The long arm of inequality

GenderKit_smallI found this kit on sale for half price in a drug store and just had to take a picture. This is not an advertisement for the product.
I recently listen to a presentation on the structure and inner workings of a West-African nation’s news media. The presentation revealed that the local journalists of this African nation rely heavily on the British Broadcast Company’s reporting (BBC) of its local news. In other words, the local journalists trust the reporting and interpretation of local West-African events by the formal colonizer more than they trust their own sources.
Many of the non-Africans in the audience were quite baffled by this.
The presenter spoke of a psychological perspective of inferiority by the local Africans that has been internalized over years and years of colonization and unequal post-colonial relations.
As I listened to the explanations and examples presented, I found myself thinking: “This sounds familiar, I can relate.” I was able to sympathize.
As a woman, I perfectly understand how after years of “liberation” someone would still trust an old established authority more than her own intelligence and the intelligence of her own kind (other women). I have been in this situation many times and I still struggle with it to this day.
This is because inequality is maintained in the mindset of people through generations even as the underlying political, social, and economic conditions have changed. This is what I call “the long arm of inequality.”
In school we hear about the “founding fathers” of a discipline and every new insight of a field of study adds to what these men have established, be it the method of inquiry or new discoveries.
How many of us women have not found ourselves in a situation where we gave more weight to information coming from a man or male expert than information coming from a woman or female expert?
I invite all (and especially women) to imagine how you would feel if you are in the audience observing
A. A panel of all male experts discussing incarceration rates in the US.
B. A panel of all female experts discussing incarceration rates in the US.
Which panel would you strike as somewhat atypical?
Which panel would you trust more to be able to give you the full understanding of the topic? How would you feel just looking at the experts and sitting in the audience?
If you were the organizer of this panel would you have second thoughts or be more or less nervous with the composition of panel A or B? Which panel would make you more worried to appear biased or unevenly represented?
I say no more.

2 thoughts on “The long arm of inequality

  1. I feel panel B would not only be able to give correct figures, but also see the emotional/psychological effect incarceration has on inmates. That would be a much more informative discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

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