Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Be a man"

There is another phrase that I dislike, and it ranks right up there with the phrase "women and children" (please see my previous post below). It is actually, not one phrase, but a whole set of them, but what each phrase has in common is the equal damage they inflict. They are phrases like "be a man," "man up," "take it like a man," and "man enough." I'm sure there are more, but one thing's for sure: if women and men have anything in common, it is that both are equally culpable of using this set of damaging phrases.

Why is it that I not only dislike these phrases, but also, hate them with a passion? It is because that the person who uses any one of them wants you to be a stereotype. And since I vehemently abhor stereotypes in general, then guess what? I despise all of these phrases as well.

And yes, you read that correctly. To say that stereotypes are the anti-anti-drug is an understatement. I hate all of them; not just the misandric and misogynist ones, but also the racist and ageist ones, and then some. You could probably say that I hate any and all stereotypes, and this isn't far from the truth. What is the truth is that I want to take all these stereotypes and smash them into a million pieces. And oh yeah, spit on the pieces -- I almost forgot.

But don't look at all this as just a matter of me not liking a certain set of phrases (to the extent described previously). Our global society is chock full of both misandry and misogyny, but what I don't appreciate at all is that only one of the two is politically incorrect. Don't believe me? Well, try imagining any radio personality (Don Imus is the textbook example) using the phrase "be a man," or any variant thereof, and observe the lack of societal outcry. As opposed to... yeah, that episode.

Four words: see what I mean?


Anonymous said...

If you dislike stereotypes then you are more or less isolated in the public domain as far as communication is concerned. Virtually everything you hear or see is a cliché or stereotype. The whole of behaviour is characterised by reference to simple preconceived notions. For example - The West is a democracy and hence always virtuous. We are good and the enemy bad. These are of course just stereotypes by which I mean standard images we use and accept without question or thought.

Anonymous said...

Reading the above comment surprised me as I could so easily have written it myself. The sterotype is in fact just the programming of thought.

Sadly I find this in the MM just as I find it everywhere else. I read the most condeming comment about the USA and the UK by people who in the next breath become the most determined(if not bigoted) of patriots. They don't even see the contradition in their thinking. They condem the society but love the country. But these thing are the same. How can they be different? Countries do not have an abstract exitence bur are defined by their societies.