PUP physics prof’s views on stereotypes hold up a mirror to those who discriminate
A physics professor of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) shared some of his views on stereotypes and discrimination in a viral Facebook post on March 31. His thoughts resonated with lots of people who experience being judged based on physical appearance.
(Bakit po ganyan ang buhok niyo?) “Style ko 'yun. Kasi kapag iba 'yung itsura ng tao, masama na kaagad ang tingin…
The #PeopleOfPureza Facebook post by The Engineering Spectrum showed a photo of Prof. Ruben Madridejos and his answer on a question: “Bakit po ganyan ang buhok niyo?” (Why is your hair like that?).
“Style ko ‘yun,” said Madridejos. “Kasi kapag iba ‘yung itsura ng tao, masama na kaagad ang tingin nila. Ganoon ang napapansin ko.”
(That’s my style. Because when people look different, people tend to think they are bad. That’s what I notice.)
Because of how he looks, the professor has been subjected to discrimination. One instance involving him also went viral last year, when a jeepney driver who might have thought he is homeless did not let him ride, as recounted by Rozel Billones, also from PUP.
Share ko lang kasi berna ako mga 9999999.Nakasabay ko si Sir Madridejos sa jeep. Prof siya ng physics sa PUP. Graduate…ADVERTISEMENT
Having experienced discrimination firsthand, Madridejos pointed out that it is wrong to judge people based on their appearance.
“‘Di ba kapag mahaba ang buhok o may balbas, parang tingin nila eh masama ang tao. Mali ‘yun ‘di ba?” he asked. “Hindi lahat ng tao kapag ganoon ang itsura ay masama na; hindi lahat ng tao na maayos [tingnan] ay mabuti.”
(When a man is long-haired and bearded, people think they are bad. That’s not right. Not everyone who looks like that are bad; not everyone who’s fine-looking are actually good.)
With all that he has experienced, Madridejos said what he really wants is simply for people to respect each other and look beyond appearances: “Gusto ko kasing malaman ng mga tao na hindi lahat ng ganoon ang itsura ay masamang tao, kasi ganun ang tipikal na iniisip nila. At saka para matuto silang gumalang.”
(I want people to know that not everyone who looks different is bad, since that is how people typically think. People should learn how to respect.)
More than just being a long-haired and bearded man, Madridejos is well-respected by his students in PUP, even referring to him as their “Einstein, simple, genius Physics master.”
Madridejos studied Bachelor of Science in Physics at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and graduated cum laude. He then took Master of Science in Geophysics in Germany.
To those who judge and treat people differently based on their appearance, perhaps this professor’s story may be something to ponder upon. Let the lessons from this sink in. JB
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