Psychology: A Brief Visit with the Stereotypes of Life

in psychology •  2 months ago

I am "minding the store" today; that is, I am working in our little art gallery on what is arguably the busiest weekend of the year: Port Townsend's annual "Wooden Boat Festival."

For this 3-day weekend festival, visitors double or even triple the population of our seaside town.

Naturally, quite a few spill over into shopping areas after they get tired of looking at boats. That said, it is really more of a "tire kicking" crowd than an actual shopping crowd.


Stereotypes, Anyone?

A little while ago, three festival going couples — obviously together — came walking down our hallway. They stopped at the front door... where the three wives peeled off and came in, while the three husbands remained outside the open front door.

Although the group was no older than in their 50's, it amused me how that "stereotypical" segregation happened, all by itself.

Clearly, art and decorative handmade items were "too girly" for the guys, whom I could still hear inside... talking about rigging and boat motors.

The incident gave me reason pause and consider just how much people still divide objects and activities into "male" and "female" and never the twain shall cross.


Not Suggesting...

... that men and women are the same, by any means. But it still baffles me to see things like... husbands holding their wives' purses while the wife is in the changing room, and making it look like they are holding a grenade with the pin pulled.

Really? Haven't we evolved beyond "men play with engines and guns and women play house?"

And don't get me wrong here — I'm not some closet feminist, but I AM a "be comfortable in your own skin-ist." Which means — by extension — not wigging out when you have to momentarily step outside old-fashioned gender roles, in service of simply being helpful or being a decent human being.

And there you have it! The desired "effect" of writing this quick post has been accomplished: the previously deserted shop has filled up with people again!

What do YOU think? Do people get excessively hung up on gender sterotypes? Or is keeping a clear definition "as it should be?" Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

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My husband and I often joke about those "gender roles"; him often referring to me as "wearing the pants in the family" and I tease him about wearing a dress to our wedding. It was, in fact, a kilt and he's got better looking legs than I do. LOL

But in your example with the men talking "manly things" as the women shopped, I often wonder if it's projected peer pressure: a mindset of "I don't want him to think I'm less than a guy's guy so I won't go into the art shop". How ironic and sad if they both had a love and appreciation of art yet denied themselves the pleasure. Surely they must have seen you in the shop. Does that make you less than a man? I don't think so.

Gender stereotypes are stupid. People are people. Some people cannot do stuff that others can because of strength, skill, and/or physiological attributes. That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it. Now, where's my tool belt? I gotta go build a thing.


People are, indeed, people.

I'm NOT suggesting that men and women aren't different, and don't tend to have preferences that fall along gender delineations.

But — as I also said in my reply to Everitt — what's odd about it is that traditionally MALE fields like art and cooking (and others) have somehow been declared "girly" in the course of the last few decades... almost as if "self-image" has suddenly become more important than simply standing in the truth of your own authentic preferences.

I'm a guy, and I like art and photography, and chopping wood with an axe, and building stuff, and I'm not really concerned with "what people think" about those likes, in a gender context.

Haven't we evolved beyond "men play with engines and guns and women play house?"

nope...and we never will.

Give a young boy (a toddler) a doll...and he goes all 'G.I. Joe' with it.
Give the same doll to a little girl (same age) she rocks it, cradles it and hugs it.


Not suggesting that "boy's shouldn't be boys" and all that...

What amused me was this example where it seemed looking at art was evidently "too girly" for these guys. And yet history (especially early) will show that the greatest artists were often MEN, not women: Michaelangelo, DaVinci, Rembrandt and countless others. The same with things like chefs/cooks...

How did we take something traditionally male dominated and in recent (last 50 or so?) years decided it suddenly was "girly?" That is the part that doesn't make sense to me.


the media...what can I say?


as always...the bell curve.

It applies to all large populations.

Consider men and the look at the chart.
'most men' fall in the middle (a certain degree of characteristics associated with masculinity)
Some are much less so.
Some are much more so.


Your reply reminded me of this photo I saw posted to one of those funny blogs 🙂


· happens.


I don't know about that @everittdmickey
I didn't like dolls and always stole my brother's Legos, Lincoln logs and K'nex set. He always got the cool toys. I'd rather change the oil in my car than play house. The "pink aisle" in Walmart gives me hives and there have been times I was jealous that guys can "whip it out" and pee anywhere, especially on long road trips. ps - I still identify as a girl (most of the time).


AHA! That would indicate that stereo types are invalid?

I seem to recall hearing the word 'tomboy' somewhere...and I say that with all respect.


I guess I'll always be a bit of a 'tomboy'. Hubby laughs when I try to convince him that I'm delicate. Girl moments never worked for me either. I've never been able to cry myself out of a damned ticket! LOL

Ooh, how about if we just live life in stereo?


failure of imagination.
think quadrasonic or beyond!


dammit! You got me there. 🤣

I don't get it, why men are like they are, but then again I surely don't get girls fickle ways. Truth be told I don't understand humans at all. Humans are...well, stupid. Need evidence? War, poverty, rape, pedophilia, crack cocaine, to name a few. More, and my biggest pet peeve, social media. Social media rewards antisocial behavior. Evidence shows since the advent of SM people are losing their social skills due to the fact they are not going outside and actually interacting with people. Rather, they hide behind a screen and portray themselves as something they are not all in hopes of getting a nice dopamine jolt for receiving a like, an upvote, or a reply to their posting of how they are going to be away to brush their teeth. Insanity. Absolute insanity.
God forbid the millions of people on facebook find Sterno, they all turn in to zombies whoring themselves for a whale vote or a new badge of achievement to get their fix. And so here I am, ranting after reading this post, all for my measly 0.001 reward in steel power...


