Categorisation and judgement

I’ve noticed that, especially on the internet, people are judged based on broad generalisations and wide-sweeping categories. Why?

Some have told me that stereotypes are typically true, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. I am inclined to disagree because of how many stereotypes I’ve seen proved untrue. I think that this is a self-deluded rationalisation from people who want to have a reason to feel better about themselves after passing judgement. For example, some people feel that all programmers are “assholes”, and while I know some programmers are, this is largely not the case in my experience. Programmers are sometimes impassioned, sometimes lacking in empathy, but I rarely see ‘assholes’.

Some have told me that they have their own personal bad experiences with a member of a group, so they feel the entire group is bad. I don’t want to start a war about furries or musicians or bronies or [fill in the blank], but a single member of a group you haven’t interacted with much is probably the loudest one and therefore the poorest representation of what the group as a whole is like. In my spare time, I like to draw canines (especially wolves and foxes), and this has given me a bit of an overlap with some of the furry community. I’ve found most of them to be balanced, delightful people — though certainly they aren’t all that way — yet I still constantly run in to people who think that furries are monsters. I met someone once who actually hoped that all furries “die of horrible diseases you can only get from having sex with animals”… which fails to note that I haven’t even met a furry that does such a thing. Again, this is just a stereotype that is silly and causing unnecessary hate and tension to a group of people based on stories or a few fringe members.

What I implore you to do is to think for yourself and do a little research before you hate someone or a group based solely on something they like or their profession or the group with which they have membership. The results may surprise you.

♫ Now playing: Fade – AJITEK

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