I have laughed at dwarfs, transgenders, gays, lesbians, prostitutes, people from lower economic class, people who cannot speak English and dark-skinned people in the past because I wanted to fit in. And when some of my friends or loved ones did the same, I thought, “They are nice to me and people around me, so why all the fuss? Sure, they look down upon the waiter, but how will it affect their loved ones? How will it affect me?” However, people who think that any human being/group is worthless or is inferior to them, will, in all likelihood, treat us in the same way.

Human beings seek acceptance and a less judgemental form of love in intimate relationships but a person who believes that someone is inferior (even if that person is not a family member/relative/friend), will eventually bring the same kind of hierarchy and judgment to relationships. So a ‘normal’ man may mock a dwarf but he may not mock a ‘normal’ woman in the same way. However, he might believe that a ‘normal’ woman is inferior to a ‘normal’ man..so eventually, he might mock all the things that a ‘normal’ woman represents or loves. A ‘normal’ woman may feel superior to an autistic woman and we may continue to be friends with her because we are not autistic and it’s not a danger to us. However, if we notice closely, there will be always some kind of competition. Someday, this woman might try to prove that her child is more ‘normal’ than her friend’s child. This applies to God too. If we believe that God is superior to us then we also believe that our loved ones, family members, are inferior to God and that their lives matter less. That is why a 13-year-old Indian girl was allegedly forced by her parents to fast for more than two months as part of a Jain ritual (she died!). That’s why in the Indian society, the oppression passes on from one party to the other. When Indian parents look for a groom for their daughter, they don’t look for compassion…rather, they want a guy who has an awesome pay package, so that they can look down on others. All they care about is if this guy behaved nicely to them; it doesn’t matter if he treats his servants badly (in fact, many middle-class and upper-class men and women take pride in dominating and humiliating servants). So eventually, this guy creates a hierarchy, placing himself and his parents at the top. Ultimately, his wife and his children will suffer, because equality is the foundation of intimate relationships.

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