Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, September 21, 2012

    Suppose you were shown images of people and asked to describe their personality and level of success based only on their looks.  It may seem superficial, but this is a fairly common means of gathering data for psychological studies.  What about an individual's "look" says amicable or goal-oriented?  And does this correlate at all to their real-life personality or career?
     Duke University executed just that study.  People were asked to rate the faces of CEOs by competence and likability.  They found that the higher ratings of competence were related to the presence of "craggy, rugged, and mature" facial features.  This aura of competence (real or assumed) shows in the paychecks of these individuals.  Generally, people with a more competent look about them make more money and hold higher position than those who do not possess these features.  And who are the people who have these features in most cases?  Men, of course!  How interesting that the subconscious cues to a competent human being are etched in the faces of men.
     It should also be noted that most of the faces this study used were white.  When the same style experiment was conducted featuring photographs of African-American CEOs, the results were astoundingly different.
     People viewing photographs of African-American CEOs had the tendency to rate individuals with rounder, softer "baby" faces as more successful.  And get this-they were right!  Baby-faced black leaders earn more money and hold higher positions than African-American leaders with strong facial features.

 This kid has a bright future...just look at that face!

     So the chiseled faces of white men scream success, while black men give the same impression when they possess rounder, softer faces.  What's up with that?  The answer is, of course, racism!  I'm being blunt because it's true.  For a black man to be perceived as a good leader, his facial characteristics need to relay some sort of "disarming" mechanism.  Something to reassure viewers that it's okay-this man is almost definitely not going to attack or rob you.  Subconsciously, people do assume that black men are more dangerous than their white counterparts.  A disarming feature is helpful to the success of a black man.
     This type of racism is woven so deeply in our minds that you could wonder how we could ever have the hope of reversing it.  The answer, I believe is to view everything and everyone with a critical eye and to make real interpretations of an individual's character by getting to know them.  If we can teach future generations to approach people in this way, there is hope of alleviating judgment and consequently, racism.

1 comment:

  1. this is true, but i am not like that. i never assume west african looking black man is more dangerous or a villain. i am very smart that way. i know what i know. but as a general rule so true this article...