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n.johnson

United States

The World of Stereotypes

March 18, 2016

    Whenever people don't have a good understanding of a subject or of people or cultures, they tend to make assumptions about them. Stereotypes are just those assumptions that have become known among many people. Whenever you make judgments about people without knowing them, you are stereotyping them. Stereotyping makes people generalize things. There is a difference between making a true judgement about someone which doesn’t always have to be bad. Usually they end up being false assumptions. However, there are both positive and negative stereotypes, but majority of them are offensive. People generally stereotype because they are different from that particular group of people or religion. Stereotyping becomes a way of showing dislike. This may come from an incident or false assumption, and then is used to target the entire group that shares characteristics. There are many different kinds of stereotypes. However, the most common ones are racial and gender stereotypes. I believe stereotypes cause a lot of low self-esteem and affect people in a negative way.
    As a high-schooler I’ve noticed many different stereotypes. The one that I believe is the most rude and annoying nonetheless is the “white girl” stereotype. I honestly don’t understand why people say this. It’s used when someone is wearing Ugg boots, or drinking Starbucks. What does that have to do with being a white girl? Or because I’m white therefore I only wear uggs and leggings, and only drink coffee from Starbucks. Not that anything is wrong with being a white women or drinking Starbucks coffee, but why do people look at it like it is. This may not seem like that big of an issue but the thing I don’t understand is why? Another thing that makes it seem like it’s a bad thing is because someone that it not white will say it to another person that isn’t white, and they’ll mean it as a bad thing. Women are stereotyped all the time is society with sayings like; “Women are always moody”, “women take forever in the bathroom”, “women are bad drivers”, “only women can be nurses”, and “all blonde women are dumb”. These too would be examples of negative stereotypes.
You see gender stereotypes in society all the time. On billboards, TV,  in magazines. Saying “boys will be boys” is another form of stereotyping. This is used a lot when a guy does something dumb. So this phrase is just saying they're boys, that’s why they did it.
    There can also be positive stereotypes. But can we even say making an assumption about someone without knowing anything about them is positive, personally I don’t think so. All “black people are great basketball players”, “all Asians are geniuses”, “ African Americans can dance”. These are considered “positive stereotypes”. What is it that makes them positive though? Maybe someone doesn’t want to be known as a genius, not everyone is a fan of sports. These are still assumptions that shouldn’t be made, even if you personally think they are positive.
Racial stereotypes have become very common in today’s society. These stereotypes are very misleading and can cause a lot of hate that isn't necessary. “All Muslims are terrorists” and “white people can’t dance”, are two common stereotypes that appear in society. All Muslims are terrorists isn’t even logical. There are different forms of the Islam Religion which cause certain extremists to do certain things. Just like during the holocaust there were Germans who did bad things, there we also many who disagreed with what they we doing. This is why stereotypes are so pointless because everyone has different beliefs than people who happen to share the same characteristics as them.

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