(The following is a guest post by Three)
In light of recent global events, as well as various local and personal experiences, I guess it seems that one rotten apple stinks up the entire basket. At least that’s how the world seems to look at things. The stereotyping effect.
And who do we have to thank for this highly simplified categorization system? The media? Kind of unfair if they get all the credit. After all, it’s kind of unfair to blame the first domino for the fall of the rest. Nobody asked the other dominoes to lean too much on the first, or the ones that followed. They could always chose to build their own separate independent formations, no?
People are not dominoes. (At least, that’s what I still would like to believe.)
People can choose.
It’s one of the many reasons why God gave people brains, for those of you who believe in God. For those who don’t, at least you believe in brains, I hope.
But people ARE rather lazy beings too. Even using 2-4% of the brain can be a laborious task to some. And that’s where facilities that ease our daily thinking tasks come into play. (Philip K. Dick, God bless his soul, often highlighted this in his brilliant works.)
Is it really easier to think that all uneducated people are “stupid”, or all “stupid” people are uneducated; that all Asians are communists, or all communists are Asian; that all Muslims are terrorists, or all terrorists are Muslims; that all females are for Twilight, or Twilight is for all females; that all those who practice abstinence are religious, or all religious people practice abstinence; that all Manchester United fans are gay, or all gays are Manchester United fans; that all Harvard-bred entrepreneurs are billionaires, or all billionaires are Harvard-bred entrepreneurs; that all Star Wars fans are nerds with no sex life, or all nerds with no sex life are Star Wars fans; that all female Star Wars fans are lesbians?!
But let’s look at it another way:
On the other hand, one can’t totally place the blame on the rotten apples mentality, or the responsibility of spreading such ideas on the media entirely. Because the way the world sees it (from the common sources one sees the world with), it’s not just ONE rotten apple. Apparently, it’s quite a big bunch; sad to say, a lot of (bad) examples as hard evidence for the final verdict: the same crimes by the same “bunch” of people; the same genre preference by the same “target group”; the same predictable behaviour by the same “species”… and so on.
It’s just disappointing when it starts to affect the lives of those ‘atypical’ ones who happen to fall into the prescribed category by matter of no choice. Not their own, at least.
So yeah, a lot of uneducated people behave like morons, a lot of Asians are Chinese, a lot of people called Muslims blow up stuff, a lot of females are crazy Twilight fangirls, a lot of Star Wars fans are nerds who hardly/never get laid… STILL it would be *nice* to bear in mind that not ALL who fall into the category may possess those popularized stereotyped properties. (As it should be quite obvious by now, I myself happen to be a victim of such unfair stereotyping – in fact I fall into more than one of these categories – and hence the ranting.)
But guess it’s just easier to follow the label, save oneself the time and trouble of getting to know the other personally, regardless of how the label might affect or offend the other. After all, there’s quite a chance those grapes might just be sour like the rest of them, right?
About the author
Sitie F. or preferably known by the Internet nickname THREE, is a 27-year-old difficult-to-classify-under-one-particular-ethnicity Malaysian prospective grad student awaiting approval of her Masters degree application (otherwise unemployed at the time of this posting), whose random ramblings and rantings are mostly physiologically ‘inspired’ (as in mood swings and PMS). A fan of anything science-fiction/fantasy and gothic/industrial rock music, with a keen academic interest in psychology and the cognitive neurosciences, THREE aims to bring no major changes to the world with her writings despite her often-misplaced revolutionist thinking, and stubborn fashion sense. Her favourite book is “Simulacra” by Philip K. Dick, whom she sometimes believes might be haunting and even possessing her. But that is probably a delusion.
Personal blog: (contains non-English material)