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Oh, silly stereotypes.

Something that has affected my life sense I can remember, are stereotypes. I am athletic therefore I can’t be intelligent, I am American therefore I am obnoxious, I am Middle Eastern therefore I like to blow up stuff, I’m-a-woman therefore I am always one step behind a man. Stereotypes have surrounded America and to be brutally honest, they always will.
While at home the other night, sitting having a normal “facebook session” I was reading though one of my friends recent likings. For non-facebook user’s, there are numerous fan pages you can like on facebook, and most of the time they are hilarious. So as I read through his recent pages, open quote “Hey baby, here have a turn on Call of Duty... LOL jk, go back to the kitchen” close quote. I found it funny for about 15 seconds until I realized how annoying and stereotypical that is. It 1. Implies that women have to do what their man tells them to. And 2. Implies that all women can cook. In fact, I can’t cook at all, unless Ramen noodles count.
Amazed by this fan page I simply typed in “kitchen” in the facebook tool bar. Result number one “It blew my mind when I realized 'woman' spelt backwards is 'kitchen'.” Number two “Sandwiches don't make themselves. Get back in the kitchen, woman.” Number three “Why is Alice in wonderland? She should be in the kitchen.” And that is just naming a few. I typed in KITCHEN and that all came up. Men want women to be in the kitchen? Where the knives are?
Now this is where it gets weird, and I start losing knowledge about these stereotypes. Many self proclaimed “social scientists” have claimed that stereotypes are in fact the truth. These social scientists have left out the most important element of that statement. While yes, sometimes people do fall into stereotypes and they end up being true, stereotypes are not the real truth, they are YOUR truth. What one person perceives as one category whether it be gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social class another can perceive in a completely different way. This is inevitable and would be alright if stereotypes didn’t affect the way people act out.
Stereotypes are sometimes false, and not always positive, but they do not tell people what to do. They state a generalization about people without really knowing a person. They do not tell a person how they must treat one another or how they must act. I am very aware that I am athletic AND intelligent, I am American and proud, I am Middle Eastern and not afraid to get on a plane, I’m-a-woman and I will be successful and independent. Stereotypes will always be here, but will you acknowledge them?

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

the oldest said...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm
maddie, you're marvelous!  I will keep your musings and brilliant conclusions in my "greatest thoughts of all times" part of my brain always.  I'm always proud and privledged to know you!
aunt d said...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I am always envious of women who don't cook. I can't imagine how that works. I have spent 40+ yrs in the kitchen preparing for others. The upside is being able to control your own food choices. The downside is mediocrity and boredom and just not wanting to do one more thing.

But food preperation doesn't always have to be a chore at times it can provide creativity and accomplishment and there is nothing like a good TBO. (taste bud orgasm)

Alas talented Madeline you bring up many ... (more »)

Aelita said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm
I like it!  I agree with you on stereotyping.  It's unfair to tell people what they are, based on their gender, religion, race, ect.
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