Archive for category Blog Entry 8
Stereotypes are when people categorize others to an oversimplified idea. Stereotypes are used towards individuals of a different race/ethnicity, sex/gender, etc. These stereotypes are present in everyday society and can especially be seen within our media.
The White Women’s Workout is a comic commercial based on stereotypes. The White Women’s Workout is based on a black guy chasing a white woman around, which gives her a workout. It is quite humorous, but very obvious of the stereotypes present of different race, specifically black men and white women.
From a young age we have learned to stereotype many different groups. A stereotype is an over-generalized, inaccurate belief about a certain group of people. High school is the perfect example of using stereotypes. Students often assume that all jocks are jerks or that all cheerleaders are stupid. Not only are these wrong, but they can also be very hurtful to the victims of stereotypes. An example of racial and ethnic stereotypes is in the following clip. (start at 6:30)
Though this example is supposed to humorous, it shows some very real and hurtful stereotypes. For example, when Pam tells Dwight (Asian card) that he is a bad driver, Dwight assumes that his card says “Woman”. There are two stereotypes here: all Asians and women are bad drivers. It is also assumed that all Jamaicans like to go to the beach and get high. Dwight also uses the stereotype that all Jews speak Hebrew. None of these facts are true across an entire race. These are all over-generalized and inaccurate beliefs about different groups of people.
This is a very simple phenomenon with serious and complex implications to society. To put is even more simple term, Ethnocentrism is a type of prejudice that puts one ethnicity above all the other ones around. Sadly, throughout history it is common to notice these behaviors, and more recently with the nazis and European general perception on their superiority against black people.
After the entire nazi war accounts, the most despicable account I’ve read and really felt bad about it is found in the “Black like Me”book by John H. Griffin. Perhaps this is because in Brazil, where I grew up, we never had such segregation and humiliation recorded against black people in late history. To really know what kinds of circumstances black people at times lived in, the author decided to take anti-vitiligo oral drugs to darken his skin and to live among black people in southern United States in 1959. The report is astonishing. The bathrooms blacks could use were functional at all, not to say filthy and desease-friendly. Repression was of the charts. They could stand up for their rights cause that would cause everyone to be against them. They weren’t able to sit where they wanted in the bus, they could not speak to white people in some circumstances. Griffin, when given a ride by a white man, was severely humiliated by this man, who downgraded his intelligence just for the fact he was black, although the white man was wrong. These are but a few examples of oppression in those days.
In sum, it didn’t matter who you were or how nice you would act. You are black, therefore you are low, bad and stupid. How people get to that point? Environment, social learning, role models and parenting. Tests were already done to see the difference between black and white people, and off course no differences exist. I’m glad this conflict black and white people has improved significantly. Now the next step is for all of us learn to better distinguish arabs, iraqis and people from those areas and learn to separate between their beliefs, affiliations and nationality. I’m not saying we all think that way, but there are several citizens who openly discriminate the population from these countries without knowing much about them.
Discrimination is the action towards another of a certain group or category. It is not based off the person alone, but the group that someone categorizes them in.
In an article by USA today, weight discrimination is discussed. Weight discrimination especially in women is increasing and is nearly as common as racial discrimination.
“Reported discrimination based on weight has increased 66% in the past decade, up from about 7% to 12% of U.S. adults, says one study, in the journal Obesity. The other study, in the International Journal of Obesity, says such discrimination is common in both institutional and interpersonal situations — and in some cases is even more prevalent than rates of discrimination based on gender and race. (About 17% of men and 9% of women reported race discrimination.)”
Prejudiced, stereotypes and discrimination are preconceived attitudes, negative or positive, about a person or thing based on surface details like their ethnicity, religion or other categories and not on their merit as an individual.
Now, take a gander at this sweet video with its fresh lyrics:
Not only does this video give some street cred to minivans but also it addresses and breaks prejudices on parenting and gender roles. The father says that he “loves hanging with his daughter, sipping tea” keeping his pinky up without being emasculated and his wife not only “straight ownin’ bake sales, with [her] cupcake skills” but also says “I’m better with the money so I handle the bills” Both of these lyrics differ from the stereotypical views on parenting; here it is demonstrated that both parents can nurture the children and also take on different roles based on their own personality and abilities.
Prejudiced and stereotypes are static concepts that can be strengthened or weakened over time. This is how that change occurs: 1)You have a preconceived judgment on “something” , 2) you receive information how that “something” behaves or feel firsthand, and 3) if you find that the “something” conforms to the stereotype then you don’t change your opinion but if the other side doesn’t conform then your opinion will change naturally to accommodate it.
Here is a simplified example of this:
1.How you view people who drive minivans:
SO for a girl, I’m fairly tall. 6’1.5″ to be exact. I abolutely LOVE being tall, I won’t lie. Most of the time I don’t even notice it. I just feel like… me. This characteristic of mine is distinctive, meaning that my height is either the first characteristic that one will notice, or the one that they will remember the most. When my friends describe me, one of the first words used is tall.
Like I said, I love my height. The only downfall is shopping for jeans, but I deal. Reading about the section on “distinctiveness feeds self-consciousness” reminded me of an experience I had. I was on my break at work and talking to someone who was… let’s say vertically challenged. She pointed out how I was “so dang tall.” I didn’t think it affected me, but walking back into the office, someone else told me that I “needed to stop slouching.” I thought to myself “what? I never slouch. I’m a dancer for crying out loud.” Then it hit me. Because someone actually pointed out my disctinctive characteristic that I’m usually unaware of, I became self-conscious and attempted to hide my characteristic by slouching.
Will I ever let my special hieght distinction make me self-conscious again? Probably, but at least now I can correct it as soon as I become consciously aware of it. Be proud of your distinctions, folks.
Ethnocentrism is a kind of prejudice that has to do with one’s ethnicity. (Ethno-centrism. Pretty simple, right?) In believing that your ethnic or cultural group is superior, you also believe that others are below you. The movie Remember the Titans is all about this kind of prejudice and discrimination.
When we are naive enough to believe that our race is superior, our view of the world changes. Suddenly, the KKK and the Third Reich don’t seem so extreme. Why shouldn’t we rule the world if we are genetically better?! It is so important to expose ourselves (and our children) to other cultures and ways of life. When you learn to appreciate, understand, and know people of other cultures, you see them as people. They cease to be a group and you begin to see them as individuals. You see them all as children of our loving Heavenly Father.