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SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th September

Hey everyone!

 

On the week running from the 9th-13th of September, we're going to be running a slow-mo Getting Real chat about Stereotypes and Discrimination

 

What are stereotypes and why are we talking about them?


Image result for stereotypes definition

 

It can be easy, especially on a societal level, to lump people into one group and assume they have certain characteristics because of their age, gender, sexuality etc. But by painting a group of people with the same brush, we miss out on getting to know them on an individual level. 

 

Stereotyping can also lead to Discrimination. Our society has a long history of ostracising and punishing people for being different, but at the same time we've always had people speaking out in support of others. Heart We've come a long way in a lot of ways, but there's still a way to go!

 

What we're doing for this GR is having a chat about stereotypes and discrimation: What they are, how to fight them, and (very importantly) how to get support when you encounter them. While this is a safe space to have this discussion, we also know that it's a really huge and important topic that can dredge up a lot of hurt for people. Heart Make sure to practice lots of self-care, and if at all you find this conversation distressing or you feel like you need to talk to someone about an issue then you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or use their webchat and email services found on their respective sites. The links can be found here.Heart

If you are new here then welcome! Have a quick peek at our community guidelines you can find them here!

ReachOut has some really great content on What is Discrimination?

and How to say no to discrimination and yes to inclusion, which talk about some of things we'll be discussing in this GR Smiley Happy They're definitely worth checking out! Heart

 

hugs love GIF

 

Looking forward to chatting with you all, make sure to keep an eye on this space, the first question will be up Monday to kick us off!! Heart Smiley Very Happy




||We're having a Getting Real live chat to do with Group Work on Monday the 23rd of September! Check it out here! Smiley Very Happy||

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

Happy Monday guys! Here's the first questions to get us going! Smiley Very Happy Heart

Are stereotypes necessarily true? Can you think of a time where your expectations about a particular group of people were subverted? (this can be as broad or narrow as you like, e.g. you might have assumed someone is super grumpy/sad because they only wear black)




||We're having a Getting Real live chat to do with Group Work on Monday the 23rd of September! Check it out here! Smiley Very Happy||

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

It's Tuesday time! Smiley Happy

Here's the next question:
Why can stereotyping be so harmful?

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

Are stereotypes necessarily true? Can you think of a time where your expectations about a particular group of people were subverted?

No, they aren't.

Hmm... this isn't very exiting, but when I was little, I used to think that disabled people were all very old and/ or very frail.

(Had I considered the strength it'd take to use a manual wheelchair? No, I had not.)

Once I was on a train with my grandma, there was a strong, 20-something year old in a wheelchair. My lil' brain had no idea how this'd happened. He looked so healthy and.. normal.

And in that minute or so, a random guy using a train taught me that disabled people can be healthy, happy and independent.

(man did that become a valuable lesson later on)

 

Why can stereotyping be so harmful?

Oh my gosh I could write freaking essays on this.

A few dot points:

1) It can lead to police violence and wrongful arrests

  • This is especially obvious with "subjective" charges like loitering. 
  • In the US, black people are more likely to be shot and killed because they "look suspicious". The same is true of mentally ill and neurodivergant people who are seen "acting weirdly".

2) It can result in non-police violence and discrimination

  • The amount of s*** trans women are made to put up with... Seriously, trans women should be allowed to use the bathroom for women and not have to fear violence while doing so.
  • Many Muslim women have been made afraid to use public transport because of racist and Islamophobic hate.
  • The Christchurch shootings
  • There are just.. too many horrific examples.

3) It can mean that people only see negative portrayals of certain groups in the media. This can result in discrimination from the wider community, and internalized prejudices in the people being discriminated against. Examples include:

  • Generic foreign villains in spy and action movies (depending on what's going on internationally at the time. In the Cold War for example it was generic soviet villains)
  • Generic mentally ill villains in horror movies. These portrayals are especially inaccurate and especially harmful.
    • Norman Bates from "Psycho" is loosely based around someone with DID. Anne Wilkes from "Misery" is loosely based around someone with BPD. Horror movie villains are almost invariably described as psychotic.
    • This only increases the stigma surrounding these conditions. I'm personally extremely reluctant to let people know that I have psychosis irl. Most people suddenly become afraid of me which is just.. idk... not fun
  • Generic camp villains in a whole range of movies 

4) Used as an excuse to deny people agency and self determination.

  • This happens with disabled and mentally ill people a lot. I've personally experienced some of it myself.
  • While this is decreasing, it's been a serious problem for women.
  • This also happens with Aboriginal Australians, especially those in remote communities. 

