Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Unjust Prejudices

The other morning, I was sitting in Meeting for Worship, and there was a man sitting doing some kind of knitting. This completely disturbed me and was something I have noticed about. It is completely against everything I believe and stand for to have the kinds of reactions that I have to men knitting. I try to really promote and live that we love and accept things as they are without judgment. Heck, as a gay man living with HIV, who am I to sit in judgment of anyone? But when it comes to men knitting, I struggle.

So, what do I do? I think I have found an answer that works for me, at least for now. Rather than try to repress my negative feelings that morning, I reveled in them. I let the vision of me going up to this complete stranger, slapping the needles out of his hands, and saying "what the heck is wrong with you?" As I did this, what I released was not a cathartic sense of my righteousness, but instead the complete absurdity of my prejudice. Am I completely over it? No way. But what is different, is I have embraced my prejudice - my emotional reactivity - for what it is, just silly and funny. I have defused its potency. I think when we deny our prejudices, the repression may come back to bite us. It's tricky business. It's not pleasant to admit we have prejudices, but we all do. Perhaps when we can learn to accept them, we can learn to dishonor them and laugh at them. At least, for me for right now, it's a way to move through it and perhaps now connect in a deeper, more meaningful way with the male knitters of the world.

No comments: