At the bottom of attitudes not based on direct experience, there are often stereotypes and prejudices.
The stereotype is a persistent feature applied to one place, an object, an event, or to a group of people that have the same qualities. It’s a concept that can have a neutral meaning (like the stereotype of Christmas with the snow and the fireplace lit or the image of Santa Claus fat and with a long beard), positive (“The French are romantic”), or negative (the association between drug use and rock music) and can reflect the opinion of a social group regarding other groups. The stereotype is a belief which can be changed through education and familiarization.
The word stereotype comes from the Greek words “stereos” (rigid) and “typos” (picture), so “rigid picture”. The stereotype refers, then, to the rigid generalizations regarding social groups with illogical and inexact content, which represent reality in an altered way because they make it perceive as if it were all the same, as if individuals were all the same.
Unfortunately, one of the most common stereotypes is the one that concerns the male and female population. Lots of people believe that women should stay at home and do just housework, and that they aren’t suitable for other kinds of jobs. This belief isn’t right because the world of work should be accessible to everyone without distinctions, but, still today, there are many inequalities: for example, lots of women earn less than men while doing the same job.
Lastly, I invite you all to reflect: why do we always have to judge? Is it really necessary?
If each of us eliminated the idea that a group corresponds to a charateristic that labels it, the world would be a better place. “Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.”
(Marguerite of Blessington)