Most Common Prejudices

inequalityWhat are some of the most common ways that people discriminate against each other? Some of the areas where people show their intolerance are well-known, such as race. But others are less acknowledged, even if more common:

  • Age: Ageism is more common than you think, with both older and younger people facing discrimination. Older people are thought to be inflexible and stuck in the past, while younger people are seen as inexperienced and naïve. One-fifth of working adults say they experience ageism in the workplace.
  • Class: Classism usually takes the form of discrimination by  wealthier people against those who are less well off. However, classism goes both ways — people of lower economic status can see the wealthy as elite snobs who, while monetarily secure, are morally bankrupt.
  • Color: Different from racism, colorism is discrimination based solely on the color of a person’s skin; how relatively dark or light they are. Colorism takes place within and between races. It is common in multi-ethnic and non-white societies and societies with historical racial prejudice. In the latter colorism more commonly advantages those with lighter skin.
  • Ability: Usually called ableism, a less well-known form of prejudice is discrimination against people with visible disabilities such as those in wheelchairs or with a learning disability. The disabled face discrimination not only from their peers, but from institutions, schools, employers, and landowners who are hesitant to accommodate the disabled.

sexism

  • Sex/Gender: Possibly the most universal and long-running prejudice is that based on a person’s gender or sex. Historically, sexism has placed men in a more advantageous position than women.
  • Weight/Size:  In short, sizeism is discrimination based on a person’s body size or weight. Sizeism works with social standards of beauty and usually takes the form of discrimination against the overweight — anti-fat prejudice.
  • Religion: Religious discrimination and persecution has been common throughout history. But prejudice based on religious affiliation doesn’t end with organized religion; atheists are prone to discrimination and being discriminated against.
  • Sexual Orientation: Most commonly, prejudice based on sexual orientiation includes discrimination against those of a  non-heterosexual orientation — homosexual or bisexual. Discrimination against the non-heteresexual takes many forms depending on the society. In some societies prejudice is open and tolerated, but in most Western societies, bias against the non-heterosexual is more discreet.
  • Country of Origin: Otherwise known as nativism, a common form of discrimination is against immigrants to a country. Unlike many other forms of discrimination, nativism is many times encouraged and enforced by the government and other public entities.

Which prejudice do you have? Which prejudice have you experienced?

See also:

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39 thoughts on “Most Common Prejudices

  1. I have done ageism before, automatically thinking that some older folks would just be stuck in their ways, and I have also done classism where I thought some wealthy people were snobs. It doesn’t feel good to admit,but there it is. I’m glad I recognized it, which allowed me to change. As far as the prejudice experienced on my end, it would be ageism, colorism (Ha, I experience this with my blog, but its been happening all my life), sizeism (I’ve always been too skinny for the majority of Black & Hispanics I grew up around..lol), sexism (that’s a given :), and lastly religious discrimination.

  2. Class

    I’m the import wife lol. Lots off white women tends to look down on me and believe that I need help, I hate them for that. I thought hubbys parents would look down on me but they are very nice. I guess it can be because they spent a lot of time in Africa.

    Color

    Being dark skinned person I don’t get that much attention from BM around in Sweden since most of them are West Africans. But I don’t really care one way or another.

    Sex/Gender

    lol I’m from Africa.

    Weight/Size

    I’m too skinny.

    Country of Origin

    Not really that bad tbh. It do get annoying when people believe that they know everything. And that Import wife thing. It would be worst if I were Asian, but it’s still annoying and I’m about to strangle some white women one day.

  3. Nikisha,

    “colorism (Ha, I experience this with my blog, but its been happening all my life)”

    Oh, really? I haven’t been around as often as usual, so I haven’t seen this. That’s not okay… I might have to offer some “advice” if I see anything. 😉

    “sizeism (I’ve always been too skinny for the majority of Black & Hispanics I grew up around..lol)”

    You don’t look too skinny to me. You might be thinner than some women, but you have a curvy shape. 🙂

    “…and lastly religious discrimination.”

    Based on your Christianity? Or your specific denomination?

  4. Nkosazana,

    “Class

    I’m the import wife lol. Lots off white women tends to look down on me and believe that I need help”

    Huh, you should be the one helping people out with your $11,000 gifts and Rio getaways. 😛

    “Being dark skinned person I don’t get that much attention from BM around in Sweden since most of them are West Africans.”

    Are South(ern) African men not (as) colorist?

    “Weight/Size

    I’m too skinny.”

