Recognizing my own bias or prejudice .....

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Aug 31, 2019

I know I am very guilty of classifying people in general, and regarding weight in particular. Living in the bible/heart attack/ diabetes belt, it simply blows my mind how many obese people I see every single day when out and about. Granted, fewer of those at Dillard’s than Walmart. Still, in addition to being concerned, I am also judging those people. I know I should not, but how in the world can someone get that fat? It would take years of dedicated overeating to reach that. No, I really don’t think that all of them have a medical issue, seeing what’s in their grocery carts. Someone help me get a less judgmental attitude when I’ve been semi-denying myself all those chips and cookies and fries for decades?? I live and eat well, but treats should be treats, not daily food.

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@debbraw I love that

Here is a video with some of the same participants, in conversation with fitness enthusiasts. Health is discussed quite a bit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVZJFULZVfA

It's interesting–I guess I didn't realize that a number of the participants would come forth speaking about health diagnosis/mental health issues that have contributed to weight gain.

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@ayeshasharma

@contentandwell thank you for sharing your experience. I don't think gender based violence/bias in the workplace is gone at all, but I assume it has evolved over time. I hear it is still bad in tech/IT :/

I work remotely so I don't experience workplace prejudice in any physical setting, though the reality of it pervades through digital realms too.

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@ayeshasharma My husband was a manager in IT so what I know is through him. The VP of that area was a well-respected woman.

When I worked in IT – I retired from it in 1980 when my son was born – the bias was incredibly blatant. I had a very good salary for that time and I was very experienced with good professional credentials, but they brought in a guy to share my office with a year of experience and paid him $5000 more than what I was making, which at that time was huge difference. In another job where the guys were regularly paid more than the women, I was told that guys needed to make more money than women did! I bristled back then, but now when I think about those incidents and more I just shake my head in disbelief.
I will have to ask my daughter if she feels a gender bias. I know when she was interviewing for jobs a couple of years ago she chose to not wear her wedding ring, she was fairly newly married. She said if she wore it would hurt her chances because they would think she would be “popping out babies”.
JK

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@ayeshasharma

@imallears I am just now seeing this. I think perhaps it is related to that. I also think I had a certain astonishment toward injustice from a young age, which has only grown over time.

It's interesting what you're saying about education. And I think you're so right about breaking away from cultural perspectives. Learning sometimes comes more from experience than formal lectures/training/etc, and I think positive role models are such a huge part of that. I'm curious–what do you think is up with the generational differences we're seeing today? On the note of gender violence, I've connected with a lot of older (than me) women about how they have had to endure rough circumstances but it just isn't/wasn't culturally acceptable or financially possible for them to demand better for themselves or otherwise not be subject to it.

It's great to hear from people who care to engage on topics like this. It makes me so happy 😀

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@ayeshasharma
Hi,
What a topic…wow. Re the generational difference. I’m not sure all the younger generation is more tolerant that prior generations. I think there may be a kind of apathy towards discrimination even though they seem to be more accepting.

Growing up I experienced gender bias big time. I was aware of how wrong it was but did not know what to do about it other than be uncomfortable, perplexed, angry at times. There was no internet, no books that I was aware of no media to glean information from. If my brother was alive when I wanted to go to college, he would have gone, not me. My dad had bias…gender and race.
When I said I wanted to go to college,he said okay if you become a nurse or teacher…neither one of which I was interested in. I worked a year and then picked a school and my parents paid for the rest. I learned a lot about strong and weak females. In my first job ,I found that a male who was doing what I was doing was being paid more. I went to the head of personnel told him the salary and then got the raise. Why did I do that ? I didn’t accept the status quo.

My ex husband, God rest his soul, loved strong women and appreciated intelligence in women…in anyone. I thrived in that atmosphere. My children grew up in that environment. My daughter and granddaughter are all strong smart women and my son and grandsons respect and admire strong women. We are lucky.

I believe that each generation , because so much is written and talked about it , has developed a greater acceptance of diversity. Yet there is the apathy I mentioned. I’m not sure any of them would crusade or go on marches for equality although they would defend anyone they knew personally.

Where children are raised and what schools they attend and whom their parents associate is a huge factor. I was raised in a diverse neighborhood but my dad had racial bias….not my mom. We moved to “better” neighborhoods. My children were raised in a predominately white neighborhood and went to predominantly white schools. I don’t remember any people of color in our circle of friends nor any of my children’s friends being other than white. I do remember loving our gay friends however. Yet our children and their children are more accepting of race than my parents generation. The bias I saw in my family..aunts, uncles etc…had the opposite effect on me and also my husbands family.

