Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This is what America looks like

I've been listening to selected speeches from the DNC off of Politico's website all day. It struck me that there seem to be an overwhelming number of women and minorities speaking. So I decided to count.

I took my list of speakers from here. Not counting the Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, or the videos, and counting the Hispanic Caucus and the Women of the House of Representatives as one speaker each, I counted 54 separate speakers. Of which, 20 were female, 11 were African American, 13 were Asian, Hispanic or other, and 17 were white male.

So, actually, there were 37% female speakers (as opposed to 51% in the population), 20% African American (as opposed to 13 % nation wide), 24% Hispanic/Asian/Other (as opposed to 24.4% nationwide) and 31% white non-hispanic male (as opposed to 31.9% nation wide.) I'm not doing a count of gay speakers because that takes more effort than simple google searches of the names.

Wow. Okay, so women are a bit under represented and African Americans a bit over represented. But in general, this is what America looks like. A whole lot of women and minorities. Not so many white dudes. If every TV show and movie and book I read had a cast of characters that looked like this, I wouldn't feel like I somehow didn't belong in America. My darkness doesn't stand out in the crowd of speakers up there. Neither do my breasts.

This is not the Vagina Monologues. This is America. A representative sample. This is how (threateningly? joyously?) diverse we look like if we all stand up and get counted visibly. I feel like for the first time in my life I am actually seeing it in front of me. It makes me so happy, and almost proud.

I was going to write about the genderness of some of the speaches, and complain about why female speakers feel like they must identify with their roles as mothers/grandmothers/care-takers. On the flip side, I was going to laud Polis for opening with his role as a father. But you know... this realization has taken the wind out of whatever complaints I may have. I am going to bed a happy woman today.

1 comment:

  1. So....."Epsilon"....??? Is that the funny backwards E that you use in math problems with a number on the top and bottom? Wait a minute....number on top multiplied by number on bottom gives you another number.....Offspring??!! Is that it? Do I have to show my work? Does guessing count?