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Old 04-11-2005, 10:44 AM   #1
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labels and stereotypes

okay, as we all know, we are made up of a world of categories and labels -- man, woman, black, white, asian, irish, hispanic, rich, poor, inner-city, straight, american, french, gay, blond, etc. think of the really cool video for the remake of "What's Going On" where everyone pulls off the blindfolds that have labels on them.

now, think about yourself. what labels do you fall under? what categories do you belong to? and then, to have a little fun with it, what stereotypes of your categories and labels do you find yourself, either consciously or subconsciously, adhering to? is it fully natural, or do you feel yourself adapting to what you believe that a man/woman/whatever should be doing and acting in a situation? and then, how do you subvert these categories?

are you a straight white married American male who voted for Bush but HATES golf?

are you a gay black female who votes Republican?

etc, etc.



(here's hoping this rather weird thread works ...)
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:49 AM   #2
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I am a straight white single American male who voted Bush but doesn't believe in the death penalty and does not like Promise Keepers.
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:51 AM   #3
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At this point, trying to use any label can be misleading.

Just about every term used on this forum has multiple meanings.
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
At this point, trying to use any label can be misleading.

Just about every term used on this forum has multiple meanings.

my sort of hidden agenda was to show how lables are, by definition, incomplete. they might not be inaccurate, but they are impossible tools to use in order to capture a whole human being.

i'm hoping that we can tease out and unpack these multiple meanings -- use each other to deepen our understanding of the complexity of identity, and also to show that identity is, or at least can be, someone of one's own creation. it can be about self-directed assembly -- or can it? are there certain attributes we have that we cannot control?
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:04 AM   #5
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Interesting topic.

Straight, white, suburban over-privlegded, male American.

Straight - yes, but probably don't fit into the football loving macho straight male thing.

White - very much so, almost reflective (I keep sunblock comapanies in business, but I can dance .

Suburban over-privleged - got labeled this a lot growing up. Yes I grew up extremely comfortable compared to many and struggled compared to many others.

Male - yes, if I'm typical or not depends on what your stereotype is, there are far too many. But I will say I have no problem stopping for directions.

American - yes and proud but you won't see me wearing flag pins or red, white and blue t-shirts.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



my sort of hidden agenda was to show how lables are, by definition, incomplete. they might not be inaccurate, but they are impossible tools to use in order to capture a whole human being.

i'm hoping that we can tease out and unpack these multiple meanings -- use each other to deepen our understanding of the complexity of identity, and also to show that identity is, or at least can be, someone of one's own creation. it can be about self-directed assembly -- or can it? are there certain attributes we have that we cannot control?
All very interesting.

In two posts, we have two straight white males (not to pick on '80's or BVS).

The meaning behind each term and the selective use of those specific terms is all very interesting.

For example, if one is not homosexual, is there a "need" to use the "straight" label?

Also, different groups will give different weight to the labels. For some, "white" can mean a broad spectrum of peoples; while others may only consider a very narrow group of peoples "white".

Even the label "male" and "female" can be viewed differently (I believe Melon raised the sex v gender distinction before).

I'll be interested to see where this thread goes.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:55 PM   #7
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I think here's a difference between labeling someone and noticing they're obvious differences (race, sex, etc.).

It's not wrong to label a group or person Asian or female black whatever, that's not stereotyping, it's just the truth. Treating them differently of course is wrong, and making blanket statements is wrong, but I don't see the prolem with noticing the undeniable differences...
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:26 PM   #8
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absolutely.

but with noticing differences, a whole set of stereotypes enter your mind -- it's 100% natural, and its up to use as thinking human beings to battle our tendency to think in such categories. simply because you meet a tall black man and you think, "i bet he plays basketball," does not make you a racist -- that's probably not even a racist assumption. you're going by what you've observed in the past, and seeing if such things will apply to the present situation. it's how we learn.

what i'm asking people to do is turn their lense on themselves, and see how this thought process applies on the self.

i'd be happy to kick this off, but i'm really slammed at work today.

(yet, not too slammed to completely ignore FYM today)
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


All very interesting.

In two posts, we have two straight white males (not to pick on '80's or BVS).

The meaning behind each term and the selective use of those specific terms is all very interesting.

For example, if one is not homosexual, is there a "need" to use the "straight" label?

Also, different groups will give different weight to the labels. For some, "white" can mean a broad spectrum of peoples; while others may only consider a very narrow group of peoples "white".

Even the label "male" and "female" can be viewed differently (I believe Melon raised the sex v gender distinction before).

I'll be interested to see where this thread goes.

and had i not gone into Film/TV -- cause i wanted to be an artist! imagine my disappointment ... -- and stuck with my original plan to get a PhD, this is precisely the stuff i would have wanted to study, probably in an American Studies or Media Studies department.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:35 PM   #10
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White : the same brand as BVS

Female : Tomboy who giggles and is in love with her wedding dress

Straight : As a friggin arrow

Small town hick : But I live in suburbia now

At one point in my life I was lableled as an athlete and it took a long time for me to shed that label. It wasnt me, it was just something I did because I was good at it.

Now Im a musician

Ex-druggie......

Shy

Coffee Drinker

Conservi-liberal

Thats all I can think of
Ooh ooh, bonolover
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:37 PM   #11
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i'm also curious to see if anyone labels themself a "U2 fan" and if this correlates to a working set of assumptions.

believe it or not, in college, it was one of the things that i was known for -- like, "isn't he that guy who's really into U2?"

this was also the Pop era ... i had lots of explaining/apologizing to do.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:52 PM   #12
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Straight white male, unrepetentant cigarette smoker, unrepetentant beer drinker, social libertarian.
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:10 PM   #13
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straight, white, southern, liberal female

in terms of the stereotypes put on teenagers (i.e. nerd, goth, preppy, jock, etc.) i don't fit under any of those categories.....
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:16 PM   #14
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straight white male christian who doesn't give a crap about abortion,owns guns, but isn't really crazy about the death penalty. I won't let any of you try to pigeon hole me though
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:24 PM   #15
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White bi-sexual female, middle-class southerner. Pro choice. Adopted, from a broken home.
Southern Britain - i've been raised in comfortable surroundings, but around many people who are far better off that my own family. I attend one of the best schools in the region and I speak with a well pronounced accent, and thus get very much typecast by those who do not know me well. I do not appreciate being labelled in such a way, as I certainly do not share the beliefs of the conservative, pro-hunting, pro-monarchy individuals who so often seem to fall under that label.
In terms of my political beliefs, i'm liberal in regards to the American system. The same applies to my beliefs here, but more specifically to British politics, I favour the state approach over the individual approach.
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