Tag Archives | Stereotypes

Standards of Beauty Under The Knife

Pic: Sarang (PD)

Pic: Sarang (PD)

By now, you have probably heard some of the outsider outrage, confusion and consternation. “Everyone in Korea wants the same face!”

It seems, pardon the pun, cut and dry, but as you’ll see it is anything but. Any cultural slant might be laid bare through similar scrutiny, so beware: those publications that seem to want to the headline to read “Dumb Asians All Want to Look The Same” are incapable of seeing their own cultural bias. We are all, in a sense, blind to ourselves.

Let’s try to open our eyes a little. I want to look at this, leading off with one of the better articles I’ve found on this phenomenon,

“There’s a real problem when you make generalizations about a whole country full of women, that they’re all culturally duped,” Hejiin Lee said in an interview. “There are certain economic situations happening in Korea and America that might impel different choices.

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Female Terrorists Contradict Stereotypes

BalaclavasVia ScienceDaily:
Much like their male counterparts, female terrorists are likely to be educated, employed and native residents of the country where they commit a terrorist act, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. The findings contradict stereotypes presented in previous studies that describe female terrorists as socially isolated and vulnerable to recruitment because they are uneducated, unemployed and from a foreign land, psychologists reported in a study published online in the APA journal Law and Human Behavior. These assumptions are not supported by evidence, according to the study authors. "We discovered that some of the popular notions about female terrorists do not reflect what has occurred in the past," said the study's lead author, Karen Jacques, PhD. "A more realistic description is helpful because it provides insights into the social dynamics that might promote an individual's involvement in terrorist activities."...
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The Success Myth And The Female Gaze

Noah Brand

Noah Brand

Noah Brand, a mysterious figure with a very nice hat, tells of his greatest professional failure, explains his theory of “The Success Myth,” and introduces the idea of the female gaze, for the Good Men Project:

The masculine equivalent to what Naomi Wolf called The Beauty Myth is The Success Myth. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe said, “A man being rich is like a girl being pretty” and everyone nodded their head, recognizing and endorsing the sentiment. When a rich guy marries a slim young “trophy wife” we all nod our heads again, recognizing that, like it or not, this is a match of two high-value people, a conventionally-successful man and a conventionally-beautiful woman. It would take way too long to get into all the horrible things that arise out of these paired myths, from “gold-digger” stereotypes to men who kill themselves for being “failures”; for now let’s just talk about the idea that men can’t be considered attractive.

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Stereotypes Help Create False Memories

Illustration: J.J. (CC)

Illustration: J.J. (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, published online October 26 addresses the influence of age-related stereotypes on memory performance and memory errors in older adults.

Ayanna Thomas, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Cognitive Aging and Memory Lab at Tufts University, and co-author Stacey J. Dubois, a former graduate student at Tufts, set out to investigate how implicitly held negative stereotypes about aging could influence memory performance in older adults.

Thomas and Dubois presented a group of older and younger adults with a list of semantically related words. A sample list participants would be presented with would be words associated with “sleep,” such as “bed,” “rest,” “awake,” “tired” and “night.” Though the word “sleep” itself was not actually presented, both the older and younger adults falsely indicated that they thought it had been included in the list, older adults more so than younger adults.

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Was Nancy Drew a Racist?

Nancy DrewIt’s the 80th anniversary of Nancy Drew, but a funny thing happens when you read the original 1930 editions of her mysteries. There’s outrageously outdated choices of words (“‘What!’ the men ejaculated in astonishment” or “The girls accordingly enjoyed themselves by admiring each other’s dainty lingerie…”) And in Password to Larkspur Lane, Nancy Drew even shares a kiss with her female friend Helen.

“I’m not saying Nancy Drew was a lesbian. (Believe me, I still remember the pushback on our 2007 article, How Gay Were the Hardy Boys.) But sometimes the outdated language creates a problem…”

And even if all of this article’s vintage crime illustrations don’t hint at an exotic rope-bondage fetish, there’s another problem with the original 1930s editions: racism. Quotes from The Hidden Staircase and Mystery at Lilac Inn prove, as one publisher acknowledged delicately, that “Much has changed” in America.

“The modern reader may be extremely uncomfortable with the racial and social sterotypes…”

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