I was reading an article at everyday feminism [sic] digital magazine on the topic of racial prejudice and it brought to mind what I see on other blogs or in articles written on topics related to transgender and feminist issues. I have written much on the topic of Shadow both on this blog and another I wrote for two years. I have emphasized repeatedly that Shadow is not about the dark side of being human, it is about the side that’s hidden from us that until we make the pledge and effort to uncover our unconscious beliefs and behavior which are exactly the same for all of us, we will never bring peaceful co-existence to the planet and the acceptance for being authentic, to be exactly who we are and who we are not.
It is so easy to criticize people for being unaware of both their prejudice and privilege as being bigoted or just ignorant so that they must be educated to think otherwise. As an example, while bigot or bigoted are highly charged words, so are ignorant and ignorance as well as hypocritical and hypocrite.
As a now post-operative white transgender woman, I have become sensitive to how people treat me as both white and a woman as well as how I am regarded as transgender in this day and age where being transgender is sometimes front page news, as was the case of Chelsea Manning.
Because of the civil rights and feminist movements as far back as the 1960’s, when I was in college and preparing to enter a career or the workforce, I was just as hypocritical as the next person even though I was willing to change my way of thinking and to bring these issues into the limelight by peaceful protest and nonviolent resistance.
I am freely willing to admit that I have the same prejudices I have always had, even though I have fought diligently to correct my shortcomings and to invite others to do the same. As an example, when I see or meet a presumably non-white person, while I try to treat them as equals, I will have a tendency to act differently with them then I would with a white person. Now that I am living as the woman I always believed I should have been, the same is true when I interact with women now that I am regarded as one versus how I now act with men.
You might argue that this is just human nature, just as in the phrase I so often hear “Boys will be boys.” I won’t argue that it is human nature, but I will argue that it is just human nature. It’s not. It is also from being unable to admit that we are still prejudiced, whether it be racial, sexual, or otherwise, even when we are trying to educate ourselves and others to be accept and behave accordingly with all of the diversity of humankind.
This brings me back to why I wrote this peace in the first place, which is regarding people as being hypocritical for not practicing what they preach, even when they are trying hard to do so, to the best of their knowledge and ability. When I see hypocritical behavior in others, I can’t presume them to be hypocrites. I see a lot of this in the LGBT and other minority communities, in speech as in writing, and if our intention is to have people see and accept us as we are, we must be willing to do the same, whether we like their behavior or beliefs or we don’t. Also fear, prejudice and bigotry is not just the the result of ignorance. There is also no such thing as pure evil as so many of us use the phrase to describe people who can’t or won’t ever be rehabilitated, not withstanding all of the mass murderers of adults and especially children that seem to be popping up randomly everywhere nowadays.. That is the part of Jesus’, Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s messages that most of have humanity have seemed to have missed.
We are all God’s children, and as such, are entitled to be accepted for who we are and who we are not, just for being born of a woman. That does not mean we should tolerate hatred, bigotry or violence, no matter the sources that cause them and to commit bodily harm or use deadly force, if necessary. Being evil is the excuse we often make when people are violent, bigoted or intolerant, who behave in sociopathic or psychopathic ways. Still, what right do we have to judge them as being evil at all. All intolerant or misguided behavior has it’s root in our unwillingness to look at our own shortcomings and to acknowledge that they exist equally for everyone of us, whether we like to admit it or don’t.
Deanna Joy Hallmark