According to Cambridge Dictionary, stereotype is a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like, especially an idea that is wrong. Fat people are lazy; brown-eyed people are clever; rich people are mean; dogs bite: stereotyping has been a problem that has been quite entrenched in the society. It is the tainted glass through which the society sees itself.
Stereotyping inhabits and sharpens the gender differences too. Why is it that beautiful women are mean-spirited? Why is it that men with a good muscular built are not intelligent? Why is it that all women dislike household chores? Phew! Below is a list of reasons why stereotyping is quite a headache in the society.
- It is not Universal– Some cultures view brown-eyed people as shrewd while some others as trustworthy people. This unevenness is not only stretched across different cultures but also across races, and shades of grey in a particular race itself. They also vary across the order of time. This very reason pinpoints their futility.
- It Blurs your Vision– You cannot know a person or a thing the way it is if you have certain ideas that you have about it already. You cannot even interpret their behaviour the way it is, if your idea about them is always hazy. Consequently, misunderstandings crop up. Imagine a state in which you are not stereotyping the other person!
- It Discriminates Ruthlessly– Racial stereotypes, inter-national stereotypes, inter-state stereotypes and inter-personal stereotypes have always been ruthless in discriminating against people. The list is endless. It is only the victimized who would know the consequences of being excluded and being met with such a treatment.
- Pride and Prejudice– It is all about in-groups and out-groups. People who belong to your group are considerably good than the people who belong to the other group. This leads to a chasm between the two groups which only widens up as the prejudices become the norm. Over time, this can develop into unhealthy jingoism and hatred among groups.
- It is Constrictive– The world is a canvas of beautiful shades; stereotyping prevents you from enjoying these shades. According to Albert Einstein, “It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better.”
6.Assumptions hurt– Assuming what a person would be like before actually interacting with the person does not seem like a good idea. It is hurtful for the other person to be rejected because of the assumptions you form about him or her. Why believe someone is s loaf of dried bread when the person is a marshmallow?
It is a sixer and the ball of stereotyping has gone out of the field and let it be gone. The cheerleaders utter: Is the other person what you think her or him to be?