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  #1    
Old November 14th, 2011 (12:59 AM).
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I censored the last word. The title was a statement made by someone in a chatroom on the topic of using correct grammar and spelling (or trying to).

This thread is about stereotypes and how they can affect people. Not just the concept of stereotypes and grouping people, but stereotypes in practice.

As with the title example, I've disappointingly found that people will use stereotypes to get out of an undesirable situation, and some people will actually go along with it.

How have you seen stereotypes used?
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Old November 14th, 2011 (03:51 AM).
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Personally, I think stereotypes are used out of laziness. After all, why bother to actually find out what you're talking about when you can just make generalisations for your own amusement? Where would the fun be in that?

I've seen them pretty much exclusively used by bigots as tools for their bigotry, and by the people to whom the stereotypes would apply as excuses for their behaviour (for example, one girl I know constantly blames her hot-headedness on her South American blood). I think it's fine to use stereotypes in a light-hearted and joking manner - after all, everybody needs to have a sense of humour about themselves - however I think this is rarely the case in practice.

I'd love to see them eradicated, but I know this isn't a realistic expectation.

Anyway, I think this is more of a discussion topic than a poll, so I'm going to move it over to Other Chat.
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Old November 14th, 2011 (11:48 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
Personally, I think stereotypes are used out of laziness.
..I think it's fine to use stereotypes in a light-hearted and joking manner - after all, everybody needs to have a sense of humour about themselves - however I think this is rarely the case in practice.
What he said.

All stereotypes have a degree of truth to them.
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Old November 14th, 2011 (11:52 AM).
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Whenever I bring up something, jokingly, but truthful, and people tell me 'yeah that's just a stereotype', most of the time I think well, it's a stereotype for a reason. A stereotypical Dutch person wears milkman's clothing and clogs (well it used to be that, now it's a pothead lol), and yeah, that was what was worn by everyone here in old times.
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Old November 14th, 2011 (11:59 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
Personally, I think stereotypes are used out of laziness. After all, why bother to actually find out what you're talking about when you can just make generalisations for your own amusement? Where would the fun be in that?

I've seen them pretty much exclusively used by bigots as tools for their bigotry, and by the people to whom the stereotypes would apply as excuses for their behaviour (for example, one girl I know constantly blames her hot-headedness on her South American blood). I think it's fine to use stereotypes in a light-hearted and joking manner - after all, everybody needs to have a sense of humour about themselves - however I think this is rarely the case in practice.

I'd love to see them eradicated, but I know this isn't a realistic expectation.

Anyway, I think this is more of a discussion topic than a poll, so I'm going to move it over to Other Chat.
I wish I knew how to like posts. Basically everything you said, I agree with. Scandinavians get a big amount of stereotypes and a large amount of it isn't true. Like, we are not all blonde! :D I am, but in fact most of my family have brown hair. And we're not mean or rude to foreigners...

My best friend is Brazilian. She is the exact opposite of what most Brazilians are thought to be...skinny with a non-existant butt (lol) and very very white. And then I know many Americans who are active and sporty, whom I love to go the gym with.
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Old November 14th, 2011 (05:02 PM).
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I don't mind them used in a joking manner. Heck, I hear them used everyday. My group of friends are very diverse (blacks, whites, Mexican, Jew, Indian, homosexual, ginger, girls, hicks, etc) so you hear everything. lol It doesn't really bother me at all, but you know, there are limits.

However, I will say most southern stereotypes are annoying, since most are really old. Like the one about us still being upset about losing the Civil War. Metatron, I'm looking at you.
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Old November 15th, 2011 (08:11 AM).
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I see stereotypes used primarily out of frustration.

I have to work with the public and there are a lot of different types of people who come in. When someone is nice, polite, and generally not a problem then no one notices that they're black or gay or whatever they might be. The moment someone starts being a problem I have to watch out because one of the people I work with will heap on the stereotypes. I think it's because she wants some way to blame them for being a problem, like she try to figure out some reason in her mind for why they were a problem and stereotypes are what she falls back on. I'm not really explaining properly, but I hope you have some idea of what I'm trying to say.
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Old November 15th, 2011 (08:18 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
I see stereotypes used primarily out of frustration.

