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to think the problem with society is them and us.

(18 Posts)
Cherryblossomsinspring Sat 25-Jul-15 10:02:42

People are so harsh and judgemental. Bashing people on benefits, for their patenting, their class (openly) and homosexuality, race and disabilities (in their minds as it's not acceptable to say out loud thankfully). People love a bandwagon but it always comes from deep seated intolerance. I think people, without realising, see the people they are intolerant of as different, them and us. Tolerance is not enough, it implies those people need to be tolerated. That is awful if you really think about it. The more I get to meet people and hear the stories of these people in the various minority groups that are either openly or subtly picked on, the more I realise they are the same person as me, just in different circumstances.

So AIBU to think that most people who have particular bandwagons or sweeping opinions on minority groups believe they are 'tolerent' but fail to realise that under it all they are still holding deep rooted prejudices and that although their heads may be in the right place, they still incorrectly and damagingly see it as them and us?

Stripeysocksarecool Sat 25-Jul-15 11:15:39

YABU. How can you know what people are thinking if, as you say, "it's in their minds as it's not acceptable to say out loud". Unless you are a mind reader there is no way you can know what good(or bad) thoughts people have.

I would say that society is more tolerant now than it has ever been.

OrangeVase Sat 25-Jul-15 12:20:21

Mt DD goes to school which is wonderfully mixed - races, languages, religions, colours. I work with a real mix - including five gay men and one gay woman. We have MPs of both sexes and several races and several who are gay. No-one seems to think twice about it.

You can get a job, home, driving license, benefits, education, hospital treatment and generally do what you like within the law - and it doesn't matter Imagine that in some countries. The UK is very, very accepting of most people.

WorraLiberty Sat 25-Jul-15 12:28:11

The UK is very, very accepting of most people.

Yes the 'UK' is, but I think the OP is talking about individual people.

It works both ways though, because there are obviously some extremely intolerant people within minority groups too.

I think everyone including the OP will be both tolerant and intolerant at some point in their lives, for different reasons.

It's human nature probably.

OrangeVase Sat 25-Jul-15 12:28:13

BY the way I should say two things:

1 That prejudice is valuable - it means to pre-judge. It is a shortcut. It is when the prejudice is based on things that are unreasonable or used to disadvantage a group or individual that it is bad. I am much more likely to trust someone who belongs to a group that has previously proved trustworthy than one I don't know. It is normal. Once we accept that we have a better chance of dealing with the instances where is damaging.

2 Them and Us is divisive but everyone uses it from politicians to religious leaders to major corporations and brand managers. Once you recognise that and tackle the way it exploits people rather than trying to say "Them" and "Us" is evil in itself and "we are all the same" you have better chance its being used for positives rather than power games.

OrangeVase Sat 25-Jul-15 12:29:17

You are right Worra

SeenSheen Sat 25-Jul-15 12:30:53

Thought police have arrived!
Blair & co spent years stopping people from voicing opinions but was unable to control their thoughts. What you say simply proves that shutting people up doesn't change opinion. Actually accepting and discussing prejudices could be a better way of resolving them perhaps?

WorraLiberty Sat 25-Jul-15 12:31:51

I found myself nodding along vigorously to your second post Orange grin

<< Clears dandruff from shoulders >>

OrangeVase Sat 25-Jul-15 12:32:34

Agree SeenSheen - that is partly what I meant.

OrangeVase Sat 25-Jul-15 12:33:15

Worra grin

rosesanddaisies Sat 25-Jul-15 13:45:16

Oh, Gods, not another depressing post. YABU. Not everyone is deeply prejudced at all, they just have natural human views on things that have the potential to change when they personally come into contact with/know said "minority group" etc. Thats human nature. People also seem to bash anyone that has even a remote bit of breathing space financially (as someone said on here recently "the fucking rich can do whatever they like/have as many children as they want and don't give a shit"), judging them to be automatically evil and uncaring just because they're not poor. It is, unfortunately, in a human being's nature to judge in one form or another before coming to know a person/group.

rosesanddaisies Sat 25-Jul-15 13:48:42

My family is mixed race/gay/etc, we've never really had a problem at all being here in the UK. People, in general, are actually very kind hearted. No one seems to care that my sister is gay, or my children are mixed race. We don't get abuse, people don't blink twice, and we still get people talking to us after meeting us so I assume they're not so "deeply prejudced" that they don't think they'll spontaneously combust by talking to things as disgusting as us mixed race/gays etc smile I tend to find society's nasty ones are in general the least prejudiced, because they're nasty to everyone, not just us/my friends/family etc smile

ollieplimsoles Sat 25-Jul-15 14:09:01

Amazing post from orange agree 100% with all of it.

