Dumb jocks , Women don t belong in a professional setting, they belong in the kitchen , He must be a Jew, just look at his nose. Our society is based solely on face values where we tend to place someone in a category because of his or her actions. Prejudicial notations used to define members of a social or ethnic group are called stereotypes. We stereotype various groups of people, but none like women, different ethnic groups, and athletes.
We typically stereotype women on the job. Women normally are associated with jobs such as nurses, secretaries, and tailors. These are jobs in which most people would label as a tender loving care job, which requires a woman s touch. Women are rarely associated with the titles of a Doctor, Lawyer, or CEO of a company. On occasion, when women are given positions of power, they are viewed as being power hungry and male bashers. Male co-workers would be constantly put down by their superior, who in this case would be a woman, because the woman had to struggle through life trying to make it in a man s world, or so the stereotype says. In the home, women have certain household chores, that have been naturally assigned to them: washing dishes, laundry, dusting and cleaning, and taking care of the kids just to name a few. These chores and household duties have been deemed a woman s job since the beginning of time; the man would go out and hunt dinner and it would be the woman s duty to cook and prepare dinner. So, after all these years, it is still assumed that the same duties have carried through generations. It is a stereotype that cooking, cleaning, and raising children are women s work.
The most common stereotypes are those that are aimed towards different racial or ethnic groups. We often stereotype young black males as being involved in a gang because of the use of ghetto slang terms and the particular style and presentation of their clothes. The media constantly portrays most gang activity as a result from the inner city black community; however, they seldom discuss white and Asian gang activity. We also believe that most of the African Americans make up the largest group of people on welfare, when in reality; it is whites that are the largest group requiring public assistance. Caucasian athletes have stereotyped blacks as being a superior athlete and competitor. African Americans supposedly can jump higher and run faster then their fellow athletes. The viewing public would agree with the previous statement, because it seems like it is true when watching sporting competitions on television, but it is, nonetheless due to stereotypes.
Professional Basketball, Football, and Baseball players have been the victims of some harsh stereotypes in the past few years. Hearing the public stereotype professional athletes as being dumb is not uncommon. It is a misconception, to many people, that athletes are uneducated. The majority of professional athletes have been educated at well-known colleges and universities, before they ever made it into the professional teams. A popular misconception is that the educations they did earn were majors in areas such as Liberal Arts, or other general fields of study which would not have challenge an athlete s mental abilities. Another stereotype is that pro athletes received special treatment while in college; if an athlete needed a certain grade to remain eligible to play sports, then the faculty graded him or her easier than the rest of the class. Recently, possibly due to the media, the public viewed many professional athletes as being immune to rules, laws, and regulations. There have been incidents where athletes were let off the hook with a slap on the wrist, when a normal American citizen would have been locked up and
given a stiff sentence for the same crime. We say that it is because of the athletes fame and fortune that they were allowed to walk free, meanwhile, we forget that this may have been the individuals first offense.
Stereotypes are products of our own individual insecurities. They make us feel better about ourselves because we can point a finger at a person or a group. Because of stereotypes, we have become narrow minded and less willing to be friendly to people different from us. Stereotypes are just another product of our society, which focuses more on the insecurities of an individual instead of who a person really is. Sadly enough, stereotypes will be a part of modern society for many years to come. Athletes, women, and various ethnic groups will continue to suffer.