Ordinary People – Is Vinnie a stereotype?

May 17, 2014

Vinnie is a stereotype. He’s the quintessential gay man, with conservative but impeccable taste in clothing, a good cook, almost obsessive about keeping his house clean, and he’s very dramatic. He knows he’s a stereotype, but looks upon himself as something like the ‘average’ in a list of numbers: there are a whole heap ‘more’ and a whole heap ‘less’. What do you think about stereotypes? Are they the average, or do they show a lack of education/acceptance?

bell curve

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6 Responses to “Ordinary People – Is Vinnie a stereotype?”

  1. Trix says:

    I think it’s as much a lack of exposure as a lack of education/acceptance. It’s easier to use shorthand and lump bunches of people together when you haven’t met an individual who breaks the cliche you’ve been taught.

  2. eemontgomery says:

    Hi Trix. That’s true. I thought about Vinnie a long time before I put him on paper because I didn’t want to perpetuate the idea that that’s all there was. Then a friend of mine, who’s every bit as dramatic as Vinnie, told me to just run with it. Sometimes the stereotype does fit.

  3. Susan says:

    My first close friend in college was gay, and he fit the stereotype, but I knew other gays who did not fit the stereotype. It was not lack of education/acceptance that made me see him as stereotypical. He was the one asking me where I bought my clothes, which I actually enjoyed. I take all people as individuals, no matter where they fall on any spectrum.

  4. eemontgomery says:

    Hi Susan. Glad you could join us here. I agree about stereotypes. They have to come from somewhere, but the important thing is not to pigeonhole people. Everyone deserves the time and attention it takes to get to know them for the individual they are.

  5. H.B. says:

    I agree with Trix on this one. I’ve had encounters when I was younger that kind of made me hate stereotyping people. It also made me realize how ignorant some people really are to other cultures.

    I like to think of each individual I come across as being unique even if they may fall into the perimeters of a certain stereotype.

  6. eemontgomery says:

    That’s a better way of saying it than I’ve been doing, H.B. Thanks. Often those parameters become more than an easy description, don’t they? Sometimes, they become limiters.

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