Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Diversity Cards: Let's All Play!

                I have good news for you dear readers! I recently returned from my last diversity training class, and I can honestly say that I’ve finally seen the light! I passed!! And I am seeing things through a new set of eyes, so to speak! I now realize that Western Civilization was set up solely to benefit rich, white, men! Discrimination and bigotry are all around us! Microaggressions are everywhere! The 99% of us that aren’t rich, old, white dudes have been bullied and marginalized for centuries!
                Anyway, as soon as I got back from D.T., I went on and accessed its Culture and Diversity page like the instructor told us to do. It’s so cool! They have, like, diversity flash cards and games…even diversity bingo! They had a set of 387 diversity cards, each with a question and the correct answer to that question. Here are some of my favorites:

162.  True or False

When we show ethnocentrism, we use our own cultural standards to determine what is right or normal.  (True! “Right or normal?” Like, who are we to say. That’s crazy talk)

222.  True or False

As we develop our diversity consciousness, our thinking becomes more flexible. (True. Mine’s like really flexible now!)

241. The spread of objects and ideas from one culture to another is called? (Cultural Diffusion.  I got that one wrong. I thought it was “appropriation.” I’ll have to ask my instructor)

251. Deborah Tannen’s research focuses on the different communication styles of who? (Men and women. I got that one wrong, too. I was confused, because, as everyone knows, there are 63 different genders, and I felt this question marginalized the transgendered and non-gendered, etc.)

383.  True or False

According to the text, there is no optimal level at which we can stop developing our diversity consciousness. (True! Duh!)

386.  Gradually, the term _____ has become more inclusive and multidimensional. (Diversity. Isn’t that cool, even the term “diversity” is becoming more diverse?!)

I bet you could play some really cool card games using diversity cards! I mean, Go Fish, poker- even solitaire- could be adapted to diversity cards.  And these could be so much more inclusive and less triggering than regular playing cards. Earlier today I was thinking, in my increasingly flexible way, while looking at a standard deck of cards. I can’t believe they can still sell these things!
Just for starters, the four suits are all marginalizing- or worse. Hearts? How do they make someone who has lost a loved one feel? Diamonds? This implies ill-gotten wealth at the expense of the poor! Clubs? Do we want to glorify a weapon, a baby-seal killer? Spades? Really? Why not just bring back the “N” word? Why don’t we replace these four “suits” with doves, white poppies, rainbow flags and peace signs?
What’s more, the four “2” cards could be construed to mean that marriage between two people is somehow normative- and preferable to- being alone or being in a polyamorous relationship. What’s so bad about one, or three or four or five or…? And the Aces should be replaced by something less offensive and overtly meritocratic. “Ace,” in the dictionary, is defined as “a very skilled person; expert; adept,” and “a grade of ‘A,’ the highest grade or score.” Talk about aristocracy! How shaming is that to those who weren’t as lucky in life’s lottery!
There is also the fact that two of the three face cards are male-themed…the jack and the king. Coincidence? I think not! Moreover, jokers are almost always depicted as males, too. Don’t they think anyone else has a sense of humor, dammit? Who can fail to see the blatant misogyny in a deck of playing cards when 71.4% of the “gendered” cards are male?! And rich, old, white males at that.
Even the names of traditional card games are scary and triggering. Blackjack, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, and War? So we’re fine with mocking colored people, older women that aren’t married to a man, and the mentally challenged, all while celebrating nationalism and coordinated violence on a massive scale? Deal me out.


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