As diversity continues to adopt a fabric trait of the society, there has been a growing interest to define equality within these environments. However, the distinct constructs defining a society are often very unique to create a consensus of interests. All through, humans rely on their stance perspectives to create an identity that will further base any other activities or decisions. One of the most compatible paradigms to this notion is the concept of gender equality. Although humans do not possess a say in their gender identification, this inevitable grouping to a specific identity implicates identity empowerment, from which subsequent values and goals are referenced upon. This aspect of and inclusion to a consensus platform or flow of thoughts is limited to gender and portrays its essence in every viable clause of human interaction, including schools and workplaces. The present paper will provide a paradigm view of equality within common diverse environments in society. In assuring diversity is relevant to many different societies, Sojourner Truth’s speech, ‘A’int I a woman,’ from a gender equality perspective will be analyzed in reference to Gerald Graff’s excerpt, ‘Hidden Intellectualism.’
Summary, Review, and Analysis of Sources
Although gender diversity and the need for a culture of equality is relevant in most societies, interventions to remedy this biased nature often meet resistance. Besides, gender diversity relies on a perceived model of thought where women are less privileged in productivity. Sojourner Truth caters to gender diversity by emphasizing the equity of women and men (Truth). She primarily lays her argument by asserting that she is as strong as a man. Evidence to this notion is provided continuously by asserting that she, as a female identity is capable of working within man’s work demands such as plowing and reaping crops. Conversely, she provides an equity assertion of the perceived intellectual diversity within genders. Sojourner supports her claim through rhetoric, where she questions the essence of denying a woman a pint if a man, in this case, holds a quart.
Sojourner’s argument on gender equality not only relies on equal productivity but also provides instances where women are depicted as the better party in gender diversity. Evidence of this notion is provided from a mother’s perspective (Truth). She claims that although society will emphasize the need to help women in every viable aspect of productivity, the female gender is often vulnerable without a glimpse of external help. Conversely, the author references her ability to bear thirteen children, who are later sold to slavery as a negative bias on the male gender—men whom society perceive them as the strongest gender were not available while women suffered. Sojourner’s view of gender equity also sources support from the bible (Truth). She cites that if the first woman God ever made was strong enough to create an everlasting impact in society, this female gender should be equally capable of turning it back.
As was previously stated, diversity is in most societies relies on a perceived school of thought that biases a specific party. In hidden Intellectualism, Gerald Graff complements the notion above by portraying the biased nature of societal diversity from a school and hood perspective (Graff). Graff creates a distinct view between book smarts, who are academic intellectuals, and street smarts. The author further explains that these book smarts adapt to different societies by hiding within cohorts that the society perceives as street smarts. Graff provides a personal argumentation of this concept (Graff). He asserts that although he did not possess academic competence, his intellectual was hidden in his prowess in sports arguments and reasoning.
The societal view of intellectualism is often biased, in that prowess can only be ascertained in nerdy or geek individuals. However, Graff opposes this notion by explaining that he feared expressing his intellectualism as he was prone to name-bullying as a geek or fights in a bid to acclaim his street smartness (Graff). Ideally, Graff explains that the street view of prowess must have to accommodate the ability to fight. Since the aspect of fight prowess acted in negative favor of his intellectualism, Graff used the sports arena to build upon his hidden intellectualism. Thus, intellectualism should not be constrained to specific criteria thought but should instead accommodate prowess within all interaction with a less intellectual community.
Intellectualism is a diverse intrinsic character that should be distinct within every person. As opposed to using a pre-defined criterion to gauge intellectualism, Graff emphasizes the need to teach kids intellectualism. Graff proposes integrating non-academic cultures within the academic views of intellectualism. Besides, if a child can express his intellectualism within other diverse worlds such as music, pop culture, and sports, the current curriculum should find a path of draining this prowess into academic clauses (Graff). An intrinsic distinction in diversity is limited to intellectualism and accommodates any social stance, including gender.
