popular than E.L James is today.  

Now the fact that Zane wrote that she gets more grief for being a woman than being Black is almost shocking.  I wrote "almost," because I've heard many Black women make this statement, in one form or another, over the years.


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Hi Troy,

This makes me wonder how I’m perceived in a first sight impression. Am I seen first as a woman, of female gender? Or does my Black skin color overshadow the woman that I am? How does my appearance in terms of my age impact any of this—meaning am I perceived as an older, Black woman or am I a woman who happens to be Black who is up in the years?

I would think that one would have to determine how they want to discriminate against you based on his or her perception of who you are. I really don’t know how one discriminates against me without knowing who I am or what I am all about.  Lots of time people seem to like me until I open my mouth and share my thoughts—and then they decide how they want to treat me in terms of my race, age, and/or gender or my gender, age, and /or race.

This is a tricky one.  I would like to think that people discriminate against other people for a combination of reasons based on their perceptions, experiences, ideologies, and beliefs.  If, for example, a man who sees me and believes that I should behave in a certain way as a woman and somehow I violate his beliefs, then there it is. But if this same person uses his ignorance to see my Black skin as a threat of sorts, then he will act accordingly.  But what if this person has a disdain for woman in general and is prejudice against African-Americans? In this case, I could get a double-dose of discrimination. It’s not so simple to just discriminate against women, black women, or black women in a given age range.

For me, when I see a person whose race is different than mine, I think I see race first, followed immediately by that person’s gender.  When I refer to another, I usually refer to him or her by saying that Black man or white woman, or that Hispanic girl. I never say that man who is African-American or Black or that woman who is Caucasian. With that being said, I think race-first may be the answer in how first to discriminate against another.

As far as Secretary Clinton is concerned, if I had to describe her, she would be the White, woman, Secretary of State who is running for the office President.  Now if I were a racist, I think a disdain for her race would trump everything else--I would only see a white woman with no regard for what she stands for or who she really is--my judgment of her would be clouded by an ignorant perception.  Sorry I couldn’t resist the trump part. 

In conclusion, it is is likely that the choice to discriminate may be to notice race, gender, age, and occupation/status in this order. There is nothing research-based in this. This is only my opinion--a very thought-provoking opinion I might add.

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Sure how we perceive others is indeed a function of who we are, but who we are is a function of our culture and our position within the culture. 

Based upon Zane's statement and the apparent lack of universal female support for Hillary's campaign, I think this reveals our culture's marginalization of women relative to men:  Surely a man, even a Black one with little experience, or a reality-TV celebrity with zero experience, would be a better president, than even a strongly qualified woman.

I'd also image at Hillary's level the people she encounters, of consequence, will be white males, so they will be the ones in a position to jam her up.  Therefore Hillary will encounter more sexism than racism. like most successful women of any so called race.






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Okay Troy, you've got me going on this one. Your statement: "Surely a man, even a Black one with little experience, or a reality-TV celebrity with zero experience, would be a better president, than even a strongly qualified woman."

Some years ago, I would firmly agree with this. However, not in today's political climax. Older White men cannot discriminate against Hillary for her race because she is White. This is a given that leaves sexism as their weapon of choice. I have no doubt that this population of men is going to give her a fit at the polls. Do you feel that Barack Obama, the Black man, defeated Hillary, the White woman, because of her gender? Or did he defeat her because of the time, his powerful persona and intellect, the damage from the Bush administration, and/or the fact that he is a man--Black or not?

I think just like with O.J. Simpson, we, not only Blacks, but a very confused, scared Nation needed a change and Barack Obama was just the change in skin color, charisma, and intellectual and oratory make-up that we needed at the time. If, in this case, "sexism" is the power tool that will determine Hillary's fate, Trump is sure to win. But it isn't. I think she isn't liked for a number of reasons--any one of which could be her undoing if she was not the color/person/woman/wife/Secretary of State that she is. There are many factors here.

I do agree with you that sexism is going to jam her. But surely if this was a Black woman running with the exact same qualifications as Hillary, sexism would be beaten out by racism every time. Again, this is my opinion as a Black woman. Personally, I truly wish Bernie could have won the Country over. I am more of the revolutionary type regardless of the color of the proposed leader. I love how involved our young folks are in all of this. After all, it's all about the future of their world.

