A Way To Measure Discrimination?

aanya khandelwal
6 min readJan 28, 2021

Picture this. You are sitting in a waiting room. Everyone is getting called one by one for their results. The receptionist calls you and you enter the room. No, we are not speaking about a doctor, vet or a dentist’s appointment, but a result of a test on how marginalized you are in today’s society. Now what if this number is high? What if it is low? There can be a vary of interjectional reactions you can portray to this newfound, unknown information.

Bill Gates once said, “Discrimination has a lot of layers that make it hard for minorities to get a leg up.”

In today’s society, where certain things are deemed and labeled morally abhorrent and certain actions are deemed prestigious. In the infrastructural creation of our society there is a barrier, standing quite tall and strong between the minorities and those who are known as “normal people”. This barrier being existent can either break or grow when you receive an informational statistic on how marginalized you are in our society, in our world.

In a snapshot of my opinion, I firmly believe that there should be a system that measures how marginalized an individual is; but, with certain parameters and rules put in place while using the said system and its outcome.

First and foremost, what is it like to be marginalized in today’s society? There are many prospects to look at while answering a question of this sort. The first being when marginalized, your true identity is not accepted, society shuns you into an inner shell, often resulting in things like depression, anxiety or even PTSD. Another unique way to look at this question is while answering it by analyzing your actions. When marginalized, individuals often reach to a state of mind where they believe that their existence is often demising, melancholic and regretful. One of the last, and often common ways one may be found when marginalized is being segregated by others, segregated by society.

If a decision is taken on allowing people to be measured on how marginalized they are, often it may turn to relieving people from stress. Many a times people segregate and detach themselves from friends, family and society due to the individual and sole pressure of being judged. This often is due to the fear of being discriminated. When one gets to know that they are not ‘discriminated’ and are letting themselves down by their thoughts itself, we can help them out in ways like seeking a therapist and more. Furthermore, if revealed that someone or a certain community is being heavily marginalized, we as a society can speak up with the data results we have. This will be further elaborated through the course of this piece.

One of the most vital questions one must ask is: Why is discrimination caused in the first place? The answer is very simple. When certain individuals who make up or have an impact on our society think or feel that someone is different than them, they feel that those persons shouldn’t be part or fit in society. Existing examples include the LGBTQ+ community, racism, sexism and more. These are huge real world problems that we as a global society need to solve for the betterment of our species. Discrimination in this society can lead to psychological, emotional and physical issues with the individual or community involved. People are made to feel in a certain manner, one that is not positive for them.

In a world, in a system where we could see how marginalized someone in, we, as global citizens can help work towards a future with very little to no discrimination. We can move unite and walk towards a positive, inclusive and an overall better world. One of the best ways we can truly get measure how much someone is marginalized is by using a concept and method known as the Johari Window. This technique is often used by many people to increase self-awareness and understand one’s self on a much deeper level. The Johari Window technique is divided into four parts that are required to be answered. The Johari Window model is usually used to enhance the individual’s perception on others. This model is based on two ideas- trust can be acquired by revealing information about you to others and learning about yourselves from their feedbacks. With the four ideas of open, hidden, blind spot and unknown, we can come to the derivation of how marginalized someone is.

Johari Window

Using the Johari Window model, one can provide an estimation of how marginalized one is in our current society. In acceptance of this model, we can consider and compare the words used by an individual about themselves along with the perceptions of others on the same people. This method can often relieve certain communities about their looks and perceptions in society or can be a sliver that starts an upheaval in our society for social change in the perception against certain communities.

What is the impact of these results if given to people? Let’s start by analyzing two very common examples, out of which the first is the LGBTQ+ community. At this moment, only a sheer twenty-five countries support this community, one of the being the United States of America. Except these selective twenty-five countries, how can we use these results to create not only a change is society but to relieve the community of their burdens of being judged.

A simple regulation to put in place is to require compilation all the informational statistics from the marginalization tests and divide the results into categories. These can be segregated by dividing people based on ethnic communities, races, sexual orientations, personalities and more. We can then use this information to see per country and globally, the perceptions of these societies. Furthermore, publishing this information in the form of studies so that our society can get this vital knowledge.

To find true results we can take an example of race. To figure out the outer aura or perception of people under a certain race, we take Person A, who can be of any chosen race, as an example we can consider this person to be of a darker race. Furthermore, we can bring people of other races — colored, mixed, white and more to give words on the perception of Person A. With this information we can come to a conclusion about the outer perspective or prejudice one has against Person A. To come to a sturdy and trustworthy conclusion — various people can be tested of the same category and results can be matched.

Virginia Satir wisely said, “We must not allow other people’s perceptions to define us.”

This model of understanding the level of marginalization is not only key for societal change but can often help people who feel out of place, judged, sorrowful or even those who just want to know what others think about them.

Certain policies would be required to be followed for the comfort and privacy of people. The first policy that needs to implemented is that the outcome of a marginalization test being used for studies is a choice that the individual in question gets to choose. The second policy follows the privacy of the individual, therefore before taking this test, the individual must declare clarity in choice of wanting to know results of this test. One of the policies that I deem most important is the declaration of one’s name. Individuals will be given a choice to disclose their names and an option of completing this test in complete anonymity is vital.

Perhaps it is time for society to take a leap forward in our choices. Time shall tell whether our species is ready for understanding the real depths of marginalization and prejudice. Society has to begin moving gears towards change; or else, we are destined to doom.

There is not long before we might cross into extinction due to things like overpopulation, climate change and more. We need all 8 billion minds to work together, towards a better future, a better humanity.

The opinions mentioned in this article are are my own opinions. This article in no way shape or form tries to enforce such opinions onto others.