Lurkedforever1 Sat 25-Jul-15 14:24:29

Agree with orangevase.
I think too we should model tackling it more on young children's interactions, than the focus on telling everyone to be tolerant. 3/4 yr olds do not accept people of different colours, dress, habit, culture, ability etc based on their knowledge of why the other person is like that or because someone has explained acceptance to them, they just judge the individual before them on their behavior. If they ask about eg a turban, we explain or tell them to ask their friend. We don't justify it beforehand as though whether it's ok to wear one hinges on the justification. We only step in with justifying and explanations when there's a good reason to explain behavior that on the surface appears wrong to them. Eg why that child snatched etc.
Therefore explaining to older children why harmless habits or dress etc are ok, before they have asked comes across as though we're giving the message that we agree dressing that way, looking that way etc does appear to be wrong but no worries we'll explain it. When actually for many things until you pre-empted it, it hadn't crossed their mind to believe it wrong.
You could explain to me for example the mumsnet religion and culture believes in taking bb spaces for your pfb, and I'd never agree because it's wrong. Whereas if I witnessed a troupe of mnetters dressed as Mr blobby worshipping a car seat, I'd be interested on a human level not wanting an explanation to see if I approved.
For all the promotion of racial acceptance, I've worked with people who really begrudge and actively insult the recently arrived Asian/polish/ African/whatever family that 'stole' their council house when they're overcrowded etc, and yet when you simply explain that it's not the individual it's housing policy if anything, and hey yes to get the equivalent of a mansion by our standards we'd do the same in their country, they'll happily stop blaming the actual family, when all the anti racist and tolerance promotion has done nothing but fuel their hatred at the 'special treatment'.

maninawomansworld Sun 26-Jul-15 00:11:05

Unfortunately it is basic human nature.
Even children instinctively pick on the odd one out that doesn't fit with the group and so do most wild animals. You get one that deviates too far from the norm and it is shunned, or even attacked and driven away or killed.

As the highly socialised animals we are , we try as a society not to do this but we are basically fighting thousands of years of evolution.
So you get someone who is disabled - if we were wild animals that individual would slow the herd or pack down and contribute very little, hence they would be of no value and would probably be left behind or actively driven out.

Happily we have come a long way from the dusty plains of Africa but the basic instinct is still there - we feel safest and most at home amongst others who are similar to us (how you personally define 'similar' is up to you).

swiggityswoogity Sun 26-Jul-15 00:54:05

Virtue signalling and promotion of authoritarian thought policing.

I fear the 'enlightened' ones more than I fear the meanies

caroldecker Sun 26-Jul-15 01:26:45

I think you have to separate choice from non-choice differences. In the OP, you have class, race, homosexuality and disabilities, which are all involuntary and agree no discrimination should be made.

People on benefits, in some circumstances are voluntary and oftentimes not, so a balanced view should be taken.

Bad parenting are choices people make. We can, should and do condemn bad parenting and we have social services/NSPCC/Childline to intervene when children are in danger.

IMO, shouting abuse at a gay person and reporting child abuse are two very different things.

Cherryblossomsinspring Sun 26-Jul-15 07:05:12

Some really interesting thoughts. It's a learning process for me, I'm not fully there yet (as someone pointed out it is human nature to group and define people) and used to judge things that I now completely feel no judgment about which is why this issue is on my mind a lot. I also now have small children I want to grow up as thoughtful and non - prejudiced. My other reason for thinking about this a lot is the amount of people recently who have made small comments in passing that I wouldn't have noticed in the past but that I now see are laden with judgement. People seem to lump groups of people together for anything negative and then see them as 'them'. And the little jokes people make, people I know who feel they are well educated, well travelled and 'tolerent'. I'm really noticing things I didn't think about before and feel terrible at the weight of minor prejudices/assumptions/stereotyping of gay people, Muslims, Chinese etc.

It's a learning process. I just think a lot of people believe they are non - judgmental and still make little comments and jokes that show that they really are. Maybe never really needed to think about it properly.

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