This article was written as part of Peeve Week 2: Misconceptions.
Quoting Wikipedia, a misconception occurs “when a person believes in a concept that is objectively false.”
There are so many misconceptions in life. I was trying to decide which one I would like to talk about in this post. It was a rather difficult task for me to make up my mind. And then it dawned on me, why not talk about all the ones that infuriate me the most. So here we go:
1. There can be no true friendship between a man and a woman
Many people would argue that this is not a misconception, but a well known fact. All I can say to those people is that I’m sorry, I’m truly sorry for you, that you’ve never experienced such friendship. In its true pure form, a friendship between a man and a woman — or a girl and a boy — is much more sincere and free of competition and envy than the one between friends of the same sex.
Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I have two slightly younger brothers, but hanging around boys and being friends with them since forever seemed natural for me. I had very close male friends who were confessing to me about the troubles with their girlfriends. Often I was helping them to resolve their love issues. The opposite was true as well — my male friends were the best confidants I ever had.
It’s not surprising when I sense a suspicious look or hear gossip behind my back. It infuriates me to see how some people misinterpret the true friendship between a man and a woman. Even Hollywood failed to properly answer the question “Can men and women ever just be friends?” in the movie When Harry Met Sally. Everything was going so well. The two were friends for 12 years, until one night spoiled everything. Of course, the movie had a typical Hollywood happy ending — they eventually make up and fall in love. But what was the point of the entire movie? Was their message that No, Men and Women cannot be just friends forever? I still say Yes, they can, but obviously not in Hollywood.
2. Working mothers sacrifice their family for a career
First of all, let me start by saying that sometimes it is true — some women take it to the extreme and do sacrifice their family for the career they’re after. But not all do. Some women manage to find the right balance between the family life and career. It’s not an easy task to accomplish, but it’s not an impossible one.
One should keep in mind an important thing — it’s not the quantity that counts but quality. Some stay at home mothers (read: mothers who don’t run a business from home) spend all day with their children, but the actual quality time they dedicate to their kids and husband can be less than working moms manage to devote to their family.
Don’t get me wrong — I have nothing against stay at home moms. My mother was one of them. She committed her life to raising three children and giving all her attention, love and care to us. For that I’m forever grateful to her. All I’m asking here is don’t judge career moms too harshly. It’s not the career we’re after, but the accomplishments, the realization of the fact that we can be devoted mothers and love our kids to death, and at the same time we can still pursue other passions and be good at them.
I live and breathe for my daughter. She is in my every thought; everything I do is for her. Unfortunately, life is expensive, and unless I win a jackpot, I have to work to provide the best for my daughter. On the other hand, work is not good enough for me. I need to get a sense of accomplishment from my work, and the only way to achieve it is to make a career (not necessarily the one of a CEO), and pursue and realize goals.
3. Everyone can become a Web designer
I’ve met many people throughout my teaching career who believed that anyone can become a Web designer if they go to a school that teaches Web Design. They think they would graduate the school and would become professionals in Web Design. I was teaching in several of such web design schools and, believe me, I’ve seen my share of tears and disappointments when some of such students were coming to a realization of their mistaken beliefs.
However the saddest and worse part was that not all of them did realize the truth. Some were still sure that they are good at Web Design (it’s just the programming part that they didn’t like). I’ve had several such students come to me and say that they don’t like programming, but they do like Flash, or they like Photoshop, and that’s enough for them to know to become a Web Designer. The pitiful reality about those students was the sour truth that they weren’t good with Graphic design either.
I wish people would realize that Web Design, just like any other profession, is not everyone’s calling. Then perhaps we would see less copycat “web-2.0″ style websites on the net.
4. Misconceptions about other cultures
I won’t be going into many details about each country, but I really wish people would behave less ignorant when it comes to other cultures, race, foreign traditions and values. I will give only two examples that directly relate to me.
- Other than one of the 50 states, there is another Georgia — a separate country that was formed in 1991 after the break up of Soviet Union. Soviet Union cannot be used interchangeably with Russia. USSR has consisted from 15 republics, and Russia was just one of them. So if someone says that they come from Georgia, don’t automatically assume that they are either Americans or Russians.
- Misconceptions about Canada:
- Canada’s capital is not Toronto; it’s Ottawa. We don’t have a president, and the country is not ruled by Queen, but by a Prime Minister.
- Winter is not the only season in Canada. It’s not always cold here and the bears are not walking freely in the streets.
- We don’t fight in wars not because we’re weak, but because we’re peacekeepers and wise. There are other ways to solve the issues between countries and communicate the message besides attacking another country
- Just because Canada has two official languages, it doesn’t mean that everyone here speaks both English and French.
- Not everyone in Canada plays hockey. It’s a pretty expensive hobby, and not all families can afford to buy the hockey gear for their kids. Hockey is not the only official sport in Canada. Lacrosse is Canada’s official summer sport. Furthermore, not many people know that basketball was invented in Canada. Baseball is as popular here as it is in States. Canadians do play football, but a different one – Canadian football.
- It’s not true that Canadians say “eh” after every sentence. Perhaps every 10 sentences or so, eh
- Next time you try to recall at least one famous Canadian, check out this extensive list on Wikipedia of celebrated Canadians that includes Frank Gehry, Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Shania Twain, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Brendan Fraser, Keanu Reeves, bands like Guess Who, Nickelback and the list goes on.
If you would like to read more of what Vivien – the Canadian blogger/Career Mom/Web Designer – has to say about facts of life, head to her blog Inspiration Bit and get inspired to argue.