I have to work with the public and there are a lot of different types of people who come in. When someone is nice, polite, and generally not a problem then no one notices that they're black or gay or whatever they might be. The moment someone starts being a problem I have to watch out because one of the people I work with will heap on the stereotypes. I think it's because she wants some way to blame them for being a problem, like she try to figure out some reason in her mind for why they were a problem and stereotypes are what she falls back on. I'm not really explaining properly, but I hope you have some idea of what I'm trying to say.
That seems very strange to me - more like they're making up excuses for them as to why they do that, as opposed to just being annoyed at them for being annoying. xD

While there is a kernel of truth in every stereotype, I still dislike using them. For example just yesterday one of my friends asked me "why are women so picky? I mean I know it's a stereotype but stereotypes are based on truth, so why are women so picky?" I just shrugged my shoulders but I was honestly offended by it, because that guy had just implied that I was picky just because I was a woman, when I don't see myself as picky at all. Although I have in the past used them as an excuse unfortunately - I cry incredibly easily and when people ask about it I just use the "I'm a woman" excuse, same thing I use when I don't always make complete logical sense because it's a stereotype that women act on their emotions and not their logic so they don't make sense, lol.
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Old November 15th, 2011 (08:22 AM).
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Funny thing about stereotypes is, they are spot on a lot of the time.

It is just human nature to pre-judge someone and put them in a category that we/society has created for them.

The way I think is someone is entered into a stereotype until they prove themselves otherwise. Harsh and unfair you might say, but a lot of the time I am right to have placed them in there, so why break a working system?
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Old November 15th, 2011 (08:33 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Captain Fabio:
Funny thing about stereotypes is, they are spot on a lot of the time.

It is just human nature to pre-judge someone and put them in a category that we/society has created for them.

The way I think is someone is entered into a stereotype until they prove themselves otherwise. Harsh and unfair you might say, but a lot of the time I am right to have placed them in there, so why break a working system?
Because it's wrong to judge someone before you know them well enough?

It may be easier for you to just judge everyone, but that affects more than you think. Probably causes you to avoid people that you may have become friends with, because you make assumptions about them before actually walking up to them and talking to them to see if they match them. It may be harder to do the right thing than to do the wrong thing and just shove everyone into pre-set categories, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

Of course it's human nature. It's also human nature to attack someone encroaching on your territory without listening to reason, doesn't mean it's right to do. Sure, you may do it subconsciously or do it when you don't mean to even if you try your best not to, I'm sure I do sometimes. But just because you can't always succeed at it doesn't make the effort worth nothing, it's still the right thing to do.
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Old November 15th, 2011 (08:38 AM).
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Everyone's a little bit racist, sometimes. It doesn't mean we go around committing hate crimes. Look around and you will find no one's really colour blind. Maybe it's a fact we all should face that everyone makes judgments based on race. Ethnic jokes might be uncouth but you laugh because they're based on truth. Don't take them as personal attacks; everyone enjoys them, so relax! If we all could just admit that we are racist a little bit - even though we all know that it's wrong - maybe it would help us get along.

And yes, my answer is made up of lyrics from 'Everyone's A Little Bit Racist' from Avenue Q... but it sort of stands. I don't really like it when people use stereotypes, but they're not going to go away any time soon. If they're used in a gentle way (as part of a light-hearted joke between friends or something) then there's no real problem with them. The main issues come, for example, when people use stereotypes when hiring people, for example, based off the 'qualities' of an applicant rather than the actual qualities of the applicant. It's then that a line between relatively harmless joke-making turns into outright bigotry and discrimination, which isn't really appropriate.
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Old November 15th, 2011 (08:52 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Mr Cat Dog:
Everyone's a little bit racist, sometimes. It doesn't mean we go around committing hate crimes. Look around and you will find no one's really colour blind. Maybe it's a fact we all should face that everyone makes judgments based on race. Ethnic jokes might be uncouth but you laugh because they're based on truth. Don't take them as personal attacks; everyone enjoys them, so relax! If we all could just admit that we are racist a little bit - even though we all know that it's wrong - maybe it would help us get along.
I just want to say that I find that laughing at an ethnic joke is more like laughing at a running gag. It's not that I think it's based in reality, or that it's a little bit true, but that I've been exposed to the myth of such-and-such an ethnic group and it's just, well, if I have to explain a running gag I think my argument's already doomed. I just mean that I can laugh at the stereotype without thinking it's true.
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Old November 15th, 2011 (01:01 PM).
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Stereotypes in this day and age are usually sarcastic. (And yet, the sarcasm /always/ flies over at least one person's head resulting in "I AM X AND I AM OFFENDED")

