Monday, March 06, 2006

Public Service

Liberal media types and their bleeding heart ilk are on a crusade against one of America's most vital social tools: stereotyping. They say making generalizations about someone based on race, gender or religion is a hurtful, shameful act that undermines the greater good. That's about as farfetched an idea as a black president.

What stereotyping really does is give busy people like me an efficient way to get to know those around me without having to actually get to know those around me. I won't waste time asking the lady in the next cubicle if she'll drive to lunch because she's Asian (you don't want to get into a car with those people). And I never worry what our Native American delivery guy thinks of our shipping process because I can assume he's too drunk to care.

Yes, some lesser groups – like gays, blacks, Hispanics, women, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Southerners, Midwesterners, Canadians and so on – may experience, at times, a slight inconvenience or minor loss of income potential because of stereotyping. But the overarching societal benefits far outweigh any drawbacks to a few people on the fringes.

Take the TV programs and movies we all enjoy so much. Without placing stock characters in stereotypical situations with highly predictable outcomes, would today's writers be able to come up with the high quality, thought-provoking work they're known for? Not likely.

And stereotyping greases the squeaky wheels of commerce. If advertisers stopped, for example, portraying seniors as happy, vibrant people and showed them to be the angry, bitter stoop-backs they are, sales would plummet and corporate resources would be drained averting Preparation H boycotts and responding to strongly worded letters. You know what that would mean for the rest of us: higher prices. And who can afford that these days with all those Arab terrorists making it so expensive to fill up the Hummer?

So the next time someone gives you a dirty look just because you said a Jewish guy was cheaper than a Vietnamese whore, remember that by stereotyping people, you're really doing them a favor – and doing us all a public service. Because when you point out that a Polish guy is too stupid to perform simple household tasks, or that a woman is too emotional and too busy having her period to run a company, you're reinforcing and strengthening the traditional assumptions that keep our society moving like a deadbeat dad.

2 comments:

Carie said...

brilliant.

AJ said...

Spoken like a true chinaman.