The two categories that I’m choosing to change on the inner part of my diversity wheel are: my gender and my physical abilities. I really could have picked any of the six categories and had plenty to discuss. I chose gender because I have a pretty good idea of what my life would be like if I were male because I have a twin brother. I chose physical abilities as my second comparison because it’s something that we all take for granted and I think it deserves a closer look; to enhance my appreciation for the things I do with little to no thought, given my healthy body.
If I were a biracial male instead of a female I think an automatic target would be put on my back. I think that society (the public) would keep an eye on me and most times think I was up to no good. Being male in the first place puts a target on your back for people to scrutinize your behavior. Guys have a bad reputation for being trouble makers; unfortunately males “of color” or ethnicity are already assumed to be “bad”. By bad I mean unfocused, non-goal oriented, lazy, dangerous, wild, etc. Also, being male, people would be more obliged to hassle me about my future plans (because as society sees it; males are the breadwinners). Males are more expected to get high paying jobs, to be strong, to be smart, and to take care of their families (immediate and extended). People at work would maybe treat me with more respect than they would if I was a woman. At work it would be more likely for me to get a promotion, or a better paying position. I would be trusted to take on heavier loads of work because they would assume my emotions wouldn’t get in the way, and because men are tough and can handle large workloads. At school I may be underestimated because some study, somewhere, in some year said that girls are academically smarter than boys and on average learn quicker, especially being a biracial boy. (Teacher expectations are low from the start-- which hinders my ability to succeed in the class to a certain degree). Unfortunately in my daily life I would probably face more discrimination being male than I already do being as a female. I would get more stares from people, people would be afraid of me as I waked by, maybe gripping their belonging a little tighter. Police would feel more obliged to stop me and “talk” to me about what I was doing, or what my intentions were, or why I was where I was. Jobs may be more reluctant to hire me during a face to face interview. It’s obvious that my life would be different if I were male; but to me it seems that the added characteristic of being a biracial male makes the change more significant than that of a white female to a white male. There are added pressures when you carry around ethnicity. A biracial male has to worry about all of the regular things males have to worry about (strength, intelligence, breadwinning, family, etc.) but along with other aspects like low expectations from society, harsher punishment from the law, biased workforces, etc.
If I had even one physical disability my whole life would be different. If I couldn’t walk, or see, or hear, everything in my life would be altered. If I couldn’t see people may treat me with more respect and help me and watch after me. I think people would be kind and generous (or at least I hope so). Of course, there would be those people who wouldn’t treat me well; they’d make fun of my disability and bring it to my attention and to the attention of those around me. It would be a daily occurrence for me to be underestimated and pitied. I would be stared at all day, everywhere I went. Depending on what my disability was I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things. If I was in a wheel chair I could only sit in the front of theatres, there would be doorways and aisles I wouldn’t fit through, limited seating at restaurants and a number of other disadvantages I can’t even list because…