Stereotyping is embedded in us.
According to science, humans use stereotypes to up our survival in this world- it is up to ourselves to go beyond our basic instincts. In this day and age of social media, a plethora of information overload, an abundance of fake news and DNA embedded stereotyping within us can lead to choices and beliefs that we can share with others that is in the run, harmful to our society.
As ridiculous as this sounds I was inspired by the song: “Red Neck Woman” sang by Gretchen Wilson. It had been the first time I heard it and the lyrics made me laugh. The song rounds up the stereotypes of being a redneck woman and along with the singers acceptance of said stereotypes and great pride in being one.
Stereotypes, are made from observations of people from the outside looking into a specific group of people. The variables range from where one is from to their gender to the color of one’s skin. These depictions then somehow spread and become accepted because a majority of those being stereotyped embrace or live those specific judgments.
It’s a “lose, lose” sometimes.
It can’t be helped to live stereo-typically sometimes. We love, what we love about our culture.
It’s when the stereotypes become negative aspects that causes people to treat others or each other negatively.
People of color or POC are often a victim of negative stereotypes. African Americans are often called apes or monkeys in the media. An insensitive ad by H&M with an African American boy wearing a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie is up there on the offensive use of stereotypes. Recently, Roseanne Barr called Valerie Jarrett (who is African American) an ape (the tweet was later deleted).
Sometimes stereotypes can be amusing. It certainly seems that we naturally cluster groups of people together at a biological/natural level. Anthropologically/Biologically speaking we use stereotypes to judge quickly for making on the spot judgments that might save your life. It takes more brain power by your frontal lobe to squash stereotypical taught because it is more complex. As humans in the 21st century, I’d like to think we are capable enough of complex thought that we can banish our basic survival need for acting on negative stereotypes.