You’re saying that b/c I’m white, aren’t you…

That isn’t something you really hear. I’ve never really thought of myself as stereotyped. I’m white, male, tall, have blue eyes, married…I have a stereotype. So why don’t I feel/realize it?

I guess I’ve never really given it much thought, but the primary reason, I feel, is that I don’t hang out with a very diverse group. Espcially at VT — and in engineering — it’s SO MUCH EASIER to fall into a default clique of bros. They know what’s up with me. They understand parts of my life that I don’t even articulate.

It seems to be unfair that I could go through my life without feeling a stereotype where others, who are just as much at fault as me in the matter (i.e. have no control), feel stereotypes everyday; maybe even in every interaction they have. But as I think more about it, and I have conversations outside of class with one of my lab-mates also taking this class (, I’ve started to think that it’s really a disadvantage for me! Not that I’m saying that overt racism is positive b/c it can make a person more independently strong, but to a certain degree, I feel that my diverse colleagues who have chosen,in their social interactions and professional careers, to reach across these boundaries have something that I do not.  We read all about is the last two weeks and the advantages were especially highlighted in Milem.

I think that in the future, I will make a concerted effort to engage with my colleagues…not only that are diverse ethnically, but diverse in discipline, life stage, life goals, etc., etc. My new goal is to feel my stereotype by interacting with people who might know something about me that I don’t.

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