Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Are 'good' stereotypes still 'bad'?

Asked by Blackberry (31762points) August 16th, 2010

Like if we generalize women and say most of them are smart and compassionate. Is that still ‘wrong’? What do you think?

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12 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I believe so – I can’t tell you how many times in all my race, gender, diversity trainings, people have said “Just because I’m Asian doesn’t mean I’m good in Math – good stereotypes pigeonhole me as well”. When it comes to care feminism, for example, (feminism that believes plugging into women’s ‘inherent’ characteristics of compassion and caring for others will solve all the world’s problems), I still disagree because there is no reason men are automatically violent and women automatically anti-violent, in my opinion. So I stay away from all absolutes and see all cultures and behaviors through a historical, sociological lens.

Sarcasm's avatar

It sets unnecessary standards for Asians to excel in math, and Black people to excel in basketball.
For those who don’t fit the mold, they seem outcast.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yes because then, for example, any Asian who isn’t good at math is seen as unnatural and damaged instead of normal.

stardust's avatar

Yes. I don’t believe any stereotype to have a positive outcome. There are no absolutes when it comes to people.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Stereotypes are group related generalizations.

All generalizations are wrong, including this one!

These falsely shape our expectations about people and whether they are positive or negative they are usually incorrect and harmful.

Blackberry's avatar

Ahh I see, I agree. :)

josie's avatar

Since human beings are autonomous individuals, and individually subject to moral judgement, generalizations should be avoided. That being said, I suspect that the same people who resent negative generalizations probably (secretly) appreciate positive generalizations. Can’t prove that of course, but I would bet on it.

Pandora's avatar

Yeah, like all latinos are suppose to be able to make burritos and love hot spices.
Alex, I will take, latinos for hot sex for $1000. LOL (ok one stereo type I can’t see being really bad.)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

You mean all mother -in-laws aren’t ..wacky?

Trillian's avatar

One cannot ever get entirely get away frm stereotyoes and generalizations. This is simply human nature. We have an inborn need to categoize and bring order to chaos. I think that as long as we are aware of this we can make good decisions and be rational.

SundayKittens's avatar

GQ! I wonder this myself when talking to my students about stereotypes and disrespectful language.
But I’d say yes, for the same reasons mentioned. It’s still the idea that a certain group is supposed to or has to be a certain way.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yes, the “good” stereotypes are often bad. Serial killer Ted Bundy lured many of his victims into a sense of security due to his clean-cut looks, ability to seem sincere, and sometimes for showing a false need for assistance due to a fake injury. Even the police overlooked the leads that were called in because of his appearance during the hippie era and the fact that he was a law student.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to watch A Class Divided. It is a documentary about a grade school teacher who conducted an, albeit cruel, experiment on her students on good vs. bad stereotypes. I was happy to see that they did a follow-up session with them once they became adults.

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