Thursday, September 29, 2011

Open bigotry, hidden bigotry

Since various studies have shown that people face discrimination over unexpected things like height or attractiveness, as well as the more famous ones of race, sex and religion, I wondered why the latter are so much better known.

Then I thought that the latter were all openly discriminated against. Racists in the past defended their views with reference to confused Darwinian ideas. Sexists called on religious or crude scientific evidence for the political exclusion of women. Religious bigots denounced their sectarian rivals for heresy.

But discrimination against individuals based on height or attractiveness is probably subconscious: people may not even be aware of their own prejudices. Hence feminism and anti-racism are so prominent. The short, ugly people were never confronted with justifications for their poor treatment, they might never have realised they were victims of discrimination to start with.

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