stereotyping

In my post ‘Pretending?‘, it started with the following –

That man wearing the expensive suit and driving that expensive car and with that expensive haircut – there is a man who is fake, a man who feels sadness, a man who needs fulfillment in his life.

The woman behind the shabby apron and torn outfit, with the hair falling in her face to hide the bruise, who is frustrated and tired – there is a woman who is scared and fragile, who wants more, who is searching for something else.

A boy who is taking his frustrations on someone else; making someone else feel less than him, making someone else feel bad with pain – there is a boy who is looking for something more in his life, something better, because he is empty and needs to be complete.

That girl who is consuming to exist, struggling, using her body, making someone else feel good – there is a girl who is weak in search for more, in search for herself, a chance, a better person, a better path and a better journey.

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In today’s post, I write the following –

When I started writing that post, the words started flowing and I put my thoughts on paper – the post is created – not much forethought except just the idea for the post.

When I completed the beginning of that post – I read what I wrote and I realized I was stereotyping.  Or maybe it came across to you as stereotyping.  At times I will write a post and then reword it to not come across as abusive, harmful or offensive.  After I read those first sentences, I felt they may come across to you the reader differently then what I meant them to be.  It was not my intent to say all men are fakes, for woman can also be fake.  It was not my intent to claim all women are abused; for men are abused also.  It was not my intent to indicate all boys are bullies; for girls are bullies also.  And it was not my intent to portray only girls are prostitutes; because boys use their bodies as well for pleasure to someone else.

SimplyPsychology.org article ‘Stereotypes’ starts with the following –

Definition: A stereotype is “…a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.” (Cardwell, 1996). 

For example, a “hells angel” biker dresses in leather.

One advantage of a stereotype is that it enables us to respond rapidly to situations because we may have had a similar experience before.

One disadvantage is that it makes us ignore differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true (i.e. make generalizations).

The use of stereotypes is a major way in which we simplify our social world; since they reduce the amount of processing (i.e. thinking) we have to do when we meet a new person.

By stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have. Stereotypes lead to social categorization, which is one of the reasons for prejudice attitudes (i.e. “them” and “us” mentality) which leads to in-groups and out-groups.

When my words were written, I had no intention to stereotype – but I did.

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41 thoughts on “stereotyping

  1. I think it depends on the mindset of the reader as well as the writer.
    Your intentions were innocuous, yet on second thought, you questioned your motives. As a writer, you weren’t basing your descriptions on a “type” because that’s not how you were thinking.
    I never once got the impression that you were “profiling” or “stereotyping” because that’s not how I was thinking.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Everything we write or say is ultimately going to be read or understood according to the readers set of mind or values or even the disposition he/she is with on that particular moment .
    Even on face to face conversations where we have the added tools of body signs very often what we are saying has a total different meaning to the listener .
    Nevertheless I bet a lot of us who have been reading you for awhile , have the added tools of knowing just a tiny bit of you to understand what you are trying to say and read it through your perspective as much as that is possible (as we all have a natural tendency to at first see things our way) .
    I do think I understood what you were saying in your “Pretending” post and that the examples you gave were merely “aids” to make your message come across , I did not read them as stereotyping at all but as the “drawings/doodles” one might use when trying to explain something (if this makes any sense to you) .
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

        • You are correct, I do not want to offend others – but then again, I need to write the way I feel and think – sometimes that can come across as offensive to others. Sometimes there is a fine line there. Thanks dear! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. As a reader of the post, I never had the thought that you were stereotyping. You wrote about people who appeared one way on the outside and were far different on the inside. No apologies or explanations were necessary, at least for me. It was a good post with an important message. I thank you for that. -Jennie-

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Sadie for the link to that video – it was powerful. I actually got a little tear in eye. How easy we stereotype people based on different things. I appreciate your comment and honesty. Have a happy day my friend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s funny – stereotyping didn’t cross my mind as I read that piece which as you know I thought was one of your best. I think this boils down to the simple fact that, as my father was always insistent, communication is a two-way street …. and that ultimately it lies with the recipient to be responsible for the message. I actually believe that we are in danger of whitewashing the world and making everything beige if we become too preoccupied with treading on eggshells for fear of offending someone. Which is not to say that I believe hurting others with words or deeds is EVER acceptable but just a caution to not let correctness iron out the interest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Osyth, I do appreciate your comment and agree about the whitewashing of the world. I wrote this post after I wrote the ‘Pretending?’ post and therefore this one has been written for awhile. I did receive one negative comment from a person that does not follow me and chose not to approve it. But it appears from the comments here, that most of you that know we well enough understand it was not my intention to be stereotyping. Thanks for your honest feedback – always appreciated. I hope your day is better than yesterday. Smile – 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I also didn’t think of it as stereotyping, more just a description of some person’s life. Despite being a victim of stereotyping (‘she is loco’, for example), I also generalize on a daily basis without realizing it. I am kind but incredibly tactless. I once said to a guy in a bar, “You look Jewish”, whatever that means. He took it well… 🙂
    I once took down a post after one vaguely critical comment – we are sensitive souls.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I read your post and I didn’t think you were stereotyping at all. I read the post thinking that these were not groups of people but you were describing individuals or characters. I think the fact that you then re-evaluated what you had written shows that you are a caring and thoughtful person. Yes, we do not want to offend people but sometimes we can take this too far to the detriment of our freedom of speech. As long as you are not discriminating against people or deliberately setting out to cause offence or harm. Also in written media it can be difficult to convey meaning behind the words as we lose the tone or our expressions that normally clue people in to what we mean. I would imagine there will always be someone who gets offended by certain articles or texts or posts, we can not please everyone no matter how much we want too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for a very well written comment – and I truly appreciate your support and understanding. Yes, I do try not to offend anyone, and as you have indicated it can be difficult to convey meaning behind words in writing. Thank you, I appreciate you stopping by today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is something we fall easily into I think Terry. We write what we see, from the heart and from experience. I always recall a stereotype being pointed at me (unusually it was not the Fat therefore Lazy one) when I was walking out of my gym (at the time I was in good shape but having a haircut to the wood and being heavily tattooed people could make the assumption I was a thug) and as little old lady stood next to me, she held my arm and said “You know what, I never ever imagined I would ever be friends with a big, tattooed skinhead, but you are so much lovelier than you look….!”
    Stereotypes.
    They get us no matter how long we have been around….

    Liked by 2 people

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