Different kinds of Prejudice Today
One fact that everyone can agree on, regardless of where they live in the world, is that people are different. People come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. People believe in different religions, have different political views, and even have differing views on how to raise children. With all the differences in the world instead of embracing those differences and learning from other people, prejudices are commonplace.
What is Prejudice?
According to dictionary.com, the definition of prejudice is “an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” Another definition is one that appears more accurate for the attitudes of today. The second definition states that prejudice is, “unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group.”
In many instances, people who have a prejudice against another group will go out of their way to make life more difficult for those people. Sometimes these prejudices lead to lawsuits and others result in damage inflicted upon a group or individual either physically or through slanderous lies. Prejudice, on any level, can do tremendous damage to those targeted.
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Types of Prejudice
A number of types of prejudice exist in society today. The following are just a few of the most prominent prejudices.
- Racism – Racism is a form of prejudice that has been around for centuries. One of the most common forms of racism is racism against black/African-Americans. There are preconceived notions that black people are lazy, violet, drug dealers, and live on welfare. These prejudices have led to tremendous tension between the races as well as a great deal of violence.
- Sexual Orientation – As more people come out of the closet as being homosexual or bisexual acceptance has not surpassed those who only believe in heterosexual relations. Some members of society have developed misconceptions regarding the lifestyles of non-heterosexuals. People consider them sinners who are doing things that are unnatural and immoral. Others see them as sexual deviants who prey on innocent children, etc.
- Religion – People of all faiths are victims of religious persecution and discrimination. People saddle entire religions with stereotypes and untruths because of the negative actions of some that they claim they did on behalf, or for, their God. Christians and Muslims are two religious groups who suffer because of prejudice.
- Sex/Gender – When it comes to sexism historically, the belief is that men are better than, or rate higher than women rate. A direct result of this sexism is men earning a higher wage and getting the more desirable jobs. With people who are transgender being more open about their status another form of prejudice developed. Many people use their religious affiliations to say transgender is unnatural, thus resulting in people hiding who they are for fear of repercussions against them.
- Sizeism – This prejudice discriminates against people who do not fit into the accepted standards of beauty in society today. If someone is too tall, short, thin, or fat they suffer different forms of abuse. Because of the prejudice against overweight members of society, there are groups seeking acceptance of people of all shapes and sizes because no two people are the same.
Prejudice has no place in society. People who may be the victim of one form of prejudice may turn around and subject others to discrimination for another reason. The only way for prejudice to become a thing of the past is for everyone to accept that despite our differences, we all members of the human race.