    Too skinny for who?

  5. Ive had the same experiences as Nikisha in regards to weight. Once I got around more black folks (in highschool and later) I discovered I was skinny and have a “white girls body” which honestly I was never actually skinny. Always been medium frame and still am. I wear a size 7 and have since I was about 15. That is not skinny. Plus Ive got a shape, thicker thighs and everything. I find that some black people are just flat out delusional when it comes to judging body types.

    And I of course experienced racism and sexism from the time I was little up through now in various situations. I could write a book on my experiences. Unfortunately I grew up around working class angry (blame the black man and affirmative actions for your problems) whites. It wouldve been better if I hadve been raised in the hood to be honest with you.

  6. Jessica,

    “Ive had the same experiences as Nikisha in regards to weight. Once I got around more black folks (in highschool and later) I discovered I was skinny..I find that some black people are just flat out delusional when it comes to judging body types.”

    Ha, it’s certainly different from most of the rest of the world. A size 7 is average; not remarkable in size either way.

    “And I of course experienced racism and sexism from the time I was little up through now in various situations…It wouldve been better if I hadve been raised in the hood to be honest with you.”

    Sure about that? 😀

  7. Alee,
    The colorism has happened with the UBB youtube videos, but thank God for moderation because I just delete them. The sizeism happened all the time in middle school and high school. Now I have some more meat on my bones :). And discrimination on my Christian beliefs, I’m non-denominational :).

  8. Alee, Yup im sure. Ive had many experiences of overt racism that really scarred me. I wouldve rather just taken my chances living around poor black people instead of poor whites.

  9. Huh, you should be the one helping people out with your $11,000 gifts and Rio getaways. 😛

    Really, It’s not like I’m giving him gifts like that every year… Rio is not that expensive! I like to go were the locals go so you can get things really cheap. I think though that most think that hubby is a sex tourist and I’m a prostituta lol.

    Are South(ern) African men not (as) colorist?

    Not that I’ve notice tbh. I’m darker than most tbh, most Zulus are a kinda softer milk chocolate kinda colour. I mean there are those who chase after coloured women, the few there’s around, but most are kinda meh and marries a girl in their own culture and that means a darker girl more often than not.

    I mean we in the southern africa were colonized the longest and had the most white people around and it did effect stuff but I can’t honestly say that it has affected me..

    I’m too skinny for most black men lol. Have you seen South African butts?

  10. Jessica,

    Stick and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me 😉
    I take stupid white people over oversexed hood black men any time. Trust me…

  11. Nikisha, oh, okay. Of course, Youtubers…

    Jessica,

    Well I guess at least you wouldn’t have to deal with so much blatant racism. But it may come with its own downsides which you may find to be as intolerable.

    @Nkosazana,

    “Stick and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me ;)”

    Who said they wouldn’t use sticks and stones? Don’t underestimate those small town folk. Lol.

  12. Nkosazana,

    “I think though that most think that hubby is a sex tourist and I’m a prostituta lol.”

    From what I know of that area, they probably do.

    “I’m too skinny for most black men lol. Have you seen South African butts?”

    You’re a married woman! Who cares what other men think. Plus, since when did you start caring about what black men think of you; you’re always the first to be like “Who cares… oh well”.

    Mira,

    “Size 7, as I understand, is seen as borderline (to fat) in my culture.”

    I know how your culture is with weight and well… it’s kind of scary. 🙂

  13. Mira, size 7 borderline fat??? Geez louise. Im smaller than most of america. I wouldnt actually want to be any smaller. Im 5’5 and a half and 138 pounds. The smallest ive been since I was an adult was about 120 pounds. I had surgery and then lost some weight and didnt put it back on for like 6 months. I didnt look as good at that size. Most people guess im about 130 though just by looking at me.

    Nkosazana, You REALLY dont like black men huh? I can tell in alot of your comments. Its easy to stereotype something when your on the outside looking in. Not everyone in the hood is bad. All my cousins were raised in one of the worst cities in america (crime wise) and all but one finished college and are doing good. None of my male cousins have been to jail either. Sure the odds were against them but they were raised right.

  14. Nkosazana, You REALLY dont like black men huh?

    I don’t dislike them all, I dislike them who keeps fucking up (And blame everyone else for the troubles). I don’t dislike the men who don’t cheat and infect their wives with a STD, who takes care of their children and don’t beat their women. I dislike the hypocrites that are darker than the night and dates the lightest woman around because they are light.

