The Post you can't pigenhole
6:37 PM | Author: Rambunctious WhipperSnapper
How much do we actually know someone? Can we even get to know someone?

We all have people in our lives who we love, who we cherish and somewhere in our subconscious we peg them down for some stereotypical role. We might do it without it ringing a bell in but I think most humans tend to do that. Or maybe it's me. Who knows?

Then suddenly they turn around and say something or an event takes place and they surprise you with their reaction and suddenly you see them with new light. You suddenly realize that you hardly know who they are.

So that begs the question, how much do we actually know the people we know?
Do we really know everything there is to know about them or do we just get to know only what they want us to know? Or is it our fault that we presume them to be a certain why based on their previous behavior?

Don't we in some way or the other, stereotype people? Yes, most of us do that. In a very subconscious way. And others do that to us to.

Fat people are fat because they overeat.

Or women who meet men to who they are not married to without explicit written consent from their husband are promiscuous.

Gay men are just waiting to pounce upon straight people who have no idea of what's going to hit them.

Two people of the opposite sex are talking. OhmyfuckingGod, they must be doing each other.

Oh, he's Indian, he must love cricket, melodramatic movies and eating with his own hands.

Oh she's Indian, she must love wearing Sarees, making babies and eating with her own hands.

Oh, that dude looks Oriental, must be Chinese.

Oh he's Mexican, must be an illegal immigrant working on someone's garden.

Oh look, she's white, must be easy.

Oh, she said no to me. Must be a lesbian.

Oh, he said no to me. Must be gay ..
(well, maybe she was right in my case) ...

You get the idea ....

Yes, most of us do that. Without blinking an eyelid. (When I say most of us, I'm generalizing. I do not mean you OR me. Specially me. Now don't judge. This post is supposed to be anti-judging. I know, I know, hypocrite. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.)

If we meet someone who seems to have a common attribute with someone else, we do fill in the rest of the boxes based on the characteristics of other people we met.

A lot to do with this factor is how certain types of people are represented in the media.

For example, if we look at how the Indian media portrays Gay people, it is far, far away from reality. In fact, they make it appear to be okay to make fun of someone because of their sexual orientation. Not that the American media is absolved of this. I mean the Gay jokes made by Jay Leno and Lettermen are cringe worthy, as apparent from the recent "My Gayest look" controversy.

Maybe what I'm trying to say is that looking at things objectively, there is a need to shun conventional wisdom and look at each person individually.

Not every Gay guy is like the cast of Will & Grace nor is any woman easy because of her color and not all Mexicans come to the US illegally.

The opinion we form of a person, says volumes about who we are.

And no, I'm not trying to be preachy here. Just bouncing of some thoughts.

After all, we need to tell ourselves, "I am unique. Just like everyone else."
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16 Voices heard in WhipperSnapperville:

On July 4, 2008 at 9:55 PM , chandni said...

cheers to that thought! very well said.

given the examples u mention, I must be eating a lot, must be promiscuous and must eat with my hands ( which I do by the way!)

:D

 
On July 4, 2008 at 10:36 PM , unsungpsalm said...

You should write for a newspaper. No really, it's not fair that only a few so many of us get to read what you have to say. It should be broadcasted all over the internet. You are amongst the most talented writers I have known (if not the most talented), period.


On the subject matter, yes it is horrid to stereotype. But I disagree in parts. It may seem simply convenient to refer to stereotypes, but one can be deciphered on the basis of them. Is each one a complete individual? I beseech you to read a few Miss Marple stories.

Do you recall leaving a comment on my post saying that I'm a thinner, more technical version of you? And someone else said so too? What does that imply, really?

 
On July 4, 2008 at 10:40 PM , pepe M. said...

and the funny thing is they call me jacky chan here in india...yuck! im a lot prettier than him and i despise all his movies too :) i know i know, i myself sometimes tend to stereotype people... like having this sexual fantasy towards black guys :)

love the entry!

