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« Should I Stay or Should I Go? | Main | Q&A -- PiP Style »

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Krista

First, I just have to say that this new post has been up for like what, 2-3 hours and nobody has commented yet? Wow! Or maybe I'm the only one who's avoiding work so boring it could be done by a monkey...

I am totally with you on this topic, but don't really know how to comment at this time. My mind is going over all the examples I have of bias in my own friendships.

Could somebody comment for a moment on bias vs. prejudice? Somehow even with the below definitions from dictionary.com I'm having a hard time telling the difference. I guess prejudice always seemed big and bad and bias didn't seem as harmful....

(Bias- "A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment".

Prejudice:"An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.")


Melissa

Everyone has their biases and mine are right. ;)

This is a great topic. I need to think about it and then I will come back. You can stay up on the soapbox if you want, Laura. Do they have wine up there?

kathrynaz

Yeah, as you can see I've been sorting through this stuff for a while... Its nice to just have a really frank discussion about it, and I think you are absolutely right, Laura; it involves really peeling away our bias and exploring the core of what we truly believe, and where those beliefs are coming from.

I would say that "bias" is a fact of human nature. It is situated knowledge generated from each individual's cultural/economic/social context. Its what allows us to "live and learn" as functioning human beings. I definitely do not think we should be afraid of it, but rather acknowledge it as part of our framework for discussion.

Ive always thought of "prejudice" as a pathological bias, in which negative judgments (whether based on real experience or not) are universally applied to scenarios/other individuals without appreciation of the context-dependent nature of phenomena. I think prejudice is also natural, but it IS something we should be afraid of and always work to keep it in check. I, myself, am prejudicial in many arenas and it always unseats me when I discover so (like finding a new, wierd looking mole or something.) Going with the mole analogy (gross, huh?), I think you have to monitor it; if it gets worse, maybe consult with a professional and biopsy it, and if its truly malignant- cut that nasty thing out!!

Thanks for more interesting conversation!

Kat

The SAHM or work decision seems to be very topical in blog-world at the moment (again - hehe). I agree that part of the hurt that comes from these "debates" is due to our own insecurities and doubts being magnified and us trying to quash down the monstruous beasts! I've also realised that I need to be more careful about how I say things in front of other mothers lest they be interpreted as criticism. Sometimes I actually fear talking to new mums for this very reason! And always because I remember what it was like those first few months when it felt like it was impossible to make a "right" decision when it came to mothering my son. *sigh* But anyway, this and the last post have been awesome so thank you, Mary, Laura and other commenters, for some great insights.

Allison

This post covers two great topics (unspoken inferrences, SAHM/WOHM dichotomy), and I can't wait to see the rest of the comments that *should* come rolling in.

Biases are so deep that sometimes, they startle you. I had one of these hit me Wednesday, when a date informed me that even though I'm cute/funny/intelligent/well-matched to him, etc...that I was too "curvy" for his tastes. Losing the guy? Not a big deal. Realizing that I had the same biases about myself and the 20 pounds left from post-pregnancy as the guy had? That was hard, and I'm now wrapping my brain around accepting (and even loving) my extra backside, at least until it's gone.

On the SAHM/WOHM front: I'm a WAHM (not my own business, just location), and while it sounds like the best of both worlds, it's not. It's isolating. On the bright side, it allows me to see the benefits of both lifestyles. It's also let me see that *both* my daughter and I will benefit from my eventual return to work outside of the home. Does that mean I think all parents should do that? Heck, no. My daughter is very extroverted (as am I), and she'll thrive in an environment with other kids. I can't say a word about what would benefit or hurt others' children. All I know is that I look forward to being able to give my daughter 100% of fewer hours, rather than catch-as-catch-can of all of my time. We'll both enjoy each other more.

cutemama

It's true that identifying our own bias is extremely difficult and requires tenacious self awareness. It's kind of like knowing what the back of your own head looks like. You might not recognize it in a line up, but it's a good idea to take an extra mirror and check it out!

On a positive note I've noticed that mommies grow less judgemental about other womens choices with each generation. Like my grandmothers generation they couldn't wait to out do each other, literally having bake-offs and homemaker of the year awards. My moms weren't outright competitive but snickered plenty behind each others back. My generation struggles to stifle the urge to give a rat's ass. And younger mommies (like my 22 year old mommy friend) really don't give a rat's ass, or so it seems. Maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel afterall.

www.carolinascoffeebreak.blogspot.com

KTP

This post made me think about my biases in other areas. Do I let my biases color my reactions to people and what they say? Probably. Now I'll be second guessing myself all day. Thanks!

KTP

This post made me think about my biases in other areas. Do I let my biases color my reactions to people and what they say? Probably. Now I'll be second guessing myself all day. Thanks!

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