by Greg Krehbiel on 23 March 2012
One persistent problem in our culture is the inability to deal with stereotypes honestly.
Some people are offended that others make judgments based on stereotypes, so they react against it.
I had a neighbor who used to park in a train station lot next to a university. Her car sat there all day with nobody around — except the occasional college kid.
She always bought very expensive car stereos, and (surprise!) they were regularly stolen. When a cop suggested that maybe she shouldn’t buy such expensive stereos if she’s going to be leaving her car in a place like that, she was indignant.
“Why should I have to change my behavior because they’re breaking the law?”
Well … maybe you should change your behavior if you don’t want your stereo stolen.
Rather than thinking practically, some people insist on thinking about these things like they’re some kind of Grand Moral Crusade. They’re more worried about “rights” than reality.
Remember the “slut walks”? These women were saying “we should be able to dress like sluts if we want to.”
These are people who don’t want to admit that ideas and actions have consequences.
Maybe in somebody’s concept of an ideal world, a woman should be able to dress however she wants and never get hit on, or spoken to in a way she doesn’t like, or leered at, or raped, or whatever.
Sure. But if you don’t want to be leered at, don’t dress that way. (Obviously women shouldn’t be mistreated no matter how they’re dressed. But shouldn’t isn’t the only question.)
So now we have that horrible story of the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Geraldo Rivera has suggested that the hoodie might bear some of the blame.
I think it’s a dumb thing to say, especially so soon after the tragedy, but Geraldo’s point is that if you dress in a way that associates you with troublemakers, people might treat you like a troublemaker. (I am not in any way justifying the shooting, BTW.)
So given the way people seem to react to this kind of stuff, I predict we’re going to see “hoodie rallies.”
“We have a right to dress like gangsters and not be treated any differently.”
Again …. Maybe so, but there’s also this thing called reality. Maybe people shouldn’t judge you by what you wear, or by whether you’re attractive, or by how tall you are, or by whether you’ve colored your hair orange. That doesn’t change the fact that they will.
-- 2012-03-23 » Greg Krehbiel