She slapped him…

She slapped him…

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

…my first reaction within my mind after I saw her hit him in that split second was, you slapped a man, but I had to stop that train of thought. Even though I stopped it based on my knowledge of gender biases/stereotypes, I felt I could have done better because I did not say a man but your elder brother when I got close to her. This, I said without first asking why or what led to the slap.

We hold so many biases/stereotypes as men and women that we must question their veracity at some point in our lives. Else, we will continue to contribute to oppression willingly or unwilling. Our brains are hardwired to pigeonhole things we encounter to make sense of the complicated world around us. However, biases can cause us to form prejudices against others, which allows for hideous inequalities to develop between different demographics.

When I later asked the young lady why she slapped the guy, she told me the derogatory act done by the young man, and I was now encouraging the lady to pound him even harder the next time he does it again.  I apologized to the lady for allowing my bias in that context to stop me from first asking why rather than assume a woman is not meant to slap a man. The next time you see a Ms slap a Mr before you assume anything, ask why, speak up against gender discrimination in all forms, correct yourself in cases where you are wrong, and, if need be, apologize. Don’t be ashamed to share your own experience, good or bad.  We learn every day.


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