It is true that some things, even some people, look or behave very differently to us. When we see a living thing that is very different to us, many people react with strong feelings. We think it is hideous, horrible, ugly, yuk or just plain creepy.
Are these reactions yet another form of dicrimination? Why do we melt when a cute puppy with big eyes looks at us and wags his tail – “Aawwww look at him, he’s soooo cute, I just want to hug him to bits!!!” Then we look over the other side of the room and see a bug sitting on the wall minding its own business. We scream, run out of the room, jump up on a chair shrieking “KILL IT!”, “SQUASH IT!” Steeling ourselves to face the horror we pull off our shoe, rush at it and thump it into a unrecognisable mangled splotch.
What’s going on here? Did the bug really do anything to you? I think you bug squishers are guilty of discrimination! It is really about a lack of familiarity. We don’t like things because they are different to us and we don’t understand them. We discriminate. Let’s test out this theory.
Since you hate bugs so much we’ll switch to bats. Bats are creepy right? They suck your blood and get tangled in your hair right? (This is nonsense, but people persist in believing such things.) OK, so how about you take a close look at one of these “horrible” bats and see if becoming a little more familiar with it changes your view of bats. After watching the video, post a comment about how you felt about bats before watching the video and how you felt after you watched it. (Note: if you are at school you will need to ask your teacher to access this Youtube video. Make sure they have sound on!)