Thanks always for stimulating my mind.

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Again I believe Hillary is getting beat up because of her gender, despite her white skin.  Consider this; Bill Clinton engaged in a variety of activities that embarrassed the nation and hurt the Black community and he got a pass while doing it.  Today Hillary is getting beat up and called to account for all the stuff Bill did--talk about a double standard.

I think Obama beat Hillary primarily because he was selling hope and change--something Hillary simply can never do. This is tragic because she may be a great president given the opportunity.  As far as intellect I'm not sure Obama is that much smarter that Hillary; assuming he is smarted than her at all.  As far as oratory skills, Obama never wowed me personally but I guess this is purely subjective.

Donald is selling a hope and change too, and he is making no attempt to come across as smart (I doubt he is capable of it). No one will confuse him with a great orator either.

The other issue is we usually switch parties after 8 years; republicans have an advantage here.

I agree there are many factors in play.  But again, Hillary represents the status quo.  Trump represents everything Hillary is not. Now that the republicans are starting to line up behind Trump, he will be a formidable candidate for president.  

Meanwhile, Bernie shows no sign of dropping out so while the democrats are duking it out, the republicans will continue to build momentum.

Besdies, a white man beats a white woman everyday of the week... 

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Although I don't think the discrimination is as severe or intense at certain times.....
I actually believe that as a group women ARE discriminated more than the Black race.

Their discricrimination tends to be more global also.
Where as anti-Black racism may be found in various regions of the globe but may be almost absent in others such as most of the African continent or even many urban areas in the United States........
Everywhere you go on this planet women tend to be in a somewhat subservient role to the man.

Even in the rather matriarchal Black communities of urban America, the seemingly dominant role women play is only in the arena of family economic.  She brings in the money and manages the household.
But socially and politically and especially when it comes to religious matters, men still rule for the most part and that rule seems to be never seriously challenged.

When I look at how women are discriminated against in society....
I would even go as far as to say that a lot of men think it's "cute" to act in a sexist way toward women, I'm often guilty of this myself.
I tend to flirt with women in a sexist way, but I still consider my behavior quite benign as compared to a true chauvinist who actually believes women are somehow inferior to men or those who are driven by religious idealogy.

Not only do many men feel it's natural for women to be mistreated, but because women tend not to react against personal injustices the way most men do.....a lot of men don't take it as seriously.
It often takes another woman to understand the pain a woman may feel about a given word or deed.

That's one of the reasons I don't bash the women who came out to accuse Bill Cosby for their timing.
I don't know whether he's guilty or not but women who are victims of assault be it sexual or otherwise are often embarrassed and ashamed and find comfort in numbers.
Sometime it takes someone like a lawyer or even a police officer to almost force them to come foreward and name their abuser and even then they'll only do it after other women step forward first.
I'm not a woman, I don't know why many women make the decisions they make but atleast I recognize the differences in how many women operate and don't readily dismiss their claims of injustices simply because it's they didn't do what I would have done in a given situation.

A recent example......
The other day I was in a coffee shop and a man kept trying to talk to this young lady.
She was busy with her work and didn't seem to have time for company anyway which any real "playa" would have picked up on.....lol.
She would keep her words short and focus on her work but she was very nice about it.
He kept spinning around in the chair trying to make conversation with her and she kept politely brushing him off and finally he stopped talking to her.
As he got up to leave he said have a nice day and "accidently" spilled hot tea on the poor girl, "apologized" with a smile on his face and briskly walked out the door.

She sat their frozen with her mouth open blinking.

A couple of women who witnessed it kept asking her was she OK and she just sat there shaking her head with a slight smirk on her face still in shock and they told one guy working in the coffee shop.
He asked her did she want to call the cops and she said no, stated that she was fine, and just wanted to forget about it.....so he let it go and went back to work.

But another woman a little older than the girl who saw the incident sat down and talked with her, helped, clean her up, and helped her gather her things and walk her out of the place as she started crying.
Where as the male employee didn't recognize the symptoms of shock nor was he aware that women tend not to confront their attackers out of fear of being attacked again....a wiser female DID recoginze these things and jumped into action and helped her.

