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Stereotyping people SUCKS!


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I tell ya nothing gets under my skin more then seeing people stereotyping other people acting like their stereotyping is actual fact and not to be questioned because it simply is fact. Yeah RIGHT! I get so sick of seeing MI stereotypes in the media both onscreen for movies/television and in the sensationalistic news we get from the news media. Not all people with bipolar are murderers for goodness sake! Not all people with bipolar hallucinate! Yes some do but that does NOT mean every one of us does...

And then there's the autism stereotyping, that all people with autism are retarded or incapable of learning....Don't get me started on that one! And then there's the one about fat people, that all of us are lazy when that's so untrue! It's pissing me off to high heavens seeing it everywhere still and the people who do it really are doing us all as a society a disservice perpetuating these outdated and ignorant ways of percieving other people that they deem different.

There are too many stereotypes to go into but I recognize them for what they are and the widespread generalizations ignorant people make really piss me off big time. I needed to vent about this, thanks for listening....devlish.gif

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...And then there's the autism stereotyping, that all people with autism are...

Here we are, the "double take" paragraph on autism you so enjoyed yesterday...

Spot what's happening here, folks!

"When healthy people watch a film of moving triangles and a circle, they often imagine that the objects have social relationships

("The big triangle is helping the little triangle out of the square.").

When people with autism look at the same clip, they see independent objects.

("The small triangle and the large triangle are moving to the right. The square isn't moving.") "



Humans tend to use shortcuts, assumptions and approximations, for some historic reasons.

(Waiting around to see exactly what sort of giant thing with big teeth it is wasn't really a survival trait),

but in a more complicated world, these stereotypes can be misleading, hurtful and dangerous.

I've done it myself, to my own shame.

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... and then just occasionally the stereotype fits, and that can be just as annoying, if it's you.

Adult male with Asperger's, and a serious model railway enthusiast. How clichéd can you get?

And no, I'm not going to give it up to "break the image."

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It's human nature. Nothing can change it. People in general like to put everything into groups. There's a reason why we think that men (in general) act a certain way and women (in general) act another way. It's how the world works. We only have 24 hours a day to get on with our lives so if we had to stop and think about how every individual person we come across might act or react to something, we'd never get anything done! People *have* to assume that if most people with bipolar act a certain way then that's the way most people with bipolar are going to act. It's not the general public's fault that they've been misinformed by the media and perhaps other people's bad experiences (urban myths). The only way to dispell the stereotypes is to present another view...

I understand getting angry about it, I've been angry about it myself, but I'm also guilty of stereotyping people because that's just the way it is. I *know* that everyone is a unique snowflake, but I still expect snowflakes to be cold, and I still expect certain types of people to act and react a certain way until they prove me wrong. It's simply the way the human brain is wired.

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Yes, it might be human nature, but it still sucks...I mean it's really not the stuff directed at me that bothers me so much as the stuff directed at my kid. I have seen other kids run from him on playgrounds and they called him fat boy, monster and stupid...All because meds make him heavy not to mention he can't talk like the other kids can, what's sad is he thinks they are playing chase. It's hard to see that happening to your kid. ;)

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Yeah, it's natural to generalize. It can be pretty useful, too. Still, part of understanding our world is that each category can be broken down further and further. Many categories overlap, but not completely. Ultimately, you have to admit that each person is a distinct individual, and no two people are completely alike (not even identical twins, blah, blah, blah).

I recently attended a lecture on disabilities. The disabilities covered included problems with mobility, hearing impairments, visual impairment, learning disabilities, just about everything. Anyway, the presenter pointed out that people who used wheelchairs were significantly less likely to be asked by their medical providers about what any birth control that they used than patients with full use of their legs, spine, etc. Granted, there are certain physical hurtles that may make sex more difficult if you're physically disabled, but disability doesn't mean that you're completely uninterested in sex. (Hopefully, you're not being sexually abused, but that's another story.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Felt like bumping this thread...

The brain has a strong preference for simplicity.

Stereotyping is really the brain's way of being lazy. Rather than judge every situation uniquely, which is hard for the brain and chews up processing time, the brain likes to ascribe characteristics to things it perceives as groups.

Once the characteristics are ascribed, the brain will be far more partial to remembering evidence that supports the stereotype, and more easily forget stuff that contradicts the stereotype. It saves the brain work.

Something evolutionary psychologists point out that people who look or act diffferently-strangers-in the prehistoric times would have carried various viruses and bacteria. No one had developed sanitation yet. If they were from far enough away, you might have no immune defense against the strange people's cooties. Even if they had no mischief in mind, you still might die, just from their germs-in the water, soil or air.

So perceiving people as "different from me"and treating them with suspicion is something that might be tied into our genes.

Those of us who do not want to be bigots have to actively work against these tendencies, because the stereotypes saturate the culture and the media-and the damn things are contagious.


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A lot of sociological theories pretty much put people in a box.

Lazy people put others in boxes

Ignorant people think other people fit into boxes

Smart people joke about the boxes

Sarcastic people refer to themselves being in a box

The box = group if that doesnt make sense.

We are all guilty of it. I think it is human nature to draw comparisons between things, people. To associate things with other things. I think there are some groups where you could look at each person individually and note all their features and characteristics of their personality or illness and you would find a lot of similarities, for whatever reason. Progression of certain cancers, reaction to poisoning, symptoms of depression. While every person has slight differences... there ARE similarities, no matter how much we think it is unique to us. There is a trend, a commonality, a link.

However, the media and all the hype that surrounds our society these days turn this from being a descriptive, useful tool, and warp it into something that is just wrong. Like 'all bipolar people hallucinate'. or 'people with schizophrenia have split personalities'. 'All people with red hair are raging mad', etc etc.

You can get a general picture from a group if you KNOW the answers to the questions. Its studied, its known, and they have diagnostic tools because of the similarities... and we KNOW within those 'names' or groups there are still big differences. the name doesnt explain the person. (i.e. bipolar). But its impossible (IMHO) to understand the group or have even a general idea of that group if you have NO idea of what they are like in the first place. If you don't know anyone who is a goth, how could you really draw any conclusions from a tabloid newspaper? Its rumours, lies, misconceptions.

The opportunity to exaggerate in the media and in everyday conversation is taken up very frequently (and here i'm not exaggerating). Why don't we say some people with bipolar hallucinate? Why do we say ALL people with bipolar hallucinate? Why does the magazine say ALL men are liars when its just some?

Years ago i decided that people are inherently stupid. When these questions come up, and many, many others where i have a wtf? moment and wonder why people do things, i remind myself that people are stupid. It explains lots. Maybe almost everything!

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My father makes comments about ethnic groups like people are all the same. He thinks he knows everything and there is no one to correct him. My mom goes along with him, he has no friends. I don't know what he says at work. I see him as rarely as possible and don't engage him in that sort of conversation. My sister was surprised at the way he talked about the different nurses when he was hospitalized, but it sounded like him to me.

I guess that's more prejudice than just stereotyping? It sucks.

I'm sorry the kids are mean. When my son was in pre-school he scraped up his face. He's fine, but the kids called him "no face". Also, he has eczema and one time they were running from his rash. He thought of it as a game, but I thought they were being mean. He's not on meds, but he's overweight. He hasn't said anyone has teased him yet, but I can foresee that.

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