Stereotypes – Good or Bad?
Family time is the best time!
It is easy to stereotype a person or a place based on the feelings of others, the past or a personal bias. In my opinion, when a person jumps to conclusions without knowing any facts (or without knowing someone) they are showing intolerance for others. As a father, I want my son to learn acceptance of others and that stereotypes are not the best way to pass judgement.
It is easy to make fun of the South. Many people know me as Dad Blunders and think of me as the cowboy boot, cowboy hat, good ole’ boy dad. If I stated that it bothered me that others thought of me in such a stereotypical way, would it matter? I have a feeling it would not change the perception of many people and a basic stereotype would continue.
Luckily, it does not bother me about what other people think about me. I live less than thirty miles from Texas and spent a large part of my youth in Texas (there is nothing wrong with being a good ole’ boy)! Being born in Arkansas (can we say Deliverance??? yes…that is a stereotype) and raised in S.W. Oklahoma gives me some perspective on some of the stereotypes my son is facing in his future.
Stereotypes are endless, and many people think that Southerners talk funny. In my opinion, I think everyone around me sounds normal. In fact, I love the “shock factor” I can give others when they hear me speak (southerners excluded).
(1.) Howdy ya’ll - I actually say this phrase, but I also know how to say, “Hello everyone.” It just more comfortable, and pertinent to use, “howdy” and the word, “ya’ll” is the catch-all phrase for everyone.
(2.) All ya’ll, I got an awfully good idear! – I love the word idea but the word “idea” is not as effective as saying “idear” (at least in my world). It allows others to know that I am intelligent and I “might” even have a college degree. Just in case you missed the translation the phrase means, “Everyone, I have a very good idea!“
(3.) Dinner – I enjoy a good meal. In fact, if you invited me to dinner I would arrive prominently at noon. After all, dinner is in the middle of the day and supper is what I look forward to every evening (growing up supper would have been around 5 o’clock).
(4.) Plumb give out – My grandmother (or granny) used this phrase while I was growing up. To this day I will occasionally say, “I am plumb give out.” or “I am plumb tuckered out.” (either way it conveys that I am very tired and need rest).
(5.) Hafta – Until I wrote this post I was unaware at how often I use the word “hafta“. The word “hafta” translates into “have to” or “must“. It is not uncommon for me to say the phrase, “I hafta do that right now.“
Doesn’t everyone swim with boots?
It always amuses me when someone places a stereotype on me without knowing me. I have the ability to turn on and off my accent. Although it is far harder to turn off my accent when I am around a group of others all speaking Southern, such as at a family reunion.
When people put any stereotype on another person they are conveying the message, “I do not want to learn about you or your world.” As a parent, I believe the message we want children to learn is about tolerance and acceptance.
I know that I am unable to shelter my son from stereotypes and other people’s perception (hurtful at times), but I do have the ability to teach him by example. People might know me as Dad Blunders the cowboy hat, cowboy boot, good ole’ boy dad, but my son knows me as the man who tries very hard not to judge others.
Stereotypes are hurtful and painful to many people. I spoke about myself and a few generalities about my speech and Southern stereotypes. It is not uncommon for people to say that Southerners are uneducated and NASCAR freaks (Yes, I do like NASCAR). Everyone knows there are many other stereotypes. How does your family deal with stereotypes? Do you agree with stereotyping people and places? If you have believed in stereotypes in the past, have you ever been proven wrong? How did you handle the situation? Tell me in the comments!!
You can read my latest post here Reasons Men Don’t Give Birth If you like this post you can follow me on my twitter @dadblunders or on my facebook fan page, Dadblunders.
Tags: southerners and cowboy boots
, stereotypes are hurtful
, teaching tolerance