AEDT4130 VidClip 8.1 Assumptions

AEDT4130 VidClip 8.1 Assumptions


[music plays] [music fades] [Lorayne]
So, here we are in- we’re in week eight of the, uh, BA program w-
on social justice, and, uh, the topic this week is talking about assumptions
and stereotypes, and if those are harmful or not. So, um, I brought along a backpack, because, uh, a backpack is actually
the focus of the reading for this week. So, Daphne,
let me put you on the spot a little bit and, uh,
when you see this backpack, what, what do you think
about the owner of this backpack? Are you already forming some ideas
about, uh… [Daphne] Oh, yes. [Lorayne]
The owner of the backpack? [Daphne] Young, trendy.
[Lorayne] Trendy? [Daphne] Yes, young. [laughs]
[Lorayne] Oh, I like that. [Lorayne] Trendy sounds good.
Anything else? [Daphne] Um,
probably travelled a good deal. [Lorayne] Well travelled, okay.
[Daphne] Yeah. [Lorayne] Le- let’s see
what’s in the backpack, and see if that, uh, informs
any of your thoughts about the person, uh… So, a water bottle.
[Daphne] Okay. [Lorayne] Does that, uh,
give you any ideas? [Daphne] Oh, well,
probably travelling some more, you know, at least going to a gym.
[laughs] [Lorayne] Maybe going to the gym.
[Daphne] Yes. [Lorayne] So uh, what about this?
[Daphne] Ah, I see. Gym shoes, yes, yes. [Lorayne] Is this like
the [inaudible] raises thumbs? This is, uh, okay. Well, um, what about this-
if I pull out this? Does that give you any thoughts? [Daphne] Okay,
not going to the gym. [laughter] But perhaps travelling.
[laughter] [Lorayne] Alright. Well, um, thoughts about the person
that owns the backpack when you see this –
this is, uh, J.K. Rowling’s new book, uh, “The Casual Vacancy.” So, anyway, do you have some thoughts
about the owner of the backpack? [Daphne] Yes, I think
that the owner of the backpack is a seasoned traveler, and, um, you know,
I’d look at, for example, what is on the backpack
that indicates that, you know, the flags, et cetera,
they must have been visiting, or someone perhaps passed it on to them,
it could be. But the person obviously, um,
is either could be to a traveler, and, um, yeah. And that’s what they’re doing
according to my perception. [laughs] [Lorayne] Well, thanks
for letting me put you on the spot about the backpack. Um, so, in my view, um, we- you know, you can do
the backpack exercise with a class, or you can, um, do it
with a small group of adults just talking but,
i- in fact, what we’re doing is neither one of us know
who owns this backpack, and so, we end up making assumptions
based on bits of information. And one of the lessons
for this week that, uh,
we’re talking about in the class is whether or not
these kinds of assumptions are harmful, and whether stereotypes
are harmful. So, um, the problem with stereotypes,
in my opinion, is that they keep people
from getting to be who they could be, or who their potential is. And, uh, I don’t know
if this has ever happened to you, but it really bothers me, um… One day, I was on the GO Train, and I listened to the voice
of the announcer on the GO Train. And a little while later
in the trip, I ran into the announcer
who was on the GO Train. And in my mind,
the announcer had been white when I was listening
to the announcements. And then when I met the announcer,
the announcer wasn’t white. And I was really annoyed at myself,
that I had- I obviously must have some kind
of inner prejudice or assumptions, because, you know,
I have made that assumption. Has that-
anything like that happened with you? [Daphne] Well, it happens daily.
