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A Stereotype Threat


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I received my first bad essay grade today. I was raging pissed for an acute 10 minutes, and it wasn't about my grade, either.

During class time the girls in my group were eager to check their test grades, but I was in no hurry because I knew I didn't do too well. I didn't want to be confronted with my grade until I got home that night. It turned out everyone in my group got pretty terrible grades, so they were quietly bitching throughout class. At the end of class the professor announced he was returning the essay then, so after I got my essay, I flipped into the back. Score: 11/20. Damn. It was worse than everyone else. Then this girl (who got a 13) next to me questioned in a resentful tone, "[I]What did YOU get? A 20?[/I]" I turned to her, said "[I]Eleven[/I]," and gave her what I thought was a pissed off glare. She was shocked, and started talking about how unfair the test was and I ignored her, packed my things, and left. I was really pissed.

I don't really know or talk to that girl, except I sit next to her once a week because my friend happens to sit at that table, I don't speak up in class, nor contribute any interesting ideas, I keep to myself, and I'm Asian.

As I was walking away from class I thought, "[I]Did she make that assumption because I'm Asian? Because I'm quiet? Did she think that I was so confident about my grade that I needn't check it early in class?[/I]"

Some of you may think that my emotions reacted too seriously. I guess all I can say about that is that there have been many instances where people assume that I do well in school, and perhaps it's a compilation of people's resentful remarks that I usually shrug off that caused this little incident to bother me. It bothered me more because today's incident was in a college classroom where I have expectations because the people in my class are future teachers.

And some may question why should I be so offended that someone should assume I'm smart? It's not that I'm offended that someone assumes I'm smart, but that I think someone has made an assumption about me only because of my ethnicity.

Perhaps I've thought myself to be quite unstereotypical so when I feel stereotyped I become offended.

And another thing that really bothered me was "[I]Why is it that people hate others who do well through fair means? Even hating people they don't know?[/I]" That to me is incredibly childish. No, not childish, even children know how to clap or give their peers a pat on the back for doing good. It's envious, maliciously spiteful. Stupid.

Coincidentially the class was Sociocultural Influences on Learning. So lately, I've been studying a lot about racial issues in the USA, which no doubt may have made me more sensitive to how different people interact with each other.

Feel free to tell me about any incidents you've experienced whether outrageously racial or slight. So I want to know: I believe she isn't racist or anything of that sort, but did her remark have a (subconscious?) racial undertone? Was I right/wrong for thinking it was a remark based on stereotypes? Why?

And do you hate people who get good grades? Hehe.
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[font=tahoma]Sadly, lot of educational stereotypes are racial diversed. Asians are considered to be highly intelligent solely on the fact that they are devoted to perfection, are dedicated to discipline, and are very strict. It is unfortunate that much is expected from you by your peers, just because of your race; it really casts you out of the group with that "Oh, we all know what he'll/she'll get. /roll of the eyes" attitude.

The same thing happens to African Americans, and Hispanics. It's disgusting that some crowds take to them as being less intelligent. I know plenty of very, very smart African Americans and Hispanics. I see how some of them struggle to prove that they are smart, and it's just--heartbreaking that some don't get the recognition they've strived and worked so hard for.

I don't necessarily hate people who get good grades. I dislike the kind who flaunt it, and use that as a tool. It's a shame, and a waste of intelligence.[/font]
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[color=darkblue][size=1]I've had a lot of stereotypical sideswipes in the past, both academically and outside the classroom.

I went to nearly all-black schools growing up, but I was always the quiet one and usually made decent grades (I was by no means the smartest individual in my class, though). Despite the fact that I still got bad grades like everyone else at times, everyone treated me with spite because they knew I was smart and thought I always got good grades no matter what. It didn't matter that I didn't lord it over them or anything like that; the fact that I had some intelligence was enough to make them treat me with jealousy and anger.

My more feather-ruffling moments happen when I'm out walking or something, and people either stare at me funny, avoid me all together or treat me like some easy floozy. A lot of people confuse me for being Hispanic only because of my skin color (I happen to be milatto). Other people realize I have at least some African-American in me and treat me like some common thief, going out of their way to avoid me. Even other black people approach me and ask me out of the way things just because they think I'm like most of the girls around where I live (I hope most of you are catching my meaning here).

It's all very aggrivating, but it's something that has to be dealt with, at least to a certain degree. People will shun or ridicule anything they consider different than themselves, be it a difference of intelligence, race, faith or whatever else you can think of. It's really sad when you think about it.[/color][/size]
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As an etremely intelligent white guy in an all black school, I know what you mean. Everyone immediately assumes that Im getting strait As, that Im passing evey test, that they should all ask me for answers, etc. Look, Im smart and all but it aint that damn hard to look in a book and find some answers. I hate when people are shocked at the Ds on my report card.... just cuz I answer a few questions right in one class and do good in science doesn't mean Im some prodigy. I consider myself an underacheiver even. Oh well, it doesn't bother me much though.

Just last night I was at the Olive Garden with my family (7 year old bro, 12 year old bro, mom, dad, grandma) and my mom was tlking about how one of her employees quit. (shes the manager of the Spencers at our mall.) It was her best employee, Sven, or as my dad so elequently put it, 'the gay guy'. She said that he quit because the place was too dramatic, though he was the one causing most of the drama in her opinion. My dad goes 'wow, a gay guy creating drama? Who'da thunk it?' now... I wasn't offended (I am bisexual) but I had to say something. (my family doesn't know as it's sort recent, but I see no reason to tell them). I replied to my dad, 'wow thats increadibly steriotypical.'

He retorted with 'gee, Tical, since when are you so P.C.?' I said I wasn't, I just hate steriotypes. What my dad replied with was the utterly disgustic truth. 'Theres no reason to hate steriotypes because chances are THEIR TRUE. Why do you think their steriotypes? The only reason people stopped using them is cause they started getting all P.C.' While what he said was true and I shut my mouth as I have no desire to futilely talk to my parents, I was royally pissed.
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I've had all sorts of racial problems. Don't even start with the, "You're white, so you have no problems" b.s. I've always had to feel like I'm a bad person, I'm a racist, simply because I'm white. I've never been able to be proud of being white. Blacks, Asians, Jews (although I have Jewish/Hebrew heritage), Hispanice, and other minority groups have always been told to be proud of their heritage and culture. White people are expected to embrace other people's cultures, rather than to embrace their own. Well, that's what I've always been taught. I've always been ashamed of being white. They say that "Black is beautiful." Isn't white beautiful, too? Or is it just too hideous to even think of it? I always hear people making jokes, and not uhm...not the nicest and most polite of jokes, to say the least, about white people. "Cracka" this and "honkey" that. In El Paso, you also hear things about "gringos." But if a white person makes a joke, they're racist. If a person of a certain minority decides to racially insult a white person, the white person is expected to take it and they're expected to shrug it off as, "they're just angry about racism." But if the white person doesn't shrug it off, and says a racial insult back to the person, they are a racist.
Oh, yes, I know, White is everywhere. White people can get into college easier. Why don't people learn to make good grades and get involved in something in highschool, so they don't have to piss and moan about it? Why don't people learn to dig themselves out of the hole? Why depend on affirmative action? It's a sad excuse for being a wimp. Life is tough. It's not going to be easy for me to get into college. It may take a long time until I get into college. I'm not very rich. My dad's in the army, and he's an enlisted active duty soldier. Officers are the rich ones. Not regular enlisted soldiers. I'm going to have to dig myself out of the hole. If I can do it, then someone who belongs to a minority group can, too.
Now shutup and don't criticize me. I don't want to feel bad for being white. Not for a while, anyways. Whenb I don't have the world on my shoulders, then you can criticize me. Until then, just play the "yep yep" game and at least PRETEND to agree.
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[SIZE=1]Oh boy, have I been stereotyped? Well...yes..lately I have had to deal with this a lot despite I don't label people. Although I have to admit, I've never thought myself being stereotypical either. But I guess people can come up with something out of nothing. Here's just a list of a few things over time that people have come to assume about me...

[i]Dumb Blonde[/i]
Just to state, I was not a blonde, I had blonde HIGHLIGHTS. I like dumb blonde jokes just as good as the next person but when someone automatically assumes that I will have no say in an assignment or group project because I'm too "ditzy" or "stupid" to get it, it really ticked me off. Luckily, I'm a dark brunette now, but dealing with the stupidity of people and the constant guys getting the image that I'm "easy" (and no ladies, I'm not joking here) to persuade to do things.

[i]Goody Goody[/i]
There's a certain image that goes with this, always gets good grades, never does anything bad, and to some people thinks of themselves as higher then everyone. This is the one that I don't think will ever go away since everyone assumes that of me since 1) I can be shy around new people 2) I don't do drugs 3) I don't have mad drunken sex with people I don't know 4) I have self-respect (meaning you will rarely see me flash someone). I do drink and party ever once in awhile whether they like to believe it or not, I don't even get that good of grades and I'm not the most innocent person in the world.

[i]Rich Snob[/i]
People assumed this of me when in highschool my sophomore year. I guess people thought I was a snob since I was shy and didn't really talk. I went to a highschool where there was really poor people, not many people could even afford to buy school lunches majority of the time and were on food stamps. So when my mother would pick me up in her BMW, it was really hard to convince people that I wasn't rich and didn't own a big house. I never disliked anyone because of their money ever.

