Empowering Discussions

Why Representation of Everybody is Good For Everybody: Ending Negative Stereotypes

Because of the high-profile of Hilary Clinton in the international arena, there’s a lot of speculation right now about the chance that the next president of the USA could be a woman. Other countries have already elected women presidents and prime ministers. Women are rulers and warriors, but we rarely see them on the elementary school walls next to our founding fathers. Seeing a woman president doesn’t just give girls and women ideas of what they can accomplish. It gives young and impressionable boys a more well-rounded way of looking at their female peers. When those boys grow up they will not only see women as objects or less than them, but as equals competent at running a country, not just a household. As men they can support their female peers to have as much privilege as they do.

It’s the same as seeing Misty Copeland dance as the FIRST African-American Principle dancer in the American Ballet. Now, not only can aspiring black and brown girls see themselves in that role, but so can their male counterparts who will one day be on stage with them believing that women of color belong in leading roles.

We need to see BLACK males as happy, successful, kind and good fathers to end the violent thug and drug dealing gangster stereotypes.

We need to see independent and intelligent LATINAS as leaders in our communities, not as sex objects or maids.

We need to see intelligent and accomplished NATIVE AMERICANS in politics, onscreen and n every industry, not as victims of colonialism or dressed in beads wasting away on reservations.

We need to see ASIAN actors in dramas, comedies and romance, not just as kung fu masters, mail order brides or sidekicks.

We need to see strong and independent INDIAN women who are not silent victims of acid attacks, sexism or rape.

We need to see women and men of color in our LGBTQ communities as loving parents, not as tokens.

We need to see those who are DISABLED as competent and suitable to succeed in business, science or as athletics, not as damsels in distress waiting for us to save them.

It’s not just young children who need to see them so they too can become all they can imagine and more. It is ALL OF US who need to see this so we can stop our snap judgements and prejudiced views. We need to see real diversity so we can insure that everyone has an equal chance. For those of us with privilege, in whatever form it is, it’s time to step up, to pull strings and level the playing field so we no longer have the upper hand. We must do this not as if we are the only ones who can “save” others who have less, but as their equals. We won’t lose as much as we think, but we will gain so much more!

WHAT STEREOTYPE ARE YOU SICK OF?

WHAT NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES DO YOU HOLD?

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