We live in a place where instead of having names we have categories, instead of given a chance we are judge, and instead of befriending who we wish to befriend, we have our friends handed to us from a list. I firmly believe that at the beginning of time, the world was not as biased as it has come to be today, but rather more accepting of the individual characteristics that were present, the same characteristics that we lack here in the 21st century.
All across the world, we grow up in different environments, in different belief systems, and with different strengths and weaknesses, but one thing remains, we grow up enclosed by stereotypes.
David Hume once said, Character is the result of a system of stereotyped principles. A person™s character starts from infancy and continues on past their death. Society today revolves around judgment, opinions, backgrounds, and stereotypes. Composed of more than 7 billion people in the world, it™s a struggle for anyone to establish their own individual characteristics because of the mentality that we have been surrounded with while growing up. Stepping out into the world, you are walking into the wonderful world of stereotypes. Across Earth, the stereotypes that are active today are to many than few.
Your environment is your dependent factor on how you live and operate day in and day out. Various environments exist all across the world and because each environment is different physically, economically, and socially, it then becomes classified, another word for stereotyped. When talking about your environment being stereotyped, I™m not talking about the third world countries, wealthy countries, class status or anything of that nature.
A common environment that has been stereotyped, even since the 1800s, is people that live in the south must be farmers, more commonly said in todays terms if you live in the south you must be a redneck. Ironically those stereotypes are not necessarily true, just because you live in the south doesn™t insist that your a farmer or redneck, but that is how we have been stereotyped for some amount of time now. Living in south Georgia for 18 years, I have experienced every southern stereotype that is around, from how many cows do you have in your backyard to you have a good quality education with your dialect. I am constantly questioned on my accent and the diction I choose. When first presented with these stereotypes I used to take offense, now I have grown accustomed and politely the environment in which I grew up. Other environments have stereotypes the affect the physical appearance of the citizens. The people who live in England are stereotyped with if your from England you have bad teeth. Where are the facts for that stereotype The answer is, there are none. Stereotypes are not based on facts, they are based on judgement, which happen constantly, and has yet to become morally correct.
Controversial issues that take place more often than stereotyped environments come from your religious belief system. According to the United States Constitution each person is entitle to their own religious beliefs. The religion itself is not the stereotype, its the judgement others from different religions establish.
I have been raised in a Roman Catholic home and church. Living in the south it has been a difficult struggle due to south Georgia is predominately southern baptist. Many times, especially in school Catholics are an easy target when it comes to joking on religion. Constantly Roman Catholics are reminded of their stereotypes Catholics worship Mary, If your Hispanic you must be Catholic and my personal favorite Catholics are alcoholics. Those are just three of the popular stereotypes we have. I hear these jokes everyday and it™s funny at first, but after they have been dwelled on for an amount of time, or when the joke then becomes a bash on MY religion, its no longer a game. Aside from the Catholic religion, Jews face All Jews are greedy, Muslims have the privilege of All Muslims are terrorists, and Christians are labeled All Christians are hypocrites. It™s easy to talk and mark other religions with what YOU think they believe, but is what you believe about others truthful Religious beliefs is an easy target to stereotype because everyone grows up with some belief in their home. We are taught the common stereotype at a young age, and because hearing it over and over it becomes embedded in our minds and is not easy to be changed.
Growing up in a world where stereotypes are everywhere, it is obvious to say that people are judged and put into categories based on strengths and weaknesses. Many face mental and physical challenges known as disabilities. The disabled individuals get mocked daily and constantly hear disabled cannot perform as many tasks as non-disabled. Being diagnosed at 8 years old with ADHD and in a family where 4 out of the 7 family members have ADHD, its™ a much different lifestyle than families where no disabilities are present. I know what it™s like living with ADHD, as far as other disabilities I cannot speak for. I have heard many say however Those with ADHD or ADD are cut a lot of slack and are babied too much, People with ADHD are immature, Living with ADHD or ADD is not any different than living without it, they just want to feel special. I will be the first one to tell you, those if us living with ADHD or ADD would give anything to not have that burden on us. We don™t enjoy being seen as treated differently/better than everyone else. Part of having ADHD/ADD, we are now forced to work TWICE as hard as someone with out this disability to complete even a simple task. In having this weakness, we don™t enjoy being told we act immature or that it is all an act. On the other side of the spectrum, ones that are gifted are still judged and stereotyped. If you happen to be good at working and fixing technology you have earned yourself the classic name of being a nerd. Also if thinking strategically your strong suit you too will get called a nerd. Living with disabilities or living without disabilities, you have a category, there is no longer equality. Society has taught us to place each individual in a group with those who are alike, and form an opinion on that group of individuals.
Look at the person to your left, now to your right, in front and behind, now think about the environment in which you think they lived in, what they believe and what you think they may be good at. Perfect, you just judged them, a natural process that you perform daily. By judging each individual you placed them in a category, they no longer have a name, now you see them as the doctor™s kid, the one who will never make anything of themselves,the rich one, the one who will go to Hell, or however you just judged them. Stereotyping is extremely hard to move away from because it is something you have been surrounded with from day one and its a process that will never cease to exist.
As Forest Whitaker once said Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them. It is sad to think that the equality our founding fathers worked so hard for is in nonexistent, rather your equality is based according to your characteristics and the way in which you live, your background, and the way you present yourself. Here in the Land of the Free we are seen as having it all, which in most cases I cannot argue with that statement; however looking from the bottom of the totem pole to the very top, each country across the world grows up confined by stereotypes.