    And it’s true that everyone from the ‘hood ain’t bad. But from what I’ve gather (and read stories from women who live/lived there) there’s enough to make it a very unsafe place in America and I know my ‘Hood’ is pretty darn unsafe, murder capital of South Africa it’s called if that tells you anything, A very proud day for KwaZulu-Natal when we stole that title from the Cape province… So it’s not like I don’t know what’s it’s like living in a ‘hood’..
    “Drunk men go to their ex-girlfriends’ houses and demand sex and then rape them.” Pewa said.

    You’re a married woman! Who cares what other men think. Plus, since when did you start caring about what black men think of you; you’re always the first to be like “Who cares… oh well”.

    Ehm, I was young once. I wasn’t married the day I was born lol, You said ‘what have you experienced’. Don’t mean that I care about it nowadays.

  15. Sure there is more gun violence in poor black neighborhoods than there are poor white ones (for whatever reason). However, I grew up around ALOT of deadbeat white women and men. They were in the same socioeconomic status as poor black people and honestly they have alot of similiarities. Most of my white friends had welfare moms and I knew some who got molested by family members (even a few by their dad). Pedophilia of course crosses every community but thats something ive seen alot more in the white community which to me is the most immoral disgusting crime.

    Where I was raised, so many of the white people are addicted to meth its ridiculous and the stuff the young white men get way with ( like rape for instance simply because they are white) would blow your mind and Ive seen white girls/women get disrespected beyond belief by these white dudes. Im sorry they are not better than black men living in the hood. Not in america their not. They’ve got that same I dont give a fuck attitude with a severe lack of empathy. Thats why I find it funny these kinda white men are the most racist against black people when they fit almost all the negative stereotypes themselves. When people are at the lower end of society status wise no matter what race, they are more likely to engage in all kinds of negative behavior because they have less to lose.

    I like white men but my eyes are not blind to the bad ones simply because my own race of men may have hurt me in the past. Ive seen some black women that just because they arent looked at as the best by black men (simply cause of their skin tone and I honestly think that perceived rejection causes the most anger among bw even more than bigger issues in the bc) they are always implying that black men as a group are worthless yet ignoring anything negative about white men (the ones that they are hoping to date or are now with). That doesnt make sense to me cause honestly black men are not simply worse cause they are black. It just stings black women more to be hurt by their race. Believe me all kinds of men are bad and all kinds of men are good and im mad at every man who keeps fucking up but I apologize Alee for getting off topic. Feel free to delete it if it doesnt add to the discussion but I was responding to Nkosazana.

  16. Jessica,

    “Mira, size 7 borderline fat??? Geez louise. Im smaller than most of america.”

    Well, in Mira’s country (and lots of others) there is a stereotype that Americans are generally overweight. So that last sentence probably wouldn’t change their impression much.

    “Nkosazana, You REALLY dont like black men huh? I can tell in alot of your comments.”

    Nkosazana is just politically incorrect — you’ll have to get used to her bluntness and teasing. 🙂

    “Sure there is more gun violence in poor black neighborhoods…”

    Well, there’s a little more than that, I’d say from experience. But it probably depends on the neighborhood and the people living it.

    I don’t think anyone (here, at least) is putting white men on a pedestal and vilifying black men. I think we all know that people are individuals and you can’t generalize a group (to that extent). But I did ask for experiences, and I hope people will share without worrying too much about saying things in a way in which absolutely no one is offended by it. Because that’s probably impossible.

    “I apologize Alee for getting off topic. Feel free to delete it if it doesnt add to the discussion but I was responding to Nkosazana.”

    It’s not off-topic; it feeds right into the topic of prejudice. And I don’t moderate much because I know I myself can seem too blunt since my autopilot mode is to not mince words. So unless you’re outright attacking people, your comments won’t be deleted.

  17. The most overt discrimination I’ve received was ageism. I started my professional career at age 22 in social work and while a lot of my collegues were about the same age a lot of the people I came into contact with in the community were in their 30s and 40s +. Upon meeting a client’s drug worker for the first time she snarkily said ‘when did you graduate’ and laughed as if she said the funniest thing ever. It surprised me more than anything, and just made me think that she was a sad person. She was, eventually she got fired. No surprise there.

    For me I guess I judge based on religion, sort of. I don’t overtly do this but I am weary of religious folks at times. I’m looking at it from someone who used to identify as Christian (a very very very long time ago) and would never identify with it now. I have good friends of varied faiths so it wouldn’t stop me from getting to know or respect a person with religious beliefs.

