Ethnic Groups and Discrimination
While doing the reading assignments, I personally identified with “gender minority”. Despite many changes in law and the many inroads that have been made for gender equality, there are still many areas in which there is still discrimination based on gender. I have experienced this first hand in my life.
A minority group is defined as “a subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group. Women are a subordinate gender group because they experience prejudice and discrimination based solely on their gender (Race and Ethnic Groups, 2006).
Discrimination is ...view middle of the document...
This is primarily a male-dominated field. As a Utilitiesman, I was trained in plumbing, refrigeration, boilers, and air-conditioning. The Seabees are also trained in combat. Part of the job for Seabees is providing rear security for the Marine Corps in combat situations.
I didn’t think too much about the gender inequality until I arrived at my duty station. It was then that I learned I was the only woman in a fifty-man unit. The men I worked with had, for the most part, never worked with women in this field. Although I was more than capable of doing the job and had proven through qualification tests as a sharpshooter that I was better with my M-16 rifle than the majority of them, I found I had to battle practically every day to prove myself.
I remember sitting with one of the guys I had become friends with after a particularly hard day on a job site. He made the remark to me that I had to work harder than the rest of them because I was a woman. I told him that I didn’t have to work harder, I had to work smarter. This was due to the fact that while physically I may not be able to pick up several lengths of lumber at one time and carry it across the job site, I had to figure out how to move it just as fast. He told me I had earned his respect that day because it had been very hot and although several of the other guys had stopped numerous times to rest, I had kept working and kept up with the job. I remember telling him that I did that because I was the only one there who apparently had to prove myself.
I took a lot of heat from those ranked above me as well. We had a Chief Petty Officer who apparently was not well informed on female uniform regulations. He was constantly getting on me regarding my hair, jewelry, etc. I finally had to make a copy of the regulations and have a meeting with him and our Commanding Officer. I had to show him that I was in compliance with regulations.