I guess it's funny that I've been viewed as of smart, innocent and dumb before but never the bad girl except in elementary school. Stereotypes are pointless and the people that actually assume something about someone based on their hair color, race, nationality etc. might actually be missing out on meeting a great person.
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[quote name='visualkei']No, not childish, even children know how to clap or give their peers a pat on the back for doing good.[/quote]
You know, technically that's a stereotype. :p

Often people do assume that I'm smart. I don't really know why. I get good grades for the most part, but most of the people who assume I'm smart don't know my grades. People always want to copy off of me because they think I know all of the answers. It gets really annoying, especially because I'm nice and don't like to tell them no.

Also, people think that I'm going to shoot up the school or something because I'm quiet. It doesn't help that I often wear black, either. However, I know that they are just joking, so I don't really feel offended.
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[SIZE=1]Interesting, most interesting.

Well as I'm told frequently I perfectly fit the "[I]Goody-Two-Shoes/Teacher's Pet[/I]" stereotype in school, seeing as most Irish schools outside the three major cities are 99.9% Caucasian I've never experience racial prejudice. I don't deny that I work hard, get good scores on corrected work, am polite and don't cause trouble, I don't see why such traits should be something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of in any way. I know I shouldn't be labelled as a Teacher's Pet in the first place, and it does irritate me to be called such, but I don't feel I shouldn't change the way I act because of it.

As I said earlier in my post I've never experienced racial stereotyping, so I can't really say how Irish people are perceived in the work place or school, though seemingly from what I've heard Irish people are generally described as very hard workers. I don't know if you're right or wrong to think the remark was racially based visualkei, I'd say the only person who can answer you that question is the person who made it.[/SIZE]

[quote name='Goddess][font=tahoma']I don't necessarily hate people who get good grades. I dislike the kind who flaunt it, and use that as a tool. It's a shame, and a waste of intelligence.[/font][/quote]

[SIZE=1]Being part of the Honours group in High School I had the "[I]pleasure[/I]" of being in class with a person who used like to flaunt his abilities and overall intelligence. In my experience most people like that suffer from insecurities and low self-esteem and use such flaunting to try and build up their confidence, either that or they're just arrogant sons-of-guns who like showing off.[/SIZE]
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I consider myself lucky to have gone to a high school where there wasn't any academic stereotypes, and I still have yet to run into one.

The only stereotype that I have faced that has ticked me off is that just because I'm Hispanic, I automatically know Spanish. I don't know Spanish that well, nor do I even know how to roll my R's! I'm also a little offended that a lot of people just go and call Hispanics Mexicans. I'm not Mexican. I'm not from Mexico. I don't really know where my cultural roots come from (I think I'll actually ask that later tonight to finally find out, lol). I'm not that big fan of our culture's food either. Some people are actually surprised at that, heh. My brothers and I like to call ourselves "White Hispanics", haha.

Those are the only stereotypes that I've faced thus far.
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People who like to flaunt their intelligence and needlessly shove it in people's faces are usually under the illusion that their so-called "brilliance" will make up for their total lack of personality. This behavior isn't restricted to smart people, as evidenced by total idiots who misuse sarcasm.

In case you can't tell, I've known quite a few jerks in my short 21 years. I once spent a semester hanging out with my friend Alex at lunch, only to discover his friends were intellectual snobs. But that's a topic for a different day.

I'm a heavy-set black guy who dresses in hip-hopish clothing. I attended public schools in a predominantly Asian-American suburban neighborhood. More than once, I've had classmates who assumed I was a complete idiot. While this may have been the case in my math classes, I was typically an A-B student in most other subjects.

There's nothing more frustrating than someone looking over your shoulder during group assignments, and telling you how to spell everything. There was this kid named Joey who used to do that all the time back in 5th grade. I wanted to punch him in the face and tell him to spell 'encyclopedia,' but I'm only evil on the inside.

Oftentimes, people are shocked when I tell them I used to live in 'da hood.' I guess I don't come off as the type of guy who used to sleep on the floor at night because he heard rumors about a drive-by coming through his street later that night. In other words, I'm not very "street" (unless I find myself in 'da hood' again, in which case I can shift the tone of my voice and facial expression at the drop of a dime).

I really hated meeting my Asian friends' parents for the first time. A few of them don't like black people, so it was up to me (Super-Blackie) to represent my entire race quite a few times. I like to think I've moved past that whole mentality, now that I'm no longer a kid.
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[QUOTE=Manic Webb]
I really hated meeting my Asian friends' parents for the first time. A few of them don't like black people, so it was up to me (Super-Blackie) to represent my entire race quite a few times. I like to think I've moved past that whole mentality, now that I'm no longer a kid.[/QUOTE]

[color=darkslateblue] Yee gods, I feel for you. A lot of Asian people can some of the most narrow-minded, discriminatory people out there.


