When I first heard about Ms. JD, I immediately thought Ms. JD, is this Ms. America? I envisioned a competition, a crown, gowns, and long runways. My stereotypic picture was far from the truth. I read the website, met with fellow law students, and ultimately realized here was a forum where my 12-font times roman blog could matter. After discarding my uninformed and stereotypic view, I looked next for people of color. I looked at the Yale website conference site and was pleased to see faces that looked like mine. Then I discovered that here is a forum where diversity and women could finally meet!
Diversity and womenism have always been placed at polar positions, as if both sides of the spectrum could never simultaneously come into play. Rather I like to consider them intertwined, crossing paths on a regular basis. Because what is any place without women. Can society, let alone a private organization, call themselves diverse without a woman’s perspective? As a woman bred in an all-men household, my brothers undoubtedly realize and respect the importance of ‘her’ voice.
What does that voice mean? What does a woman’s voice constitute? Some construe it as sensitive, soft, emotional, or another form of uninformed, sympathetic banter. Others refer to it as that minority opinion which does not have enough ‘manly’ attitude but is rather too ‘girly man’.
As I write this, I have to pause to question where to begin. What is a woman’s voice in a society that places diversity and womanism on opposite spectrums?
Susan B. Anthony exemplified it … Sojourner Truth intermingled it … Coretta Scott King lived it … Rosa Park defined it … Sandra Day O’Connor made history with it … Jackie Kennedy fashioned it … and women today continue to modernize it. It is a voice that stems from a diverse group of women that do not define themselves solely by the color of their skin or where they are from. Rather it is a combination of the two that makes them great!
Diversity is not skin deep. If that were the case, diversity would defeat racism. Diversity is not culture deep. If that were the case, diversity would abolish deportation. Diversity is not a classroom of students of various races and backgrounds. At the same time, a community is not diverse when there is unequal representation of opinions.
Diversity is an exchange of ideas and opportunities that opens our minds to new perspectives in order to strengthen our own viewpoints. Women are the essential ingredients that make our society diverse. Women are not minorities, but rather the other opinion in another majority. If women continue to look at diversity as a general idea pertaining to women, as the Susan B Anthony’s and Sojourner Truth’s did, we as women can combat any social evil.
My hope is that Ms. JD continues to promote ‘diversity meets women’.