Interstellar Adventures

February 18, 2007

Called Out

Filed under: Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 4:33 pm

My nice, sweet little bl*g recently received a comment on an old post. And the comment is one that ever-so-briefly steamed me. I do not set out to offend, but I’m sure that I can from time to time. It’s not intentional. I like to get along with people. Make friends, not enemies, that kind of thing. But when I am accused of (or given credit for) being the reason a stereotype exists, I’m going to have to correct that misconception.

ster·e·o·type [ster-ee-uh-tahyp] noun, verb, -typed, -typ·ing, noun Sociology.

– a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group: The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.

ar·che·type [ahr-ki-tahyp] –noun

– In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic image that is derived from the past collective experience of humanity and is present in the unconscious of the individual.

Stereotypes exist because people of a collective culture exhibit them. They do not exist because I observe them. I did not define the stereotype of ‘Latino gang-banger’. But when I see tear-drop tattoos, shaved heads, white K-Swiss tennis shoes with knee-high white socks, a white sleeveless t-shirt (also known as a wife-beater), and long blue jean shorts, that is a ‘look’ associated with that stereotype. Add in a flannel shirt buttoned at the top button only, and the ensemble is complete.

In order to identify with a particular culture or group, people create signs, symbols, fashions, etc. to call their own. They want their appearance to signify “I belong to this group and you can tell by the way I wear my hair and the clothes and shoes and tattoos that I choose.” They create their owns archetypes. Black culture does the same thing through fashion and music. “Goth Kids” do the same thing through fasion and music. People feel the need to belong. Stereotypes and archetypes exist because people give them life. They create them on purpose. They promote them through fashion, music, and culture. They live them.

Adam, you give me entirely too much credit for having the power to create, promote, assign and maintain “Stereotypes” among people. People like you like you scream ‘stereotype’ and ‘hater’ because you have nothing better to do. You want to create an arguement, but you have no arguement. Introspection is too painful, so you turn it on others. “OH yeah, well you…” fill in the blank.

And the fact that Nick and I were the only white people in the place…is exactly that. A FACT. We were. And we got looks and stares and attention. It wasn’t said but it was implied: “Hey Whitey…what are you doing in OUR place.” Welcomed and accepted? No, tolerated is the word I would use. I wonder what stereotypes were associated with us by the other patrons of Chicos? Because you KNOW they did.

Had I said they were bad people because of their ‘stereotypical’ appearance, that would have been one thing. I didn’t make any judgements on their character. Instead I described the scene in which I found myself and assigned it to an archetype with which I had experience.

Stereotypes will exist until we all end up wearing beige pant suits, we have the same hair, eye, and skin color, we all speak with the same language in the same tone, we all live in the same kind of house, have the same kind of car and on and on and on…in other words, always.

So, Adam, please. If you want to have a debate that’s fine. But only with a statement that makes sense. You can’t use the Chewbacca defense on me.

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