 

I could go on. Smiley Frustrated

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

I think you made some really great points @Tiny_leaf!  I especially love what you said about the guy on the train and how media portrayals can be harmful. Smiley Happy

Are stereotypes necessarily true? Can you think of a time where your expectations about a particular group of people were subverted?
No they aren't.
I have learned that some disabilities can be 'invisible', so it's important not to assume that someone doesn't have one if they look healthy.
Another thing I have learned is that people can have a variety of different views and practices, even within the same religion. Some kinds of a particular religion can be conservative, while others can be more liberal. They can also have vastly different interpretations of religious texts. Meeting people of other religions has definitely challenged my assumptions and views about them.
I had a friend at school who told me that they were bullied by people from my background and had some negative expectations about my background as a result. But we ended up being really good friends. Smiley Happy

Why can stereotyping be so harmful?
One reason why stereotyping can be harmful is that people who are being stereotyped can start to believe it themselves. It can prevent people from reaching their full potential and reduce their motivation. Some research has shown that when females are told that females are bad at a particular skill, they underperform. But when they are told that males and females perform the skill equally well, females tend to perform it just as well as or even better than males. This effect is called stereotype threat and can also happen with people of different races or different socioeconomic groups.
Stereotypes can also affect people's mental health and quality of life. They can prevent people from expressing themselves and their emotions. For example, stereotypes can discourage men from talking about or showing how they feel.

Like @Tiny_leaf said, stereotypes can also lead to discrimination.

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Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

Great discussions! 

 

Why can stereotyping be so harmful?

I think imposing stereotypes on people can be very limiting. Not only will the person imposing the stereotype on someone only see that person through a certain light and fail to acknowledge all the different aspects of that human being that make them wonderful, but the person being stereotyped may also begin to believe they are only able to accomplish certain things and limit themselves. 

 

Like @Tiny_leaf mentioned in their example, probably the best way to have your view about certain groups of people challenged is to come in contact with those people! Talk to people, listen, and learn more about their experiences. 

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

@recharging_introvert  and @WheresMySquishy that's such a good point about stereotyping impacting the way people view themselves, not just in terms of their self-esteem but also in what they believe they are capable of achieving! Heart  I feel like the flipside is also true, with certain "positive" stereotypes being associated with certain groups (tbh i don't think ''positive" stereotypes really exist). So often you hear people say things like "so and so is good at xyz acitivty because they're insert adjective here". Which completely diminishes and ignores the amount of effort that that person must have put in to excell in that area, you know? People try to say that it's not a bad thing because it's a ''compliment', but I feel like it's also harmful. What do you guys think?

 

@Tiny_leaf I'm so sorry to hear that people have used stereotypes about your health against you Smiley Sad It's so scary that disabled and mentally ill people can be trapped in situations where their voices don't get heard at all!  Like opinions only matter if and when other people say they do Smiley Sad 




||We're having a Getting Real live chat to do with Group Work on Monday the 23rd of September! Check it out here! Smiley Very Happy||

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

Following on from what everyone's been discussing, it seems like a good time for today's question! Smiley Very Happy

What are some things we can do to combat stereotypes in our everyday lives?

 

I'd be really interested to hear what insight everyone has here Heart




||We're having a Getting Real live chat to do with Group Work on Monday the 23rd of September! Check it out here! Smiley Very Happy||

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

@ecla34 I think I know what you mean about "positive" stereotypes. 

A lot of people describe me as a "high functioning autistic". And that brings a whole heap of seemingly positive stereotypes as well as the negative ones. I'm expected to be super smart, have a brilliant memory, to be a bit "quirky" and maybe a bit particular but nothing more, and to generally have my s*** together.

And then people learn that I can barely tell the time, forgot almost everything that's non-special-interest related, am practically nocturnal, completely shut down when I get overwhelmed, etc etc. And they're almost.. angry. Because I'm not expected to have these issues, a lot of people assume that I'm being lazy, making things up or using my autism as an excuse.

 

 

What are some things we can do to combat stereotypes in our everyday lives?

Definitely.

It's really important though to first ask yourself "Am I able to do this?" and "Is it safe to do this?".

 

There are a few ways that this can be done as someone who gets stereotyped.

  • One is to challenge people to think about what they are actually saying.
    • Them: "Oh, so you must be a high functioning person with autism!"                       Me: "Mm, not really. How about you? Are you a high or low functioning non-autistic person?"                                                                                                                    Them: "...oh."
    • Them: "If anyone calls you gay, let me know and I'll make sure they never do it again."                                                                                                                      Me: "You... know that I actually am gay, yeah?"                                                    Them: "...oh."
  • Another is to be as open as you can about your differences.
    • When I'm out, I try not to hide my cane in any way. Seeing that guy on the train completely changed five-year-old me's attitude to disability. If I can help normalize the idea of disability, or teach a future disabled kid that they'll still have a life, I think that's pretty cool.
    • Same with my autistic behaviors where possible and safe. There's nothing shameful about being autistic, and I feel like being openly and proudly autistic is a really powerful way of showing that.
    • It's worth nothing that this isn't always safe though. I can talk fairly openly about my anxiety, but I have to be really careful when and where I mention my psychosis. 

Re: SLOW-MO GR: Stereotypes and Discrimination, 9th-13th Seotermber

Tagging a few more members who have been around this week and might be interested in this activity Smiley Happy 

@lr8991 @CowboyBebop @drpenguin @Hozzles @scared01 @Phantom1105 @Tasi @MisoBear @hellofriend 

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Check out our community activities calendar for September 2019 here