by Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote
As a species, we’re capable of awesome cognitive leaps.
With a handful of touchy subjects, though, we can become deeply prejudiced baggage-carriers. Whether it’s calcified thinking, a knee-jerk bad habit, or a vestigial imperative woven into our DNA, we’re drawn to restrictive categories and norms over and again. Ever suspicious, we’re prone to slap on hard-to-remove labels that determine “belongs” and “does not belong.” We isolate “unacceptable” from “acceptable” in a mere heartbeat.
If you’re doubting this blanket statement, just consider that most mundane of events, the twice-daily commute. A transcript of the snap judgments from just one of its minutes would reveal a veritable jamboree of sexist, racist, ageist, and classist attitudes (that usually stay locked inside individual skulls nestled within individual vehicles, fortunately).
Contesting such ingrained and seemingly instinctive patterns can be thankless work. And difficult too, an uphill battle.