Biased? Certainly. But I’m Working on It
A conversation with Dr. Violetta Zujovic, Neuroscientist at the Paris Brain Institute
Talk at FIAF and meeting with Violetta Zujovic and Alyse Nelson
New York | March 15th | Decoding Gender Bias | Register Here
Everything that follows in this post is biased.
I would like to write you the opposite, to reassure you, even to convince you of the authenticity of my words. But in the interests of sincerest dishonesty, and according to Violetta Zujovic, a doctor in neuroscience and team leader at the Paris Brain Institute, I am biased.
I might as well accept it. Besides, I am not the only one. “We all are,” Violetta explains.
“Everything around us is a reproduction that our brain creates to simplify our lives,” Violetta tells me. “Our brain spends its time storing information and sometimes reconstructing a reality that is sometimes an illusion.”
By simplifying, taking shortcuts, analyzing, and judging the other as quickly as possible, our conclusions are not based on the reality of a person or a situation. Instead they are the result of a narrowed perception influenced by our experiences, our culture, and our education.
I believe that I should also share here the motivation and context of this paper.
Letter to Angella Nazarian
On the eve of Visionary Women Summit 2021 – https://www.visionarywomen.com
(Quotes below, unless in italics, are invented, and the attribution to people is purely fictional)
Do you remember the cobblestone streets of Coyoacán in Mexico City, a far cry from the busy double deck jammed highways that drive across the megalopolis? I am sure you remember the first time you pushed the double green doors of the Blue House—Casa Azul, the home of Frida Kahlo. I do, and I have returned there so often.
The Vital Power of Youth and Words: 22-year-old Poetess Amanda Gorman to Perform at Joe Biden’s Inauguration
A Rock, a River, a Tree Maya Angelou, On The Pulse of Morning
Hosts of species long departed
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
Of their sojourn here
Forget for a moment Joe Biden’s victory as President-elect and Donald Trump’s struggles with defeat, one of the main news from the 2020 American Presidential election is Senator Kamala Harris. For the first time in history, a woman—a Black, Asian woman—will become the first female Vice President of the United States. Harris will also rank first in line to succeed Joe Biden as President.
Besides the election of Kamala Harris, women seem to have taken center political stage whether it is in the United States or on the opposite side of the world.
Women actually played a key role in the 2020 American elections a mere 100 years after the 19th amendment of the American Constitution granting women’s suffrage was passed. Fast forward to 2020, 57% of women—and among them 90% of Black women—chose the Democratic candidate over the incumbent President, according to NBC News. Women also voted more than men (52%). In other words, they decided the Presidential outcome and chose Joe Biden although Donald Trump increased his base of white women voters.
Ahead of the Presidential election, another woman, Justice Amy Coney Barrett also made history and became the only the fifth woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court in 230 years. A woman Justice has replaced another one. While it surely seems to be a positive step for women’s empowerment and gender equality, succession might not be as simple as just having a woman leader succeeding another one. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the American champion of women’s rights; based on the 48-year old Justice Barrett’s past judicial positions show, the new Justice is not.