What 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.
- 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?