General discussion


Rant of The Week - Stereotyping (06/04/0

By tcavadias Staff ·
They say the third time is the charm, so here we are again for the third week in a row of listening to me rant, whine, stomp my little foot and once again give my feeble opinion (as little as that might be) :-)

Stereotyping... What exactly is "Stereotyping"? Wikipedia states:

"A stereotype is a simplified and/or standardized conception or image with specific meaning, often held in common by people about another group. A stereotype can be a conventional and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image, based on the assumption that there are attributes that members of the other group hold in common. Stereotypes are sometimes formed by a previous illusory correlation, a false association between two variables that are loosely if at all correlated. Stereotypes may be positive or negative in tone. They are typically generalizations based on minimal or limited knowledge about a group to which the person doing the stereotyping does not belong. Persons may be grouped based on racial group, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or any number of other categories."

I'm sure each of you at one time or another have found yourself being negatively stereotyped. Or at the very least knows someone who has been one time or another. This can leave you feeling unfairly judged, as the person doing it is making an assumption (and we all know what it means when one "assumes")

Whether it's because of your sex, race, the clothes you wear, how you style your hair (or the color of your hair), where you come from, the accent you have, etc... You find yourself on the end of being stereotyped. Sometimes though, you are the person who is doing the stereotyping. I myself have been found guilty of doing just such.

While there are positive stereotypes, this rant is based on the negatives associated with stereotyping folks whom you have no knowledge of whats so ever.

You see the guy riding his Harley all tattooed out, wearing leather and folks think - he must be a hell raiser. You see the teen-ager with the spiked hair with piercings covering their body and folks think - he's a druggie going no where in life. You see the homeless person on the street and folks think - drugs or alcohol got him where he's at. You see the lady walking down the street in a little short skirt and folks think - she's easy.

That Harley rider could be a brain surgeon who never drinks/parties, helps out everyone, got the tattoos because he likes them and wears the leather for safety. That teen-ager could be the nicest, kindest person who is extremely responsible and uses the spiked hair and piercings for nothing more than expressing himself. That homeless person could be someone who lost their job through no fault of their own and is just trying to get back on their feet. That lady walking down the street may have just lost 100 pounds and just wants to show it off.

Now these are just small examples. There are others. Without knowing all the facts we base the picture on a whole - lumping everyone into a single imagine we have formed over the years.

I found myself at the end of just such negative stereotyping recently. The assumption was based on the fact I'm female. Not just any female, but a blond female (and we've heard all the blond jokes, but trust me, some of us do have brains).

Any way onto my story and rant...

My sound card on my computer finally went to see the big sound card in the sky. Not wanting to miss listening to TROLOV, I went out to Best Buy to buy me a new one. While browsing the different varieties and trying to decide which one I prefered, a salesman walked over to me.

"Ma'am, can I help you?"

Yes, I'm trying to decide which sound card will work best for my needs. I mainly listen to music, podcasts and occasionally play games. My old sound card was a Sound Blaster Audigy 2. I'm leaning toward the Sound Blaster X-fi Titanium.

"Ma'am, is your husband here?"

My husband? Yes, he's on the other side of the store. Why?

"How about if we go and get him?"

Ok.. (so I walk away and get my husband and bring him back)

Here's my husband. Now can you tell me more about the Sound Blaster X-fi Titanium?

Now this is the point I get ticked, this man turns to my husband ignoring me completely and asks, "What kind of system do you have, what is the main purpose you use this computer for, and how much do you want to spend?"

At which point my husband looks the man squarely in the eyes and goes, "What are you asking me for? She's the one who fixes all the computers in the house, she's the one who set up our networking system and besides that she's the one who handles the money. Ask her, I know nothing about computers except how to check email."

Now the guy turns back to me red-faced and asks, "Ma'am, how can I help you?"

At which I responded - You can't. And walked away.

Now while the above is minor, this gentleman made the assumption that as a female I would not know anything about computers and would need the assistance of my husband. If I needed my husband's assistance, I would have asked my husband to begin with and not asked for the opinion of someone who works in the store.

This isn't the first time I've encountered such assumptions. I also have encountered them when I need car repairs or heaven forbid I just need the part. If, my husband goes in, no problem, I go in and I get asked 15 million questions.

It infuriates me to no end when someone makes an assumption without knowledge of who I am. The customer service gentleman could have easily just asked me some questions before forming his opinion. This would have given him the knowledge that he needed to know if I at least somewhat knew something about computers.

So have you ever found yourself at the end of negative stereotyping? If so, what was it and how did you handle it?

Do you think its fair for folks to be placed in labels or certain groups as a whole? What can we do to stop the negativity this can cause?

-Tammy :-)

PS: I ended up buying the Sound Blaster X-fi Xtreme Gamer as for me I found it to have a much better sound quality than the Sound Blaster X-fi Audio.

Edited for typos Not my fault though, my religion made me do it

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

White collar for some, JD

by JamesRL In reply to uhhh, isn't IT considered ...

Maybe a pink collar for you ...


Collapse -

Why James....

by jdclyde In reply to White collar for some, JD

have you been in my closet?

Collapse -

Only white collar here...

by tcavadias Staff In reply to uhhh, isn't IT considered ...

..is the one on the "Father" down the road.

Some IT can be white collar, but not for this gal. I do own a white collar though, got it at Good Will

It's rare for me to buy labels, when I do its normally off a clearance rack, thrift store rack or a yard sale deal. I tend to buy clothes I like, not clothes featured in a magazine as the style of the year. Summertime is my favorite time of year - why? - because that means - Yard Sales!! yeaaaaaaaah!!!

