Informal Feminism

{April 24, 2011}   Respect

Hi, this week I am facing the worst case of procrastination and writers block I have had since I started this blog, so I think it is going to be one of my shorter posts. What I want to talk about this week is how quick people are to judge without knowing the person they are judging. I have come across a few of these people at work this week, they speak without consideration of the other person, and they make judgements about their lives without knowing them. The people that I have seen doing it have been of a certain privileged economic class but I don’t think that they are the only people to judge others without knowing them. I find this troublesome from a feminist point of view because it is something that women face regularly and are aware of constantly.

It goes back, as it often does, to the Madonna/whore dichotomy. Women are constantly placed into these categories by people who do not know them personally. They are categorized because of their outfit or a comment overheard without context. A women who goes to a bar wearing a halter top is immediately categorized as a whore by people who see her out but do not know her. They have no concept that she might be a mother, a teacher, or someone who volunteers with a shelter; they just know that she is out dressed in a way that they categorize as whore in their mind. This is a problem because often times these women face harassment and sexual assault as a result of this stereotypes.

I know women who have been subjected to violence or sexual assault because some man has made a judgement call in a bar and decided that this woman is a whore and she doesn’t deserve respect. It is that people make these judgements without knowing the person they are making judgements about. The majority of the time I would say that these judgements are not trying to be harmful, but they could be hurtful if overheard by the person being spoken about. However, there are times where people take their own opinion to far and someone gets hurt in the process, when they don’t even know who that person is. So all I want to say this week is that the next time you decided to judge someone on their appearance, job or a comment you overhear be aware that you don’t know that person and that what you are saying about them can be hurtful. It all comes back to giving the same respect to others that you feel you deserve.


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