Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Can we Stop the “Isms”?

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Recently, I learned about these discriminations simply called “isms.” I learned about the various isms and who they primarily target. When looking back at the notes I had wrote down, I thought I had only been affected by a few isms. I said to myself, “I’ve been affected by all the isms except heterosexism.” I came to that conclusion because I am heterosexual and there is no way I’ve been discriminated for not being so; but I have. In middle school, I wore basketball shorts to school because they were comfortable. The principle thought that I was gay and even called my mother to tell her about it. The simple thought I might be gay was viewed as a problem and led to inferior treatment from my own family. From being mocked on my vision disability to never being considered for the “flyer” position in cheerleading stunts, ever ism has affected me and still does. I do not believe I or anyone else can stop the isms because they are the actions of millions of people. However, I strongly believe one can diminish the affects of them.

At least one ism has affected everyone and it is no surprise that they hurt one’s feelings. Even a normal, insensitive person can not say that these types of discriminations don’t trouble them. What is like for a person like myself, an overly emotional and insecure individual? These various isms make me feel negative about my looks, my characteristics, and all the wonderful aspects that make me who I am. That is the exact reason why everyone needs to work to combat isms even though they will not likely be eliminated. A person who is faced with an ism does not need to ignore it, but to evaluate how wrong the discriminator is. The victim needs to remember that what they believe about themselves is what’s important. Also, the victim of an ism is everyone and it’s essential to remember one is not alone is this never ending battle. One faced with any ism should set in their mind that they are an important and loved individual, despite their no make-up days, size of their pants, or the glasses that let them see the world. This, I believe, is the solution to taking down those who try to take down you.



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