  18. Why did you not post my comment it is not FAIR and it is just an observation I think she says worse stuff than what I wrote.

  19. jennifer,

    “Nkosazana, for someone who loves to stereotype people you sure hate being stereotyped.”

    I think everyone stereotypes and has biases. I know I do — I can sometimes assume things about people based on the region they are from. You just have to be aware of it and try not to let it get out of hand.

    “Why did you not post my comment it is not FAIR and it is just an observation I think she says worse stuff than what I wrote.”

    That’s not why your comment didn’t immediately appear. It’s because you’re new here (or you added new contact information). All new commenters have to be cleared before their comments show up. I’m not online 24/7 to clear them so there might be a lag in the time the comment shows up vs. when it was submitted.

    That and all other commenting information is under the “Commenting” tab if you want to know more.

  20. wanderlust,

    “The most overt discrimination I’ve received was ageism. I started my professional career at age 22 in social work and while a lot of my collegues were about the same age a lot of the people I came into contact with in the community were in their 30s and 40s +. Upon meeting a client’s drug worker for the first time she snarkily said ‘when did you graduate’ and laughed as if she said the funniest thing ever.”

    My first idea would’ve been to respond with, “When did you graduate?” and make some allusion to the Prehistoric Era. But on my second thought, I’d realize ageism can’t fight ageism. 😉

  21. Jennifer..

    You have your experiences and I have mine. You live in your little world of sunshine, rainbows, unicorns and BM who takes responsibility.

    White people are racist true, no one would argue against that because there’s proof.. But somehow when there’s proof that on a whole there’s a lot of damaged/very lacking black men then comes the boohooing.

    Does that mean that every single one is a racist and a deadbeat? No.

    And Jessica, from what I’ve heard most of the sexual abuse never comes to light in the BC in America, everyone hushes it down and blames the victim. Even if the victim is a 11 year old girl or a 18 year old mentally challenged girl with the mind of a toddler.. And no I’m not just pointing towards Americans, I can pull up article after article of baby/toddler rape and stuff like that from my country… heck even my township..

  22. Nkosazana,

    “…somehow when there’s proof that on a whole there’s a lot of damaged/very lacking black men then comes the boohooing.”

    I think some people are still in defense mode from when blacks used to be blamed for every sin from here to Jupiter. (It can still be that way…) And few people like to think that they/those of their group are flawed in any major way; it’s just human.

    In my experience, men seeking/being intimate/dating girls is not considered pedophilia in some places. It’s just considered normal — after all, men like younger women, right? Remember 50 Cent’s twin… he approached me when I was 13 and he was 24/25.

  23. Alee, did he know you were 13? I see a grown man with a teen girl as morally wrong for various reasons but not necessarily pedophilia. I know girls who were molested as babies and toddlers. That cant be defended or considered normal by anyone.

    When I was a teen, I was turned off and disgusted by older guys approaching me. I was very young looking with a baby face and flat chested (clearly didnt look like a woman like some of my peers) so I knew in my case something was wrong with them for wanting me. Was never into older guys anyway so I never lied about my age like my friends did.

    Nkosazana, Yes there are ALOT of damaged black men. I dont think anyone would argue with that but it just seems you go out of your way to point that out alot. On some of the BWE blogs, I agree with the line of thinking to some degree but they leave out alot. Like for instance about all the DBR black men giving black women std’s. Alot of these black women that black men deal with are also DBR. Thats what people who only blame black men dont talk about. Some of these black women deserve black men like this, arent victims cause they are just as triflin.

  24. Jessica,

    “Alee, did he know you were 13?”

    Yes. Well, he initially assumed I was 16. (Not that 16 is much of an improvement…) However he didn’t see anything wrong when I told him I was 13 and didn’t back off. I got the sense that he considered my age a plus, in fact. Obviously I was vulnerable and dependent on him in ways that a woman his age wouldn’t be.

    “I see a grown man with a teen girl as morally wrong for various reasons but not necessarily pedophilia.”

    That’s what I meant with my example above. It is pedophilia, but many people don’t see it that way. 🙂

    Pedophilia is defined as a sexual interest in prepubescent children around 13 y/o or younger… so yes, it would be considered pedophilia. Not that I considered it that at the time, but he was smart and I’m pretty sure he knew that it would be seen as such in a court of law.

