The American Battleground: Taboos in Culture

There are certain aspects of human life that come with strong stigmas and social prohibition. There is often a moral or religious basis to the disapproving notions that accompany these stigmas or taboos.

America was founded by a group of people who wanted acceptance and freedom to practice their lifestyle without persecution. So, if this is the founding basis of our country, then, why does it seem as though America has never truly been a country of acceptance? Only within the last 50 years did it become acceptable for an African-American to marry a Caucasian, or for a woman to enter the working world.

As time passes and our culture changes, our taboos change too. It is worth questioning whether or not our country is adjusting quickly enough. We all live by our own standards, but why do we think it is okay to force our personal choices on others?

There seem to be endless taboos in American culture today. We have social rules for everything, calling adults by their first name, chewing with your mouth open, and being late. Despite the necessity of certain taboos, there are others that find it hard to understand the stigma. Whether we realize it or not, our actions towards people who live “different” lifestyles can be hurtful.

When you see a girl at the mall, who cannot be older than 17 and is pregnant, do you turn to your friend and make a snide remark? How about when you see two guys holding hand in the grocery store? What about when you see someone covered in tattoos and piercings? It is time that we stop covering up how we feel about these taboos, and start discussing them. Progress is impossible without discussion.