College is the time where some go to educate themselves on other groups of people. That could come in the form of attending club meetings, taking a course focusing on a different culture or studying abroad.
Sophomore Chad Harris decided to add Women and Gender Studies 101 to his course load for his Spring 2018 semester. Harris, an upper-middle class, straight, cis, white male, had a lot to learn. The way that most people learn about different cultures is by listening, but Harris, who believes that sex work is anti-feminist, decided he learned best by talking.
“I’m a part of the problem in society. I don’t know what other people experience, but I’ve never experienced discrimination for anything about me,” the finance major said, adjusting his pink pussy hat. “White men have dominated the conversation for too long. It’s time for us to step back and listen.”
His hand is always raised, either to say he has no experience on the subject or to open up the floor to a debate. Last week, Freshman Karina Martinez offered her opinion that the Riot Grrrl movement sparked a conversation on women in male-dominated fields other than STEM, although it is a little problematic. Harris, who believes the song “Woman” by Kesha shouldn’t be a feminist anthem, immediately raised his hand.
“That kind of music is incredibly white. You definitely shouldn’t listen to it because it’s incredibly problematic and hurtful to WOC,” Harris said from behind his laptop emblazoned with an Eminem sticker.
The Jill Stein voter, who has never called his senators, feels like he is learning a lot in the class and that he is not dominating the conversation. He believes that his lack of expertise is needed in conversations about race and gender, so he will keep bringing up his opinion in class.