Which stereotype would you NOT want to be included in?
Take your pick there are many! Here are a few examples, dumb blonde, gold digger and one of my favorites cougar!
Throughout my late teens and twenties I bent over backwards so girls would not judge or stereotype me before they knew me all in the name of stereotyping. I would make myself look silly with humour to make them smile at me instead of leer at me. It got tiring and I eventually just called it quits. I just figured if you don’t want to take the time to get to know me then that’s unfortunate because we could be friends. I HATE when people stereotype or judge for that matter!
With that being said at this point in my life ‘single mom looking for a man to take care of me’ would be one of the worst for me. No other stereotype would bother me as much as this one. Call me a ‘Cougar’ and I would not only agree, say “whyy not” and smile while looking you up and down sexually, call me a dumb blonde and I would manipulate you to get what I want, but think I need a man to take care of me…sheesh!! Men are in my life by CHOICE not need! I am a very independent and self sufficient woman who loves time alone. I don’t need a man in my life to take care of me but I do look forward to having men in my life to spend time and enjoying the moment for what it is. So if I am single for the back 50 I’m good. How about you Bonnie which stereotype don’t you want to be included in?
Bonnie’s two cents~
Don’t include me in any! I mean I can’t actually think of a stereotype I’d like to be slotted as. I’m pretty sure I’ve fit a few of them in my life so far though. Dumb blonde? I’ve had my moments. Cougar? Oh ya. Gold digger? I think you have to go out with really wealthy men for that, so I don’t think so. White people can’t dance? Hey, I think I look pretty good out there.
The bottom line is stereotyping is just a lazy way of labeling someone. So many people are quick to do this because they feel they need to assign you a category so they know where they fit in. “She’s a gold digger. I’m better than that.” Tsk!
A stereotype is just a simplified and standardized conception. Period. It is not necessarily the truth.
Ok, so I’m probably getting too philosophical about this but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about recently thanks to Jacquie. She was concerned I was stereotyping when I recently used the word “native” in one of my posts. I disagreed and dug my heels in but I thought about what she said and I could see her point of view. Stereotyping is not a good thing…although…I’ve never known an African American male to cry fowl over the “well endowed” stereotype. I’m just sayin’!
I’ve been aware of the negative impact stereotyping can have for a very long time. When I was dating my now-husband, Gavin, his mother was not a happy camper (do Chinese people ever like to camp?). His Asian mother, who is an absolutely fabulous person, really wanted him to get rid of me, the White Ghost, aka Lo fan. Crikey! I was just being sweet l’il ol’ me but my blondness was working against me for the first time! You see, she believed Caucasian women didn’t know how to take care of the house properly, didn’t do the cooking, didn’t take care of the children but sent them to nannies instead, cheated and got divorced. No matter how ‘nice’ she thought I was, I would never be good wife material.
Well, in some ways she was right. I don’t cook very much now that the kids are older, I’d rather paint or do something fun than spend everyday scrubbing, I do like having guy friends and I won’t fib and say that the big ‘D’ has never crossed my mind as a viable alternative on really bad days, though it’s been a while since I felt that way. I was being…stereotyped… but this time it was working against me! It’s been many years and I know she loves me now and sees me as an individual and not just as a white girl, but it did take time.
Stereotypes are labels thrust on individuals or groups to make them easier to understand. Like Bonnie said, they make figuring out your own place in the world simpler, so they’re self-serving, really. I know I’m not a stereotypical mom with 3 kids and a dog even though that’s basically what I am on paper. What else? Well, like most of the women I know, I wear a lot of different hats depending on the day of the week or the mood I’m in. Sometimes I’m ‘Ditzy Artist’. ‘Dumb Blonde’ has served me well over the years when I’ve needed to pull her out.
I don’t mind acting out a stereotype every now and then when I’m in charge of the play. What I don’t care for are stereotypes that are forced on me. I don’t like going out with my girlfriends for some music and drinks and being called a cougar. I find it derogatory, frankly. Being stereotyped takes away your power and is belittling. Now, if you want to call yourself a dumb blonde or a cougar then that’s different. You’re taking back your power. It’s all about the context in which these terms are used.