As a feminist, I have had to accept the fact that many of the things that I dislike about the world around me may never change, and that is OK. And while some may find that to be a very negative way of thinking, I have found that accepting this mantra for my life has forced me to work even harder the way that I see the world around me and the way that I think about certain things — namely gender norms and stereotypes. Thus, if I can deconstruct my own thinking and surround myself with like-minded people, I have already begun eliminating the reinforced cultural codes (fancy word for stereotypes) that I encounter everyday.
That being said, I must admit that I have been a bit skeptical on how receptive others would be to radically changing the way that they think about the world around them, especially if this change had to be self-motivated.
Whether we want to admit it or not, generalizations, biases and stereotypes are a major influence on the way that we think about the world around us. Advertisers and marketing committees rely on a whole host of deeply embedded stereotypes and gender norms (many of which are negative) to sell products to consumers. A recent article highlighted the ways in which we can cognitively deconstruct the generalizations and stereotypes that may have embedded themselves into our thinking to formulate new norms about the world around us.
So, after reading this article and watching this video numerous times, I began to think about how television shows and other media outlets may actually have more power in developing and reinforcing stereotypes than I would have ever wanted to admit. Additionally, if one is never forced to think outside of the stereotypes that are reinforced everyday via media outlets, like Facebook for example, why would we expect their thinking to be any different?
And while suggesting that everyone create screen savers full of images that negate the harmful stereotypes we encounter on a daily basis as the presenter in this video suggests is a bit unrealistic, it is a step in the right direction. Now, however, since you have read this article and you know that the only way to get over negative stereotypes is to counter them, I encourage you to implement that in your own life. What steps will you take moving forward, to not only deconstruct negative stereotypes that you have about yourself but the world around you?