Friday, November 16, 2007

Stereotyping that makes me laugh

As an anthropologist, I tend to be really irritated by traditional labels, categories and stereotypes. The whole idea of Western Dualism is just depressing and weird to me. I have never understood the "this or that" mentality, since I can see so many different possibilities. I also rarely fit into accepted categories. Right-brained or left-brained? Both sides of my brain work just fine, thank you, and this dancer spins both ways, if you ask me. (Specifically, she spins one way, and I look away, and when I look back, she's spinning the other.) Mind or body? Don't give me that, they're completely connected, and thinking of them as two distinct entities is beyond me.

I could go on, but I'll spare you the rant and get right to my point.

Another thing I can't get behind is that whole labeling of groups of people with specific traits thing. You know, all white men can't dance, or all black guys are good at basketball, or whatever. Anyway...I found this website called New and Improved Stereotypes the other day, and almost died laughing. THIS is the kind of stereotyping we should all do. My favorite "new and improved stereotype to teach your kids" is this one. Perhaps because I'm from the south and we happen to be aware of certain stereotypes that people not from the south have about us. And because, in this case, there might be just a smidgen of truth behind the stereotype.

My other new favorite stereotypes include "Islamic Fundamentalists Really Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and "Eskimos Never Invented Sitting (that's why you never see chairs in an igloo)."

If you're going to stereotype, please, at least be creative about it!


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Becky W. said...

The dancer turns both ways for me too, although not as easily as the first time I saw it. Then it changed while I was watching it, now it only changes if I look away and look back.



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