What is your stereotype?

               Have you ever wondered if a well bred woman is, or has to be, a certain stereotype? The point of this blog is to discuss manners, mores, etiquette, and general keys for living a fulfilling, drama free, empathetic life. To be honest, the main point of it all is my musings on the kind of character needed to maintain and build the best life possible. But what kind of person could be well bred? Based on several of my previous articles, you may have already thought that this blog is keyed toward, or could only apply to, someone if they are:

Female
Married
Mother
Christian
Stay at home or work from home
Middle class
American

               But nothing could be further from the truth. Those are all external factors, and my blog focuses on character.

               Character is something to be had by everyone. No matter what the external factors of their life is. Most external factors we have very little control over, while character development is what can and should be nurtured. I had a few thoughts today about our society’s obsession with stereotypes. It used to be that a stereotype was what others assigned to a person. Today, with the increase of personalization online and the drive to fit into niche groups, the discussion on many introspective blogs has turned to stereotypes. “What stereotype am I, or what do I want to become? Am I appearing as a certain stereotype that I’d rather not be? Oh no, what should I do?”

               Truly, there is nothing you can do, because a stereotype is not a t-shirt or a name tag or even an inner characteristic that can be cultivated. A stereotype is a box that other people put you in, based on their perceptions of your choices, lifestyle, and worth. And a sensible person knows that unless people know her intimately, they do not have enough information to make accurate assumptions about her in the form of a stereotype. Using a stereotype to determine one’s style or niche in the world is like using a car’s paint color and rim style to determine what kind of oil it needs. External factors do not denote internal ones, and if there is any lesson we should have taken away from the age of the Internet it is that one. So the constant time spent worrying about what group to fit into or out of or avoid based on stereotype and the efforts made to change one’s stereotype to others is futile because you can never change another’s perceptions if their mind is made up. Also, it is best not to let the opinions of others dictate our actions because we each only get one life and we should take full responsibility for the choices and preferences therein instead of doing things because we fear how others might think.

               For many years I have struggled with not wanting someone else to put me in a box. Not to be “that person,” “that woman,” “that mother,” “that customer.” We all dislike the judging, the jumping to conclusions, the fact that men seem to always get better customer service than women, whites better than minorities, etc. We don’t like to be treated like we’re dumb, or smart, or rich, or poor when the person doing so has no clue about us and our lives. But I have concluded it simply isn’t worth trying to project a certain stereotype. After all, that is not determined by us. It will always be what another decides. The only way to fight it is for us to not project stereotypes onto others. If everyone did that, society would win.

P.S. …I may be easing up on my no contractions habit on the blog…I’m afraid I was starting to sound like a robot, and that’s one stereotype I definitely wish to avoid 😉

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s