All In Favor of Being Stereotyped, Please Raise Your Hand

Raising a Hand

This entry was written as part of Peeve Week 2: Stereotypes.

Not many people like being stereotyped, myself included. Stereotypes put you in a box with a label on it. Once you’ve been stereotyped, you are seen only in the context of “your” box. Kiss rational thought goodbye because it is “impossible” for you to think outside of “your” box.

The Young Man Stereotype

This one probably bothers me the most, at least at this point of life. Since I am a young man (25), I must be out drinking all weekend and partying it up at all the clubs. When I started working in Germany, one of the secretaries introduced me to the other young man working there, seeing as we were roughly the same age, thus must have everything in common. Well, once we figured out that I wasn’t much interested in the “night scene”, we didn’t have much in common. The sad part about this one is that it is fairly accurate for my age group; I just don’t fit it very well.

The Christian Stereotype

Nothing like a little religion to get some stereotypes going. America is rife with with people who call themselves Christians. Not many people have a problem with that. There is a subset of that group which takes what the Bible says and applies it to life (probably “fundamentalist” is the most popular
label). Well, I’d put myself in that group (oops, just stuck myself in a box). ๐Ÿ™‚ The fun part comes in when people figure out that that’s how I live or it comes up in conversation. At that point, I no longer am capable of rational thought, I sit at home all day and read the Bible (King James Version, of course), and my idea of fun is going to church 5 times a week. All of which isn’t true: stick around on this blog long enough and you’ll find out I can string thoughts together fairly well. ๐Ÿ™‚

I do read the Bible, but prefer the New American Standard Version. I don’t think I’ve ever been to church 5 times in one week, although I do enjoy going to church. I also happen to enjoy playing computer games, hanging out with friends, surfing the web, watching movies, reading a good novel, etc.

Why I Don’t Like Stereotypes

I don’t like stereotypes because they are the easy way out of getting to know a person. If I can label you, I “know” you. Unfortunately, stereotypes are hardly ever accurate when you get down to a personal level. The longer you know a person, the better you come to know how they think and what they think on various topics. Oddly enough, people tend to turn out to be far more complicated than the stereotypes that can be applied to them.

A last thought: the ironic part of this is that I just wrote a stereotype about being stereotyped. As with all stereotypes, what I wrote is broadly accurate, but becomes less and less so on a personal basis. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cetroyer writes to us from Germany. He is also a very active member and moderator/editor of this blog.

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6 thoughts on “All In Favor of Being Stereotyped, Please Raise Your Hand”

  1. The truth is that we're all guilty of placing stereotypes on everything and everyone we don't know much about, other than perhaps hearing on TV/radio, reading in books, media, on the Web, or just coming from plain gossips.
    And just like you said, only by getting on a personal level, or experiencing something first hand, we break those stereotypes and start disliking being stereotyped.

  2. I really don't like stereotypes, either. It causes misunderstanding, misinterpretation, confusion, etc. And it's really not fair to people. I've been stereotyped a lot, being a computer programmer and a musician, so I must be really nerdy and geeky and non-athletic. People are often surprised to learn that I play tennis fairly well.

    Just today someone rode with me, heard the CD I had been listening to, and remarked, "I never would've pictured you listening to that." Why? I wonder what they expected…

    But what can we do about people who tend to stereotype others? People have to change their way of thinking, and it's more work to actually get to know someone than to quickly put them in a box.

  3. When I used to smoke, people commented to me sometimes, "You're a Christian and you smoke?"

    All Christians (as with everyone else) have addictions, some more visible than others.

  4. i know what its like to be stereotyped.. in school i get stereotyped over what i wear and who i hang out with.. its rediculous. even teachers do it to me.. im sterertyped as a trouble maker and a druggy.. i admit i am in a lot of trouble sometimes but I DONT do druggs.. im like sooo against it.. but thankyou cetroyer for writing this beacause i now know that someone out ther finally realizes that steriotypes hurt.. and they really do.. but i ushually just brush it off

  5. Thanks for the great post about stereotypes. Your post brought up a lot of interesting points that I haven’t thought about. I’m looking forward to reading a lot more of your site in the future.

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