According to Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions, “systems that facilitate privilege and inequality, subordination and domination, include racism based upon racial/ethnic group membership; sexism based upon gender; classism associated with socioeconomic status; heterosexism, concerning sexual identity or orientation; ageism relating to age; looksism and sizeism, concerning body size and looks; and ableism, about physical and mental ability” (45). We can see that there are many words that end in “ism.” A lot of these words listed above have been brought up throughout my lifetime while others I have just learned throughout this class.
I remember the first experience I had with the understanding of an “ism” when I was in 6th grade. I remember learning the word racism when a boy got in trouble for wearing a rebel flag shirt. At first, I felt absolutely devastated that someone would make a flag to intentionally hurt someone. At the time, I didn’t really understand what the rebel flag meant and I didn’t know that it could be offensive. I remember researching it and I found out that it was in fact his choice to wear it and that he was proud of his heritage, since he had moved up from Alabama. I found out that opponents of the rebel flag saw it as a symbolism of racism and supporters felt as if the flag was a representative of their Southern cultural heritage and history. After finding out this information, I was no longer devastated at the fact that this flag existed but upset that the school immediately assumed that it was an act of racism and told the boy he could not wear it.
I was a member of a non-target group. When dealing with the word racism a member of a non-target group would be a white person while a member of a target group would be a person of color. The people who were offended by the flag were mainly African Americans. If African Americans took the time to find out that the flag was not meant to be offensive and was simply part of who the individual is...