“I am anti-stereotypical”. A lot of people have heard me say this and most times, I say it when referring to societal norm. I live mostly by personal convictions and I really have a problem with just doing things because “it is a norm”. What if it isn’t right? What if it doesn’t sit well with me? What if it doesn’t represent what I stand for? What if I simply just don’t want to do it?
Don’t get me wrong. There are some societal norms that are good and advisable to practice, but I feel better when I know why I’m doing that particular thing and can easily justify it.
Most stereotypes are fallacious. You’d realize that they fall under fallacy of hasty generalisation. Let me explain stereotypes in my little understanding. The society is divided into groups and most of these groups are intertwined and influence each other; family, community, workplace, economic class, organizations, marketplace, etc.
Now, I’d paint a scenario:
Some men in a particular community meet most evenings to talk over drinks. They bring up the subject of women and one of the men (say someone who has some kind of influence) complains about his wife and tries to convince them not to trust women. There is really no basis for this; I mean, why wouldn’t they trust their wives, but because of this man’s influence, they begin to consider it subconsciously. Now, they continue to meet regularly and this influential man continues complaining, trying to paint a narrative.
The problem with painting narratives is that they don’t allow you give the other party the benefit of doubt. The men begin to watch out for something that is non-existent in their wives and the one day they coincidentally find what they’re looking for (as opposed to the several days they didn’t), they immediately conclude that their friend was right, “Women are really this way”. The few men it doesn’t happen to are pressured to keeping quiet because they’re the minority or because “They haven’t seen life yet”.
This happens in small community and these few men have already over-generalized that “all women” are a certain way. They take that mentality to their workplace or marketplace and the cycle repeats itself. Imagine the same scenario for women in a salon who paint “all men” to be a certain way and decide to “declare war on men”. An innocent man in his home wouldn’t even know his wife has subconsciously declared war on him.
Stereotypes are passed from generations to generations. They are passed as long as there’s influence and so far as human relationship is concerned, influence is never absent.
You’ll see parents raise their children with funny ideologies; ideologies without backing; ideologies they picked from the society. Society now indirectly controls our lives; telling us what to do to make us “valid” and what not. Societal influence has found it’s way into our homes, relationships, mentalities, activities and even the church!
Society tells us how to raise a boy and girl child. It tells us that only the girl needs training. It tells us the roles boys and girls should carry out in the home; how men should treat their wives and vice versa. It tells us the career guys and ladies should pursue. Any lady pursuing a “guy career” is strong, unique and extra; any guy pursuing a “lady career” is weak and less of a man. Society tells us when to break and mend relationships. It tells us what activities to carry out at each time of the day and what you should wear on each day of the week. I remember wearing jeans on a Monday in school and this lady said I was abnormal. Who in the world made it abnormal to wear jeans on a Monday? (Yeah, I can see those answers popping into your head. “But it’s Monday, Monday is official”. Again, stereotype).
Stereotypes make us do what we don’t want to do and sometimes make us compromise. Do you have personal convictions? When you live based on personal convictions, it’s easier to explain why you’re carrying out an action as opposed to not knowing the reason for an action that was forced down the throats of people by some random people in the 15th century. Personal convictions give you a confidence to live.
I heard someone say “I am not a believer of people knowing each other for years before getting married” and I feel it’s fine for her. She can meet someone and marry him after a few months. I’m a different person. In fact, I believe in the opposite and instead of being pressured to doing what she believes in, I’d do what I believe in with confidence. That, is refusing to be mind-controlled by society.
There are many things I want to say about this topic, but I think I’d just break it into episodes.
What is your opinion about stereotypes?
12 thoughts on “ANTI-STEREOTYPICAL — Breaking away from societal mind control”
Followed through to the end. I think stereotype should not be followed at all times. Sometimes, it needs to be questioned. These are old beliefs and following or abiding by it in the recent years could destroy our emotions and some times, make us uncomfortable.
If there is a reason why I shouldn’t dress smart casual on a Monday. I think it should be made known which I haven’t gotten any tangible reasons to do so. Many say you must look smart and that’s all. Okay….what about my casual dress, does that not make me look smart? Either corporate or not, dress well. That’s what works for me.
