Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stereotypes

A very serious issue in society today is the issue of stereotypes. This is an issue that gets very little attention and is often quite misunderstood. A lot of stereotypes are out there today; I won't bother to go through all of them, but there are many. Now, a stereotype should not be confused with a racial slur, as is often the case; a racial slur is an ignorant remark made by a person who has no knowledge of what he or she is insulting. A stereotype is a remark made by a person taking into account the actions of a majority of a people and summarize it to include all of those people. As a Chinese, one I hear a lot is that all Chinese are fantastic in school, have parents like hawks, and love math. A lot of my friends like to make fun of these stereotypes, as they are pretty ridiculous. The truth is, however, these statements can be hurtful to a lot of different people. A common misconception is that stereotypes are good, like the one about Chinese people being good in school. Not all Chinese get fantastic grades, however, it's just a choice of those that do. Getting good grades has nothing to do with genes or family, but is just a personal choice to excel in this category. The stereotype hurts those that don't chose to to be good at school, because it tries to make them change their lifestyle. Stereotypes change normal people into jokes because they do or don't fit a preconceived notion of what they are supposed to be. Think before you speak, because you never know who is listening. The power of words is that they shape society, making it so that you can destroy a life with one sentence.

-Henry

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