No, this is not my cue to step onto my soapbox and rant about the narrowmindedness of those around me- specifically- but about viewpoints in general. It really irks me when people are ignorant and narrowminded, especially about issues relaxed to sexuality and gender- ranging from the assumption that because I am a 'woman' I will at some point produce small children, whether I want to or not, to sexist jokes and calling everything under the sun 'gay'.
But, these are definitely not the only times people can be narrowminded, and anyway- this post isn't about that. I'm here to "talk to you today" about why people hold such beliefs. Why is openmindedness so hard for some of us?
I myself can be narrowminded, and I'm certainly ignorant of a lot of things. I haven't learnt everything in the years I've been here. But what I have learnt has definitely been influenced by the people around me, and events in my life. For instance, my mother (who I love dearly, haha) is a bit of a snob, and whilst I'd like to think I'm not a snob myself, I know that one of my personality flaws is the tendency to come across as arrogant. Heck, I probably even type a little arrogantly, and maybe even come across as rather snobbish as well.
But my point is, I was influenced by my mother (and to some extent, my father, who is at times very arrogant) and they have passed some of their flaws (and good points, I hope) onto me. Nature or Nurture? It's hard to tell, but when negative traits are being passed on, such as a racist attitude or a chauvinistic outlook on life, it can seriously warp the way someone thinks.
And it's not just parents and adults who pass things on.
Being surrounded by people your age who cry "Faggot! Lesbo! Ew, Trannie" at everything is bound to make you react, be it by furiously beating them with a pan handle :P or going along with it and passing the slang along yourself. But, especially with homophobic, sexist and racist attitudes, the 'things' being passed can be completely outdated, left over from times when homosexuality was illegal, people with Gender Dysphoria were locked up, and segregation was the norm. Society isn't too quick to change, it seems. And in "Small Towns", places where these hurtful ideas are allowed to fester- be it an actual small town, a family or even a schoolyard- it's kinda hard to break out of the mold.
EDIT: Phew, didn't know I had this long, rambling and pointless rant in me. Sorry for the absence of rationality and sense. And no, I'm not pointing any fingers this time.