Opinions, Uncategorized

Judgments and other things

I have met a certain type of women who seem to go all out for male attention. It may be because of the conservative circles that I typically move in, but it is almost always never done by revealing skin or the physical touch. It is done by implying to the men that they are the boss, that they are actually the gentler sex and that they are much more reliable than women can ever be. And it is also done by actively avoiding female company, judging them “bitchy”. It is done by turning a little bit mean in the presence of women and changing oneself into an angel when the first man walks in. It is kind of like how Sridevi’s daughter in English Vinglish was a sweeter person when the dad was around. But these women apply this to more than just one man.

Then I heard the term “Daddy Issues” and though I was initially loathe to let that term become a part of my vocablary, I invountarily applied the criteria to these women to check if it threw light on the people these women have turned out to be. Initially it was a near perfect fit. The women in question had absent father figures. It was almost as if that judgemental term was the answer I was looking for to explain what was initially completely incomprehensible to me. And sometimes it was the opposite. It was more regarding the father having been too present in the girl’s life to the extent that the girl started to see the father in a much better light than her own mother. I also saw that the male equivalents (Mommy Issues) existed in droves too. And sometimes the family seemed quite alright from where I was standing. In short, on good scrutiny, the theory did not hold as much water as I was initially crediting to it. Slowly I started to learn to keep myself from wildly making judgements on families that I hardly knew. A hundred judgements made, a lesson learnt.

This entire episode happened within my head. I did not discuss this theory saying mean things about people’s parents though the opportunities were a million. Also, the judgement would have been simplified by the minds of those who were listening to me gaining color that did not initially exist in my own theory. My problem was not against those who have more friends of the opposite sex. This was a different, more specific sort of attitude. But what if someone did not fully understand what I had to say? Would that not make me sound like a particularly mean-spirited person?

Something to this effect is what happened to the terms Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Cool Girl and yes, the judgements are almost always on female behaviour. In fact, the archetype I am describing above may be a sort of “Desi Cool Girl.”

But my question is this. Is it possible to become a unjudgemental person without ever taking a shot at a few quiet judgements initially? Is it wrong to navigate our world by making a few presumptions about people based on our own prior knowledge?

Are we using the words “Judgemental” and “Disapproving” interchangeably? If so, why?

Note: Check out how the “Cool Girl” described by Rosie Waterland and Gillian Flynn aren’t too similar. I may be judged a Cool Girl by Rosie but not by Gillian.

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16 thoughts on “Judgments and other things”

  1. I think we should revisit our judgements when we find evidence pointing to the contrary. Also how exciting was it to read Gone Girl?!
    This isn’t particularly relevant, but the other day, a friend and I were discussing the crazy way young people negotiate relationships these days. They are almost always dissatisfied with their present situation, and are constantly on the look out for better options, forgetting that people and clothes aren’t the same. They hold on to past relationships even as they navigate a new one, because they want back-up options when things go wrong. Maybe they are terrified of being lonely. There’s a lot of emotional cheating-on if you know what I mean. I am sure you would have observed these things. πŸ™‚

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  2. Always weird when a young person asks me a question like that but so true.

    I have actually asked this to a guy, “do you see that you are her plan B?” and he was well aware that that is what he was. And she was his plan A only because his plan B was a mokka figure of sorts. Neat, isn’t it? True Story, cross my heart.

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  3. Very interesting piece that set me thinking.

    “But my question is this. Is it possible to become a unjudgemental person without ever taking a shot at a few quiet judgements initially? Is it wrong to navigate our world by making a few presumptions about people based on our own prior knowledge?”

    –> Having read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink,” I think it’s safe to say that snap judgments are an inevitable part of our existence. I feel that how vocal / silent we are about it and how open we are to correcting ourselves as we observe new behaviors are the keys to having a relationship evolve in a healthy manner.

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  4. Apologies for putting you on the spot. It’s just a behavioural pattern we noticed of late, and I was curious to know if you’d noticed it as well. Your story is awful and it is alarmingly common at this point.

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  5. Being non- judgemental is very very difficult. We get influenced by what we read, what we experience. This is a tricky thing for eg: Growing up, I had no issues with Muslim friends and I don’t think, ever felt any different. Now seeing all the terrororism stuff and consuming what the media feeds, when some Muslim friend says that they send kids to Islamic schools or say they learn Quran from a tutor in Pakistan, I will admit that in my mind I start thinking what are they teaching at these places/ sessions and think If any radical thoughts get subconsciously passed on to these youngsters. I think in today’s World it is very difficult to be a religious Muslim with their dress choices and not be judged by others. How hard it must be for them to prove to everyone around them that they are regular people?

