Monday, 12 July 2010

A little bit on prejudice and crawly creatures

Prejudice - "A preconceived belief, opinion or judgement made without recourse to reason...most commonly used to refer to a preconceived judgement towards a people or a person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics..." Wikipedia.

We all know that prejudices have existed since, well, rather a long way back. I mean, who knew that the Good Samaritan would have been, so, erm, 'good'? He sent shockwaves right through the New Testament, so much so that five-year-old children are still making plays about him now.

What concerns me though is that 2000 years later, we are no nearer to a lack of judgement, tolerance or grace in our everyday lives.

Do let me give you a little example.

On Saturday my husband and I took the two children to a birthday party. It was in a soft-play area where children not associated with the party were also allowed to play.

As we watched Renée and Edie frolicking with an older girl, my husband, who, it should be known, is the world's biggest snob (when asked whether he would have been attracted to me had I been christened Sharon or Tracey* rather than Emily, he simply smiled and said "well it would have been a lot harder"), turned to me and whispered,

"Ew, look at that girl. She's all dirty. And I bet she's got nits as well."

It has to be said, I may have laughed. But I may also have said something along the lines of,

"You can't say that. Don't be such a bloody snob. She's no more likely to have nits in her hair than any other child here."

And that, I thought, was that.

Except, of course, it wasn't.

Cut to the very next morning and Renée just so happens to scratch her head...

Rather too many times for me not to go a foraging in her hair. And what do I find? A whole host of tiny little blood-sucking parasites.

I think my husband was rather too smug for my liking.

You see, the problem with bloody prejudice is that on occasion our original assumption turns out to be correct, thus reinforcing whatever prejudices we may have had.

I give up. At least on the bit where I try to persuade my husband to stop being such a snob.

But having spent all day yesterday picking the little suckers out of both my children's hair, I may just give up on the Mothering front too.

*Absolutely no offence meant if your name just so happens to be Sharon or Tracey. But don't expect my husband ever to fancy you.