Very few of the people who say them have the guts of steel to actually say them in a way that is objectively serious, even if the stereotypes are against straight white western males. (Though that could change in the future at any time, judging by how the law has bent lately. Because abuse is okay when it's on a majority right?! >.>)
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Old November 16th, 2011 (03:39 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:


Because it's wrong to judge someone before you know them well enough?

It may be easier for you to just judge everyone, but that affects more than you think. Probably causes you to avoid people that you may have become friends with, because you make assumptions about them before actually walking up to them and talking to them to see if they match them. It may be harder to do the right thing than to do the wrong thing and just shove everyone into pre-set categories, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

Of course it's human nature. It's also human nature to attack someone encroaching on your territory without listening to reason, doesn't mean it's right to do. Sure, you may do it subconsciously or do it when you don't mean to even if you try your best not to, I'm sure I do sometimes. But just because you can't always succeed at it doesn't make the effort worth nothing, it's still the right thing to do.
Granted, my thought process can be considered a bit... unfair.

Just because I put people in those categories, doesn't mean I don't give them a chance. Like I said, it is understandable for someone to think it is, say rude, to think like that, but I guess that is just a defensive mechanism I have developed over the years.

*Shrugs*
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Old November 16th, 2011 (06:31 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Captain Fabio:
Granted, my thought process can be considered a bit... unfair.

Just because I put people in those categories, doesn't mean I don't give them a chance. Like I said, it is understandable for someone to think it is, say rude, to think like that, but I guess that is just a defensive mechanism I have developed over the years.

*Shrugs*
But think of it this way: You see someone that, through their appearance, you stereotype them into the type of person you wouldn't like. You have a choice to stop and talk to them, or not. If that person matched that stereotype, then you'd be less likely to stop and talk to them and therefore less likely to give them a chance.

That's the danger of stereotypes - most people who hold them won't treat someone that they're talking to any differently, because they're basically good people. It usually manifests itself in who they choose to talk to, which leads to not giving people that match your stereotype a chance because in every situation where you're not forced into contact, you would avoid them.
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Old November 16th, 2011 (09:39 PM).
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I have to agree that I don't like the idea of being perceived as a stereotype until you can prove that you don't fit into it. I think it's the responsibility of the person who holds the pre-conceived idea to get over it rather than the responsibility of the person in question to show you that your idea is wrong.

I don't see why anyone would need to draw conclusions before they know any facts.
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Old November 16th, 2011 (09:44 PM).
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It's pretty silly and narrow minded to immediately judge someone based on stereotypes alone IMO, who knows maybe that particular person may have a lot more interests than what stereotypes alone try to exploit.

I'm usually stereotyped as emo as hell due to my looks IRL though but I'm usually very friendly once I get involved in a interesting enough conversation.
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Old November 21st, 2011 (06:06 PM).
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Most stereotyping at my high school is just out of fun.. Hm... We have quite a few exchange students at our school, so I get a kick out of it when one of them says "oh wow. Youre nothing like what I thought!" (along those lines). Anyway, and those exchange students don't even act like how they're stereotyped, so we don't see a whole lot.. of... stereotyping... Sorry, now i'm flat out rambling. -_-
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Old November 22nd, 2011 (11:16 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
I see stereotypes used primarily out of frustration.

I have to work with the public and there are a lot of different types of people who come in. When someone is nice, polite, and generally not a problem then no one notices that they're black or gay or whatever they might be. The moment someone starts being a problem I have to watch out because one of the people I work with will heap on the stereotypes. I think it's because she wants some way to blame them for being a problem, like she try to figure out some reason in her mind for why they were a problem and stereotypes are what she falls back on. I'm not really explaining properly, but I hope you have some idea of what I'm trying to say.
I think so, too. I have read an account on someone who dyed their hair from brown to red to blonde. The person noticed that when they dyed their hair blonde, people were more likely to pick up on her mistakes ala "dumb blonde". Too bad I can't find where that was written now...
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