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  6. Thanks for your comment, Uma.

    I have gone through a particular youtu.be video about the micro judgements and how it victimizes these groups of people. Will try to dig it up soon.

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  7. Anu,

    Regarding the friend zoning thing and having a backup, I don’t interact much with Young ppl In India, so can speak from my college experience in the early 200s. In those days, probably breaking up wasn’t looked very favorably, so we would have couples but they will never officially declare themselves as couples because they wanted that safety net of ending up with someone else/ arranged marriage if things don’t work out. So they were all just friends. Maybe these days breakup and all that is not a big deal, so ppl are officially bf/gf but they always want to have a second option.

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  8. Uma, I am about your age and do interact quite closely with the current freshers groups. It is exactly as you say.

    But the easy usage of smart phones and all that has increased the possibility of secret pairings. So there many who have PLENTY of backups and still there is no OFFICIAL pairs. Think how easy it is to maintain backups in schoolmates , collegemates, tennis club, office and neighborhood. Five relationships and the decision maybe taken after sampling everyone.

    Plenty of soup boys and girls, but absolutely nobody seems immune to the system. It is more complicated than a spiders Web.

    I am not generalizing. I am describing the general climate.

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  9. Rahini : Very well written and scary questions. As Ram puts it we cant escape snap judgements. Im prone to making those though but had to pay dearly when proved wrong. In simple English we believe what we want to believe.

    Im quite removed from what young people think these days and its articles like these which serve as a useful window for my situation. And the ensuing comments ofcourse.

    Thanks !

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  10. Rahini, this is my first time here. I remember you from your comments on IHM’s blog. I’ve been away from the blogging world, home schooling my son. Today I was on IHM’s and saw your comment, clicked on your link and here I am.

    I’ve tried not to judge people who are very religious (particular about rituals and procedures). When asked about what I believe, I’ve tried to explain I lean more towards being spiritual. But they never fail to judge me …. you don’t go to the temple???? ….. you did not fast??? …. you did not do this puja???? Etc.

    Same thing goes with not wearing the Mangalsutra. If someone wears it, I don’t judge her. But I get judged for not wearing it. If someone follows stereotypical gender roles in her family, I don’t judge her. But I get judged because my husband cooks on some days and we share dishes and other house chores.

    So, over time, these people who’ve judged me – my mind has started grouping them into a category – the “traditional types”. I’m wary of them. I know we will have nothing in common. I know we can have very little meaningful conversation. I know they will make me cringe or feel compelled to explain my position on things. So, now I AM judging them, am I not? πŸ™‚ I’ve tried hard not to. But here I am judging them for being different because their being different forces me to defend myself or apologize – neither of which feel good.

    So, perhaps judgment is inevitable – because the world is made up of different people and sometimes they might fall into opposite or conflicting camps (the interests of one conflict with the other in a win-lose way) – so it becomes necessary to say – your way is the wrong way because it is unfair and it makes life difficult for other people (enforcing gender roles for example) – and that’s judging.

    So maybe …. don’t judge people when their behaviors/actions don’t hurt others ….. but judge them when they do?

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  11. Hello Priya, Welcome to my blog.

    I do remember you from IHM’s. Your comment really resonated with me.

    I identify with atheism and that doesn’t mean that I KNOW or CAN PROVE that there is no God. I just find that I am able to identify better with the atheist stance and I just don’t believe in the presence of a kindly superpower. Maybe I should say that I am agnotic, but I am actually not. It is just that I am a non-confrontational person who strongly atheistic. I feel a lot of hurt that this belief makes people believe that I am too arrogant to acknowledge the presence of God and all that. It is they who are harsh and judgemental and I who end up feeling guilty inspite of doing nothing wrong at all.

    On the other hand, I can be clubbed with the “traditional” people too. I dress conservatively by some standards (whereas there are others who believe that the dupatta should be my best friend already). And I remember a incident in a wedding. When I approached the bride and groom, the bride’s mom hurriedly brought a shawl and dumped it on her off-shouldered wedding gown. I could see that I was being judged as the sort of person who routinely judges people by their clothes. Unfair, much? I surely felt so.

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  12. Thank you:) You have a nice blog here and a witty manner.
    The shawl incident was interesting. You may dress a certain way but may not care if others don’t follow your way …. but it is assumed that you do:)

    Liked by 1 person

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