S for Stereotype

Stereotypes are not a new thing. They have been around for quite some time and we have all come across stereotypes or to say phrases that we use without even realizing that it’s more of a bias than an experience. They subtly cloud our judgement and in extreme cases, many people take important decisions of life based on such stereotypes.

She was asked to leave sports and focus on learning how to cook. After all she was growing up fast and girls don’t play kabaddi that too out in the Sun with men. She would be married soon and who wants a wife or daughter-in-law who knows various tricks of kabaddi but not the name of various spices and legumes. If she had continued, she would have given a tough fight to international opponents may have brought a gold home. If only, she was allowed to play..

She was the bright and was given the best of education. She joined work and was looking forward to a great career ahead. Her first manager at work felt she wasn’t good at programming as much as her male peers were. She was not given enough challenging assignments or the support to learn more and hone her skills. She was asked to leave early each day cos she was a woman while men on her team brainstormed to find solutions. As the projects became easier for her, she started losing interest. She quit one day thinking she wasn’t good enough. If only, she was allowed to learn at work..

She was in love and they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. She was older than him and taller too. The guy’s mother did not think they were a good match. The bride should be younger than the groom and shorter too. They tried their best but his parents never agreed. With a lot of pain, they had to call it quits and end something which could have helped them both lead a happier life. If only, she was not judged on her age and height..

She loved to dress up, wore red lip color and was always taking strides in heels. The men in the locality thought she was involved in business and there were gossips behind her back. When she went to college, they thought she is fixing clients. If only, she was let her be who she was..

Be it driving, taking time to dress up, trekking, cooking, dancing, dieting, solving analytical problems  or whatever, women are labeled based on the stereotypes associated. Fighting them each day is not easy. Justifying all that time and again keeps pushing them back. If it is a skill, women can learn as much as men. If it is a profession, women can succeed as much as men. If it is choosing the right partner, women can take their own decisions. If only, women are not stereotyped.. 


Both women and men face numerous stereotypes and because I have writing about women I am not calling out what all men go through when they are judged.

I am blogging from A to Z during April (#417 on the list) and the theme I have chosen is set on women. Some of the posts will be here for you to know and some will be to reflect and accept. Share your thoughts and let me know how things are going. There is always a room for improvement.

33 Responses

  1. aseemrastogi2 says:

    Stereotypes tend to discourage and demotivate us at every step in our lives. They take away the happiness and bubbly demeanor among people. And in the end the love out of life is taken out and people only end up living rather than enjoying life.

  2. Yes I think stereotypes and assumptions go hand-in-hand. Because of the unruly assumptions that people make, the unjustified stereotypes exist. The challenge is to break them to reveal the truth behind. Nice post. 🙂

  3. G Angela says:

    Nice post and you are absolutely right… like it or not, sterotype is something ingrained in our culture and tradition… we will always be reminded of what to wear? what career to choose…. education is the key… sania mirza and saina nehwal, malleshwari, marykomb are all women(there are many more i am sure) – but they have moved out of sterotpe.. which means there is hope for us.

  4. Though stereotyping can refer to anyone, both females and males, I can understand when it comes in particular to career and personal decisions, women are not treated as equals but stereotyped to be made less than, feel inferior. Such a shame!

  5. catchats says:

    It’s so easy for people to stereotype others into groups rather than take the time to find out about the person. Women, especially often get misjudged and stereotyped. Very good article, Parul. Thanks for raising awareness about this.

  6. No matter how much we try, we can never really erase stereotypes. What we can do is slowly build up our women to be more confident and break those stereotypes in their own way. That will silence the critics.

  7. Shilpa Garg says:

    Aah! The gender stereotypes are deep rooted in our society. Women are bad drivers… all women love shopping and gossiping… pink is for girls… Stereotyping women locks them to stay within the preset rules of the society. And in doing so the real self of a woman is often lost.

  8. Alex Hurst says:

    Stereotypes are one of the hardest misconceptions to break. It is in our brains–hardwired–to stereotype, in order to limit the amount of information entering our system at any time. This obviously has disastrous effects on social communication, because every human being is complex, but breaking the habit is a lifelong fight. One we must continue!

  9. fabfortee says:

    Great one as usual Parul. Every week I get forwarded jokes on Watsapp usually from an all women’s group – the ‘jokes’ poke fun at the stereotypical woman who is some kind of shopping, nagging monster who gives her poor husband a hard time and is hell bent on spending all his money!!!!!now if. That isn’t stereotyping what is!!!!
    Forgive me but I’m going to steal your word ‘stereotype’ 😉

  10. Rajlakshmi says:

    you should see some of the checklist that guys have for finding a bride, with cooking and looks topping the list. As if the cooking skills of wife is imp for the survival of husband!!! Well Written.

  11. Vinitha says:

    Its a curse our society live in, a curse which we welcomes warmly and seats in our living room, letting it take over our house and life easily. We should stop with because you are a girl, because you are 28, etc. The other day I met with my almost 6 nephew who claimed he doesn’t have to cook because boys don’t cook! Think about it, a six year old so stereotyped! Very well written, Parul.

  12. M in awe of what you write Parul.. I literally wait for your posts to come up.. and the example of age and height is everywhere around us.. that is what people see when they hunt for bride and groom..!

    Well done 🙂

    Cheers

  13. So much truth is what you say. Stereotyping is killing the brain cells, one neuron at a time and destroying the fabric of society, one thread at a time.

  14. I so so wish we were not stereotyped. If only, everyone cold accept as we are, and let us do what we want to do rather than what they want us do… there would be more happy, confident and strong females around.

  15. Eli says:

    Oh, that is so well written Parul! So enjoyed reading through that, and it makes me so MAD to think that someone /something is preventing a woman from making the life she wants for herself. Stereotypes SUCKS.

  16. shanayatales says:

    I liked the examples you chose to use in this post, Parul. Nicely done.
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

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