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Domination & Subordination

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Spring 2006

Stacey Schiefelbein

Meaning & Madness 182F

Reflection of Article

 

Domination and Subordination

Jean Baker Miller

 

When does one move from subordinates to dominates group?

 

Can an individual be a dominate in one social setting and a subordinate in another?

 

            I guess I’ve never thought about order of power. Where I grew up in Nebraska, woman were house wives on the farm and raised the children, while the men worked the farms. I guess I’ve always been comfortable in my role as a female, the nurturer. And I lived such a sheltered life that I really never thought of it as a hindering thing, and I never noticed it between different races, ethnicities, gender, religious preference, ect. Then I moved to Oregon and now I go to college in downtown Portland where there is so much diversity. You could say that I’ve grown out of my sheltered lifestyle. I see the segregation and ranking of power everyday.

            There are places for us to be individuals and stay within our boundaries, but the business world is not one of them. I think it is the most hurtful thing that the white business man is superior over any other man of any other race and even over a white female. I think the individual that best fits the job should receive the job. Nothing in life should be decided by our physical aspects. We cannot change that we come from a German family, or that we have black skin. And as for our religious preferences, why should that matter as long as it does not interfere with the job?

            I think its very true when the article said that a black man doesn’t notice he is black till it is pointed out by a man of a different ethnicity. That is true for everyone. I never realized that I was a “girl” until I was in the first grade and I wanted to play soccer, but only the boys could. Girls weren’t aloud to. Why? I just have different body parts. Black people just have different skin color and so do Asians. Why are looks so damming?

            I think it is hard to swallow that we are different because of things beyond our ability and those are what is holding us back in life and not allowing us to reach our complete potential. If I want to be a white German Catholic business women, I’m going to be it, and don’t tell be different. I will do whatever it takes to make it to the top.

            Inequality is what tears us apart and causes disruption in our lives. Those who we are friends with, we all are on the same playing field. Not one of us feels more superior than the other. That is why friendship works. And when it comes to parents or teachers, they are put on a pedestal and that causes issues. How can two people relate and communicate unless they are on the same playing field? I think if parents and teachers didn’t view themselves as untouchable we would have less disputes.

            From this article it is crucial that we take the fact that we must look around and realize who we are and that in order for society to more effectively work we must meet in the middle with a compromise of power. It does nothing for one to be more powerful then another, it only complicates a complicated life.

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Stacey Schiefelbein