Archive for the 'stereotyping' Category

18
Apr
14

clean slate

clean slateHow does disrespecting someone build a relationship?

This was a question I was asking myself as I listened to someone tell a roomful of people that they don’t know anything about what they do.  For me, I immediately shut down, realizing that even if I should speak or try to have a discourse with them, they would not hear me.  The irony was that the purpose of the meeting was to learn about how to collaborate and build good working relationships.

Once I recognized that they just needed to feel like they had a voice and needed to be heard (not necessarily by me, but by what/who I represented-a wound from their past), I was able to let go and be silent.  However, does that give them the right to immediately through me into the same category as the other negative experiences they had?  And also disrespect me without even taking the time to get to know me?

All of this brings me back to the simple desire for us to be understood and empathize with one another.  Our world would be a much better place if we could all see things from more than one perspective.  How do we do this?  Listen.  But also share with respect and patience.  However, there are also times when one needs to be noisy and act with immediacy; this too needs to be done with respect and specificity.  Once we start throwing around generalities at a large majority, we will most likely not be heard.

So how can we share our wounds in a respectful way which does not negatively impact new and potential relationships?  How can we start each relationship with a clean slate?  We need to figure this out because our future depends on it.

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16
Apr
14

looking past the difference

looking past the differenceAre we really all that different?

It’s amazing how similar circumstances and experiences can bring people together.  On this trip I have a roommate who I’ve never met.  She’s from a state on the east and I’m from the west.  There’s an age difference and we’ve been brought up in different households with varying dynamics.  And yet…

We are here for the same reason; we share the same passion-theatre art.  Through that we’ve discovered how much alike we are; in our personalities, interests and even behavior.  Had we not had this opportunity under these circumstances we would never had met.  And even if our paths would have crossed at some other time, who knows if we would have hit it off the way we have now.

That’s the thing about people.  We think that we are unable to relate to each other when the truth is that we have much more in common than we think; not even on a deep down level.  Everyone has a story that follows a basic foundational resemblance; we were all born, had some kind of initial upbringing by someone, struggle to find identity and a place where we belong and need friendship.  So why does it seem so easy to see all the differences?

Perhaps it’s because we tend to put up walls to protect ourselves from being judged by one another.  When in reality, if we would just drop our guard, I think we’d find that we can all get along in mutual respect.  Something that does hinder relationship is the power struggle; the capitalist, classist society which strives to categorize and departmentalize people. But we’re not a product and if we don’t stop labeling ourselves as such, we’re going to miss out on all the wonderful people and possibilities that are out there just waiting for us.

Like the one I’m having now with my roommate!  It’s a smaller world than we imagine if we see all that we share…

21
Mar
14

what a bitch looks like

what a bitch looks likeWhat does a bitch look like?

I had a lovely day today getting my hair done by a wonderful hair stylist.  She is truly an artist and has a great flair for bold choices (though I’m not one of her clients who makes any).  Professional in all respects, she treats her clients with care and concern and is a great listener.  There are no awkward silences – she is very comfortable to be around; easy to talk to, attentive, thoughtful, funny and smart.  And yet, she told me that based on her appearance, people, especially women, tell her that she looks like, and I quote, an “intimidating bitch even though she’s so nice.”

This leads me to the question, what does a bitch look like?  Did we as a society vote on this and I missed out?  Is there a certain style that one needs to follow in order to achieve the “bitch” look?  Here all along I was getting the wrong impression from society.  I thought they only labelled bitches based on behavior (usually what would normally be perceived as self-assurance in a man).  Now we’re denoting bitchdom simply based on looks?

So let me tell you what a bitch looks like since I evidently have had one doing my hair for the past couple of years.  She’s medium height, average to slender build, long straight jet black hair with kickass blue streaks at the ends, a clear olive complexion, wears glasses, dark and defined make up, earrings and a nose ring, perfectly straight bright teeth resulting in a beautiful smile, gorgeous almond eyes and a great fashion sense.  Do you look like that at all?  If you do, sorry, I’ve got bad news, you’re a bitch.

What are we thinking?  What are we doing to ourselves with these meaningless labels which prevent us from seeing the “nice person” behind the bitch?  Who would have thought that I’d long for the days when only assertive women earned the “b-word”?  Do we not have the time to even say hello to someone before departmentalizing and classifying someone in our minds?  Perhaps those who don’t, need to take a look in the mirror and see if they fit their own image of a —–!




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