Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
- Arthur Ashe
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
figure 1, the mall in the University of Arizona where many events held
The title above might sound confusing to some people, and some may not see anything in common between gender equality, discrimination, and college. However, gender equality and discrimination are very connected in many ways and can be the reason for each other existence. Furthermore, the University of Arizona attract students from the whole country and even internationally. College community is just like any other community has many believes and backgrounds and it is normal to find disagreement in between people. However, being an international student with a whole different background makes it much harder to understand what is going around and to find reasons for people actions and point of views. This article will discuss the common ideas that connect gender equality, discrimination, and college in the University of Arizona.
Gender equality is one of the hottest topics in our modern time. As it started as a movement to find equality between all men and all women in many areas of our daily life. In the last few years transgender men and women felt that they are being discriminated and it is harder for them to find jobs than others. Therefore, they are a part of the gender equality movement, as they are members of our community and should be respected and treated fairly regardless of their personal life. Discrimination can be seen anywhere and can be based on many reasons for example, race, gender, or sexuality. As Johnson said, “except the reason provided by the cultural assumption of white racial dominance that can override any class advantage a person of color might have.” According to Johnson, our culture gave the white race privileges over others just because they way they look. Privileges can be as small as skipping a line to being hired for a job, or whether you are being admitted or not to college. However, we are going to focus on college and the educational life. As an international student, from Saudi Arabia, the first few months I spent in the United States was an exploration adventure. Coming from a different region and having a different background and perspectives hooked me to watch people reactions toward others in different situations. For example, in Saudi Arabia there are many discrimination actions toward people based on their religion or tripe. However, in this part of the world it can be many other reasons such as sexuality, color, race, gender, and religion as well. Therefore, college life can be confusing at the beginning for international students sometimes.
It is hard to deny the fact that we are struggling from discrimination in college by some individuals. As Friedman says in his article, “Fraternities and sororities, prominent on college campuses for nearly two centuries, are under intense scrutiny because of misdeeds — largely by fraternity members — ranging from binge drinking and racism to deadly hazing injuries and sexual assault.” Greek life on campus can be a source for discrimination actions, which can lead to violence and sexual assault. Moreover, these actions whether they were based on ranks or positions, puts a huge pressure toward other members of the fraternities or sororities and also give the “big guys” a kind of social privilege in college. Furthermore, in the same article, Friedman says, “Fraternities, too, come in for charges of boorishness and exclusivity. Fraternities are “often exclusionary, misogynist organizations that discriminate regularly on the basis of looks or character traits,” says Douglas Fierberg, the Deng family's lawyer, who also represents seven young women who say they were raped in fraternity houses. He says he also is handling eight hazing cases, some alleging wrongful death.” The issue we are discussing today had already shown its effect on campus which can lead to hazing, rape, and death. Therefore, it needs a serious and firm resolution by authorities.
Students usually join college as teenagers which is a very sensitive age and life events can affect their present and future. College life can be a critical period of students’ life; therefore, discrimination and gender inequality can affect their social life, personality, and grades. I did two interviews with international students in the University of Arizona to ask them about our topic, because from my experience, an international student would be able to notice different behaviors more than others. Both Almanasif and Alkhabbaz thinks that today we still have the issue of gender inequality. However, Almanasif believes that there are no discrimination actions in our campus based on gender. On the other hand, Alkhabbaz does not agree and believes that there are some discrimination actions in campus based on genders and sexuality as well. Both are talking about their experience and based on what they have seen in person.
As we discussed here and explained the connection between gender equality and discrimination in college, now it is our duty to take a closer look and make actions. Discrimination and gender equality are both serious issues, and the idea of its existing in an early age as in college is scary. Therefore, it should be fought and never be seen as being “cool” or “chill” or any other word to make it acceptable in college. Acceptance of others no matter what they look like or what they believe in, is the answer. Let us grow a better generation for a brighter future.
Alkhabbaz, Thamer. Personal interview. 5 March. 2016.
Almanasif, Hussain. Personal interview. 5 March. 2016.
Friedman, Jane. "Greek Life on Campus." CQ Researcher. 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. <http://library.cqpress.com.ezproxy1.library.arizona.edu/cqresearcher/cqresrre2015112000>.
Johnson, Allan G. “The Trouble We’re In: Privilege, Power, and Difference”. Privilege, Power, and Difference. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2001. 15-41. Print.
Jscarreiro. University of Arizona Front Lawn. 2006. Tucson. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 11 Apr. 2016. <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:University_of_Arizona_mall.jpg>.
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