Agreed, in principle.

I don't know if most humans are stupid, but they are — at the very least — hard to understand, and often they make little sense.

Social media definitely seems to have a negative effect on people's social skills and interaction, especially when you look at social media "natives;" those who — by the time they were of an age to understand their surroundings — have never experienced life without the Internet and chat and so forth. I happen to be an "old fossil" (at 58) so I remember a world with rotary telephones and black-and-white television and NO computers in the home.

The growing dopamine addition is a problem... or rather, the FOCUS of it, in a single direction. I'll admit I get a nice "hit" from finishing a piece of art, or taking a really good photo or something like that... but my dopamine hits come from a very BROAD group of original sources.

A thoughtful comment, though! Here, have your 5 cents! :P


LoL. From my original comment : .....God forbid the millions of people on facebook find Sterno, .... Sterno? My dumb phone auto corrected Steemit to Sterno. To funny. I'll be 56 here in a couple of months so yeah I remember the days of the whole family sitting in the living room watching the Curtis Mathis tube type color TV. And dammit I really miss Johnny Carson, his laugh lulled me to sleep many a night. Bell bottoms, large collars on shirts, roller skating at a skating rink to the Bee Gees .... What happened? It's definitely not the same country I grew up in, or maybe I'm just getting old

What happens when a same-sex couple shows up? 😅


Interesting question, and it does actually have somewhat of a pattern in the answer.

Gay MEN are some of our very best customers for art and "home stuff." Gay WOMEN are probably quite a bit below average.

That's a generalization, of course... with its exceptions.


Interesting... would not have guessed that on average there was that much of a noticeable difference (between the two generalizations). But for these couples, you would say both partner's behavior was more or less the same?

And now I'm also curious to hear the breakdown by racial groups as well as foreigners vs. US travelers vs. locals, hah. The most "forbidden" topics of conversation happen to be the most interesting to me :P

There's a heck of a lot of that kind of judgment that goes on around here in America.

If you're holding a purse it is very likely someone will assume that you are a homosexual.

There's certainly nothing wrong with that but there are always people around to judge each other. There probably always will be.


I'm not suggesting that genders shouldn't be genders... just that some people seem to get so ridiculously attached to rigid delineations it actually ends up being funny.


True enough.

Yeah it goes back to early life when boys played with Gi Joe and girls with dolls.

We have been brainwashed and programmed through generation after generation that this is the way it "ought" t be.

Of course now as a Society we are a bit more open to boys playing with dolls and girls Gi Joe but still it will never completely accepted


Oh, no doubt we've been brainwashed!

"Rigid gender lines" seem more prominent in the USA than other places I have lived (I was born and raised in Denmark and around Europe, but have lived in the US for many years)... and people seem more resistant to examining the "boxes" they put themselves in.

I'm always puzzled by groups of women who complain about "clueless, helpless men" but they will go to some lengths to make sure those same men DON'T ever step foot in the laundry room or kitchen... so they can't actually LEARN to be anything but "helpless."

But then I'm probably gender stereotyping myself by suggesting we FIX the problem.


I'm always puzzled by groups of women who complain about "clueless, helpless men" but they will go to some lengths to make sure those same men DON'T ever step foot in the laundry room or kitchen... so they can't actually LEARN to be anything but "helpless."

ding ding ding....we have a winner. My wife nags me about picking up my clothes but yet when I get too neat she thinks something is really wrong with me.

It's a no win situation. And honestly a little form of Control by some of these women who do this.

Kind of like those women who want to be CEO while the hubbie is Mr. Mom but then wants full custodial rights and alimony when divorce happens because she has a vagina ( Sorry, just being brutally honest).

It's a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it to. If you want Equality you must accept the Good and the Bad, imho

"be comfortable in your own skin-ist."

Said no man ever I knew whose wife sent him to the store for tampons, but hey that'd be a great moral booster for the wives to use.


Really? That's funny!

I've been to the store countless times to pick up (among other things) tampons, pads and other "fem.hyg." stuff... they are just things, for God's sake! What's the big deal?

I never found that doing so made my morning cornflakes taste any different, or the next sunset any prettier or less pretty.

But hey we're all wired differently!


Man, I've seen some outright, downright refusals, like the world would end right there and then if they touched a feminine hygiene

Gender stereotypes are just biological order, there are masculine and feminine brains, and both are different, not more or less intelligent . if we broke the "gender stereotypes" by force the occidental society will crash


Most gender stereotypes absolutely have their roots in reality. And I recognize that... what I question is the wisdom of people placing themselves into too many "iron clad boxes" according to gender delineations.