There are numerous stereotypes out there. Assumptions and ignorance about groups of people continue to run riot through our society, even now, in 2023. It’s absurd, it’s a joke, but it is also reality for millions of people, around the world.
If you check out the WordPress tag on homophobia, then you’ll see that the LGBT community continues to face marginalisation, discrimination, and outright hatred from various quarters. If you look at the feminism tag, you’ll see accounts of misogyny, both subtle and gross, from around the world. Islamophobia is all-too prevalent around the world, fuelled by people who refuse to differentiate between the faith and the follower.
Most stereotypes come from a place of ignorance. They are built upon what people don’t know, or what people have been told by others. Some stereotypes might seem harmless, but they underpin certain, inaccurate notions, which in turn become accepted as the norm, even if they are anything but. Blanket stereotypes become an excuse to not treat people as people. They make it easier to dehumanise someone, and that makes it easier to treat them poorly.
I imagine we are all guilty of it. I know I am. Despite my job role, I will still assume things about customers, knowing full-well that I shouldn’t. It is a difficult habit to break. If we all made more of an effort to see each other as individuals, we might just understand one another a little bit better. If we stopped letting our opinions on groups be dictated to us, that would be a start.