I’m A Recovering Stereotyper

July 9th, 2011 | Categories: Stereotypes in General

My name is Anastacia Kurylo and I’m a stereotyper. But I am a recovering stereotyper. Some days it’s difficult though. Today was one of those days.

Softball Field

Photo courtesy of Angelo Scuderi

I was at Central Park playing softball. It’s a group I’ve played with for the last year and I know most of the players. Today, one player I didn’t know made me tremendously uncomfortable. Notwithstanding that it was rude to take a phone call while fielding ground balls and that he stayed on the phone too long, he repeated five times, loudly and with glee, some really raunchy comments. This is highly unusual on our team. For example, my husband said the word “f-ck” on the field today and apologized for it. What this other guy had said was much much much worse.

So, it was difficult today to be a recovering stereotyper. That rude person fit the jock stereotype. He fit the broader male stereotypes. So, it would have been so easy for me to just slip one little stereotype into the conversation, without anyone noticing, through which I could bad mouth this jerk. I might have said, “I can’t stand jocks like that” or “Typical man.” It would have let me get out my frustration. Plus, it would have given me an opportunity to be social and bond with my fellow softball players since it is so easy to relate to stereotypes. I could get what I wanted without worrying about it. I could say the stereotype and then shrug it off as a joke. I’d even be acting social.

Not wanting to slip into my old ways, I had to think about what I could say instead of the stereotypes. It would take too long to explain why I was upset. It would sound like I was overreacting if I were to call him an a–hole or a d-ck.

It’s so much easier to stereotype. Just one little stereotype was all I needed. But I stopped myself. I didn’t say anything to anyone on the field. Later, I told my husband. I took the time to explain why I was upset to him and to use the curse words I wouldn’t use on the field. But I still didn’t stereotype.

Here’s why. Because, my husband’s a man and a jock. And the team, mostly men, are great folks. If I had said the stereotype, I would have lumped all of them with this jerk. And they don’t deserve it. On the contrary, they deserve my respect and friendship.

I almost slipped back into my old ways today. It was hard not to. But I’m glad one more day has gone by that I haven’t.

 

 

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  1. Frances A. Shea
    July 9th, 2011 at 21:36

    My name is Fran and I too am a recovering stereotyper.

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