So the topic of social constructs of race and gender seems to have risen to the surface, in relating to our decision making process.
Perhaps a question might be framed this way:
“Will i live by my espoused ethical standards (values) in this specific situation, or are there “extenuating circumstances” which allow me to excuse myself from acting in accordance with what i believe” …… it almost sounds like cheating, doesn’t it?…. 🙂
(Possibly the current pillaging going on in the Bahamas is a very obvious yet perhaps extreme example of this)
Does the fact that i am dealing with the opposite sex, or someone from a different racial or religious background, or an extenuating circumstance, allow me to alter my values in the treatment of that person or circumstance?
Do we use the distinctions of race, gender and beliefs to decide how we treat other people? If so, it is simple hypocrisy. If we “alter” our values depending on who we are dealing with….. that is to be a hypocrite.
In thinking about this decision making process , my mind turned to the caste system in India…… and it all relates to how human beings put other humans into a constructed boxes, so they can class them, control them, do harm to them, expel them (we also accept folks based on the same parameters, don’t we…) .
It might just be one of the most important topics needed to be “inquired into” and “analyzed” and “vaporized” (a reference to my own personal self-inquiry practice) at this stage of human social development ……
As human beings, we have our social constructs, as Mandy was saying…. and we use these social constructs in our decision making process of how we act and treat other people (and all the things around us) and pretty much all of these constructs operate at a subconscious level as automatic reactions….
Before the current understanding of DNA, we could only look at the surface, so race and gender were considered “cast in stone” differences….. but now we can see that even these definitions are not what we thought them to be.
At this stage of human social development, it is becoming glaringly obvious, that we need to stop looking at the surface….. that we need to stop looking at the surface differences, and begin looking to the similarities which are, in fact, what makes all human beings brothers and sisters. And also past that gender distinction, to look at what makes us “fellow human beings”. (i looked it up and the definition says “fellow” is gender neutral…..)
It is only by looking at our “sameness”, that we can move past the harmful behaviour we have practiced since we “became self aware”…..
Our use of “this and that” distinctions in our decision making process may be the central point here.
Persons or groups necessarily have their “this and that” “dividing” distinctions “inbred” at a very early age, and by the time we become adults, many of them are automatic “knee jerk” reactions.
Might we say this? :
“The definition of discrimination regarding to human beings is when we alter our value system and/or treatment of fellow human beings based on their external physical distinctions”
If so, then we can agree that the problem of discrimination happens in each one of us, and happens at an almost subconscious level.
To move past the point where we have automatic discriminatory reactions……. well…. that requires some hard work …. or at least in our generation.
If we can agree that, rather than “all persons are created equal”, that “all human beings are part of our family, and therefore must be treated with dignity.. PERIOD….. we could begin to develop a social construct which incorporates social justice.
In my mind, “fighting” for social justice is not as good of a method as bringing the reality of our kindredship as human beings.