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  • Seema

approaching 50 and growing

Word from an interviewee: a cis White female on the cusp of turning 50 years old:

Somebody sent me the Harvard implicit bias test - the face test - it's got white faces and dark faces and nice words and bad words and you're supposed to take it as quickly as possible. The first time I took it -- (gasp) I'm biased? I think dark faces go with bad words! What is wrong with me?! And then I took it again maybe three years later after I met this guy randomly...He started a foundation to provide scholarships for underprivileged high school students... he's from Rwanda and has this whole other amazing, horrible, genocide story from when he was a child. So I've been going to these award ceremonies and things because I was a sponsor for scholarship students. He turned out to be amazing. He goes to all of my things and I go to all of his things. So three years later I took the implicit bias test again and I got a super neutral response. "Oh isn't that great!" And then I took the one about gender and career and family and I was so pissed because at the end of it I was like "Great, now I'm biased that women don't belong in careers and they belong in families! How did that happen? I don't even know what I'm going to try to do to fix that one.

There was something about taking that test that made me start looking more.

The Netflix show with colorblind casting, Bridgerton...I had a really hard time - even though I've been to theater and I've watched Shakespeare and all kinds of things that are cast with people of all races and it didn't bother me in the theater at all -- but it was so weird to see it on TV. That difference and that the most powerful people in regency era England are the Black people...There are so many different connotations to it when I watched it. A couple days ago I clicked on the new HBO Max gilded age thing with Christine Baranski and it's cast in a similar way and it didn't bother me at all. I think you just have to get people used to things. Used to seeing them. The first time I was so shocked and this time I was like, "I've seen that before, lots of times."

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