I had read an interesting article just two days ago but it escaped me. Today thoughts of the article popped into my mind as I was in a bus. There was this tall heavily built guy who had long dreadlocks bundled up into a huge hat with some locks peering out. In addition to his imposing presence, I noticed him because of how other passengers reacted towards him. Firstly I’m not sure I have adequately let you feel the aura around him. He is the type of people who when you see them, you immediately hear a Bob Marley soundtrack in the background and maybe a few stick of weed in the horizon. I mean he oozes out Rastafarian. In Jamaica, it is perfectly normal and agreeable to look like that. Especially because, you most likely grew up with a relative or two adorning the hairstyle and owning a huge head of hair. Well, in Kenya, that is the type of look that makes babies cry and children ran away if not point fingers. With that in mind, let me tell you how other people reacted towards him. They avoided sitting next to him and yes it was blatantly obvious. The guy was unruffled. He was clearly used to such reactions. I know scary looking people and he was not one of them. He was probably one of the extremist artsy people who plays a drum and can make interesting music with just his palms and his mouth.
This post is not just about a dreadlocked guy who I happened to share a bus with. Not at all. This is about stereotyping and branding people according to their preferred lifestyle choice, looks or origin. The dreadlocked guy (let’s call him Das just because I think it would suit him. Plus calling him dreadlock guy is tiresome to both type and read) most probably got the reaction that he did because the trend was previously associated with a group of hooligans who terrorized people. Dreading hair has become a trendy hairstyle but it is still associated with rebels, artsy die-hards and daring individuals. Now back to the article that I read.
I was just surfing when I stumbled upon an article that said that the China government has lifted the ban on lesbians and homosexuals donating blood. I was perplexed to say the least! Firstly, why where they banned in the first place? I know China is conservative but really? Don’t they think that it was a little extreme? I mean, what’s the logic behind it? Behavior is not in the red blood cells but in the mind. They surely can’t think getting “gay blood” will spontaneously flip your sexual orientation. The funny part was not even that they were banned. It was that the ban was only lifted on lesbians but homosexuals cannot donate blood unless they are CELIBATE. Really? How would they even prove that? Anyone can claim to be celibate any day as long as you cannot prove it.
Stereotyping is not only pointless and discriminatory but silly and shallow. This is an everyday issue. Like the thought that goes through your mind when you see a lady quickly rising through the ranks. Don’t most people think that she has been spending a little extra time with the boss? Examples are endless. Assumptions, judgment and conclusions. Can’t we all just get along?