I was on Tumblr the other day (a regular occurrence) and I saw something that struck a very particular chord with me. It was about stereotyping girls, I obviously saw a chance to add to it with the false boy stereotypes but I feel the need to address the matter in another setting. False stereotyping is a big and important subject to me from the experiences I had at school. I don’t know if it is the same with every school, so I’ll use mine as an example. When I was a student, you where put into groups of varying skill or development, I wrongly thought that this meant we were going to be taught appropriate material and at the appropriate speed for your ability. That was the idea behind it anyway, but all it seemed to tell the Teachers was: these students are stupid, these are smart. Teachers would pick on us, choose favourites and assume that all of us where learning without actually checking up on us. Of course, some of us weren’t learning but because of the groups we were in, if we were doing what was required of us then to the teachers eyes, we were learning.
But of course, there are differences between learning and writing down facts and figures. The teachers did not know this vital information and so where taking part in the mos cruel but subtle form of false stereotyping I have ever been caught up in. “Assuming” is essentially the same as stereotyping, you look at a group of people, or one person and think they are doing something, or are something that they aren’t. It’s a horrible experience.
There’s a famous picture on Tumblr of someone who would be called “punk” leaning down to a child who is feeling the spikes on his shoulder pads. This is an excellent example of what I’m talking about. Punk is just a style, along with Emo, Goth, Prep, ect. and when we see these people we immediately have what we think the person will do in our heads. We stay away from them, judge them or mock them when inside they are what is to be considered ‘normal’. I have it a lot with my religion as a lot of people think I am a “bible basher” or that I practice polygamy or that I live like a monk, all of which are completely wrong.
This is why I like events that I can go to like conventions, where you can be with a bunch of individuals and not just a bunch of people. Everyone understands each other, but they don’t judge, or assume. They get to know you for who you are and not what you are. It’ a shame really, because this is what the world should be like, but we haven’t got there yet.