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Discrimination and Prejudice

First, go read these definitions: discrimination and prejudice.

Now, this post will talk about these two items in their more social context: bias against individuals and/or groups.

Some people seem to think that if the discrimination isn't likely to get you killed, it isn't really discrimination. Horseshit. Some people think that if it's a choice, it can't be discriminated against by those who don't approve, "After all, you didn't *have* to make that choice." Again, horseshit.

If it keeps you from getting, keeping, or being promoted at a job, it's discrimination or prejudice. If it makes your coworkers nasty to you, it's discrimination. If it causes your own family or in-laws to hate you or disown you, it's discrimination.

Some things that get discriminated against are hard to hide ("pass"): skin color, hair color, accent, being "fat". Other things can be hidden under a "don't ask, don't tell" regime: religion, homosexuality, family choices, mental illness. Just because one can be hidden and the other not, doesn't make discrimination or prejudice against either type acceptable.

To put it bluntly: being either black or gay can get you killed in certain areas. Just because you can hide being gay doesn't make the prejudice non-existant, or even "less".

Now lets talk about the double (and more) whammies: like being female and [fitb]. Black female homosexual jewish pagans have a lot of crap to deal with.

The most hypocritical is in the sexuality and kids area. If you have kids, you're assumed to be a soft touch and/or not a good worker. If you don't, you're unnatural and/or a ball-breaking dyke bitch. It's truly no-win for women. Same type of thing with the married/unmarried thing.

Where am I going with this?

Just because something isn't likely to get you killed or hurt doesn't mean it can't be discriminated against, or that people who are prejudiced against it aren't bigots. Yes, some things have greater "risks" than others. But just because it isn't going to get you dragged behind a truck doesn't mean it isn't a prejudice. Maybe not an equally nasty prejudice, but still a prejudice.

Playing the "more oppressed than thou" game is not a way to win an argument about bigotry. I'm actually lucky - I'm only a "white" female fat pagan asexual/bisexual depressive childfree with purple hair. Three of those are lifestyle choices, and four can be "hidden" by simple social lies. One can be dealt with by hair dye, one with medication. But discrimination against any of those still affects me, and is not zero, just not anywhere near lethal where I live.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)
Ya' know, sometimes we can be a pretty hateful species. Well written.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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