This was about a number of people who had recently been in the news.
The people highlighted had all drawn attention to themselves by being different to the ordinary. They had involved themselves in some controversial topic and were being questioned by either the public or the authorities. I had heard most of these people on the radio but I had not seen what any looked like. All were treated with some notoriety in the press. Sometimes they were well out of the ordinary. All were asking for validation for their own particular viewpoint. It was conceded that they were all protesting a point of view that was out of the ordinary. They were all trying to get a change in the world.
The TV show was the first time I had seen how they looked. When I saw them I was surprised. In some cases I was shocked.
I was struck by how different they looked to how I had imagined them when I had heard them. None of them looked like they sounded. Because of this their credibility was somehow lessened. I could not help but be skeptical.
Is this strange? We do judge books by their covers and we do judge people by how they look. We assess the intelligence of a person by the shape of their face. Sometimes we are impressed not by what a person says but what they sound like when they say it. In this case I had been struck by how they sounded. They had deep feelings on a subject and they had advocated for their viewpoint quite well. Listening to them I was willing to give them credibility. Looking at them I was not.
Two of the people on the TV especially disappointed me when I saw how they looked. I had been impressed when hearing them on the radio. I thought what they said had been impressive. They sounded impressive. Naturally I thought they would look impressive. They didn't.
What are we to make of this? Does drawing conclusions from how people look to how they sound make their viewpoint any less important. I had judged their intentions by how they sounded. Now I judged their character by how they looked. We are all capable of making judgments based on prejudice and in this case I went with the collective subconscious and judged them harshly.
I judged that what they said was lessened by how they looked.
One was a male Doctor specializing in women giving birth. It was his contention that women had evolved to have children and giving birth was entirely natural. Therefore there was absolutely no reason to assist a woman at birth with drugs or indeed any medical treatment at all. He made the point that indigenous woman had been having babies for thousands of years without the help or hindrance of western medicine or western drugs. His claim was that a woman's body would deliver the baby when it was appropriate. Not before or not after.
He had a number of female followers who supported him. He was being investigated by the medical authorities because it was alleged he had permanently affected a mother and baby in a birth where he was in charge. The film showed him speaking to his supporters before he went into the meeting where he was to give an explanation. He made a short speech which I listened to with interest.
What struck most was how he looked. In short he did not look like a doctor. He was not dressed like a doctor. He did not sound like a doctor. Even so it was obvious that some women were extremely supportive of him.
I was frankly shocked at what he said and how he looked. He had a weak looking face. He did not look like he had the courage of his convictions.
Whilst what he was saying might have some overall truth there were some things that were just too counter intuitive to ignore. Surely there were some circumstances where basic medical attention could be life saving. Did he know the death rate of indigenous births before Europeans with their medicine appeared on the scene. How could he asses these statistics. What conclusions could he draw from limited data.
I concluded that his face told me he was doing this to aggrandise his own ego.
The woman who most surprised me was a writer who was complaining that Romantic Fiction literature was never taken seriously. She was indeed a Romantic Fiction writer and it was her contention that her type of writing was never included in Literary Prizes. To her this was blatantly unfair. And why did this happen she asked? She contended that her writing was equal to all other Australian writers Patrick White included.
What struck me was how good looking she was and the she knew she was good looking. It was obvious she was good looking but was she intelligent? She had lustrous well coiffed hair. She was extremely well made up. She had a good figure and she wore expensive clothes that accentuated her figure. Indeed when she spoke she drew attention to her figure. Her figure was important to her. It was hard to judge her age. Perhaps she had even had work done on her face. How could she be serious in her contention that she was a legitimate writer that deserved respect? As it turned out I had previously sampled her books and could not get past 5 pages. There were no characters in her books that resembled me or interested me.
In my experience good looking women were always rewarded for their good looks. All sorts of literal and metaphysical doors were opened for them. When could a good looking woman ever have any reason to be unhappy? I myself could never imagine a good looking woman being unhappy. Or not getting what she wanted.
I had often heard the maxim that you should always compliment a good looking woman on her intelligence and an intelligent woman on her good looks but this had never applied to me because I had never got close to a good looking woman such as this Romantic Fiction writer.
And anyway surely an intelligent woman could see through any hypocritical compliment.
What conclusions do we draw from this? Unfortunately not good ones in my case.
In both cases I allowed myself to resort to prejudice. I took the easy way. I went with the collective subconscious that human beings share. I judged humans on their looks rather than their character.
I know this did not reflect well on me. I did not investigate their characters. Justice definitely did not prevail.