Friday, January 16, 2009

Everything was Stereotypical about the Stereotypes

The biggest problem (for me) with what we discussed regarding sterotypes was that it made me very uncomfortable. I don’t really like to talk about race. I think that Stephen Colbert had the right approach when he said that he can’t even see color so people should tell him if they are something other than while.

But when we were discussing the stereotypes of “Fat people” I couldn’t really sympathize. For someone who is black or for the Italian when they get classified, I at least feel compassion; people don’t have a say what color their skin is or where they are born. But when you are fat, that is a conscious decision. If people don’t want to be made fun of for their weight, they should stop supersizing their combo meals and take the stairs once in a while.

Also, when did it become taboo to group people into a specific generalization? I mean, we classify people into categories all the time and no one thinks anything about it. Utah Valley University even uses the color code test to classify people according to a personality test, and that is ACCEPTABLE! I don’t see the distinction. The FBI uses a classification system to find and catch serial killers and terrorists. That just happens to be a stereotype and we NEED it.

You know that not all stereotypes favor white men. It happens to be that when the FBI has a serial killer, they immediately assume that it is a white man between the ages of 25 and 45.

I’m very sorry, but when someone’s feelings get hurt because of a blond or fat joke, they should stop taking themselves to serious. If someone cracks a joke about an atheist around me, if it’s funny, I laugh (I just happen to be an atheist). Nothing can be sacred. Even the most hateful, disgusting, Neo-Nazi speech must be protected. Otherwise when the time comes for good people to speak up about true injustice, they won’t have the right to do so. The government will have taken the right of freedom of speech along with everything else we hold dear and take for granted.


  1. I disagree with fat people having a choice. There is genetics involved with obesity and some people cannot help it. Yes there are some people who are lazy, depressed and do not want to try. But there are those people who are trying everyday and it is a hard road.
    I do not feel uncomfortable talking about stereotypes becasue people make them everyday. They probably do not mean it in a derogatory way but it happens to everyone. I am sure you have been sterotyped as a white male going to college. That means someone has placed you in the category of being successful. That is not a bad thing but it is a stereotype.
    I would have to agree with your Stephen Colbert comment though. Everyone is equal in my eyes there is no color.

  2. You're addressing this in a really interesting way, and I think your comments about free speech are very important--I'd like to see how you could develop those ideas more. And, stereotypes as language, versus stereotypes as a cultural practice seem to me to be very different things? Can you see where I am coming from? Where do you think we disagree on this point, or do we? Does seeing cultural difference necessarily lead us into stereotyping?