Sexual preference in my children’s growing up experience didn’t seem to matter. How did that happen? They knew gay people and liked who they knew. They didn’t really know people of color and have very few friends who are that diverse. Yet they have no racial bias. My oldest grandson grew up with a best friend who was adopted and is African American. He doesn’t think anything about that. He would defend him to the death but would he get politically involved? Don’t think so.

Women who didn’t and still don’t work outside the home are financially entrapped in abusive relationships. It’s easier to stay, even in todays world. I saw that particularly in a friends second marriage a couple,of,years ago.

There’s hope but bias of any kind will never be eradicated. We all run across minorities who do more harm than good because They are biased themselves it’s not one sided. This could go on forever and I hope you understood part of what I was trying to say.

The fat video I did not like. They seemed easily swayed by the others in their group….changing positions on the floor . Didn’t look like a good cross section of people with different opinions. One girl called everyone who was not fat “skinny” Another said she didn’t want to exercise 8 hours a day.
Come one…that’s not bias? Who exercises 8 hours a day. They were making excuses.

My thoughts.

FL Mary

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@debbraw

@ayeshasharma – Very interesting video. To echo a little of what @contentandwell talked about, I thought it was interesting that I didn't hear any questions that related to health – e.g., do you think your weight affects your health? or your ability to participate in healthy social activities? It seemed to focus entirely on attractiveness – acceptance of body image – etc. I guess, if I had to come down on one side or the other, I think I would view extreme obesity in the same way I would view addiction to anything – drugs, alcohol, nicotine. It's not healthy, it limits your life choices, and it shortens your life expectancy. I would try to help my children or family members overcome a food addiction that resulted in obesity in the same way I would try to help them overcome a drug, tobacco, or alcohol addiction. I wouldn't love them any less, but I would want them to be as strong and healthy as possible.

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@debbraw
I agree…I feel sad when I see obese adults and children, drug or alcohol abusers….
,…thinking about their life expectancy. Sadder than I do if I see an amputee or blind person. They had no choice.

FL Mary

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@ayeshasharma

@ellerbracke @imallears @debbraw @contentandwell I came across this video the other day and I thought you all might find the different perspectives interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsDLOuXSy7k

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@ayeshasharma : thanks for a thought-provoking video. Interesting to hear that the people mostly don’t feel like they want to or need to lose weight, even though some of them would be ok with it if they did. Like Florida Mary, I was put off by the exaggerated suggestion that you work out 8 hours a day to get skinny. And regarding the comments about the world being geared to average and slender people – yes, I somewhat agree. But in the particular reference to airplane seats, or movie theater seats, I definitely disagree who is at a disadvantage. If I have an oversize person next to me who takes up both armrests, and part of my allotted seat space on top of that, it is I who is very much disadvantaged.
Also, in general I would say that the increase in the number of overweight people has been snowballing. I recently went through a box of old photos, from roughly 1940 on, taken in Germany and Austria. Not a single adult or child in any of those photos is anything but very skinny, no matter how the individuals ended up later in their lives. War and food rationing will do that to you. People had bigger worries than self image.
Setting aside medical or emotional issues, I agree that there needs to be more of an education and push by physicians to reduce the weight epidemic. I mentioned at some point that I have a grandson who, at age 14, had gradually packed on about 20 lbs. No gentle steering (at that age you don’t really formally put someone on a diet or preach daily to him) worked. UNTIL he attended a lecture about the effects of juvenile diabetes. Bingo! He voluntarily cut out all sweets – which he loved -, and is now at 16 average to below average weight.
And lastly, compared to the 6 women and men in the clip, while they are definitely overweight, that is nothing compared to what I routinely see on a daily basis around town. Think an additional 60 or more lbs. on top of what the heaviest person weighs, trouble walking, often even in fairly young persons. There is one (male) worker at our local Lowe’s store who’s pretty tall, perhaps 6’4”, but his upper arms (not muscle) are about the size of my waist. Consequently, he’s not very efficient in his job, as I found out when I needed help some months ago shopping for new entrance doors. He could barely walk to the display models, almost impossible for him to get his arms between the samples, etc. At this point I think acceptance of his choice should be weighed against his ability to perform his job.
PS. My PCP recently moved to a different location, and on my first visit to his new digs I noticed that half the seats in the waiting area, and the patient’s chair in the examination room, were X-wide. Sad reality. Second time within 3 months that I saw that in a medical office setting.

