MODERN, BUT STILL PREJUDICE (1)

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’They don’t want to be integrated’.

We want to accept them, but they don’t want to be accepted’.

‘They are already equal, this now is just pushing over the limit’.

Insert a name of any marginalized or discriminated group instead of ‘they’, the sentences apply to all of them. The times of overt, blatant prejudice is unfortunately not over, but it is not considered good manners anymore to openly discriminate members of other groups. However, the human need to stereotype in order to save the brain from burning out is only a very thin line away from prejudice and consequent discrimination.

Humans, as inventive as we are, have found a side road to continue picking and hating certain groups, but in a way that doesn’t affect their (self?)image. They started using covert, subtle forms of expressing prejudice, which, at first sight, do not seem to be troublesome at all. However, social psychologists have outwitted these sophisticated sallies and made it clear – you may be new-fashioned, but you are still old-prejudiced.

Let’s give an example. I am personally very often confronted with the question ‘Do you seriously think women are still unequal in Serbia?’ Well, yes I do, since the Gender Equality Index says so, and I have experienced prejudice on my own skin. However, the focus here is on the question. This item, ‘Discrimination of XY is no longer a problem in my country’, is very often used in questionnaires about modern prejudice and it is proven to be a good one.

When talking about sexism, benevolent form should definitely be mentioned at this point. Phrases like ‘Women should be cherished and protected by men’ or ‘In a disaster, women ought necessarily be rescued before men’ are actually a covert form of discrimination.

Modern prejudice are considered to comprise three processes: denial of continuing discrimination (e.g. There are enough job programs for immigrants), antagonism toward demands (Homosexuals are too demanding for equal rights) and resentment about special favours (Roma children are provided with free school books, why aren’t our children given books?). How many sentences you have heard so far fall under these pillars of modern discrimination?

Too many I ever heard.

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