How A Riddle Taught Me That Loose Terminology Promotes Sexism and Racism
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

How A Riddle Taught Me That Loose Terminology Promotes Sexism and Racism

Loose terminology does more damage than you think.

110
How A Riddle Taught Me That Loose Terminology Promotes Sexism and Racism
newislander.com

So today I read a riddle about three doctors. Each doctor said they had a brother named Robert but Robert said he doesn't have any brothers. Which one is telling the truth?

Well all of them are. I know I was confused at first too but that's the problem as I scrolled down to see the answer it said they are all correct because the doctors are "Robert's intelligent sisters."

I had a few problems with this. One, why did I automatically assume that a doctor would have been a man? I mean for god sakes I want to be one so why is that gender role so ingrained in my mind? Two, why did they act like it was a surprise that the doctors were girls but it's all covered by the fact that they are "intelligent sisters"?

Like in what world would a man's intelligence even been brought up when talking about his profession? Isn't it just assumed that whether you are a man or a woman you should be intelligent and hard working if you are a doctor. I mean you put in a decade or more of training, you better know your stuff.

I began to think about so many circumstances where unnecessary information is added where it really wasn't needed and in turn was actually degrading. Like when a story is told and someone's race is added in when it really had no reason of being added.

My point is that division starts here. Division starts in the little things. The wage gap starts with us not being able to solve a riddle, because we subconsciously assumed a doctor must be a man. It starts with the answer of the riddle saying, no the doctors aren't men they are just really smart women.

I'm not trying to throw a feminist rant down your throat I'm just saying that happens in every division of people whether it be sexism, racism, or xenophobia. There's a famous interview of Morgan Freeman that I love and he answers the interviewer's question about how to stop racism. He simply states "stop talking about it, the day you stop calling me a black man and I stop calling you a white man is the day it ends."

I guess what I'm saying is the day we stop allowing these unnecessary subconscious comments about sex or racial divide to be made is the day the divide stops. I understand the uprising of all the equality movements recently because I see it the more I pay attention and the more I notice these subconscious acts that we do everyday. Like for God sakes of course I believe in feminism but I have been taught subconsciously to assume when a renowned profession is talked about you automatically assume the gender and race of that person is a white male.

I'm not trying to cause problems or step on anyone's feet. I'm just trying to put things into perspective, because the use of a simple example or story is the best way to explain complex subjects to those who don't understand. That is exactly why the BLM movement has used examples such as saying happy holidays is doing to Christmas what "all lives matter" is doing to "black lives matter." It's a simple statement that made me understand why their terminology was so distinct.

I still believe that media has helped create a great divide in this county and has recently pinned African Americans and cops against each other. I'm not saying that there is no substance to the movement, because I genuinely believe there is, but I also believe the media loves a good uprising of the people so why tell the full story? But that's a debate for another day.

I urge you guys to take your blinders off, just as the answer to this riddle ripped mine off. I saw for the first time some of the phrases and commonplace that goes unnoticed simply because it doesn't affect you. I started watching tv and paying attention to how much racial divide was within commercials, shows, even different tv channels. Think about it, how many lead characters on children's channels are any race but Caucasian? I can think of Dora and maybe one or two more but that's it. Now I do give credit to the Disney princesses industry who have done a fantastic job at creating a princess from every background and corner of the world.

What I'm trying to say is it's not necessarily on purpose, but it does happen and I can see why others feel as though it's on purpose. I know that men don't purposely believe I'm weaker than them, but when I walk away from the post office with a large box on campus, guys who have smaller legs and arms than me will ask me if I need help carrying it. And while I really do appreciate the gesture and if I were actually struggling I would say yes, but if I'm clearly not I kindly decline and I laugh at the gender roles put in place.

If you think about it this way, guys see that and think they are being polite, which they are but from a female perspective I see ability to do so and therefore I would be more inclined to allow a more built girl to help me than a frail looking guy but I don't think guys would feel the same, but why not? It's all muscle at the end of the day anyways right?

What I'm trying to say is not that you offering to help me is a bad thing at all. I'm just pointing out another example of commonplace and accepted stereotypes placed in your head that when you look at the logistics of it actually make no sense. We were taught no matter what a guy of any body type will have an easier time carrying a heavy item than a fit girl.

I hope one day my children look back at this riddle and laugh at how easy it is by simply knowing that the doctors are women without any mention or question of their intelligence or how they got there.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

7 Ideas for Keeping Logins and Passwords Securely

The first line of defense against identity theft is passwords. Unfortunately, many of us fail to remember to use them. Almost 60% of baby boomers don't use secure passwords. And, according to a report by Norton, digital natives are more prone to having their accounts compromised.

7418
7 Ideas for Keeping Logins
https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-brown-hoodie-using-laptop-computer-5475747/

The first line of defense against identity theft is passwords. Unfortunately, many of us fail to remember to use them. Almost 60% of baby boomers don't use secure passwords. And, according to a report by Norton, digital natives are more prone to having their accounts compromised.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

37114
Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

25932
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

85929
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

101199
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments