I went to the chemist yesterday – thankfully not to buy sinus drugs – and when I walked up to the counter, the woman who served me looked at my beard, my mohawk and my tattoos and ditzily proclaimed loudly, “I bet you ride a Harley Davidson! A big chopper!”
I raised an eyebrow and explained I’ve never sat on a bike in my life. If I was a mean person, I could have responded by giggling loudly and saying, “And I bet you make a mean stir-fry and are good at maths!”
Racial profiling is considered rude, offensive and improper. I certainly disagree with it. Every person should be considered on their own merits. That’s why I didn’t say anything.
These days we rail against people who engage in racial profiling. We rail against people who draw conclusions based on someone having a disability, or a disfigurement.
I’m all for balance, and recognising that political correctness can go too far, but I’m pretty much over the “you’re big and look intimidating, you must be a biker” attitude I get. I have nothing against bikers. If I was a more confident driver and less of a klutz, a motorbike might even appeal to me.
It’s easy to joke around about the “you look like a biker” attitude, but really, how is it all that different from the unaccepted forms of judgement? Just because I choose to have a beard, a mohawk and visible tattoos, I should accept that people can form judgements of me? That’s like saying celebrities should accept they’re going to be stalked as part of being famous.
It’s like saying women who dress in form fitting dresses, or very high shorts should just cop it on the chin when they’re told they’re loose and easy.
Whoa, that’s not acceptable.
We accept that racial profiling is immoral. We accept that disability discrimination is immoral. We accept that drawing sexist conclusions based on how women are dressed or what they’re doing is immoral. It’s time to accept it for everyone.