 
On July 5, 2008 at 2:08 AM , Neha said...

Good words!! As an Indian in Italy, i've been stereotyped MANY a time, but its something you just tend to get used to I guess. I used to get really hot and bothered about it...now I just relegate it to their ignorance!

Anyway...nicely written!

 
On July 5, 2008 at 2:36 AM , flygye12 said...

i love stereotypes. they seem to make life easier. i can always dig deeper if i care about someone (ne1 get what i mean? if i read this i won't. LOL )

 
On July 5, 2008 at 2:49 AM , Swats said...

I guess v all r opinionated n get judgmental at some level..
hw much ever v’d like 2 deny tht…

v luv 2 typecast n jump 2 conclusions..v often have pre conceived notions abt ppl, things n events..and wht u believe is wht u get

judging ppl creates a great deal of inner turmoil tho..

and ‘v’ includes all of ‘us’

 
On July 5, 2008 at 8:58 AM , Crazy Sam said...

A very impressive post. Congrats! This one gets added to 'Favs From Blogosphere' list and would be proudly linked from my page.

 
On July 5, 2008 at 5:18 PM , Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

chandni: stop think ur fat woman .. when u stand next to me you look practically malnutritioned ...
and wen i wrote about the promiscuous example, i was thinking of u ...:p...

not that i'm implying something ...

unsung: please, don't laden us with such praise because I already think too highly of myself .... the world cannot handle me with more of an inflated ego ....

and i now realize how utterly dumb i sounded when i wrote that ... as i said, i'm guilty of stereotyping too ...

pepe: jackie chan?? ... u look nothing like him ... ure much more purty and definitely a 1000 times better looking than him ..

and i know exactly why you love african-americans .... :P ...

neha: brave girl ... i've heard from a lot of nri's stories about being stereotyped and being called various ethnic names .... it's a marvel what you guys put up with .... and ure right, it only gets to you if you let it bother you ... if someone does that to me, i always do the same thing to them ..:P ..

flyguy:hehe .. i knw wat u mean ..
but ten we need to knw who do u stereotype .. :P ...

swats: i agree ... almost everyone stereotypes some sort of ppl everyday without even realizing it ...

sam: yay!! i finally enter the "Crazy Sam Hall of Fame" ... thank you ... :) ...

 
On July 5, 2008 at 5:21 PM , Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

unsung, thanks btw .... :P

 
On July 6, 2008 at 4:07 AM , unsungpsalm said...

I truly meant it :)

You say you felt "utterly dumb" when you wrote that.
So that means it was some other part of you that thinks on those lines... Introduce us to him!

 
On July 6, 2008 at 3:55 PM , Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

what i meant was how you comment made me realize how utterly dumb I sounded when i wrote that. Very presumptuous of me. My bad. Sorry you had to go through all that.

You will meet him, on these pages ... :P ...

 
On July 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM , unsungpsalm said...

It was entirely in your right to be! Why do you keep apologising? I can edit out your apologies in my own blog, but not here. Do stop doing that.

 
On July 7, 2008 at 12:18 AM , Dark Knight said...

You are right. We need to remind ourselves that I am unique just like everyone else. But sometimes it too doesn't work. :(

 
On July 7, 2008 at 3:44 PM , Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

unsung, what i meant was that it was wrong of me to assume that you are in any way like me (except in liking purty boys) .... i was stereotyping you in the "people who are like me" demographic ....

and i wasn't apologizing apologizing .. it was more of a like .... i am sorry to have dropped this warm cup of coffee on your lap type of apologizing .... :P ...


dark knight .. when it doesn't work we need to insist harder .. with more conviction ... :D ...

 
On October 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM , blue shadow said...

I'm new to this blog and feeling very sorry that i didn't discover it earlier :P

And i second unsungpsalm, you should write for a newspaper.

More later..
Cheers!

 
On December 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM , Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?