The Power of Prejudice

I went to the gym this morning and one of the guys who works there asked me how I was. I bet he wished he’d never…

‘I’m tired.’ I said, ‘My husband woke me up when he came in late from skateboarding.’

He scowled.

‘I find that really weird.’ He said.

‘What?’

‘Grown men that age rolling around on skateboards.’ He added.

I was instantly offended. I mean, I know I poke fun at my forty-something husband for coming home with grazed knees after skating but no other f*cker is allowed to.

‘That’s a bit prejudiced.’ I said, finding it hard to hide my displeasure.

Prejudice. Noun. A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Because people are prejudiced about skateboarders. I think I used to be. And I’m not the only one, I mean, didn’t old Avril Lavigne once write a song about it?

‘He was a skater boy, she said see you later boy. He wasn’t good enough for her…’

In hindsight, that would have been a great come back wouldn’t it? – ‘Shut it Avril Lavigne!’

But alas, I didn’t say that. Instead I said –

‘Well, it is a form of exercise, which he loves. How can that be bad? And what about surfing? Is that weird? Or men kicking a ball around a field? And anyway it’s not just rolling around on a piece of wood with wheels is it? It’s a whole rich and vibrant culture. The fashion, the films, the artwork. My husband has an amazing collection of collectable decks with the most awesome pieces of art on them. To you and I they just look like a set of colourful bits of wood, but to people in the know, they’re quite something. And what about skating featuring in the Olympics next year? Skateboarding is now an olympic sport and GB actually has a team. So I think you’re going to see quite a few grown men rolling around on skateboards from now on. The whole world will.’

He looked panicked. Regretful. Bless him, it was early and he probably hadn’t even had his coffee.

‘Oh right.’ he said ‘Well, maybe it’s just something I don’t understand. But I suppose that’s the root of all prejudice isn’t it? A lack of understanding.’  

‘Yes.’ I said. ‘It is.’

In a desperate attempt to backpedal and claw back an ounce of respect from me, he started bagning on about his new road bike. Which is basically a grown man mucking about on something with wheels. I suppose that was his point. But I’d stopped listening. I stood staring at him blankly whilst silently composing this blog post in my head. The distant hum of his voice droning on and on about gears, lightweight frames and other such dull sh*te.

Later on whilst soaping my fanny in the shower with Cypress & Sea Fennel, Molton Brown I realised something. That my husband is exactly the same about people who go to the gym. This made me LOL. My husband, a skater thinks that people who go to the gym are ‘dicks’ and weird, and this guy at the gym thinks that it’s skaters who are the weirdos. So it’s a two way thing here really. Neither parties fully understanding each other’s passion and not really wanting to.

But that’s the thing with prejudice I suppose. It’s unreasonable. Not based on fact. Therefore it’s pretty ignorant and unfounded and it can make you look like a bit of an opinionated douchebag.

Anyway just something to think about huh? That is all.

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Image Gemma Griffiths Photography

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