Stereotyping People Of Color
This week on The Slut Show Ellen Moore is joined by journalist and editor in chief of Complex.NL Soraya Hadjar (she/her). They discuss racism in journalism and the media, the stereotyping of black “laziness” and the disproportionate consequences drug use - by people of color - can have. This week’s Slutty Science explains how stereotypes arise and what makes them so harmful.
Please note: this article contains information about racism, which may be triggering for some readers.
Today we are taking a closer look at the ways in which racism is ingrained in many different areas of the contemporary society we find ourselves in today. Let us begin by taking a closer look at stereotyping.
Stereotypes are rigid forms of categorizing and prescribing certain character traits to people, cultures, sexualities and so forth and so on.
Stereotypes generally enlarge barriers between those stereotyping and those being stereotyped. Creating a sense of ‘us’ against ‘them’, which oftentimes aggravates inequality by contributing to prevailing, hegemonic power dynamics and structures. Stereotyping demonizes ‘them’ - the stereotyped - while simultaneously generating a sense of superiority to ‘us’ - the ones doing the stereotyping.
However rigid, stereotypes are not immutable. Stereotyping only began to occur with the commencement of modern urban societies.
There is a very fine line between stereotyping and using fluid, interchangeable predispositions to better understand and navigate the increasingly complex world we find ourselves in.
In the media - in particular in film and television - the use of juxtapositioning and mise-en-scène descends from oppressive patterns contributing to the conservation of social control and both the aftermath and reimplementation of values based on the apartheid, rather than randomness.
Therefore it is important to become aware of the point of view from which we look. In our case, this is a very Eurocentric, white, skinny, well educated and cis-gendered point of view.
Therefore it is important to become aware of your own internalized racism. This is not so much an individual problem, but rather a tremendous systemic issue resulting in double standards, non-originary casting, stereotypical thinking and the simplification of intricate cultural phenomena by discarding them as anomalous.
Historically speaking trans women of color have the most social disadvantage to fight. For starters they are trans and therefore obliged to rebel against the cis and hetero normativity we are drowned in. Secondly, they are women of color and so they are forced to handle, not just the patriarchal way this society was built, but on top of that they are forced to deal with the racism still sensible - in many different forms - every day.
Saying these women matter, does not mean you don’t matter.
Saying these women deserve equal rights, payment and treatment, does not take any of your rights, payment or treatment away.
Learn to decentralize yourself, when it comes to discussing racism. This is not about you.
It’s not like you get less, because they get more.
Equality isn’t like pie.
We all get more and if that frightens you, maybe it’s time you confront yourself and the ways in which hetero- and cis normativity, racism and the patriarchy benefit you.
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‘The Slut Show With Ellen Moore’: A place to speak openly about shit you and I have to deal with on a daily basis. About feminism, insecurities, feeling like a bomb ass bitch and obviously about loads of sex. Raw, real and uncensored, Ellen Moore brings you your weekly dose of empowerment.
- Shohat, Ella, and Robert Stam. 2014. Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. 2nd ed. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315771441.