I know this topic may be a hard one to chew but hope you won’t mind if I talk about it a little bit. I noticed that a person very dear to me is being exposed to one form of discrimination and actually believes that is how things should be. So this post is about to describe these social, or let’s say anti-social, behaviors so we could notice them on time and warn the people involved in them that they are not only rude, immoral, physically and psychically damaging but illegal too, and that they shouldn’t tolerate, support or initiate them.
1. Discrimination Based upon Gender
Women should sit at home, wash the dishes, take care of the children and make sure the hubby always has a homemade meal and a clean, ironed shirt to wear on his quest to provide for the family. Oh, don’t worry, a woman can work but only if the family is in a major financial crisis, God forbid she actually plans to make a career out of it! Man, in the other hand, has to like cars and spend every single moment of his free time repairing something, watching the football game or leading macho conversations. God forbid he ever has any interest in fashion, gardening or whatnot! …. No, ladies, I’m not living under a rock – some people still think this is the natural order of things and are even ready to resort to violence to make sure the “natural balance” is maintained.
2. Discrimination Based upon Appearance
Remember Ugly Betty? Physical appearance is very important these days, so important, in fact, that some employers choose to put it before professional skills and knowledge. Both men and women are indirectly suggested they should change their looks in order to improve they social, business or love life. Beautiful people not only find jobs easier but advance in their career faster. I’ve seen it myself and heard more stories than I wish to remember.
I’m sure you all know what racism is but, did you know that even making a joke or a funny remark about the person’s race qualifies as racist behavior? I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be a part of that or make anybody else feel singled out or ridiculed so, if you notice this do point it out. Some people are not careful of what comes out of their mouth so it’s always a good idea to let them know their words may be hurting somebody. However, discrimination based upon skin color can be, and very often is, intentional and can include everything from physical violence and insults to “double standards” when it comes to employment, pay rate and career opportunities.
A very negative and unfortunately common practice in today’s corporative world. But, what exactly is this? Well, remember bullies in school? Now, try to imagine a grown up being bullied by a specific boss, coworker or, even worse, a whole group of them. Mobbing is often being called the “disease of the office” and it really is a disease that can lead to many emotional, psychological and even physical disorders. A bully in school was not smart enough to hide evidence so you could easily prove yourself as the victim. Business bullies, however, use different, verbal methods like yelling, insulting, silent treatments, malicious comments, mocking etc. Methods that leave no physical evidence of torture!
5. Sexual Abuse
With so many badly disturbed individuals out there, anybody can be the object of sexual abuse! It can happen at home, in school, on the internet and even in the office and it’s not limited to females only. Victims of sexual abuse can have noticeable signs of maltreatment like bruises and can seem rather distant, introvert and even express suicidal thoughts. However, some victims are very good in hiding this so the only way to find out is to know a person well. You can help a lot here so be supportive, caring and understanding and don’t give up until the abuser is behind bars.
6. Discrimination Based upon Age
If you are older than 40 and have just got fired or resigned from your job, finding a new one will be tough. Companies prefer young candidates and are very proud to say that applicants “may get the chance to work in a young, creative, dynamic team.” Sometimes they even openly say that their ideal candidate would be the one that possesses knowledge and experience in a certain area and is anywhere from 25 to 40 years old.
7. Labeling Others
Making assumptions about others based on no or very little information isn’t exactly a crime but it is a bad behavior that can progress, get worse and lead into a real discrimination. Girls that like to dress up are either characterized as gold diggers or easy to get with, girls that don’t like to dress up are losers, intelligent guys are pathetic geeks and anybody that stands out must be a freak. Labels were annoying in high school and they still are, even now. Plus, persons that express the need to label somebody can be the ones to resort to other types of discrimination later in life, if and when the power of authority is given to them.
But what about the other forms of negative behaviors and discrimination? What do you know about discrimination based upon nationality and disability? What about pregnancy and sexual orientation? Do you know some other forms of maltreatment, have you ever experienced any of them and what would you do if somebody you care about is a subject of harassment?
Top Photo Credit: tobym