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@ellerbracke

@ayeshasharma : thanks for a thought-provoking video. Interesting to hear that the people mostly don’t feel like they want to or need to lose weight, even though some of them would be ok with it if they did. Like Florida Mary, I was put off by the exaggerated suggestion that you work out 8 hours a day to get skinny. And regarding the comments about the world being geared to average and slender people – yes, I somewhat agree. But in the particular reference to airplane seats, or movie theater seats, I definitely disagree who is at a disadvantage. If I have an oversize person next to me who takes up both armrests, and part of my allotted seat space on top of that, it is I who is very much disadvantaged.
Also, in general I would say that the increase in the number of overweight people has been snowballing. I recently went through a box of old photos, from roughly 1940 on, taken in Germany and Austria. Not a single adult or child in any of those photos is anything but very skinny, no matter how the individuals ended up later in their lives. War and food rationing will do that to you. People had bigger worries than self image.
Setting aside medical or emotional issues, I agree that there needs to be more of an education and push by physicians to reduce the weight epidemic. I mentioned at some point that I have a grandson who, at age 14, had gradually packed on about 20 lbs. No gentle steering (at that age you don’t really formally put someone on a diet or preach daily to him) worked. UNTIL he attended a lecture about the effects of juvenile diabetes. Bingo! He voluntarily cut out all sweets – which he loved -, and is now at 16 average to below average weight.
And lastly, compared to the 6 women and men in the clip, while they are definitely overweight, that is nothing compared to what I routinely see on a daily basis around town. Think an additional 60 or more lbs. on top of what the heaviest person weighs, trouble walking, often even in fairly young persons. There is one (male) worker at our local Lowe’s store who’s pretty tall, perhaps 6’4”, but his upper arms (not muscle) are about the size of my waist. Consequently, he’s not very efficient in his job, as I found out when I needed help some months ago shopping for new entrance doors. He could barely walk to the display models, almost impossible for him to get his arms between the samples, etc. At this point I think acceptance of his choice should be weighed against his ability to perform his job.
PS. My PCP recently moved to a different location, and on my first visit to his new digs I noticed that half the seats in the waiting area, and the patient’s chair in the examination room, were X-wide. Sad reality. Second time within 3 months that I saw that in a medical office setting.

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@ellerbracke
You are so right and kudos to your grandson for being smart enough to listen. Also right about being on the receiving end of sitting next to an obese person. Doctors don’t do enough to “push” their patients to lose weight. A simple reminder or suggestion is not going to work. The obesity epidemic in this country affects all areas of our government and society and workplace and your pocketbook.
We are in crisis mode in America. It’s not always okay to accept who you are . I think videos like the one we saw do more damage and make people more complacent. It’s not easy but if you can fix the problem then you should.
Learn about the foods you put into your body and how they affect your health. Don’t be enablers. The food and agricultural industry doesn’t care about you….pharmaceutical companies don’t care about you. Boycott the junk foods so prevalent the supermarkets and make the companies pay attention. Only you can do it.

Go to a book store and spend an hour or two. How many books on diet and nutrition do you see next to cookbooks on southern fried foods and decadent desserts? Do some reading….read the science behind food. There are sensible doctors and authors amid all the fads and nonsense on the shelves and everyone is making money off of you.

FL Mary…..still learning

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@imallears

@ellerbracke
You are so right and kudos to your grandson for being smart enough to listen. Also right about being on the receiving end of sitting next to an obese person. Doctors don’t do enough to “push” their patients to lose weight. A simple reminder or suggestion is not going to work. The obesity epidemic in this country affects all areas of our government and society and workplace and your pocketbook.
We are in crisis mode in America. It’s not always okay to accept who you are . I think videos like the one we saw do more damage and make people more complacent. It’s not easy but if you can fix the problem then you should.
Learn about the foods you put into your body and how they affect your health. Don’t be enablers. The food and agricultural industry doesn’t care about you….pharmaceutical companies don’t care about you. Boycott the junk foods so prevalent the supermarkets and make the companies pay attention. Only you can do it.

Go to a book store and spend an hour or two. How many books on diet and nutrition do you see next to cookbooks on southern fried foods and decadent desserts? Do some reading….read the science behind food. There are sensible doctors and authors amid all the fads and nonsense on the shelves and everyone is making money off of you.

FL Mary…..still learning

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@imallers jumping in here . It will take an act of congress to bring fast food places to retool there foods they serve to non fat low sugar products. Granted some fast food places are trying to change the way they serve food but a lot don't . Not only is it a social issue but a health issue for those who gorge them selves on fatty foods. I'm not naming name as that wouldn't be right to single out places. Education is the key to starting the children then it may correct itself in time. Does this make sense?

