Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Crabs in a Bucket

Today’s class started off with a scavenger hunt! We were all divided into teams, given our lists, and sent off to find various buildings, landmarks, and people around campus.  As usual, I set off with the sole intention of finishing first (technically, the objective was to have fun but winning is fun for me).  As it turns out, the scavenger hunt was actually a lesson on working together and how if we all came together as a class, then we all could have finished sooner. Whoops.  Dean Almandrez explained to us that in this particular situation, we had acted like “crabs in a bucket”. This fairly common saying refers to the natural phenomenon that occurs in a bucket of live crabs—if one crab attempts to escape, the others will drag it back down rather than allowing it to free itself (i.e. me hiding the other groups’ puzzle pieces…).  She then related this to women in positions of leadership and how the media tends to pit powerful women against each other.  In reality its not just the media, women are constantly competing with each other; we’ve just been socialized that way—through gossiping and speaking poorly of one another.  By trivializing others (think slut shaming), we are taking part in “crab mentality” and through this are reinforcing nasty stereotypes about the utter cattiness of women.  The only way to break this vicious cycle is to act kindly towards and compliment other women (well, you should be nice to everyone but that’s besides the point) because like I’ve mentioned earlier, too many girls think it's a competition nowadays. Sometimes it’s just nice to be nice.
An example of "slut shaming" based upon appearances

 “If a woman belittles other women, she can prove her superiority among women…” (Tanenbaum, 2002).

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