Let’s talk about stereotypes. Because it’s bothering me. It’s bothering me because I hate sexual discrimination. And sexual discrimination stems from stereotypical prejudices against women.
Why now? Why, you ask? Because someone close to me passed a completely shameless, misguided judgement about me.
See I don’t know where to fit in. And that’s fine. I’ve been going back and forth from one stereotype to another.
Allow me to elaborate.
I was a bright student. (Understatement)
I started wearing glasses when I turned 14. (Nerd jokes start)
Topped the school. Thought it was no big deal. I was a nerd after all.
Gave up glasses at age 16. Went to a severely geeky junior college, wore high heels to there. Got labelled as a bimbo airhead, a “brainless beauty”, as they bluntly put it. Topped the state in two subjects. Not bad, I thought.
Got admitted to an ivy league college I couldn’t afford. Went to Singapore instead. Got labelled as the airhead nutcase with State Education (State Ed isn’t good enough?!)
Started getting good grades, and people said I was a geek and that I studied too much. I attended 90% of my lectures, slept in 80% of them and danced in my spare time.
Graduated in top merit, got a decent job (which I hate now). Still I endured rumours about how I got the job only because of my gender/physical attributes.
So anyway, I tried to lay low for a while. I thought it would be great to work in a simple easy-going job for a while after having struggled through the toughest specialisation and what not. I’ve been having fun, enjoying the weekends sans studies and generally been letting it all hang out.
The loans are getting paid and the shoes are being bought. The books are being read for leisure and the coffee that kept me awake at 3am while struggling with that one last question now keeps me awake at 9am (even though, technically I should be awake at 9am).
Of course then predictably I got frustrated with the lack of challenge at work and in life. And then unwanted stress kicks in. So yes, I waited awhile, I relaxed awhile to push myself towards the grind. And I think it has worked.
And what does this have to do with stereotyping? After all these years, once again, someone close to me said straight to my face,
“You can’t think for yourself outside of bags and shoes”
Wow. That one hurt.
But then I thought about it long enough and I am just amused. Bemused, if you will. I am thoroughly amused at how men find it so hard to accept who we are and what we are without attaching a label to each one of us .
This one is a bimbo. That one is a geek. That one is loose. This one is uptight.
Like there is nothing in between and hell will freeze over if a girl with moderate intelligence wears shoes and earrings that coordinate! OH NO! Say it ain’t so! That would shake the foundation of human society now, wouldn’t it?
Fuck that shit, men. There are plenty of smart, intelligent, fashionable, independent women out there who defy your stupid stereotypes. And for most part, we give a flying fuck about your immature judgements.
I have seen plenty of trailblazers myself. I’ve seen “bimboes” with talent. I’ve seen the uptight ones elope. I’ve seen the materialistic ones give it all up for love. I’ve seen dunces turn into dentists. I am not saying every woman is a jane-of-all trades. There will always be some that cater to the stereotype, but there will be plenty who don’t.
So take us out to dinner. We won’t go Dutch. But at least you’ll learn a thing or two.