Rhetoric and Stereotypes: Feminists, Tattooed Persons, Politicians, and Senior Citizens
Stereotypes are generalizations that people have formed about other people who belong to other groups or class (Grobman, 1990). Stereotyping takes place in people’s lives at one point of their lives concerning people who they view as outsiders.
These generalizations maybe reinforced by the society or environment. People stereotype others for example on the basis or region, race, gender, religion and so forth. However, four groups of people standout concerning stereotypes these are feminists, tattooed persons, politicians and senior citizens.
Feminists are women who fight for the emancipation of women. Consequently, this course has put them on a clash with the society as they are often considered men haters. This is because they advocate for women independence.
They want women to be empowered to stop depending on men for their survival. Feminists are called bra burners, radicals who do not shave and are often said to be trying to imitate men or take over the man’s world (Smith, 2009).
There is a stereotype that feminists are hardcore and angry and want to be treated special in the eyes of the law. This stereotypical thinking against feminists has led to the focus of the movement shifting from is core purpose of advocating for fair treatment of women to other issues such as competing with men.
Some people have a negative image about feminists and see their course as baseless because they seem to disrupt the social order in which women are submissive and come second to men. On the other hand, some who understand the discriminations that women have faced in history are sympathetic of the group and have appositive image of feminists.
The other stereotyped grouped are Tattooed persons. They face stereotyping in the society because the patterns they make on their bodies are visible and thus it becomes so easy to stereotype them. Tattoos are associated with criminals or gangs.
Thus, a person bearing a tattoo will often be labeled as deviant or a criminal. Others call tattooed persons foolish, as they seem to have no respect for their bodies by allowing to be marked with ink. They are also called as drug addicts because some assume they get the tattoos due to the effect of drugs. Women with tattoos are usually labeled as loose. The tattoos on women bodies are called ‘tramp stamps’ because people read them as a sign of loose morals (Ford, 2010).
Tattoos also evoke images of rebelliousness and many people have a negative attitude towards tattoos. This may lead to prejudice and the tattooed persons may be forced to cover their tattoos especially at their work place. To other people tattoos evoke images of independence and acquiring a tattoo becomes a symbol of freedom.
Politicians are usually stereotyped as liars that are self-serving (Smith, 2009). They are often economical with the truth to win the support of the people during elections. Later, after winning elections they fail to deliver the promises they make during campaigns. Once politicians get into office they use their power and influence for their personal gains at the expense of the electorate.
Due to this stereotype, many people find it hard to trust politicians. Moreover, politicians stereotype their opponents and this helps to reinforce the negative attitudes people have formed about them.
They do this in order to sway people towards their side. Thus, they will use rhetoric that will portray their opponents in a negative light. For instance, a politician may accuse another of wasteful spending to evoke an image of undesirable qualities.
However, not all politicians lie some actually serve the electorate faithfully and ensure that their lives improve. This means that to a large group of people politicians evoke negative stereotypes but the politicians who deliver evoke positive stereotypes.
The other group that faces stereotype is the senior citizens. The term senior citizen is in itself a euphemism. This term invokes images of weakness frailty and dependence in the aged people. People have stereotypes that aged people are slow when it comes to drive and younger motorists on the road harass them (Stereotypes of Senior Citizens, 2007).
Some assume that old people do not know how to use technological equipment or gadgets. Other people always shout when speaking to the old people because of the stereotype that senior citizens do not hear properly.
Due to the above stereotypes, some people have negative image of senior citizens as they see them as a bother. They are dependent and need people to stick around and do even simple things for them. On the contrary, others have a positive attitude towards the senior citizens, appreciate the role they played when they were still energetic, and involve the seniors with roles such as parenting of their grandchildren.
The stereotypes associated with these groups of people are often not true. For instance, not all tattooed persons are criminals. However, there may be some truth in this stereotype because people who are in gangs often have tattoos and once they decide to abandon the group they clean up the tattoos. This cleaning up reinforces negative notion associated with tattoos.
Even though some of the old people may become difficult with age to cope with it does not mean that they are useless as they still may still make positive contributions. Some feminists maybe radical and denounce men but this does not make all feminist bad people. Even though some of the feminists may have portrayed an image of ‘macho’ women who can live independently of the men it is not true to say that feminists are angry as the rhetoric goes.
Some are humble women who have normal relations with men. Moreover, not all feminists are women as there are men who advance the feminists course thus stereotyping all women, as bra burners would be wrong. Many politicians may have lied or wasted public funds but there are still honest politicians out there.
Lastly, from the readings, I have come to learn more about stereotypes and that most of them are used for selfish reasons by people who think they are better than the groups they stereotype. It is wrong to generalize that certain people are this or that way juts because they belong to a certain group that had predecessors with certain characteristics.
Doing so will be failing to treat each individual as a unique human being and this will be uncritical judgment on my part. I know that people will always be placed in groups however; I will seek to know an individual beneath the label that the society has placed on them.
Ford, A.M. (2010). Tattoo stereotypes.
Grobman, G.M. (1990). .
Smith, S. (2009). The effects of rhetoric and stereotyping.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!