What does Social Justice Mean to You: Personal Reflections

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Updated: Jun 20, 2023
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Feminism and social justice have been a sidestream topic for as long as I’ve known about it. I have always heard different things from different people and was never sure which was the right assumption. I originally came to this course with the premise that feminism was working to actively change the traditional roles placed on women and replace patriarchy with equality for all. But because of this, I also saw feminism as a violent act towards men. This assumption stemmed from my experiences, my position in society, and my beliefs.

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In my reflection, I will expand on my assumptions about feminism and how I arrived at these assumptions, and how my social identity plays a role in my belief in feminism.

Origins, Experiences, and Beliefs

Taking a look at my childhood, my experiences influenced and informed my beliefs because I grew up in a household where my mother raised me and my siblings. She did almost everything because my parents were divorced, and my mother had full custody of us. When the word feminism arose, I immediately thought of my mother and how everything was always left for her to do. This put the image in my head that feminism was merely about women being angry at men for abandoning them when they had nothing. I believe this ongoing experience with my mother shaped how I perceived feminism because not only was I I believe my social identity contributes to these ideas because I am a woman and have always experienced some sort of divided behavior towards who I am. There are many examples I could state that pertain to my assumptions about feminism, but a clear example is at my workplace. I always notice the district managers have the men do the ‘harder’ jobs like taking out the trash, climbing the ladders, or even doing something as little as lifting mannequins. This leaves the women ‘easier’ jobs that take less effort. I have had three jobs since I was 15, and each job has contributed to putting these ideas into my head that the feminism act has still not achieved what we need it to. This connected to how I perceived social justice as I imagined this as violent acts towards what I had coming into the course, which was that feminism was a way for women to express how men in their lives have negatively impacted them.

Social Identity/Positionality

Social identity describes the many things that contribute to our social and personal identities. These work together to create and shape our experiences. (Brockbank, 2023. Lecture 1) My social identity plays a role in this as a female of color because every day, I am unconsciously surrounded by acts of dividedness. Being a female in this society plays a role in how hard it is to find a job, get respect from others, and more. But I have found my positionality as an african american woman has an effect that stems deeper than just being a female. Being a female in this society also biases my outlook on feminism, and I have actively seen this when speaking with men who don’t agree with the beliefs of feminists. 

Challenges against my false assumption

Lastly, I want to expand on how my assumption of feminism changed as I grew older. This course largely changed how I viewed feminism now, but something that stood out to me the most was second-wave feminism and how it worked to change how we thought about women’s place in the social world.

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What Does Social Justice Mean to You: Personal Reflections. (2023, Jun 19). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-does-social-justice-mean-to-you-personal-reflections/