Generalize This.

Protect your nuts.

One of the most interesting facets of being an internet talking head, especially in the relationship realm, is how often people get their panties in a bunch about generalizations. Now, I’m not sure if it’s because people aren’t sure that we don’t know better or because people just like to point out that everybody isn’t XYZ. Whoopty whoop whoopty whoop whoop.

Here’s the long and short of it: I both know that everybody isn’t one way or another. But I also talk to too many people at once to NOT generalize. Also, I tend to assume that most of the reading populace is smart enough to grasp the concept that I don’t need to put “some” in front of every generalized statement in order to play fair. Well, the reading populace here anyway.

But here’s another issue that I take with being called out on generalizations (and to be real, and rude as this is going to come off, I generally don’t give a f*ck): none of us motherf*ckers are really that special anyway. People don’t like generalizations because they’re too easy. They paint everybody with a broad brush. We’re not all the same. Yes. I know. But the larger your sample of individuals (like say, “women” “men” “Black people” “white people” “ninjas”, etc) the closer you get to an average baseline. The fact is, while you, the specific individual, may not be a nag, in general, a preponderance of women are.

While you, hombre, may not be the inconsiderate, selfish f*ck that men are painted as, there is a huge majority of men who are. Period.

Then there’s this other game that both men and women run when being talked about in a negative fashion: “none of my friends are like that” or “I know more people who aren’t like xyz than are like 123″.

Bull malarkey. We don’t believe you, you need more people. Show and prove. All I do is spark mad izms. While we do tend to exaggerate at times (obviously) the truth is that most people are speaking from personal experience. And somebody like myself who has made it a point to try to do the best I can to observe human behavior (almost to a fault) the generalizations that get made aren’t THAT off base, if at all. Same with stereotypes. I f*cking love stereotypes. Hell, in some instances I attempt to BE the stereotype. You want a n*gga to show up? I’ll be that. If you expect it, allow me to be it.

But people hate those too. And I’ve never understood why folks got so up in arms. Stereotypes are rooted in truth. Now, I understand that most have a pejorative nature to them and since they tend to be generalizations about large groups, nobody wants to be lumped in with that group.

But that’s because you people all want to be special. We have worked so hard individually to NOT be that stereotype that we want to move far from it. Hell, some of you right now are ashamed of your hood family because they fit every stereotype known to man, but because you don’t, you don’t like stereotypes and prefer that they don’t get used.


Also ran…why don’t folks come down on comedians for their rampant need to use generalizations and stereotypes as as means of social discovery and exploration. Hell, that’s effectively what we do here. And even on sites that are less comedic so to speak, unless you take a larger aim at a subject there’s no discussion to be had. If every time I wrote something I said, Some of You Slob Knobs For Fun But Most Of You Don’t (not true anyway), there’s no discussion or debate to be had. Because there’s nothing to argue. It’s statistically accurate and damn near teflon to dissect.

I honestly think that the only way race relations in this country will get better is if Black folks and white folks sat down at a table and put all of the generalizations and stereotypes on the table as discussion points. That’s how you move forward. The only way you can get past the surface level misunderstandings is to discuss what they are in the first place. Which are generalizations. And stereotypes. Once you get past that point, sure, you can do away with them.

But that’s also a one-on-one thing. And we ain’t there yet. And at the end of the day, most of us have encountered more generalizations than outliers and exceptions to the rule anyway. So while I understand the beef with generalizations, I also think that getting upset about them does more of a disservice than discussing the circumstances around how we even got there in the first place.

All men are dogs? Yep. Now here’s why and here’s where you’re wrong.

All women are insane? Yep. Now here’s why and here’s where you’re wrong.

All Black people are criminals? Wait..what?

All white people smell like wet dogs? Um. What?

Sometimes you have to just put sh*t out there in order to get the debate going. Plus, a ninja like me? I’m the arsonist. I arson sh*t. But at the end of the day there’s a discussion to be had. Hate or love me at the beginning or end of it doesn’t change the fact that the discussion needs to happen does it?

Good people of VSB, what say you? Do generalizations and stereotypes have any place in discussions and debates or are they a detriment to true progress?

Talk to me.