Friday, December 7, 2012

People Living Up to Stereotypes (Americans... Muslims...)

I hate stereotypes and how they affect the way people see and even deal with other (different) people... I try not to be affected by stereotypes when I meet new individuals and I think I do a good job of starting my interactions with people on a close to clean slate (generally). I like to think that I stay away from the most harmful aspect of stereotyping  which is consequences towards individuals caused by stereotypes of their "group".

We all know that stereotypes don't represent everyone in the group and a lot of times don't even represent a big percentage of the group, but they also don't come completely out of nowhere either. I hate when I see things confirming stereotypes because it amplifies the stereotypes and backs them up!


These days, I'm working in the American department at work... I'm not proud of the field I work in so I don't even want to go into it at all but we attract clientele that is struggling financially and kind of poor. And I hate to say it, but the people I have spoken with at work in the past few weeks have confirmed stereotypes of Americans as being rude, uneducated, arrogant, loud. It has also made me fall into the trap of imagining them as fat, materialistic and dumb too, which I have absolutely no basis for. It's upsetting me to be falling for stereotypes and not being able to "start on a clean slate" with each individual client I speak to... I am trying to be honest with myself in this post so I can try not to do it because I do often start a call with the assumption that this is what I'm dealing with. And then it pretty much always with. Would these people stop living up to the stereotypes?!

I hope I'm not offending any American readers because I don't have this experience with the Americans I know from online but that is ALL I SEE at work. I've done the same job for over 3 years on the Canadian side and we get assholes regularly but it's not like this...

My American friends and acquaintances from online are all really nice people that I have a lot of respect for and just thinking about offending them, I feel bad. But I feel like I'm being completely honest in my post and I have good intentions so I will post it when I'm done.

If you want stereotypes of Quebeckers, we are seen as villager-style, dependent on government handouts, huge complainers, we hate English or are ignorant when it comes to English. All of this is partly true for at least some people from here. There ya go, I evened out the field a little. None of this is true of me just like none of the stereotypes I talk about are true of my American friends.

Here's a Molson commercial about Canadian stereotypes (if you want to watch one of the two only, skip down and watch the other):

And a funny video parody response to the Canadian one about Quebec stereotypes called "I am not Canadian":

To continue, it's Muslims' turn

I want to continue on the topic of stereotypes and talk about other stereotypes that affect me. Ones about Muslims. Muslim men mostly. I've had such negative experiences with Muslim men, directly and indirectly. A lot of my readers know what I'm talking about - in a lot of cases, I'm talking about their ex husbands! hahaha But seriously, these dumbasses live up to the stereotypical Muslim man, out to control every aspect of his wife's life all the while living it up with completely different standards. This is not what being Muslim is all about and it's not the majority of Muslim men and it's not Islam, but it's what I keep seeing! And it's not making me assume things of Muslims but it is making me continue to have this identity crisis when it comes to Islam.

Please give me some feedback about this post. As Americans, are you offended? As Muslims, are you offended? I'd be happy to have someone clear things up for me that I might be getting wrong...

Thanks for reading.

4 Comentários:

Candice said...

For those who watched the second video: osti, calisse, tabarnak are some of our swear words

LK said...

You work in a sales oriented environment that seems slightly shady, as most are in America. So yes Americans who work in this type of field are usually arrogant, loud, and can come off rude or pushy. Because in America that is how you have to be to do a pushy sales job. If you were to work with Americans in a different environment you'd probably get a larger variety. Environment can really dictate the people you deal with and people's behavior. I still remember how my friends would change from being at the mosque to being outside. Completely different behaviors. But they fit the stereotype perfectly in the mosque environment.

Amber said...

I'm not offend, just ashamed that Americans are acting that way. :/ I'm guessing that you're dealing with people in a loan/banking situation? A lot of people, I think, have this notion that financial troubles are something that happens to someone else. It's not something that can be happening to them and it puts them in a terrible mood when it does. They're ashamed and offended and for some people that makes them act like asshats. Which is not an excuse. :(

Susanne said...

Interesting post.

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