Dazed, yet cultured?

Or maybe it’s cultured, yet dazed.

I personally believe the first claim, that people are mostly dazed, yet still cultured. Whatever we encounter within our society makes up how we define that particular society’s culture. We’re just in a daze to realize that who we are is a reflection of where we live and how we grew up.

It’s a very abstract thought, though. I think it’s better to draw a line on the idea of “cultured” when there is unjustified generalization.

The other day, my family and I were out to dinner. There were two groups of loud men; one group was intoxicated and the other was just chatting up. The latter was just a table away, and I, one seat away from the duo, could hear everything to anything. Their conversation ranged from generalizing China and Chinese people to reminiscing about the times when women were not allowed to attend universities.

When I heard them mention China, I couldn’t help but think: “Oh, my family and I lived there for a while. I wonder what he’s going to talk about.”

Turns out, he was just awed by the amount of noise level Chinese people could make (he later added that he always noticed how loud Chinese people were in movies). And I am putting his words in nicer terms than as he said them.

His companion then proceeded to respond by providing his two cents: Chinese people, they’re just so loud, they move in crowds of like 30 people and target two. (I, at that point, was confused at what that meant).

Near the end of my nice family meal, the two men moved onto another topic: Women who couldn’t attend universities. One of them stated that the pretty ones and smart ones are better at obeying. Of course, I love food and I like to eat, as do so many other people; my priorities lied in eating, not eavesdropping (but I don’t believe it is eavesdropping when the conversation is so loud that it pierces my ears and violates my sound boundaries).

So then, in my mind I was like:

excuse me - no

Let me provide a dictionary definition of “cultured”: “having or showing good education, tastes, and manners.” (Merriam-Webster)

These men seemed to be displaying the opposite of “cultured”. Not only did they fail to understand the existence of various aspects of what makes up a country/gender, they continued to exploit their right to assume by judging certain groups of people in unjustifiable ways. Yes, women were not allowed to go to college (which was only a few decades ago). But does our intelligence equate into obedience? And what does the standards of “beauty” have in relation to intelligence or obedience?

Believe me, I’m more of a Marxian when it comes to the classification of a society. But these men (read, not all men) were beyond my point of tolerance. There’s no doubt we are growing up in a world that teaches us to be more sensitive to topics of gender, race, age, and much more. Whether that’s beneficial or not, that’s a whole other argument.

Case in point, let’s all step back when we are not speaking for ourselves. Perks of this? You’ll gain respect, not from others, but from yourself.

(All gifs are from giphy.com)

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