Racism, sexism, ageism, and sizeism are just a few of the prejudices that may crop up in life. Probably, no matter how we try, everyone has some sort of prejudice based on their past (or maybe even their present) circumstances and experiences. Yes, I know that is a bold statement, but how can one not have some sort of thought and feeling when an event hits home that is similar to what we have experienced before? We are creatures of habit and tend to look for patterns (a topic for another day). It does not mean it has to rule your decisions, especially if you are honest and aware of it. Let me give you a personal example.
When I was younger and before high school, I LOVED to dance! I even got so into it once when I was twelve-years-old that, while dancing in my room in front of the mirror, I pulled a neck muscle and could not move my head for three days. My head was cocked over to the side and I walked sideways for weeks! It didn't stop me. I still would dance...all the time. So what happened that I would change from being the girl who would obtain INJURIES for something I loved so much to me now, as an adult, who is embarrassed and not comfortable moving to the beat of a beloved song that speaks to me?
You already know what is coming and what the answer will be - I had something happen in my past. It happened my freshman year of high school. It was then that I lost this love for dancing and became embarrassed.
We were about two weeks into the ballet class. I was trying. I seriously WAS TRYING and I remember the teacher scorning me."You will NEVER be a good dancer!" she screamed at me in front of the entire class, "You are not even TRYING!"
But I was! I seriously was trying! So why should that one teacher, who I never really cared for anyway, kill my love of dancing? Truthfully, I don't know why it affected me so much. Maybe because I WAS trying and yet was told I was never going to be good? And in front of the entire class! Does it matter now? Not really because that one incident, as a vulnerable teen, did it to me. Her words cut me and I never "loved" dancing again.
We all have history and things that have cut us and formed us. We have formed certain insecurities, ideas, and left-over emotions that make us who we are now. I guess I am a "balletist"...someone who does not like ballet. I am sorry, ballet. I don't like you. I don't like even watching you.
This can also be a prejudice toward someone who is tall or short. You might have admired the tall, nice basketball player who you were friends with in school and now you will only consider hiring tall people.
Sexual Orientation This is a popular topic these days. Although it is normally considered to be a prejudice against those who are non-heterosexual, it can also be in favor of those who are NOT heterosexual.
According to California Law under Government Code Section 12926, subd. (r), "'Sexual orientation' means heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality," however more recent terms include transgender, agender, or genderqueer. There are many other emerging terms that give a person a more defined way to identify and discribe their sexual orientation. Even gender-neutral restrooms are becoming more common-place. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/18/gender-neutral-bathrooms-colleges_n_5597362.html
Nativeism This type of discrimination is sometimes in combination with racism, however this is a different category of prejudice. This is a generalization of people due to where they are from or their country of origin. Ex: "All people from Ethiopia are skinny because they are all starving over there." Yes, hard to believe, but I heard someone recently say that.
This type of prejudice was common-place in American during the influx of immigrants, especially in the late 1800s but has not been totally eliminated.
A rise in this type of prejudice rose again after 9/11.