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All hail pretty conversations please

From the Editor's Desk

Stephen Bartlett

Stephen Bartlett

Sitting in a local establishment people gather in for snacks, refreshments and socialization, I watched a woman, probably in her 40s, and according to societal standards, pretty, with curly blond hair and a slender physique, engaged in conversation with a quirky, slightly dirty and unattractive man, according to societal standards.

Sadly, societal standards are often created by the privileged with utter disregard to those who fall outside those standards. In general, someone with privilege can fall under several categories, including being white, possessing wealth, lacking any disability, being heterosexual, being attractive, etc…

Privilege does not make one better, it simply means one is not afflicted with the same struggles individuals who do not fall into those and other categories endure. And that is not necessarily because there is something wrong with individuals who do not fall in those categories, but that society often rejects and forces struggles upon them or adds to the weight of their burdens, if indeed they are burdened.

For example, being gay should not be a burden in and of itself, but many in society make it a burden with their judgments. Disabilities, on the other hand, can sometime be a burden, and then the struggle intensifies when many in society cast judgment or act cruelly toward such individuals. If you don’t believe me, ask openly gay individuals if they have ever been accosted in any way and follow a developmentally disabled individual in a wheelchair through the mall, especially in the food court, and take note of how many people stare and openly display their discomfort.

Anyway, it was clear this woman in the local establishment wanted nothing to do with conversing with the man. I found this strange, because I noticed her seconds earlier enthusiastically conversing with others on her societal standard scale. Apparently talking with this man was tipping the scale toward a pit of filth, according to her upturned nose, narrowed eyes and body that was somehow retreating yet managing to remain on the stool she sat on.

Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at stephen@denpubs.com.

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