The layers of rationalization for prejudice.

11 Jun

The Prime Directive

In this entry, I gave a series of stages which, I’ve now realized, represent the layers of rationalizations that support prejudice. These layers are not the same for each prejudice, though. In the case of gender, I presented the following five layers:

1. Gender is innate.
2. Gender is so ingrained in the fabric of society that it cannot be eliminated.
3. Gender can be abolished, but the results would be catastrophic.
4. Gender can be abolished, but it would destroy individuality.
5. Abolishing gender is bigoted because it would go against people’s self-identification.

I think you could make the case that replacing gender with race would yield a pretty accurate account of racism, except for point 5 (or at least, we haven’t gone to the insanity of self-identifying as other races yet). But in this case there are notions of ethnicity and culture complicating the picture, and this…

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