Stereotypical thinking is so easy to adopt. It’s almost like breathing. There are so many influences in our lives that cause us to adopt stereotypes.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “stereotype” as a “conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.” More simply put, it’s an opinion or image you hold without thinking about it. Where do we get stereotypes?
Parents are the first ones in our lives that we mimic. Their prejudices become ours in our early years. Ever say something that sounded just like your Dad?
The Church if stuffed with stereotypical thinking, and they add the penalty of eternal damnation if you don’t think their way.
Next come our friends, even at an early age. Funny thing is that our friends have their parents’ stereotypes, just like we do, so we’re getting our friends’ parents’ transferred thinking.
Our teenage years are filled with more bombardment of stereotypical thinking. Peer pressure is tough to fight, and teachers also bring their baggage to our ears.
Here are just a few stereotypes that you might have.
Heaven is fluffy clouds.
- God looks like an old man, white hair, white robe.
- Beautiful girls are unattainable.
- Old women all wear polyester and have blue hair.
- Rednecks all chew Red Man and live in trailers.
- Big boys don’t cry.
- It’s OK for women to cry, since women are weak.
- Plain-looking women are more faithful than beautiful women.
- Men will cheat because…well, they’re men.
- Boys are expected to sow their wild oats, but women are supposed to remain pure.
- Blonde women are dumb.
- Redheads are hot tempered.
- So are Latinos/Latinas.
- Latinos are meant for manual labor jobs like landscaping and maids.
- Every Latino band must have a horns section.
- Black men are all well hung.
- Blacks are lazy.
- Asians are good at math and science.
- Girls aren’t good at math.
- Smart girls are geeky.
So by the time you’re beginning to date and look for relationships, you might be swimming in the deep end of a stereotype pool.? Which thoughts are your own, and which thoughts did you just absorb without thinking them through?
When it comes down to relationships, stereotypes that you hold about women can get you into a lot of trouble. Any stereotype places everyone into one group and doesn’t account for anyone’s individuality.
You must take the time to realize that you have many stereotypes sloshing about in your head. Look at each of them carefully. Then try your best to banish them from your everyday thinking. Accept women at face value and don’t place them in a stereotyped pigeonhole.
An open-minded man has the chance to become a Great Lover.
by Being Latino Contributor, Russell Longcore. For more articles by Russ, check out his blog.