As mentioned in the Gas Price thread we had going on, I'm a stock piler - what that means is - I tend to buy between 6-8 Sunday newspapers depending on what coupons there are in them (I always get my newspapers in pairs), I take them coupons and when I see something on sale then and only then do I stock up (normally at the store that doubles my coupons), this allows me to save money over the long haul by stocking up until the next time the same things go on sale. Items tend to rotate - like one month you'll see cleaning supplies/beauty items/paper products on sale, the next week/month it changes to say cereal/dairy/, and the cycle continues. In a lot of cases with the doubling of coupons on a sale priced item (I love the buy one get one free stuff, thats the biggest savers) I usually either end up with the item for free, or darn close to it.

For those in the US who live near a CVS and buy toothpaste, toothbrushes, deoderant, mouth wash... you are throwing money out the window - this store does this stuff free every month. Use the right coupons you not only get the free stuff free but can make money off them freebies. (Note my profile says I'm a coupon fantic - which I am). Last night for example I bought 8 Dawn's, 4 8-roll packs of Bounty paper towels, 6 Oral B toothbrushes, 3 Listerine Mouth washes, 3 Chex mix snack packs, 3 packages of band-aids, 1 12 pack diet coke, 1 bag of hersey kisses, 4 febreeze air freshners and 3 pencils - I paid 2 cents for them after my coupons.

My coupons and style of shopping normally leaves me only spending 50-100 a week max for a family of 5 with 2 dogs to include meat and cleaning supplies. I also have enough of a stock pile to last me for 3-4 months if I stopped buying any food/meat/cleaning supplies. Milk,eggs and bread would be all I'd need to buy.

I'm frugal and cheap :-) But with gas prices eating up a good part of income, that cheapness pays big time.

I also only go out to eat to places I have a coupon for I love http://restaurant.com/ they send me emails that let me save an extra 60% off and of course I buy them entertainment books that have coupons in them.

The one credit card I do owe some on, has no interest at the moment. But it will be paid off by end of year.

But back to the blue collar (love how I get side tracked?) - My husband is an electrician working shift work in a Papermill (CaptBilly you should know which Papermill, we only got one), he's very blue collar (with a little red around the neck) and I like that just fine

-Tammy :-)

Collapse -

If you can do it without having a degree, it's not 'white collar'

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to uhhh, isn't IT considered ...

Welcome to the tribe.

Collapse -

In this day and age...

by tcavadias Staff In reply to If you can do it without ...

a lot of jobs require degrees even those that one could do without it (learning by experience can give you more than some degrees ever could).

I find it funny (and not ha-ha funny), that a lot of business will pass up someone who has tons of hands-on experience in a certain area simply because they want someone with a "degree". This someone can be someone who has that piece of paper but no real hands on experience. Than that same company doesn't understand why things aren't working the way they want it to. Hello???

Now I can understand for certain areas that should have a degree - the medical field is one of them. Legal is another.

But what do I know I'm a pink collar worker

-Tammy :-)

Collapse -


by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to If you can do it without ...

the expression came about initially due to the type of clothing a person wore at work, then as a distinction between clerical and managerial vs. manufacturing. Didn't have diddly to do with acquiring that sheepskin.


Collapse -

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

by $$$$$$$$$$ In reply to If you can do it without ...

If you can do it without a shovel or a hair net, it might be

If you need a college degree, it still might pay like ditch-

Collapse -

Ditch digging can pay well

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to If you can do it without ...

Or it did until the illegals started doing it.

I've done real blue-collar work in my day.

Lost a piece of my finger to it too.

Collapse -


by TonytheTiger In reply to uhhh, isn't IT considered ...

I wired a construction trailer... the underneath... most of the time crawling through several inches of mud! My collar didn't stay white for long :)

Collapse -


by JamesRL In reply to Blue collar and proud of ...

I'm a universty educated manager, so I can hardly claim blue collar status.

But my father certainly was Blue collar. And some of my brothers are as well. One makes more than me as a tradesperson. Growing up, I was a farm labourer and worked at a convenience store to save up for university. I was the first in my immediate family to go to university, though I have an uncle with a masters degree (and 7 uncles that never went past high school).

I've got some CC debt, but I have more equity in my house than I owe, I make more than the minimum payments.

You did well on your Jeep. BTW my GM discount, given to suppliers is 4% above invoice, so 3% is pretty good. Don't feel sorry for your dealer though, its quite possible he got a hidden incentive - in the trade we call it junk in the trunk - where they got a bonus for buying it. Some of these can be thousands of dollars. So you can find out what the dealer would pay if there were no direct to dealer incentives, but not the actual cost - its tricky that way. Still, 3% is good bargaining.

I do not buy used clothes, but my wife buys some them for the kids - they outgrow most clothes well before they wear them out. I do shop at bargain places for clothes - Sears warehouse, Costco etc. I do most of the purhcases for the family and I am very thrifty.

I dont' buy new cars. The depreciation is so great that a 2 year old cars costs almost half of its value new, so thats the best route for me - something with a couple of years of factory warranty left. I drove couple hundred miles to get the model I wanted at the price I wanted, and I made them take my crappy broken down old car in trade sight unseen, and knock $1500 off the asking price.

Used cars are a little easier to price. :)

I am proud of having been unemployed, and not having to ask any relatives for help and not missing a mortgage or credit card payment. I did a bathroom reno during that time, and paid for the material in cash. My family did help with the labor.


Related Discussions

Related Forums