Prejudice doesn’t exist in a vacuum but functions in the world as an oppressive force affecting everyone. This is why I felt it necessary to implicate myself in this piece by placing two personal ads in a local publication. In one ad, I sought to make myself vulnerable to others’ perceptions of who I am and what I look like (though I was completely honest in what I wrote) In the other, I took a tongue-in-cheek approach in defining some of my own preferences on the particular traits of potential suitors.
Where do we draw the line between personal preference and the politics of prejudice? As a woman born with a facial defect, these issues affect me every day.
Browsing the personal ads, one can’t help but notice the numerous stipulations placed on race, age, weight, height, physical attractiveness and intelligence. If it is acceptable to place these kinds of judgments on what are perceived to be the most intimate relationships, to what extent do we truly accept differences encountered under casual circumstances?
© Jennifer Justice