Another thing is we need to weigh it at both ends as individuals. Why is this thing said? Am I comfortable, is it good? Does it preach a good image of me? If it does, then do it.
Lovely piece, watching out for the next episode.
Weldone. (Thumbs up)
Thank you very much😊
Questioning stereotypes can be hard atimes, because it might seem like that stereotype is the right thing to do since “everyone is doing it”. It takes someone who is ready to standout to question stereotypes.
And yes, like you said, it’s important to know what works for us
Being stereotypical does not allow you to be objective because you already have a preconceived notion and judgement about that issue.
For example; the different tribal conflict we have at the moment. An individual already has a preconceived notion about a particular tribe
Stereotypes bring lots of limitations, and they’re easily embraced by a myopic mindset. When your mind is set free, it’s free from stereotypes. Its then able to break limits.
Thank you very much ❤️
We live in a more liberal world today, opinions have to be respected. People are a product of the choices they make and the orientation they’ve received/experienced either from family/society (which defines their personal conviction) knowing this will help us know why people act the way they do, so we mustn’t always conform to what the society says we must do based on stereotypes, rather do what is right and just.
We must not conform to what society says. That has been my motto.
The truth is, there are some things that society deems right, but are wrong and there are also some things that society frowns at that are right. We have to decide not to always please society to be purposeful and fulfilled.
I have lots of things to say that I had to search for a VN button. Couldn’t find any. So, I’ll just stick to a simple line of, “so far, this is the best representation of some interval struggles I’ve been having within my ever busy head.
Nut I’ve got more questions on where we draw the line. I’m a strong proponent of sticking to your personal convictions irrespective of all, and it’s ended up placing me against the tide most times. But then, where do we draw a line on issues such as some sensitive moral decadence. Calling them decadence alone already feels like I’m succumbing to the societal manipulation.
But in simple terms, of everyone refuses to now to societal corrosion, aren’t we going to be having pockets of weirdos who believe it is right to rape, kill and do other atrocities, and we can’t condemn them because, hey, it’s their personal conviction.
I have this theory of relativity in my head, but it’s too scary to voice out. Cos I’m mighty scared of going overboard. Maybe if there were some private mail feature, I’d explain it to you. Dunno if it’s something I should be sharing publicly tho.
Okay, this is getting too long.
Great piece. I’d evangelise your link. Just a shame that erryone will then come down here and meet this boring rant cum epistle that I have left here.
Thank you very much for your comment.
This is a very vital point you’ve made here.
Well, when we talk about questioning beliefs and actions, it also involves questioning yours. Everyone should crave to do what is right and if a particular action isn’t right, why should I engage in it and say it’s a personal conviction?
Where ‘breaking away from societal mind-control’ comes in is when you have to question some things that are wrong (or you don’t believe in) that is widely practised or “acceptable” in the society.
So you’re not just doing something because people say you should, but because you believe it’s the right thing to do.
You always do a great job bringing up topics that are not the ‘norm’ and those are the ones that really matter. Stereotyping has stripped a lot of people to people, nation to nation, tribe to tribe and race to race wholesome relationships. Ibos are tagged something, same goes for the Yorubas and the Hausas. Just like Henry Danger said, “when you generalize, you tell “general-lies.” Just because some people from a tribe or race have decided to sacrifice rectitude for other things and have somehow successfully gotten others following in their foot steps doesn’t make it a definitive for that group of people. Haba!…
I like what you are doing sis.
Myles Monroe said, “deliverance is when you leave Egypt but freedom is when Egypt leaves your mind.” In other words, target the mind when you’re looking for real change.
Keep doing what you’re doing sis. Soon there’ll be a new breed of youngsters who have personal convictions rather than general aberrations.
Pray more of God’s grace over your life!
I’m totally mind blown!
Thank you very much😊
“When you generalize, you tell general lies”🙌🏽🙌🏽
I just pray our generation will wake up. Mind-slavery is real!
God bless you bro