Incidents or worse take place all over the world every day as men often feel justified in mistreating women and other men don't take those mistreatments seriously.

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Hello Pioneer,

I hear you. I think we can discuss this issue until the end of time. What a great discussion to have. I will say this, racism and sexism are both powerful and ugly. I am a combination of both, therefore I see through both lenses. I believe that the world is changing--has changed. Women all over the world are starting to fight back. The role of victim is transforming a little each day. If Hillary is elected, I think there will surely be less victims in terms of White women and prominent Black and women of color. That's surely something to make the sexism shake his head and ponder. But, since I am not a seer,  I guess we will just have to wait and see what really happens.

Hello Troy,

I hear you as well. I want to say that I never said that President Obama was smarter than Hillary Clinton. If this came off as the implication, it was certainly not what I meant.  I feel that those who voted for Obama saw him as a very intelligent man. I still do. We can't strip of him that too! Now how he chose to use that intellect while in office is certainly up to discussion. Whatever the case, Hillary is the last person right now to speak ill of her President. Why is that I wonder? She was in the trenches with him. She saw first hand what went on with his proposed policies, along with the constant obstacles that were put into place to stop many of his plans/actions. Why isn't she slamming him with the rest of the world? She's a smart woman. I think this is yet another reason why Mrs. Clinton will have a fight on her hands. She continues to uphold the President. Oh, I can hardly wait to see the outcome to all of this madness.

Finally, please know that I have never underestimated Donald Trump. My husband and I have had many debates about this dangerous person. There were some instances earlier on that I even agreed with him on a particular stance he had about building up the country. However, the more he talked, I more I heard the Donald Trump that I hear right now. You know, it doesn't take a genius to know how dangerous he is in terms of where he will take this country in both foreign and domestic affairs.  I really don't know who will try to run this country in the very near future. But I can certainly agree that racism, sexism, strong political will, and  lots of big money will be at the forefront of it all.


I don't know how much time I will have left to devote to these discussions. I've had time to do this because I've completed another of my writing courses and I'm waiting on the final proof of another one of my books. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of these discussions. I will certainly drop in as often as possible. Thanks for the mental stimulation :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part of healing and uplifting the Black community is breaking out of the old sexually repressive and patriarchal structure that was imposed on our people and figuring out a social structure that works for US.

One of my partners actually helped me understand the pain so many women and especially Black women go through in this society.

Not that I'm a super macho guy, but I just don't cry much.
I think the last time I actually cried was when my father passed away, and before that when my mother passed years earlier.  However a few years ago we were just sitting around after a meeting sipping on coffee and she told me something that for some reason almost brought tears to my eyes.

She was telling me about how her and her 2 older brothers grew up and how she routinely got better grades than them and when they all went off to school her brothers got new cars for graduating college and all she got was a new DICTIONARY.

Apparently her Preacher father didn't believe so much in girls getting an education as he did boys as he figured men should be the maintainers so the emphasis should be on THEM getting a good education and finding a good job.

I know there are worse examples of sexism in the world, but for some reason everytime I hear that story it brings up a mixture of sadness and anger .

All the years of hearing about how women were abused and killed in the Middle East...though sad...still didn't produce that type of reaction in me and I'm STILL not sure why.

But everytime she tells me or another this story she says it with a laugh and talks about how it's just a small example of the routine sexist treament she's had to deal with for her 50 plus years in this world.
I've heard similar stories....some even worse...from other Black women about how they were treated in their own families.

She and other women around me have helped me to recognize the pain that woman, homosexuals, and even just passive men have had to deal with much of their lives in such a type-A society where it's all about strength and results.

Often times men take things as simple as being able to walk to the store at 2 am to get a snack for granted not realizing that most women can't do this without the fear of being sexually assaulted or accused of being a prostitute walking the street at that time of night.

From time to time I wonder do White people see the priviledges of being White the same way I see the priviledges of being a man?
Or does it have to first be brought to their attention that they actually ARE priviledged, and then afterward receive a reminder from time to time to keep them in touch with the reality experienced by others?


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