[laughs] But usually I’m the receiving end
[laughs] of the assumptions, and I’ll talk about that in awhile, but I’ll tell you something
that happened quite recently, which, to me, suggests
that we are not all- we are- no one of us,
even though we have the experience, is above making those assumptions
and biases. Um, I had got a note
from the building manager that, you know,
they were sending a plumber, um, to my sink
to clear my sink the next morning, and, um, I was getting it ready, because they said
I wouldn’t be able to use it from 8:30 to 4:30 in the evening. And this young woman
had come to the door, and she knocked on the door, and she had a little notepad,
very much like if she had sticky notes, and, um, when I saw her,
I was just about to say- actually about to say,
“I’m not buying anything,” when she said, “good morning,
I am the plumber.” [laughs] [Lorayne] Oh, gotcha. [Daphne] I had never- I mean,
and I teach all these courses, you know, I’m always looking
for signs of discrimination, and there I was just assuming
that because of her gender, you know,
she couldn’t be the plumber. Um, so it- things like that
make me step back a little bit and look at how it is all possible, because, as I told you,
I’m very much on the receiving end of a lot of these biases
and stereotypes. I remember my first encounter
at graduate school, um, when I was told by a professor
that I should apply for a SSHRC, and I had to find
a graduate office. I telephoned before, and I asked
if I could come and collect a form. Those were the days when you didn’t
have them online, of course. [Lorayne] Yes. [Daphne] So,
I asked if I could collect a form, and she was- the person on the line
was really wonderful. She, um, told me where to come,
what room to come to, et cetera. Anyway, I go to the room, and, um, the same voice,
and so it is the same person, she asked me
what I was doing there, and I told her
I came to collect a form, and her response was,
who told me I could get one? [laughs] [Lorayne] Oh, wow. [Daphne] So, I had to tell her, I said,
“Well, I- actually, I think it was you, but I guess… My name is Daphne Heywood, and, you know, um, on the telephone
I didn’t sound like I do in person, so that, therefore,
you just assumed that, you know,
it was a different person coming.” So, it happens very, very often. I mean, that was one of the things
that you can think about, but, um, you know, very,
very serious consequences to, you know,
stereotyping and so on, and a lot of people face,
um, that, you know, people like me, who occupy various sites, you know,
of privilege and disadvantage experience daily. You know,
going into a department store, I mentioned, where, you know, um, people would either
not come around me at all, but if I touched something
that was quite expensive, they would. You know, um, because the assumption
is what I cannot buy. [Lorayne] Mhm.
[Daphne] Alright? So, those things-
and then, of course, there are people who assume
that because you have an accent and it isn’t so for me only,
but for very many immigrants, especially recent immigrants, that that is evidence
of your incompetence to work in a Canadian context. So, it can work in, you know,
debilitating ways. [Lorayne] So, um,
I appreciate hearing your stories, um, and I appreciate you
listening to mine. It- but it still bothers me
when I find myself making assumptions, and, uh, working with stereotypes, because I know that they’re wrong, and yet, sometimes
I find myself still doing them. I- I’d like to talk a bit more
about prejudice. Your thoughts about prejudice,
and how that’s linked to oppression. And then we’re gonna
talk just a little bit, um, give an intro
to the reading for this week. [Daphne] Okay.
Um, you know, well, I sort of- I hinted at this in a previous, um,
session of this course, where I introduced students
to the idea that, you know, we all have prejudices, I mean, we all make assumptions
about people, and about situations, you know, and everything. For example, I mean,
I don’t type very well, so that, therefore,
people will assume, if they see me, that, you know,
I don’t have the potential for, for doing what I do,
but I have been, you know, in- working in situations before
where I never had to. My situation and my role has changed
since I came to Canada. So, it’s very easy for us
to make assumptions about people. The problem with those assumptions,
as I just pointed out, is if you are being tested on them. And that is why it’s so-
and that is the difference. We all have prejudices. I mean, I, um- if I go into the subway,
and I see people who are disheveled, you know, homeless people, et cetera,
I move, you know. We all- the thing is,
I cannot do anything that would make their lives
more miserable than it is. The difference
between prejudice and discrimination is when you have the authority
to do something, or you have the power
to do something about it. So, I’ll give you an actual example,
as I started about, the homeless person. I think it’s Victoria,
the city of Victoria, in B.C., where there is a bylaw
which says that you can’t occupy a park after eleven p.m.
or something like that, which means that you criminalize what-
the behaviour of homeless people. [Lorayne] Right, because
if they don’t have anywhere to sleep- [Daphne] If you do not
have anywhere to sleep- [Lorayne] And they sleep
in the park- [Daphne] Exactly. [Lorayne]
They’ll get arrested. [Daphne] So, that’s when
it leads to discrimination. And that’s when you have
this kind of systemic discrimination. Another good example of that –
squeegee kids. I mean, the kids in Western,
or the- here in London, they can go all over the place,
and they would be able to raise funds, you know, you have Shinerama,
nobody… about anything on any day, but if a squeegee kid
goes to clean your windshield- [laughs] [Lorayne]
Goes to clean the windshield, yeah. [Daphne] The squeegee kid, you know,
is held accountable under the law. We have all these laws
about loitering, et cetera, um, that obviously
affects homeless people. So, I think
that the problem with prejudice is that prejudice
leads to discrimination. That’s my position on it. [Lorayne]
Thanks, Daphne. [music plays] [music fades]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *