Culture Is Not
My intention with this post is to argue that all people should be seen as fitting into one category, the human race, rather than pigeonholed by limiting and restrictive boundaries.
The focus is primarily on Women’s Rights, or maybe I should say the abuse of women’s rights, but admittedly women aren’t the only class effected. Women represent only one subheading, but how widely spread the abuse of rights is, is not the biggest problem. In the case of women it was endemic to every culture.
The rules – whatever they were, however they were written – that denied women their basic rights (their individuality and personhood) were honored in every home, in every era. The home is the cookie cutter for culture. It’s not easy to escape the shaping of such a widespread mechanism.
It was self perpetuating in an almost unrecognizable way. It was abuse wrapped in “civility.”
To be clear, the argument isn’t that men and women are all exactly the same. We know that isn’t true, but that’s also true for all men and all women. Everyone is an individual! No person is exactly like any other person.
Not all women are athletic but many are, just like men.
The fact is, the difference between one gender and another is biologically determined. Biology! Nothing more, nothing less. No one should be disallowed an opportunity or universal, inalienable privilege because of gender.
Dilly is an induced state. It is the outcome of duncifying cultural rules. Telling a person they aren’t allowed to do something is the same as telling them they aren’t able.
Stereotypical thinking or what I like to call framing, is the problem. We like to fit groups into little boxes with predefined sets of good or bad qualities, and greater or lesser capabilities, and we do this even for the smallest groups.
If you live in a certain neighborhood, you must be smart.
It’s the easy way out. Rather than take each person at face value, and allow them to emerge one way or another, we frame entire groups with what we believe to be the dominant features of the group. If several are headlined as criminals, they must all be criminally predisposed.
The short of it is we like frames, and we particularly like to frame people.
- All doctors are incapable of writing legibly.
- All Asians love mathematics.
- All people with multicolored hair are insecure.
- All athletes are dumb jocks.
Jannie Du Plessis illustrates how inaccurate these stereotypes can be. Even though he plays at the highest level in one of the hardest hitting sports, Rugby, he’s also a qualified doctor. The man’s got smarts.
Stereotyping is easy. We don’t have to work so hard at figuring people out if we can place them in one of the predefined boxes, if we can assume what they’ll do next. But it’s all wrong. Stereotypes are anecdotally generated and culturally fed. There’s no basis in credible research.
But that’s not all. [Read more…]