A couple of weeks ago someone left a phone on one of our charter buses. They called in and said the tracker said it was at our location. The calltaker asked a dispatcher to check. Dispatcher sent a driver. Driver came in saying – No phone. Calltaker asked dispatcher to check again. Dispatcher went himself, came in – No phone.
Calltaker, exasperated with both of these men, went out herself. Got the phone. The look on the dispatcher’s face was exactly this comic when she showed him the phone.
One of the gender stereotypes we perpetuate is that men are apparently blind when looking for a thing that is right in front of them and women are not. It’s funny because we all know a story that aligns with the stereotype.
But I must be the exception if that is true that women see things men don’t because I am often blindly staring at things I am looking for. I think many women are.
So many gender stereotypes are funny. A way to bond with our friends over stories. But they remain problematic.
Because so many of them are either patently untrue, or perpetuate a social norm that is harmful to both society and individuals. So many of the roles and norms we assign to masculinity are negative and harmful. Men don’t have feelings. Men don’t don’t need help, they are self reliant and strong. Men fight they don’t hug. Men don’t clean. Men can’t find anything.
So many things that we accept are very hard on men and women. But we have somehow normalized them. It’s odd how easy it is to find something toxic or just plain incorrect to be normal and right.
One thought on “Stereotyping”
There was a fascinating article about how men use stereotypes to their advantage, especially when it comes to labor, emotional labor, and childcare. The idea was that if practiced learned helplessness, women would get fed up and do the job themselves.
Like the dispatcher.
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