Why are we indifferent to the feelings of the ‘different’?

 

We have come a long way from defeating the phobias that are most common in today’s society – sexuality phobias, i.e. homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. When I say a long way, it is with respect to the societies dating back decades (and centuries). You may agree that we have not yet reached a point of complete acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. Regardless, I am not writing this post to promote equality of different sexualities, although I am an advocate of equality for all beings. I am writing to give you my opinion on why it might be difficult for some to accept the existence of these different people.

The truth is we do not like change; be it a change in residence, change in diet, or a change in culture. We like the things as they are. Of course trying new things is exciting, and I find everyone has an adventure bug in them to some extent. But we like to stick to our stable, unchanging cores: our fundamental being. We may step out to test the waters once in a while, but we stay strongly anchored to our cores.

 

So how is this ‘core’ stuff even related to the topic at hand?” you may ask.

It may be more complicated than this, but I believe that most people who resent these unorthodox (hopefully not for too long) sexualities do not like change. They have cores deeply anchored that treading in foreign waters is too far-fetched of an idea. Literally put, people ‘no likey’ something that is too different from their cores. It is not necessarily only the older generations that show discomfort (and hate) towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. It could be your best friend of same age, or younger sister. It could be anyone with a strong core that is non-accepting of any kind of change.

 

So what is the solution (if there is even one)?   More exposure!

For example, if you are adamant about staying away from the water but see a lot of people enjoying, you might change your mind and go for a swim. This could be for several reasons: 1) you are certain the water is safe; 2) you are simply following the crowd; 3) you are tired of being held back; 4) who cares anymore!

Likewise, if a lot of people are accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, maybe the resolute ones would give in and also be accepting. Eventually, everyone would think of these different people as ordinary folks. Eventually, these different values and ways of life will be integrated into the cores of unchanging people.

 

But how do we get people to be accepting in the first place? I believe that the more exposure people get, the more they realize that members of the LGBTQ+ community are no different from the rest. That they are simply human with both good and bad — seeking freedom to think, feel, speak and act as everyone else without being criticized for who they love.

We need to be hopeful that things will only get better from here. I bet no woman in the 1800s imagined a life as we have it today, with more freedom and independence than ever. Touching up on my first point, we have come a long way. True, we have a longer way to go, but I am hopeful we will get there someday! Just keep an open mind

Accept everything with a grain of salt, even this post 🙂


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About minks

 

I love psychology, specifically social psychology. I am not a great writer, but my love for human behaviour encouraged me to start this blog. I have learnt few things through my minor in Psychology, and many theories and concepts have stuck to me. So this is my way of sharing my thoughts and my outlook on life. Hope you enjoy the posts. If you disagree, do write me back as  your feedback may help me educate myself! So here it goes… I shall unravel my ‘minks of ideas’!

Why do we always blame the victim?

 

Have you ever been in a situation where the victim is blamed? Of course you have! You may have not recognized it, and in fact YOU may have been the one who blamed the victim. Victim of rape, victim of a robbery, or victim of an accident. Of course we initially sympathize with the person involved: ‘Oh that poor soul! What a terrible thing to happen. His (or her) family must be devastated.’ But soon enough we go onto find fault in the victim: ‘What was he thinking? Does he not know better than to stay away from the bad side of town?’

 

But why do we do it?

Why do we assume that someone was raped because she (not being sexist, but ‘she’ is most commonly raped than ‘he’ is) is dressed provocatively. Or because she walked home alone at night. Or because she was drunk. Why do we think that when someone was robbed, he shouldn’t have walked down the sketchy alley? That he is in the wrong to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? Why not place all blame on the perpetrator, as is expected? After all, the perpetrator did the wrong: he (or she) was the one who raped; and he (or she) was the one who robbed.

The reason: the belief of a just-world, as coined by social psychologist Melvin J. Lerner in the just-world hypothesis.

What is this belief?

Simply put, it is the belief that good people get a happy ending and bad people deserve any misfortune. So, if I win a Nobel Prize (any day now!), you will be quick to assume that I am a good and intelligent person, which is why I was bestowed with such honour. Similarly, if I suffer from a disease (say AIDS), then I must be a bad person to have such a fate. Of course people sympathize with diseased individuals (my example may not be the best!). But the important point is that we try to reduce our unease caused by moral imbalance — the person suffers because he deserves it; there must be something wrong with him/her.

 

You may deny this ever happens; especially you, out of all people, would never accuse a victim for some unfortunate event. If that is true, then this post may not have been helpful to you (but continue being you). What I wish to achieve through my post is to educate people of this hypothesis, and however much of it is applicable, so that we do not unload our biases and judgments on a person who is already going through much.

 

I am in no way a social psychologist, but this is what I have learnt. And yes I am overgeneralizing from what I have witnessed in friends and family, which is a bias by itself but let’s not get to that now. What I want to say is be mindful about what you assume, even if the victim is a stranger you saw on the news. If you were raped, would you want people to think it is your fault? I wouldn’t.

 

Keep an open mind. Accept everything with a grain of salt, even this post 🙂