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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not My Slice Of Pie(ty)

There seems to be a growing trend for keeping your tongue in check (especially if you plan to say something tongue in cheek), in being more circumspect about comments, and in holding back.

Easy peasy? Not quite.
(Courtesy of

I'm not buying it.

A particular episode in Sex and the City tackles this briefly, in an exchange between the lead character Carrie and her (gay) friend Stanford. The subject of judging others comes up, and Carrie is incredulous when Stanford points out the times that she was caught doing it.

"Judge? Judge? Do I judge?"

"Yes, we judge. Some people do arts and crafts, we judge."

The local version which I hear quite often is the line "sobra naman to, napaka-judgemental". The funny thing is, that in itself is a form of judgement, of trying to say "you're just as dirty as the rest of us".

Look, we all judge. It may be ingrained in our DNA, it may be something we have processed as a matter of evolving, as some kind of "warning system", because our very mortality depended on making a correct assessment. On top of that, it's practically impossible to stop doing it.

How many times have we dismissed someone we were just introduced to, simply because they didn't dress to your standard? Why would the beauty and cosmetics industry be worth billions if image is something to be considered as "fluff"? Granted, these can be argued as "shallow" reasons, but a study done by two people I know personally - which won them the best thesis in UP, beating graduate level research - ties this "judging" with work opportunities: given more or less the same credentials, the candidate perceived to be more attractive would be the overwhelming choice for the job.

What baffles me, however, is when it is the pious elements of our society (which almost always happen to be of some religious sect) that will stoop to the "that's so judgemental" defense...I mean, really? Seriously?

Why should they act so surprised when "everyone else" starts to chime in when these characters start their fall from (pious) grace?

Who was it that paraded their piety credentials, waving it like some badge of pride?

Who was it who said, implied or announced, to one and all, what a virtuous life they led?

Who was it who continued judging everyone else as "dirty", "sinful", "immoral", "unclean" and other words deemed unprintable, giving the impression that they alone had the matter of ethical conduct concluded, with a deity listening to their every word?

If you can afford to rub in our faces how "proper" and "moral" you are even when no one was asking or needed to know, then you should be able to take it whenever you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or literally having your belt around your ankles.

So stop the faux gasp, the horrified expression when someone "judges", it seems to me as human an activity as one can do. Stop acting like a reality television star, begging for attention, but when the sh*t hits the fan, expect everyone to turn away and mind their own business.

You gave up that luxury the moment you tried to force your version of morality down everyone's throats, which, similarly, is another form of judgement, of saying that everyone would be lost without your supposed guidance.

So I think Stanford's statement should be tweaked: Some people do arts and crafts, but everyone judges.

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