Overrepresentation

Today, I am getting ready to do an ignite talk (www.ignitelondon.ca). I am actually not nervous about this (okay maybe a bit) but I am nervous about receiving my mark back from these two other essays I wrote. I think I could have set up my arguments to be a bit more persuasive; however, due to time constraints, was limited. I actually had to ask for two extensions–you would think being unemployed I would have more time. No, that’s not the case. Working part-time and trying to do full-five credits for a school year is tough. At my school, they even consider 3.5 credits full time.

Anyways, I am nervous. I honestly think there is too much pressure on undergrads. This blog post isn’t about that topic though.

I was kind of annoyed when I was writing my second essay. It was on the overrepresentation of Aboriginal women in federal institutions. A bit of background:

Aboriginal women are:

  • …more likely to receive a higher security classification
  • …are more likely to be unemployed (full-time)
  • …more likely to head single parent households w/ less income than non-Aboriginal single mothers and Aboriginal single fathers
  • …overrepresented in the sex trade
  • …are overrepresented in the federal inmate population

One student talking to me the other day said she was angry with everything she was reading (she was writing an essay on Aboriginal women too). On the advice that was given to me, I told her to use that anger to write. I try to write about things that are near and dear to me.

The overrepresentation of Aboriginal women in Canadian institutions is near and dear to me because I met a lot of Aboriginal women who were or have been in prison/jail, either for a short time or a long time.

What made me angry about this paper was that the security classification system is extremely discriminatory. This classification system uses categories such as education, employment, sexual habits, or past victimization, to determine if the individual requires a higher security classification or not. Based on the stats I listed above and the categories listed in this paragraph alone, Aboriginal women then receive a higher security classification than any other prison population.

Oh and should I add that Aboriginal women make up LESS than 3% of the total Aboriginal population, yet 1/3 of the total prison population and 50% of the high-security federal inmate population? Yeah, that is important to remember when you look at those stats and the security classification system.

Just thought I would let you all know. You know, in case you are all wondering about Aboriginal women in Canada again.

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