Stereotypes reflect ideas that groups of people hold about others who are different from them. Stereotypes can be positive or negative, but most stereotypes tend to make us feel superior in some way to the person or group being stereotyped. People that are obvious to a certain profession or gender are often stereotyped, such as, police officers, women, and people of color. Stereotyping is a thought process that organizes beliefs about one group of people and assigns them to everyone in that group (The Quad News, 2010). We cheat ourselves from ever getting to know a person for who they are as an individual. At worst stereotyping can turn into such things as racial profiling and other discriminatory things. We have all been stereotyped whether it was good or bad. For example, men that are feminine are stereotyped as gay, and women that are masculine are stereotyped as lesbians. Stereotyping someone can definitely hurt one’s feelings and make them feel unwanted or different.
I personally know what it is like to be stereotyped. I am stereotyped on a regular basis because I am a police officer‘s wife. Most people have an emotional response to that. The response ranges from empathy, to distrust, from compassion, to sometimes fear. I do not like to make it known what my husband’s profession is; I never know when someone wants to give their negative opinion of police officers to me. Some people fear the police, while others find comfort and safety. I recently was stereotyped by people that I have been friends with for several years. For the past few years my friends from back home have been renting a houseboat at Dale Hollow, Kentucky. They have not once invited me, which I was finding unusual. This year I finally asked why we were not being invited. Come to find out, since my husband is a police officer people did not want us going. Well, apparently someone on the trip smokes marijuana and thought that we would have a problem with it. We were...
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