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Vickie Pynchon

oops; meant to say "instead of pretending that institutional and sub-conscious racism and sexism do NOT exist" . . . .

Vickie Pynchon

Not at all surprising to me - a woman professional who was deeply engaged in the second-wave feminist movement of the early 1970's. We, too, were raised in an environment in which the denigration of women was pervasive in all sectors. This is what 1970's "consciousness raising" was all about -- to help us free ourselves (first) of the negative self-images we haplessly incorporated as our birth-wrong. Am I completely free of negative views of women? Of course not. I have not and do not, for instance, think of myself as a "woman" lawyer, but only as a "lawyer." I think the same of my colleagues who are lawyers (who happen also to be women). Those "women lawyers" I do NOT know, however, rarely get the benefit of my "raised consciousness." I still have a knee-jerk tendency to prefer men. If more of us admitted this instead of pretending that institutional and sub-conscious racism and sexism exists, we might rid ourselves of its pernicious effect more quickly.

Kirsten Olson

Hey Bob, I was just sent to your site by our mutual friend Rick Hamrick. Thanks Rick. I also read the NYT piece and, as a long-time feminist and still struggling with gender oppression, both external and internal, of course this is true in other settings. You are familiar with the idea of "internalized racism" and internalized sexism is just as powerful. In my own life I have been taught to be stiller, take up less space, not to have as much or as powerful a voice as men, and to focus on managing the immense (white) male ego. Old habits are hard to break, even when an abundance of sociological and experiential evidence points to the destructiveness of them. I actually considered publishing my own work using initials, so that my gender would not be revealed.

I look forward to your blog.

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