Stereotyping the Stereotypes

Stereotyping the Stereotypes

Stereotyping is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I get so frustrated with people who look at a group of people and make automatic assumptions that there is something bad about the people because they fit in a certain stereotype.

This is not a new issue, as it has been around for centuries.  All through history, there has been a tendency to find fault in others, simply due to their skin color, their religion, where they are from, or what their ancestors.

Prime example from the 1800’s is the way those of high society looked down their noses at those who had to work for a living.  To associate with someone of trade was improper, and could even cause scandal, ruining the reputation of your family.  But why?  Why was it so forbidden to socialize with someone who worked for a living?

If you stopped and thought about the time, it was acceptable for the second son of wealthy families to go into battle during war, to become a solicitor, or clergymen, but they could not run a shop.  It was even questionable at times for the second or younger sons to become physicians.  A very unseemly profession.

But it was acceptable for these same sons to visit brothels, keep mistresses, gamble, and act in reprehensible manners.  And it was acceptable for these sons to dine at the same table as peers, but heaven forbid a wealthy tradesman, who had a perfect reputation, attempt to dine at the same table.

menorah-silhouetteWe saw it when someone from another country traveled.  A Yank from the US was frowned upon, and thought to be on the same level, or lower, than a tradesman.

And ladies, we have endure stereotyping throughout the ages. Ladies were too delicate, too weak, not intelligent.  How many times have we proven ourselves? And continue to prove that we can be stronger, both mentally and physically,  than some men, that we are intelligent and able to think beyond the clothes we wear or fixing meals for our families.

And it repeated this sort of prejudices throughout history.  The worst came during World War II, when millions of people were murdered in the deadliest time in history, simply for being thought of as worthless.  Not only Jews, but many other groups were put to death for no other reason than being gypsy, homosexual, did not agree with the Nazi party, or other reasons.   Out and out murder, just because they were different, and someone decided to place all the woes in the world upon their groups.

The reason I bring this up is due to the fact that I am seeing history repeating itself, over and over, and I believe there are many people who forget the harsh lessons history has taught us.

I admit to having friends of most different religions, ethnic groups, homosexual, racial, and everything in between.  I try not to judge people by skin color, whether they call their higher power by God or something else, where they are from, or their sexual preference.  We are all unique and different. That is what makes the world so interesting.  It would be dull and boring if we were all the same, thought the same, believed the same.

So, with Christmas close at hand (and just where did this year go, it was only February last week, was it not?), I would like to make a challenge.  I love learning about the customs of others.  It is fun to learn of the traditions and how it came about.  So I would love to see each of you who read this write a tradition you do at this time of the year.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, or something else, tell us a family tradition so that we might know you better.

Christmas Fireplace

To start, I am Celtic Pagan.  To me, Yule is the shortest day and longest night. From Yule forward is the beginning of the new sun god, which will begin to grow longer days and shorter nights.  So, on the eve of Yule, candles are lit and kept alive, to welcome the “birth” of the new sun god each year. (Yes, sort of like the Baby New Year taking over from the old year, but has been a belief for centuries longer than Baby New Year).

yuletideSo, share something of your holiday traditions with us.  Let us know more, so that we can learn, and hopefully, we can stomp a little bit of stereotyping down in the dirt.

And if I don’t get a chance to tell you, thank you to all for being a part of my life, and giving me many blessings to celebrate.  Blessings and good tidings to you and your family through the end of 2015 and here’s to a wonderful 2016.


16 Responses to Stereotyping the Stereotypes

  1. I think you have a good point about stereotyping. I notice the same problems. We do the whole big Christmas thing, but I try to teach my kids to serve others as well. They love to help us come up with ideas for people that need help.

  2. Our family always celebrates Christmas with a party on Christmas eve. We have a Santa come to the house and the kids sit on his lap and tell him what they want. Santa gives them a small gift which is provided by their parents. You can play several games of bingo for a few dollars and the winners get cash or a gag gift. We all believe in Jesus and we know that Christmas is a pagan holiday but we celebrate His birth on that day anyway. It is a great time for a family reunion.

  3. Melanie, I do not celebrate Christmas at all even though I was originally brought up Lutheran. I am Hellenic Polytheist, so this month there are festivals to Poseidon, Dionysos and Demeter. However, as I always felt very close to the maternal side of my family, which is primarily Slavic, I do honour my ancestors during the period between the solstice and the new year by pouring libations at the cemetery. The folklore of Grandfather Frost and the Snow Queen also speak to me much closer than others which is why I so miss a real snowy winter.
    Ah, Ginna, Brownies are one of the Irish/Celtic household fae (there are many types of fae). Brownies can be particulary naughty (nasty), like Domovoi (Slavic Household beings). Pixies are even worse — be careful of them.

  4. I no longer celebrate “Christmas” in the commercial or church-sense; instead, I attempt to live every day in a Christ-like manner by accepting and loving everyone as they are. We are One. So what you give you get to keep. If you give hate, you will get hate. If you give Love, you will get Love.

    • You are so correct. For some reason, people get so caught up in things this time of year and forget the spirit of loving and caring. And it needs to be all year long, not just a short time in December.

  5. We don’t celebrate Christmas as it is not when Jesus was born and the 2 birthday celebrations ( one in he Hebrew scriptures and the other in the Christian/Greek scriptures) ended in beheadings. We celebrate a family day at another time, usually when we go on vacation or visit other family members,

    • As a pagan, I do not celebrate Jesus’s birth. But having grown up with a grandma who was a Christmas elf, we still celebrate with gifts and food. My daughter, Cate, and I often go to a movie on Christmas day.

  6. I have always celebrated Christmas. We open presents on Christmas day and always have special treats that day. I love candlelight carol services.

    • As a child, my grandma was a true elf. And if we hadn’t arrived at her house by 6am, she was on the phone asking where we were. Then a big breakfast after we had opened presents.

  7. What I liked about Xmas here is that it is not called CHRISTMAS, in my language it’s Jul. I grew up with not Hoho Santa, but, what to call them, goblins? Tiny santas? Anyway, little bearded men who wear grey, they live in stables and such and help around the house. If you are nice they are nice, if you are bad they are bad. If you leave out porridge on xmas they will thank you. But then I always loved folklore, even as a kid. Xmas for me is more about community just like my ancestors did it (without any sacrificing 😉 Religious..nope

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