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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Avoiding conscious stereotypes

    Stereotypes are very dangerous, since we form very quick conclusions about behavior of others, or even about huge masses of people, based on some understanding of ours, more often than not, without any first hand experience or information.

    The stereotypes that North Indians have about South Indians, and vice versa, have been discussed in some many forums, and it is futile to even discuss them here.

    However, one dangerous stereotype, that often leads to ridicule and shame on the part of the person concerned, relates to skin. Recently, a very accomplished cricketer, from Tamil Nadu, who has actually represented the country in Test cricket, let his anguish known, when someone made some comments on the color of his skin.

    Not every one can be born white, or wheat complexioned for that matter. Genetic factors play a huge role. Dark people are often thought of as mean minded, or even dishonest. They are thought of as people we do not need to pay any attention to.

    This is the most ridiculous stereotype and needs to be demolished immediately. People are people, with all their strengths and weaknesses. There are good and bad people everywhere, and even in every single human being, irrespective of the color of his or her skin, there is always good, and bad too.

    Why should we carry on such stereotypes? This is very dangerous and can lead to disastrous consequences. We need to be ever vigilant and not allow our minds to carry such on such stereotypes.

    The second, and even worse stereotype, is about the economic status of people. Those who live in slums, in urban cities, for example, are thought of, as the worst people who are always dishonest. Stereotypes multiply.

    However, the very same people, as if often turns out, are very honest and assist the police in catching the real culprits. We need to get over such stereotypes.

    The third one relates to the role of the woman, as the sole cook. Though this is changing to some extent, old habits do die hard. We still have millions of women, only dying in kitchens.

    Worse, stereotypes on things like dowry, are sought to be perpetuated. We should put an end to this horrible practice.

    We need to be consciously aware of all stereotypes and do something about each of them.
  • #635665
    The author raised a valued point here. Yes what you have mentioned is the most ridiculous stereotype and needs to be demolished immediately. But again it is not possible with your thought and one back up. Every one should be aware of such bad precedent and that should be stopped. People are defined with their own strength and weakness and we are no body to down play them. We do come across good and bad people everywhere, but one bad person among them will also spoil the good attitude of nice persons. And stereotypes on Dowry's has to be discussed threadbare and that should be eliminated.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #635722
    Yes. I'm sick of stereotyping too. Especially the way northerners portray tamilians. Not all south Indians are same. There are five states with their distinct culture here. Instead I find north repetitive and routine. I mean...can you even tell the difference between a person from Uttaranchal and UP. Or Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The cultural deviation isn't much in few places. But it is not so in south.
    I think the diversity must be respected and for once and all north needs to understand that south doesn't mean tamilians.

    But despite obvious discontent due to misidentification of our culture, this stereotyping is hardly harmful. And I don't think what we do against women is stereotyping. It's sexism. Assertion of a gender's superiority. It shouldn't be catalogued under stereotyping. Because women aren't a race or an ethnic group. Yes there is an individual stereotyping too but we stereotype mostly on physical attributes.

    Misogyny is an extreme behaviour where men or women tend to belittle women.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

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