  25. Yes 13 is still a child and if he considered that a plus, thats flat out disgusting but 16 or 17 I dont see that as pedophilia but still morally wrong cause of what you just said. You are vulnerable and dependent on him in ways a grown woman wouldnt be.

  26. I think some people are still in defense mode from when blacks used to be blamed for every sin from here to Jupiter

    Yeah but If BW can’t complain who can complain? lol.

    In my experience, men seeking/being intimate/dating girls is not considered pedophilia in some places. It’s just considered normal — after all, men like younger women, right?

    My dad was almost 10 years older than my mum when she gave birth to her first child. At 15. Is that creepy? I’m just glad I never ended up like that.

    Remember 50 Cent’s twin… he approached me when I was 13 and he was 24/25.

    And you dated him? Your father never took it upon himself to set this creep straight?

    Jeeze.. Could have ended up like my mum 😦

    Obviously I was vulnerable and dependent on him in ways that a woman his age wouldn’t be.

    Ehm, did he touch you? Don’t answer if you don’t feel like it.. I’d call the police living in a good country like Sweden if I found out my 13 year old daughter had a 25 year old man hanging after her, If I did not take a spear off the wall in anger and stab him in the groin myself a couple of times.

    Oh yeah I got to keep those spears sharp!

  27. Jessica, how does it make you feel when BM are degrading bw all over the internet and in music and rarely defend the BWs positive image but bw will die trying to defend grown men? I’m honestly not trying to put you down, I’m just curious about the thinking process of black women today.

  28. jess/me, Dont include me in the “black women of today” category. My thinking process is unique to myself. I dont feel like anything when I see BM go on their hateful tirades against bw online. It use to hurt me and I use to attack bm right back until I saw how much of a waste of time that is and I dont want to participate in it. I think bm who attack bw and bw who attack bm are both wrong. I dont see other races doing that to the extent black folks do. I havent dated a black guy in years now so I dont have the same attachment to them that I use to have. I dont love them just because they are black nor am I bitter against them. Therefore, I dont go out of my way to uplift them or put them down. Im in neither of those categories of bw cause I dont worship them or hate them. Both groups of women (the ones that worship bm and the ones that hate bm) clearly are very attached to black men.

  29. I don’t know if I can still comment on older posts but they are so very interesting so I will 🙂

    I used to be 40 pounds over my current weight and although I didn’t experience overt sizeism I knew I wasn’t “seen” the way I would be at my optimal weight.

    In terms of prejudices I harbour, I really am wary of overtly religious people. Didn’t have good experiences with them and sense very high levels of hypocrisy to boot.

  30. Sophia,

    Of course you can comment on older posts — comment on any you want! They have no expiration date. 🙂

    “I used to be 40 pounds over my current weight and although I didn’t experience overt sizeism I knew I wasn’t “seen” the way I would be at my optimal weight.”

    I’m not surprised — sizeism and anti-fat prejudice kicks in even before you’re officially obese.

    Sometimes devoutly religious people can be very prejudiced themselves, but I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  31. I experienced sizeism (but on a small scale) and something that probably falls under “ableism”: I was considered at one point to suffer from mental problems, which is considered extremely shameful in my culture and has a serious stigma attached to it.

    Outside my culture, the main problem is the ever present “country of origin” prejudice, of course.

  32. Sorry for the awkward sentence structure. I meant to say, people thought I was crazy, plain and simple. Partly because of myself and partly because of other factors that have nothing to do with me but people didn’t care about it.

  33. Mira,

    Your sentence structure wasn’t awkward; I understood what you meant.

    “Outside my culture, the main problem is the ever present “country of origin” prejudice, of course.”

    Are you saying people become biased against people from your country when they find out where they’re from?

  34. Yes, that’s what I’m saying. Well, today is not as bad as it was back in the 90s. But it’s still quite bad.

  35. There is also a prejudice of speech. Many people across the globe are discriminated for not being able to explain themselves properly, despite the fact they understand completely what they are talking about. But since they can’t get the message across, others brand them as uneducated or inexperienced and thus disregard their opinion in certain matters. I have met countless people who initially sounded foolish, but mean well and when someone gave them the time to explain themselves, they actually made sense. This partially ties in with racism when someone is forced to learn a new language and have to try speaking with the limited vocabulary they possess. Anyone who has travelled to another country (and historically been invaded by another country) has experienced this form of prejudice and may end up being branded as stupid and insignificant.

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