Saturday, January 22, 2011

With Extreme Prejudice ( male feminist pt 0.5)

I'm not prejudiced but...

I am of course.

Human brains are pretty much hard-wired for it. Evolving as we did, in far smaller groups than the super-tribes of millions we interact with now, we just don't have the mental capacity for dealing with all the other people as individuals.

The brain takes short-cuts. These short-cuts lead to prejudice.

Case in point, if you had your lunch money stolen by a green-haired person at school; if you got mugged and badly beaten in your teens by a green-haired gang; if your green-haired neighbour poisoned your dog, and the one time you dated a green-haired person, they ran off with your best friend and all of your money; then the next time you meet a green-haired person, that person is going to have to work harder to gain your trust.

All the statistics in the world demonstrating that green-heads are no less moral than any other hair colour wont mean a damn to you in comparison to your own experience.

Green hair is a hypothetical physical characteristic, but there are millions of others. There are accents we don't like, ways of dressing that set off warning signals, even a persons age or gender is going to affect the way you view them. I think it's wrong for anyone to claim they are entirely without prejudice; it is never true: we constantly divide people in our minds into groups: 'Golf-drivers', 'Squash Players', 'Students', 'Scumbags', 'Suits', 'Emos', 'Mods' and 'Rockers'.

Anyway, my point being, that despite my best efforts; I notice what gender/age/skin-colour/clothes and accent people have, and that affects to some extent how I interact with them. I'd rather it didn't but it does. The phrase is :'To Keep an Open Mind', but I see 'closed' as the human mind default setting.

I would say that I don't Keep an Open Mind; I keep a closed mind, same as everyone else.

I try and open it as often as possible, but the sad fact is that the older you get the harder it is not to dismiss that green-haired person (or girl called 'Bláithín', or whatever the detail, that your own experience has led you to despise about people who share it, is ) and even if you do make friends with a green hair later in life, ( or you do come across a Bláithín who has a soul,) it's hard to dismiss all those years of having a contrary opinion, and the brain makes excuses to accommodate the original world view:

"No. The man who saved my life had kind of 'bluey green' hair"...

"She's not like all the other Blathins, I think of her more as a Sandra"...

My point is I'm prejudiced. I believe in the same rights and opportunities for all types of people but there are some types of folk I'm pre-disposed to more than others, and I'm probbly not gonna change at this stage. I believe that as soon you notice that someone is green-haired you have in some way categorised them in a different way.

All this is the pre-amble for the extremely prejudiced comment I am about to make:

Okay here goes.

Might as well just say it, and be done with it.


Here we go:

Any man who claims to be 'a feminist':I don't believe him.
I think he either actually thinks that he's something he's not,
Or he's pretending to be something he's not.

Todays post is only the intro,

In the next post I'll be having a look at one self-claimed feminist chap in more detail, but I just thought that I'd let you know by way of a heads-up.

I am completely prejudiced.

And if you think that it's in anyway typical of a white heterosexual male to be so judgemental:

Then so are you.

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