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Stereotypes

  • We can no longer oversimplify. We can no longer build lazy and false stereotypes: Americans are like this, Russians are like that, a Jew behaves in such a way, a Negro thinks in a different way. The lazy generalities — 'You know how women are ... Isn't that just like a man?' The world cannot be understood from a single point of view.

  • Labeling makes the invisible visible, but it's limiting. Categories are the enemy of connecting. Link, don't rank.

  • I have always felt one of the things dance should do — its business being so clearly physical — is challenge the culture's gender stereotypes.

  • Why is it that if you happen to be black and over six feet tall, everybody thinks you supposed to play basketball or football?

  • Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts.

  • Stereotypes fall in the face of humanity. We human beings are best understood one at a time.

  • Ethnic stereotypes are misshapen pearls, sometimes with a sandy grain of truth at their center. ... but they ignore complexity, change, and individuality.

  • Women writers of all people should know better than to pigeonhole women, put them in little groups, the smart one, the sweet one.

  • We must get rid of the habit of classing all women together politically and thinking of the 'woman's vote' as one and indivisible.

    • Laura Ingalls Wilder,
    • 1919, in Stephen W. Hines, ed., Little House in the Ozarks: A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler, The Rediscovered Writings ()
  • ... the habit of generalizing from one particular, that mainstay of the cheap and obvious essayist, has rooted many fictions in the public eye. Nothing, for example can blot from my memory the profound, searching, and exhaustive analysis of a great nation which I learned in my small geography when I was a child, namely, 'The French are a gay and polite people fond of dancing and light wines.'

  • Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.

  • No, I don't know where you can get peyote. / No, I don't know where you can get Navajo rugs real cheap. / No, I didn't make this. I bought it at Bloomingdales. / Thank you. I like your hair too. / ... / This ain't no stoic look. / This is my face.

    • Diane Burns,
    • "Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question," in Joseph Bruchac, ed., Songs From This Earth on Turtle's Back ()
  • He might be a man to whom any woman out of bed was a displaced person ...

  • Stages of life are artifacts. Adolescence is a useful contrivance, midlife is a moving target, senior citizens are an interest group, and tweenhood is just plain made up.

  • The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: 'It's a girl.'

  • In the common esteem, not only are the only good aboriginals dead ones, but all aboriginals are either sacred or contemptible according to the length of time they have been dead.

  • We, all of us, have developed different ways of coping with the stereotyping of our group and of ourselves.

  • As a first-generation 'Asian American woman,' for one thing, I knew there was no such thing as an 'Asian American woman.' Within this homogenizing labeling of an exotica, I knew there were entire racial/national/cultural/sexual-preferenced groups, many of whom find each other as alien as mainstream America apparently finds us.

    • Shirley Geok-lin Lim,
    • "A Dazzling Quilt," in Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Margarita Donnelly, eds., The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology ()
  • [On stereotyping:] It's the mind's way of processing a lot of information quickly. If we had to sort through every bit of data before making a decision, most folks would still be going out the front door when it was time to come home for the night.

  • If a man does something silly, people say, 'Isn't he silly?' If a woman does something silly, people say, 'Aren't women silly?'

  • There is nothing in the education of the average non-scientific human being to discourage him from the habit of generalizing from little or no evidence, and worse still and far more important, nothing to discourage him from the habit of starting with a generalization and ending up with the individual, instead of the other way round.

  • There is little reason left for society to respect women as it once did. Women get knocked up. They don't marry. They have abortions. They go to bars. They get knocked up again.

  • ... we always are thinking of a woman when we generalize about women.

  • Labels are for filing, labels are for clothing, labels are not for people.

  • The holder of a stereotype will accept any information, no matter how improbable, which reinforces the image. Conversely, the holder will discard as irrelevant any data which does not confirm the stereotype.

    • Marsha J. Hamilton,
    • in Joanna Kadi, ed., Food for Our Grandmothers: Writings by Arab-American and Arab-Canadian Feminists ()
  • The world does not willingly admit of complete beings; rather it draws up categories, insists upon types. This is more convenient; as soon as you get one end of a thing you get all; class it, number it, off-hand; the catalogue will not get revised.

  • It's great to be a blonde. With low expectations it's very easy to surprise people