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Identifying Types of Humiliation: A Checklist

by Francisco Gomes de Matos

Many types of  humiliations  are committed by human beings. Such humiliating acts can  be  described  as  violations of the human  right to DIGNITY. Before sharing an open-ended checklist, aimed at helping you identify types of indignities caused by humiliators, here are two instances of humiliation I witnessed recently. Reach each account and find an appropriate adjective to refer to it. Ever thought of documenting
humiliating acts observed or experienced? What would such data teach you? How could you make use of such instances of dehumanizing in varied contexts (home, school, workplace, etc.)?

Humiliation in public -Narrative 1-

While attending a soccer game,  saw X use a pocket radio to listen to the broadcast. Y laughs, points  at X and says out loud: you still use that prehistoric kind of equipment?

Look at mine: really advanced technology (showing off his e-resource). People near them expressed their disapproval of such humiliating behavior.

-Narrative 2-

A girl, wearing a swimsuit, was coming out of a fitting booth in a Department Store. On seeing two girls waiting for their turn she asked them if the swimsuit fit. One of the  girls replied: you´re wearing a large: that’s too small. Why don’t you get an extralarge? On hearing that, the sales attendant reprimanded the girls and said: Shame on you. You should apologize. As a result, the humiliating girls left the place.

A  Checklist

HUMILIATORS  commit Human Rights Violations, especially violations of HUMAN  DIGNITY. Here is a list. You are asked to add to it, reflect thereon,  discuss it with members of your family, your class at school, workmates, and in other contexts.

A VIOLATION of the Right to DIGNITY takes place when a person, a group is

  • denigrated
  • depreciated
  • deprecated
  • marginalized
  • calumniated
  • disheartened
  • mocked, made fun of, ridiculed in public
  • oppressed (economically, politically, etc.)
  • minimized
  • discriminated (ethnically, educationally, etc.)
  • debased (morally)
  • treated with affront, indignity
  • insulted

Humiliators are perpetrators  of Human Rights Violations, yet the term “humiliator” seems to be less used than “offender”, for instance. May this also be a plea for a global effort aimed at REeducating HUMILIATORS  (actual and potential), so they can learn to play a much-needed role, namely, that of DIGNIFIERS.

(received Dec. 4, 2010)

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