How to Understand Stereotypes

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Reader Comments (19)

I suppose I should be grateful to grow up in an era where it became socially acceptable for men to grow bald or have shaved heads. Thanks Chris Cornell and Ed Kowalczyk!

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGawain

I try really hard not to steryotype people whose image is ready for a magazine cover, but it's been my expirience that people who devote that much attention, time, and resources to image don't have much left over for interesting subjects, human decency, their children, or anything else...
I'm just saying...

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Are women allowed to have mid-life crises? If so, what are the accepted symptoms? If it means having to buy a sports car, ugh.

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

But... Chris Cornell has a full mane of long, metalhead hair, right?

...right? \m/,

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I've been thinking about buying a Triumph Spitfire myself recently. I guess that makes me officially a mid-life-crisis-go-through-er.

Gawain: I find the whole fad of men shaving their heads interesting because most men I know who do it, do it only after they are seriously losing their hair. I believe shaving the noggin lets you always harbor the belief that you could grow a full head of hair if you really wanted to: you just don't want to. Right.. So, in fact, I think it's the opposite.

Note from Scott: In my case it was the opposite. I could watch what was left of my hair slowly disappear, or I could just be done with it now and own my baldness.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Scott bought a sports car? Congrats mate :)

Note from Scott: Sadly, no. Not yet.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJawfin

As Vera Carp said to Aunt Pearl, so I say to Blobgirl: "Glass HOUSES... "

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

".....he'd drive what he drove when he was younger.'

White four dour rusted-out 1976 Pontiac Grand-Am with a 276 engine and no muffler, here I come.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKielbasi Kid

Wow, for years I thought the thumbnail was a fuzz ball with antenna holding its arms up for some weird reason. I for the first time, see that it is Scott's face.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDon

The corollary, of course, is that some stereotypes persist because more often than not, they fit.
Awesome comic.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

Matt: He mortified the metal world (including long-belocked yours truly) by shaving his head around the time of Superunknown. It does not appear to have been a preemptive salvo against baldness, however.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGawain

Gotta disagree with panel two. Any man trying to recapture his youth would drive what he wishes he drove when he was younger.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRich

@Gawain.
Ditto. But I give credit to Bruce Willis.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeardo

Yo! I bought a 2-seater sports car last year (Mazda MX5) when I was a mere 63 years old. I had doubts about it - how would I haul stuff? But I liked my daughter's way of thinking (it's better to do something and regret it than never to do anything) so I went ahead.

It's the best thing on wheels. I love it. It has most of the advantages of a motor bike and few of the disadvantages. It's me, my girl (aged one year younger than me) & my dog on the open road.

If anyone was to criticize me with "trying to recapture my lost youth" I would reply "I'm having fun: are you?" In fact, no-one gives a damn unless they are in the passenger seat, and then they enjoy the trip!

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorm

Gawain's comment leaves me pondering... how many of the stereotypes and prejudices we're patting ourselves on the back for overcoming in recent decades were also *created* within the last century or so? I don't recall anyone in recorded history saying "That Lenin guy will never amount to anything, he's practically bald!" No, they said "He's creepy and dangerous, get him out of our country fast!" (paraphrasing, of course). Other examples spring to mind: 'enlightened' men boldly wearing pink shirts in defiance of a gender stereotype that is post-1930s (previously, pale blue was a girly ("pure & virginal") colour and pink, being a derivative of red, was a boy's colour). Not to mention the women's movement fighting for our right to work - did you know, in hunter-gatherer societies, about 80% of the food is provided by women's work? In all but the very recent past, in most cultures, women have worked as much, if not more, than men, and often in the same tasks (especially in agricultural settings). "Women shouldn't work" was a post-industrial, middle-class-copying-the-idle-rich phenomenon. </lecture>

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAA

Stereotypes are kind of an optimization. Every person... heck, every animal needs to know what to expect from other living beings. Will it attack me? Can I eat it? Communicate with it for my benefit? If yes, then how?

And one would like to have answers for those questions ASAP. So naturally, broad and quick classifications arose which we call "stereotypes". As every quick-and-broad classifications, they tend to mis-fire.

But the most disgusting thing about many stereotypes (at least for me) is that they work too often to completely ditch them. Like, the stereotype of a guy with a blood-covered knife closing on you being a murderer is quite justified, though of course it's an extreme example.

November 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoker_vD

I bought a triple black Mustang GT Premium convertible. I refer to it as my mid-life crisis mobile. My son refers to it as The Batmobile. I always wanted a nice convertible sportscar, now I finally make enough to own one.

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

@Norm: Ironically, most people I know who own MX5s are in their sixties. In fact, it has become a stereotype of mine. However, at 35 I am planning on buying a Sky Redline, so I'm right there behind you and can't say anything.

Well, I will beep as I pass you, with my shimmering bald head and windblown beard waving as if to say "bye-bye!"

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I don't see having a nice car as a crisis. At 34 I can afford a decent car, but when I can get a car I really want that is $60k or higher, it's gonna take a few years to afford! Personally, it annoys me a lot more to see a 17 year old with a nice sports car...kids should have to drive something crappy for a while, ...and walk uphill to school both ways....harrumph! (wow maybe I am getting old lol ).

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNefrai

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