Recently, I traveled to Mahabaleshwar in Goa. I was standing in a handicraft store looking at the molds and designs of different things kept for viewing and buying. There were numerous household items, like pan, chakla-belan ( used to flatten and round dough ), pots, jars, cutting knives and trays etc.
My first reaction to this was – ‘Why do these stores have mainly female-centric items?’ I could not identify with them. This was certainly not the first time this had happened. It happens when I accompany my mother on shopping.
This incident made me feel a little uncomfortable with myself. It made me feel like my belief in ‘equality’ had been a pretense all along. Was this unique to me? Was I being hypocritical?
Confused, I emailed my Philosophy Professor. (We are currently being taught ethics and morality.) He wrote to me – ‘We are all cultural products of our times. Our ideals are our conscious takes on issue, but in unguarded moments our unconscious prejudices and desires take over our willed actions. It is in being aware of these unguarded moments and in cultivating strong moral habits alone that we can congratulate ourselves.‘
I hope that this introspection will help me be more conscious of my prejudices and biases so that I am able to sideline them as far away as possible.
Does this prejudice make be a good or not? I don’t know. It certainly makes me think. Its much more than I could ask for!