On prejudice

Why is the way we look so important to us? Why is something we had no control over and can claim no responsibility for held to be the nucleus of who we are? For example, I was thrown into the world with a particular face and body type but I didn’t choose those characteristics so why am I judged as if I had?

Of course such visual cues are an easy short hand to quickly assess the people we meet but such judgements are entirely arbitrary. Despite the claims of the media there is no “successful” body type or “beautiful” face unless you accept what you are told and believe such a narrow definition. Again, the face you have wasn’t your choice so judgements based on it don’t apply to you; such judgements judge the person making them.

Racist or sexist individuals or those prejudiced against disability make the same error of assuming the judged person is responsible for their skin colour, gender or disability. What nonsense! There is a great difference between possessing a particular thrownness (e.g. I am a white male with Parkinson’s) and being responsible for it (e.g. I didn’t choose to be a white male with Parkinson’s). Such judgements miss the individual being judged and are therefore meaningless.

How should we be judged? For who we are, not what we are.

dr jonny