He couldn't possibly know more... (Stereotype Essay)
While I have not faced too many specific cases where I’ve been overtly stereotyped; the most common stereotype I encounter is one where people underestimate my abilities based on my looks. Be it a language I know, knowledge specific to technology, or my level of education in general. After finishing high school, my type of dress (urban) in concert with my skin color, have lead people I encounter to assume that I know less than I know. This happened commonly due to the fact that because I dressed similarly to “hoodlums” at the time, it was easy for most people to lump me into that group.
Growing up in a hispanic neighborhood has led to many instances where, because of the way I look, people believe that I don’t understand spanish. One time, while in line at a local Apple Bank, I overheard an elderly spanish couple complaining that they should be able to go in front of me because I was probably not depositing much. This was a rare situation as I was stereotyped twice. Once based on the fact that I am dark skinned and don’t know spanish, and the second that I would not be depositing much because of the way I was dressed. The couple was quite shocked when I turned around and told them that it is rude to talk about people (in spanish).
Another way that I’m stereotyped based on my looks, is that people tend to assume I know nothing about technology. A perfect example of this was when I was shopping at Best Buy for a new computer. One of their lead computer specialist who was assisting me, repeatedly attempted to get me to buy a lesser computer by continuing to misrepresent facts. While I’m not sure why it would benefit him to lie and get me to buy a lesser product. He was very surprised when I could no longer put up with the lies and told him why everything he was telling me was wrong. After I demonstrated that I knew about computers, he quickly grew agitated and left stating “you know more that I thought...
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