Monday, 7 November 2011

(Fill-in-the-Blank)s are SO....

I'm taking a small break from updates on Nano. This post is flavored a little bit differently, but it's very close to my heart.


Recently, I did a post on stereotypes that put them in a positive light. The obvious exception (and some of you pointed this out) is any stereotype that is harmful or insulting. So today I'm addressing those.

Love and empathy - which are, to me, the most powerful weapons against prejudice - hurt us. It's understandable why we try to dehumanize groups of people by placing them in certain boxes. If we love someone who radically disagrees with us, it can hurt us very deeply, so we shrink away. But that doesn't make it right.

There's nothing I can say on the subject that hasn't been said - and said better - so this is what I am going to do. Today, try to eliminate one of your prejudices.
'But Bethany!' you protest, 'I'm a gal (or guy) of the 21st century! I don't have any!'

Sure you do! And if you don't, mega-kudos, can you tell me the secret? :)

So I'm going to put some on here, and if you identify, maybe try to get rid of it. Maybe not. But it could change more than just your day if you tried.


If You Listen To Classic Rock:
"People today have no taste in music"
May I remind you about the pop songs from the Classic Rock Era? Like this and this?

If You Play PC Video Games:
"Console gamers don't know what real games even are."
"Console gamers are as bad as *gasp* casuals."

If You Play Console Games:
"PC gamers are so elitist"
"PC gamers are more focused on graphics and mods than actual gameplay"

If You Are a Democrat:
"Republicans are so stupid, hateful, dumb, negative, evil, a disease." (all found from top hits on google search results) (No, I'm not kidding about the disease part)

If You Are a Republican:
"Democrats are so dumb, arrogant, mean, evil, the bad guys." (Also all google search results)

(I'm only addressing a few religions, but you can look up any of them on google)

If You Are Not A Christian:

"Christians are so fake, annoying, unlike Christ, hate-filled hypocrites, crazy, ignorant." (google)

"Mormons are crazy, awesome, nuts, not Christian." (so, this is a mixed bag from google.)

If You Are A Christian:

"Atheists are wrong, evil, stupid, annoying." (google) (To be fair, the top post on 'stupid' was someone ranting against why everyone didn't believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, so it may be taken as satire. Maybe.)
"Wiccans are evil, stupid, retards, crazy." (google)

"Muslims are coming, taking over the world, crazy, sociopaths." (google)

If You Walk/Bike Ride To Work:
"People who drive cars everyday are ruining our planet. Selfish jerks."

If You Drive:
"I bet those bikers think they're so much better than me. Jerks."

If You Write Literary Fiction:
"YA writers have it soooo easy. They don't even have to edit as much, and they don't have to worry about the overall perfection of their prose."

"Science Fiction/Fantasy is for people who can't face the real world."

If You Write YA:
"Literary Fiction Writers are so arrogant. They can't imagine how hard it is to write YA."

If You Write Sci-fi/Fantasy
"Mainstream fiction writers have no imagination."

and on it goes. Now I realize I'm falling into stereotyping prejudices here - obviously not everyone from every group thinks those things. But that's the point. So if something on here resonated with you, spend every minute of today questioning that prejudice.

Jon Stewart said a few days ago (to the protestors) "You are always judged by your worst element." Every group is, even if the worst element is not the majority.

What resonated with you on the list?


(P.S. It's not my intent to offend anyone. Most of these were pulled off of google)


Carrie Butler said...

Oh, Google--you never fail to provide us with disturbing insight. ;) Great post, Bethany!

The Golden Eagle said...

What resonated with me? Er, that would probably be the one about bikes vs. driving. Sometimes I can be a bit environmentalist. :P

Angela Brown said...

Oddly, two resonated with me :-)

The ones about the Republicans and the Democrats. Since I don't tow a party line and just want what's best for ALL citizens of the United States (business owners, employees, struggling two-job holding parents, old people who've been working since the age of 13, etc.) then the party name calling is probably something I've had to check myself regards to both groups.

Lauren W. said...

That is such an interesting map. I love that Americans have a dislike of walking...some of them are so funny.

Talli Roland said...

Yikes on Google! That's quite the collection of prejudices. That map is hilarious - I didn't know Canadians like their beer, or Britain is extremely unclean?!

E.R. King said...

Prejudice is a hard one. I've learned that quite often the source of it is disapproval: I don't like what you're doing; therefore, I don't like YOU. Disapproval should be avoided at all costs. GREAT POST!

Nancy Thompson said...

Love and empathy keep us human, but in the same sense, it's our humanity that makes us tribal and therefore prejudiced. It's a viscous cycle nearly unavoidable. I can say I am any five of those things you listed, but I can also say it doesn't matter. I don't consider any of those traits to be superior to anyone else's. But yet, I am still tribal. I still prefer and gravitate towards those more like me. Am I prejudiced? Probably when provoked in some way, and that's something I am not proud of and continue to work on and likely will until the day I die.

Great post, by the way!

Lynda R Young said...

wow, it's amazing that some people actually think this way. I am a little guilty of the bikers vs drivers and just this last weekend I heard people talk about how literary writers are so arrogant, which surprised me but everyone around me was agreeing.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great post, and I love all your examples. We're too often blind to our biases and cling to them.

Josh Hoyt said...

This is a great post and I agree there are none of us who do not have some prejudice. It may even be prejudice against those who do have prejudice. I'm glad I found your blog.

Olga said...

Great post! I love Russian tag :).