Race and Gender Issues: How Men and Women Are Viewed

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Since the beginning of history, men and women both had predetermined gender roles. They acted in certain ways that they thought were right. They also behaved in certain ways because of their race. Back then, you wouldn’t dare catch a Black man dating a White woman. Today, interracial dating doesn’t bother most people. In the old days, men were the breadwinners for their families, while the women sat back and stayed home with the children. Now, more women are out in the workforce and sometimes, the roles are switched, having the husband being the homebody. This paper examines the differences between the different ways young women view themselves and their race through music versus the way males are stereotypically viewed by others because of their race. The first article I read, “Why Don’t You Act Your Color?” by Pamela J. Tracy, was about fourth-grade girls who valued their gender and racial identity through popular music. The music taught them how to be women, and how to look out for the “bad boys”. It made them look forward to the future of womanhood. It also sparked conflict between their friendships. When the Black girls caught the White girls dancing or singing to “Black music” such as TLC, or Destiny’s Child, the White girls were often told to act their color. As a city girl who moved to the south in the second-grade, I felt that this story related to me. I’ve heard plenty of times to “stop acting white” because of the way I spoke and the way I acted and dressed. I still hear it to this day and I don’t think it’s fair. Just because I’m Black, I shouldn’t have to conform to all of the stereotypes and the ways music portrays us to be. In the next article I read, “He Was A Black Guy: How News’s Misrepresentation of Crime Creates Fear of Blacks”, by Travis L. Dixon, a study suggested that people who watched the news viewed Blacks associated with crime negatively without even knowing it. It reinforces the stereotype that a lot of Black men are criminals. Blacks...
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