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Stereotype=No

Rachel Sato, Writer

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“Men are strong and do all the work.” “All asians are good at math.” “All Arabs and Muslims are terrorists.” Phrases like these have insolent meanings behind them. It shows an act of ignorance and can be turned into discourteous conversations.  In this case, this is typically known as stereotyping.  A stereotype is any commonly known public belief about a certain social group or a type of individual. Stereotyping influences how we think/act towards others to a point where it perpetuates inequality and they shouldn’t be used to identify someone because it leads to bullying, negatively influences how people act towards others, and can lead to many forms of discrimination.

To stereotype someone is the same thing as judging a book by its cover: it’s disparaging  and it limits people’s chances of getting to know each other. I get that they joke about it and will even joke about their own race too, but it isn’t ok at all. It’s wrong and hurtful. You’re basically putting someone down based on your prejudged knowledge.  We’ve all seen it in movies where the star football player picks on the nerdiest kid in school. They do this because it’s stereotypical. This can also lead to bullying at a young age and and will even encourage bullying behavior. For example, the jocks/preps would pick on the nerds/geeks. Stereotypes and biases serve to unfairly and unintentionally keep qualified people jobless. In other words, people won’t get hired because of their race. The reason why we should worry about this is because of the fact that it deceives us from the realization that we all act a certain way based on what we see and how we conduct ourselves. “ The problem with stereotypes is that they suggest the groups of people are inherently prone to certain behaviors.” (Nittle) How we behave and act brings this into the effects of stereotyping and what it can do.

When you stereotype, it can include multiple consequences that can greatly modify your life. So why should we even care about this? It won’t do any harm to me, right? Well, it actually will. It influences how we think/behave about others and affects how we act towards our peers. This sustains inequality and places a significant burden on those being affected. Monica Biernat states that one of the subtle effects of stereotyping on the way we think about others is that we shift our standards of performance depending on the social group of the person we are evaluating. “It’s insulting, of course, to hold people of color to lower standards, complimenting them for levels of performance.”  While this may be true, it most likely isn’t going to stop anytime soon. What people don’t realize is that when you do this, it won’t only affect others, but it will have an even bigger impact on yourself. It can make you close-minded: the more stereotypes get put into your head, the narrower your view of the world becomes. This will also lead to having self-esteem issues as it may think that you have to be someone you’re not. Even though these effects are shown to be dismissive, there’s a good deal of other types of stereotyping that most people aren’t aware of.

What people don’t see is that there’s more to stereotyping than just calling them out or making fun of their background. There’s sexual orientation stereotypes which occurs when you have negative views on gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals (LGBT community). Another form of stereotyping would be generalizations. Generalizations would be a statement or concept obtained by inference by a specific class. A person could make a generalization about an ethnic group that hasn’t been preserved in society. For example, someone could encounter an individual from a particular ethnic group and discovers that they’re amazing cooks. That person would then come to the conclusion that anyone from this group would be amazing cooks. That person would then come to the conclusion that anyone from this group must be amazing cooks. Nadra Kareem Nittle stated that a generalization doesn’t allow for diversity within groups and may result in stigmatization and discrimination of groups if the stereotypes linked to them are largely negative.

In the end, stereotyping is used to treat others unfairly and shouldn’t be seen as a way to categorize people. Stereotyping is based on a prior assumption about others and can greatly influence our behavior. It’s seen as offensive and dehumanizing. Not only will it make you seem more opinionative/biased, but it’ll also impact the way you view everything else. What the most inadequate part about this is that stereotyping itself isn’t just what’s making people’s lives miserable. There’s more to stereotyping than just putting down race and backgrounds. It’s about giving people the respect that they deserve, despite who they are or what their background is.

The bottom line is that stereotypical variations is still alive in this world. The number of people being treated unfairly/stereotyped is a vast amount and it puts them at a massive disadvantage.

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The student news site of Konawaena High School
Stereotype=No