As an Asian in a predominately white community, I can understand where you're coming from. At the same time, I think you should learn to live with it. It's respectable that you demand respect from your peers, but stereotypes will always survive.

I don't think the problem is whether or not people discriminate racially, but just the fact that people will stereotype over anything. Of course, in our cultures, discriminated over ethnicity is considered worse, but I think it's all subconscious.

I'm actually working on an oratory speech for debate right now, and my topic is institutionalized racism and personal racial stigmas. A part of my whole thesis is just the idea that people feel a need to categorize and label certain groups. It's just part of the human psyche to automatically go through the process of categorization and signification. A lot of people categorize, then label each group with some value. I do it. The person next to me probably does it. It's very possible that people reading this do it.

I've had tons of instances in which I hated people based off of a few things they've done or said. I can't stop myself from thinking it personally, but I sure as hell can stop myself from acting upon those thoughts.

And obviously if someone gets good grades, people who don't get good grades will get jealous. Perfectly natural. :] Though I'd have to say I get pissed off by people who are always trying to flaunt their self-imposed intelligence. I know one, and I don't think anyone likes her. [/color]
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[B]renayiiq[/B] your post appears to be kind of angry. I understand why you would be defensive about being white. There's people in every race who discriminate. Some people just don't like differences. And when you're a minority, it makes it easier for people to gang up on you. In your position I assume you're a minority in your school (isn't there a major Hispanic population in El Paso?), though you're white.

Those who make fun of you for being white may be trying to make themselves feel better or simply just ganging up on you because they outnumber you. =P. I hope that in your defensiveness you don't forget to sympathise with people of different ethnicities and skin color who are minorities.

When I watch Spanish television I see white-looking hispanics more than tanned colored ones. I've asked my Mexican peers about this, and I was told that lighter skin Latinos tend to be associated with being more good-looking, wealthier, or more powerful. My hispanic friends with light hair and light skin also tell me that their darker skin/hair peers make fun of them by calling them gringos. So that could mean that they're made fun of because the other girls are jealous-- or simply because they look different.

In the Vietnamese (and I think Chinese) cultures, it's preferable that girls and boys have a light skin color. It's associated with beauty and wealth. Why? I think because people who have dark skin are the ones who do physical labor outside, and are associated with the lower classes. In high school when I was tanned, my Asian friends made fun of me. In many cultures, light skin color have a sort of power that make people with darker skin feel inferior.

I wonder what cultures are there where the darker your skin is, the more you are prized? I can think of the American culture where a lot of white girls go to tanning salons.
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Guest kuroinuyoukai
I am a chubbykins and I get the stereotype of fat people. You know I am sick of people assuming that I eat like a hog and I am always hungry. Actually I have a medical condition that makes it hard for me to lose weight. i have been diagnosed. I don't eat a lot and people ask ,"Are you still hungry?". You know what if I was still hungry I would eat again.They just assume that I can just eat a 12 course dinner.

And I also get asked if I have a girlfriend. People sometimes assumed that because I don't talk about sex with guys, wear jeans and a tee all the time, and have never had sex with a man that I am a lesbian. They are quite surprised when I talk about how cute Orlando Bloom is or something of that nature.I'm like "Yeah-I like guys. Is that okay?". that more than anything else infuriates me. Don't assume anything-for God's sake just ask me!

Also the people in my class assume because of my age that I am smarter than they are and automatically know the answers. If I did I probably wouldn't be in those refresher courses! I take a lot of notes and they assume that because I wrote it down that I know what it means.

So listen good kiddies-all through life you will be stereotyped by someone one way or another. Your best bet is to ignore it.
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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=2][FONT=Times New Roman]I also seem to be at the leu at most of these Stereotypical kinds of things. For example I mostly get Straight A's and at one time a kid in my class. He is one of those" Kids who dont really give a ******* about school" kinds asked me." Hey you must be hanging out around alot of asian people to get those good grades.

I myself felt pretty offended about that, seeing on how I am mostly black with some other stuff that I dont know of. It was just that in that certain school district I happened to do well in that. I guess they just basicly though that since I was black I was supposed to be the "gangster" type which is what I am exactly the opposite of.

I remember that durring the last week of my techonolgy camp in which I was an assistant to the instruction. Helping little kids building their robots and such. The Instruction told me however that " You are one of the smartest people I have seen. There may be a stereotype about most black people but your one of those who can prove them wrong" I just felt so happy because he was the first to actually recognise me about that.

Why is it that people give others stereotypes. I really dont know but I does seem to annoy me alot to be always outcasted like that. If only people would be able to just recgnoise a person as a person not just by a group then things can actually be better.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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