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@lioness
I agree that educating children and providing good examples is the key. But we are an instant gratification society and we are surrounded by fast food places wherever we go. Children are bombarded with tv ads. They get use to the salt and sugar at an early age.

I also think that those fast food chains that are advertising “healthier” options are just doing so as a marketing ploy to sucker you in. They don’t want to lose your business so they try to convince you that you are making a good choice when you should not even be in there in the first place. They read the signs of the times just like any other industry. Even the organic stores and whole food stores carry junk…making it organic or gluten free doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. It’s hard for young people not to succumb to what is around them and the influence of their peers. It’s hard for adults too.

People don’t want to be educated or learn about food…they want a quick fix. We are all busy with jobs and raising families. That’s no excuse.
We have to do so much better in this country.

We talk about this all the time in our family and with our friends. It’s hard for me to get off the soapbox at times but hopefully some of my rants didn’t fall on deaf ears.

FL Mary back from the gym and a healthy lunch…yes I’m proud of me lol.

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@imallears

@lioness
I agree that educating children and providing good examples is the key. But we are an instant gratification society and we are surrounded by fast food places wherever we go. Children are bombarded with tv ads. They get use to the salt and sugar at an early age.

I also think that those fast food chains that are advertising “healthier” options are just doing so as a marketing ploy to sucker you in. They don’t want to lose your business so they try to convince you that you are making a good choice when you should not even be in there in the first place. They read the signs of the times just like any other industry. Even the organic stores and whole food stores carry junk…making it organic or gluten free doesn’t always mean it’s healthier. It’s hard for young people not to succumb to what is around them and the influence of their peers. It’s hard for adults too.

People don’t want to be educated or learn about food…they want a quick fix. We are all busy with jobs and raising families. That’s no excuse.
We have to do so much better in this country.

We talk about this all the time in our family and with our friends. It’s hard for me to get off the soapbox at times but hopefully some of my rants didn’t fall on deaf ears.

FL Mary back from the gym and a healthy lunch…yes I’m proud of me lol.

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@imallers I agree with everything you said . I know it is hard I don't really know what the answer is since the fast foods and ads are everywhere . Wonder how the other countries did it like India. My daughter in law her parents are from India an she is a vegan son is vegetarian so they are watching what my grandson eats but he is now going into the teen age years so I'm sure things will change . But I hope not , will see.

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@lioness
Hi,

Interesting about India. They have their own fast food places with cultural dishes. Since Hindus and Muslims don’t eat beef or pork , maybe that’s why some American fast food chains have folded. I thought that places like Mickey Ds we’re trying to get around those dietary restrictions with chickpea and what not burgers or tacos. A lot of Indian food is unhealthy too…many fried dishes and dishes high in cholesterol. We’re not that dissimilar I guess. How neat to have a grandson with Indian heritage. I bet he’s handsome.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@lioness
Hi,

Interesting about India. They have their own fast food places with cultural dishes. Since Hindus and Muslims don’t eat beef or pork , maybe that’s why some American fast food chains have folded. I thought that places like Mickey Ds we’re trying to get around those dietary restrictions with chickpea and what not burgers or tacos. A lot of Indian food is unhealthy too…many fried dishes and dishes high in cholesterol. We’re not that dissimilar I guess. How neat to have a grandson with Indian heritage. I bet he’s handsome.

FL Mary

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@imallears Yes that is true but she doesn't eat that when we all go out the Mom tells me which dish Id like they know I don't eat hot spicy food My grandson is starting to have that beautiful olive skin Out here some places are using the Beyond meat which is substitute for hamburger ,haven't tried it do you have it there? Grandson is handsome Thanks he has his Dad,s outgoing personality as she is a introvert

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@lioness

@imallears Yes that is true but she doesn't eat that when we all go out the Mom tells me which dish Id like they know I don't eat hot spicy food My grandson is starting to have that beautiful olive skin Out here some places are using the Beyond meat which is substitute for hamburger ,haven't tried it do you have it there? Grandson is handsome Thanks he has his Dad,s outgoing personality as she is a introvert

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@lioness
Hi,
Yes I’ve seen Beyond Meat in a lot of stores but haven’t tried it. It has a lot of sodium. I like veggie burgers and quinoa burgers but always read the labels. Don’t remember the price of the Beyond. Personally would rather eat a grass fed burger. I guess it’s a save the planet thing by not slaughtering cattle. I don’t like spicy food either. I made such hot chili a couple of weeks ago I had to douse it in Greek yogurt before I could eat it…I was crying . I use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream…whole milk plain.

My iPad is running low so signing off for the night and going to binge some Hulu. We have Netflix , Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Too much to watch …would never leave the house if I tried.

FL Mary

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