Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stereotypes: Denying Opportunity

The overuse of stereotypes within the American society is a troubling issue, although it may occur on a very subtle level.

For the most part, the use of stereotypes and entrenched sexist sentiment against women limits their ability to move up in the workplace and prominent public positions. Women are objectified and seen as weak or incapable. This objectification steals any human sentiment from the women. "How could an object fill the role of president/CEO/manager/etc." The weakness stereotype removes many opportunity because women might be too fragile to accomplish its tasks. On top of these stereotypes, there are the old traditions that say that men should be the ones earning the money within the family structure, while women stay at home. That tradition filters through the family into the workplace as well.

Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as brutish, violent worker people that have no feelings. The mental health issues that are derived from this portrayal are definitely an issue because those feelings that they are denied must be internalized. They are denied emotion for family and friends by the stereotypes. The quality of life suffers for that.

Ultimately, society lets false truth dictate its assumptions about the world's groups and the interactions between them. There is an expectation of people to follow the stereotype of their group. This expectation distances people and puts a facade on their relationships. Opportunities are denied, and possibilities are lost. A better future is stolen.

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