Mirror Mirror on the Wall by Jeanina Yu

30 Mar

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All of us I believe have “judged a book by its cover” and have been judged by people too, it’s just impossible that we don’t because a simple first impression we make on someone is already what it is. And these in particular are stereotypes that we end up developing prejudices against so many people or groups of people that leads us to discriminating them. Stereotyping, prejudices and discrimination go-hand-in-hand but each differs from the other in terms on how a person reacts based on his attitude.

We all have a habit of stereotyping people and making prejudices out of it, like for example, making generalizations about certain people or situations, without knowing them fully. Often times, we have no clue or knowledge about the total picture and end up satisfying ourselves with our own assumptions, which are based upon what we might have read in a book or seen on TV or even heard from others. I have witnessed myself a situation like this where after the incident here in the Philippines about a group of Chinese travellers who were victims of this crime where a few of them we’re killed and hurt. After such incident, the Chinese has viewed us and treated us differently. Just like when I was shopping in Hong Kong a few years back, the sales person was interested on knowing from where I came from and at that moment, I wasn’t so sure if I should tell her I’m from the Philippines just right after such incident happen. But anyhow, I told her “I’m from the Philippines” and all that she replied was “Oh” and left without any approach. From that very moment, I have realized how one thing you’re not involved into could actually affect everything and everyone. They have judged everyone without personally knowing how Filipinos could be as kind, caring and hospitable which we are known for. Another example coming from my friend, she visited China early this year. She was in the cashier to pay for what she shopped for.  The cashier assumes that my friend was trying to give a prank about paying the tender with the wrong amount of money and so what the tender did was she slapped the hand of my friend. The Chinese tender might have acted like this maybe through an experience of have heard that Filipinos are stealers or what we call “magnanakaw”. Even with the fact my friend was honest about it, she was treated such way. 

Everything starts with the stereotyping then prejudices about something could lead to certain discriminations where it engages certain negative behavior of man.  Most common ones are hierarchy in social classes, age, gender, religion and racial discrimination. Have you ever wonder how such thing started? Well they say we develop these when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. Where areas, society often innocently generates and perpetuates stereotypes and prejudices. And these often lead to unfair discrimination and persecution when the stereotype is unfavorable. Television, books, comic strips, and movies are all abundant sources of stereotyped characters. A great example coming from the film industry is we view physically attractive women have been and continue to be portrayed as unintelligent or unintellectual and sexually promiscuous. While on the other hand, discrimination goes a long way in which based on the judgment we make, we put an act on it and behavior plays a role here. Most commonly seen in women, which they have been victimized by discrimination in employment, education, and social services. Women and minorities are often excluded from high echelon positions in the business world. People make thoughts about women being sensitive and powerless that’s why we can’t take the role of being on top.

By looking at everything, it is what it is we see today, we can conclude that we are prejudiced against people when we try to shoulder that they have certain characteristics and features. These assumptions develop when we do not have direct contact with them or we fear them due to being a minority and different from us. Prejudices now a days have become extensive to some degree where it’s about time to battle them. First by having a great understanding of their nature and about the people.  All of us have prejudices about members of groups different from ourselves. By making people more educated and aware, we could actually tolerate these practices to a lesser form of extent. We should, however, recognize that we are not acting fairly if we treat people differently because of these stereotypes and prejudices. Each one of us deserves to be considered a unique human being.

-Example- 

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As Susan Boyle stood in front of everyone, people thought of her as a BIG JOKE. But no, they thought wrong after all after such great performance. 

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