Judgement is a funny thing. Reading this article about Alisha’s treatment at a pharmacy that refused to sell her the morning after pill (MAP), I was more concerned about the judgement then anything else. In all honesty, she was given an alternative, barely had to go out of her way and the pharmacist in question explained the reasoning behind his refusal (religious grounds). Personally, it sounds like the pharmacist was kind, pleasant and sensitive about the issue. Some may argue that this is against the law, but in actual fact, it’s not. It’s perfectly legal because he followed the steps needed to give Alisha an alternative. The Hippocratic Oath is also just a moral/ethical code of conduct; it’s not the law.
Why do people feel judged? Why are people so offended when they are judged and justify it? I find it really interesting and all I can come up with is that these people who are offended feel insecure about whatever decision they have made that has lead them to be judged. That is not to say that any behaviour deserves it at all. Everyone should be secure in whatever they choose to do provided that it’s all consensual/no one gets hurt etc.
Taking the morning after pill is nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe the condom broke, maybe you were on antibiotics, maybe you were wasted and forgot, maybe you were just caught up in the moment. Whilst I don’t condone taking MAP as a form of regular contraception, it is available to take when the situation calls for it. And there are so many variables and situations just like I outlined above where you may require it.
None of the cases above warrant being judged however I do find it interesting that Alisha mentions her age, marital status and education as a preclude to her story. Why? Does it make her a better recipient that she is married and educated? Does she mention it so we don’t think she’s being promiscuous and that she is a respectable person? Isn’t she then making a judgement as well, basically saying that these aspects of her life make her a more worthy recipient of the MAP and the refusal of it warrants more outrage on her behalf?
Personally, for most judgements, I feel that you have the choice to be offended or not. You can choose to take what someone has said, internalise it and make yourself think you’re bad because of it or react by getting angry, or you can choose to ignore it. I choose to ignore any judgements, especially from people that I don’t know or who don’t know me well. Why do I care what someone I see for a miniscule part of my life thinks of me? I don’t remember the last time I was offended by something because I tend to see it as the other person being ignorant or uneducated on a topic. And I know; that is a judgement in itself.
I think people need to chill out a bit and stop being so offended by everything. Most people genuinely don’t mean to offend and most will apologise if you let them know that you are offended.
Here’s a story; a friend of mine from school was called every name under the sun and nothing phased her. Except if you told her she was trailer-trash. She would just lose it. And you know why? Because she did live in a trailer for most of her life and from what she tells me, was exactly how every redneck family is portrayed in TV and movies and she was ashamed of it. She hated that people might think that of her. And I completely understand where she was coming from. But once she accepted that it’s a part of who she is, she got over it.
So if you do get offended, ask yourself why? Is there a part of you that realises some truth but don’t want to admit to yourself? Because if there is, that’s something that you need to deal with more than anything else.