The two referenced articles all work to portray the essence of respecting equity through each person’s diverse prowess. For instance, though there stands a great and relatively relevant distinction in gender diversity, Sojourner relays an argumentation to express gender equity as a culture (Truth). She further signifies the power of a woman by highlighting the female figure’s capability in achieving male-based benchmarks. On the other hand, Graff argues that intelligence is not subject to a single criterion (Graff). Instead, Graff explains that intellectualism is diverse and evident in everyone. The author demystifies the perceived notion of intellectualism only being an academic aspect. Everyone is hence intellectual. However, not everyone will hold this prowess in a common environment.
Technically, Sojourner and Graff shared a common perspective in appealing to their argument. For instance, both writers integrated their personal experiences as an appeal to logos. As a black woman, Sojourner is emotional about the biased view of women. She uses her identification with minority groups as a black woman to express the hidden equity in such diverse communities (Truth). On the other hand, Graff tries to signify equity in intellectualism by highlighting his prowess against academic intelligence’s common societal perception (Graff). The authors equally share a common theme of promoting cultural equality in society. However, instead of expressing all parties’ equal competence, both Sojourner and Graff demystify the perceived notion of bias in minority groups. For instance, Graff’s appeal for gender equality is expressed through identity empowerment showing that women are as strong as men (Graff). On the other hand, Sojourner’s tries to empower his identity as a street smart by showing equal competence with the book smart identities.
Human psychology often possesses an infinitive aspect of consistency where any decisions, choices, or empowerments must identify with a prior subjective stance. Although the identity might arise from objective assertions in some cases, people will still incline to the commitment of consistency. Perhaps societal diversity stands as the most significant paradigm to his notion. In this regard, diversity implies that different people hold different interests or stances as opposed to others in the same field. Thus, everyone will justify the validity of their stance by undermining an opposing interest.
In the same way, every identity must be conceived from a subjective view. Sojourner and Graff equally appeals to identity empowerment by taking a specific stance within the minority groups (Graff). The authors then rely on personal experiences to demystify the majority parties’ wrong or subjectivity in diverse environments. However, this biased perspective in expressing societal equality still inclines to one aspect of diversity. Thus, argumentation will only serve to express the capability of a minority group in reaching pre-defined benchmarks as opposed to showing an equal ability in both parties.
Identify empowerment should not be constrained to a specific set of values or goals but should rather influence everyday decisions and activities. In their articles, Sojourner and Graff first assert their identity as street smart and black women, respectively. The authors’ appeal to logos is expressed by highlighting viable everyday examples where their identity opposes different stances in diverse environments. For instance, Sojourner evidences her stance’s viability by citing both ancient and modern examples of gender equity (Truth). However, her appeal is subject to her emotions and identity as a woman. Although her article largely relies on expressing gender equity, she titles it “A’int I a Woman?” Thus, her identity as a woman has proven to be stronger than the article’s goal proposition of gender equality.
On the other hand, Graff first explains the distinction between two different identities; the “book smart” and “street smart.” The author then identifies within the street smart and empowers it by showing an equity and even higher prowess of the street smart intellectuals as opposed to book smart. Ideally, just as Sojourner’s identity empowered her desire for gender equality, Graff’s identity as a “street smart” is much more empowered as opposed to his desire of expressing equal diversity in intellectualism. Thus, the same limitation in argumentation is again highlighted where an empowered identity is more pronounced than the topical desire expressed by the author.
Discussion and Conclusion
Diversity is an inevitable aspect of the community. Conversely, diversity implies that everyone must possess a distinct model of thoughts and interests. Although society still provides a pre-defined and perceived criterion to identity empowerment, it is important to understand that there will always be a consensus in these thoughts. In as much as people identify with a diverse party, there should also be a system to include all these diversities within a common environment. A reference to Graff’s except complements this notion by emphasizing using kid’s non-academic interests to conceive a similar intellectual scope in academic environments. Ideally, Sojourner also expresses this notion by emphasizing the undermined aspects of the female gender that should be used to highlight gender prowess. She explains that even in most cases where the female gender cannot avail, the male gender also fails in the same competence. Thus, every diverse identity should not be used to undermine an opposing instance but should be the base of empowerment for inclusion and equality.
Graff, Gerald. “Hidden intellectualism.” Pedagogy 1.1 (2001): 21-36.
Truth, Sojourner. Ain’t IA Woman?. Penguin UK, 2020.