English 10, Period 1
12 October 2016
The Effect Stereotypes Have On Society
Disregard our skin, our stature, and our sexual orientation, and we all have the same flesh and bones, yet we choose to judge based on something as simple as the color of what holds us together. A stereotype is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. Stereotypes affect people by pushing them to believe that they are something they aren’t.
Stereotypes can make people feel that they are defined by their physical representation, and not by who they are. This is evident in Shireen Ahmed's article “Stop it with the “Bikini vs Burka” Headlines. Lets Focus on Women's Athleticism.” Where she examines a female olympian who wore a hijab while competing. “As exciting as these accomplishments are, the media doesn't always examine or present them in the most nuanced fashion. Muhammad’s hijab seems to garner more media attention than her athletic prowess… But like any athlete, what she wears - in this case, her hijab, should not define who she is.” This shows that the media is pushing to subject this woman to a certain stereotype. They don’t see her as a determined fencer, but yet as a way to start controversy. Yet through all this she pushed to be seen for who she is and not a hijab.
We as a people are led by stereotypes to believe the color of our skin or our gender decides how intelligent one can be. This is shown in Shankar Vedantam’s article “How a Self-Fulfilling Stereotype Can Drag down Performance” where it's seen that people respond differently on tests when a certain race or gender is involved or mentioned. “The reason blacks scored more poorly on tests administered by white interviewers, Huang theorized is that these situations can make the issue of race salient, and subtly remind test takers of the societal stereotype that blacks are inferior to whites.” This shows that even...