Are blondes actually smarter than brunettes or were they just given more opportunities to succeed in this activity? This was the posing question of our last meeting together prior to the activity.
Last week, Peter instructed us to build a configuration with spaghetti and marshmallows and have it touch the ceiling. He split us up into the blondes and brunettes. The blondes immediately were favored by being given more supplies, direction, attention, and were allowed to communicate. The brunettes were being discouraged and because they could not speak, the task was much harder to complete. When the time was up, the blondes accomplished the tasks and the brunettes’ structure was knocked down.
Both groups were aware that this was more than just an architectural task of who can do it better and quicker, but an activity that would help us understand the effects of segregation and stereotypes. This activity was just a slight skimming of the surface to what we will be exposed to in South Africa.
The blondes represented the white population of South Africa and the brunettes represented the black population. Even now where apartheid is in the past, South Africa still suffers from inequality and unfairness amongst the South Africans.
Being a blonde, I was given more opportunities then the brunettes. We were given another temporary team member, advice and praise from Peter. He would say, “We all know that blondes are smarter than brunettes”.
This activity made me feel privileged but guilty for being favored because of something so insignificant like my hair color. If I was a brunette I would feel deprived from all that the blondes were given especially because the blondes had such positive feedback from Peter.
This relates to what we will be seeing in South Africa as we will shortly be exposed to the reality of this struggle of the blacks and whites. Although time has passed since apartheid has taken place, the discrimination is still a current issue as white people are still given more privileges and opportunities to thrive. Apartheid may be in the past, but race is remains a prevalent matter.