Girl's Life v Boy's Life: "Do you Know When to Shut Up" vs "Jokes to impress"


I see what you’re going for but that funny doesn’t work.

To subscribe to organised religion, or to support a political party, you need to hold certain world views and beliefs. It is those beliefs that are judged, without which the relevance would be lost. That’s not stereotyping.


I’ve never been in a supermarket (UK) where I haven’t seen a young child carrying a magazine fresh from the rack, or prodding a parent to buy one. They normally come with free plastic shit, which is like crack for kids.


Except that the commonly-held stereotype of a U.S. Bible belt Christian has little to do with the teachings of Jesus, but rather a caricature of the worst of U.S. Christianity.


Hoboy. I went looking on the Girl’s Life website to see if I could find the “Do You Know When to Shut Up” story, because I’m sure it’s the front-cover equivalent to clickbait (doesn’t look like it’s the current issue according to the website, but I might look at the bookstore later.) I suspect it might be the story about having the sense to know what not to post on social media. But I got distracted by this Sketchers ad:

Really? Really?


MacTastic wins the internets!


“Except that the commonly-held stereotype of a U.S. Bible belt Christian
has little to do with the teachings of Jesus, but rather a caricature of
the worst of U.S. Christianity.”

Perhaps, but that’s narrowing down the definition quite a lot, and wasn’t
really the point I was making.

I more meant that, for example, assuming that a Republican Christian is
against abortion isn’t so much a stereotype as it is an informed
assumption. Assuming that because someone was born a woman they hold
certain beliefs is a completely different kettle of fish; because there are no pre-requisites to being a woman other than the biology (and even that’s debatable). Whereas, by definition, to be a republican or christian, you need to meet certain criteria. So they’re not stereotypes, they’re characteristics.

Otherwise it would be a stereotype to assume that a neo-nazi is racist, and that a baseball fan likes baseball.

What makes a stereotype a stereotype?

ster·e·o·type - n: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
synonyms: standard/conventional image, received idea, cliché, hackneyed idea, formula

Your personal feelings about tall, readheaded chinese is your own weirdness. If loads of people share your fear without cause, THEN you have a stereotype. And given that it’s a negative stereotype, it will be harmful to non-criminal members of that class trying to get a job, buy a beer, find a spouse, etc.

A stereotype isn’t necessarily NEGATIVE (grandmothers are gentle and friendly), but it’s ALWAYS an oversimplification. And negative stereotypes are ALWAYS bad, because they take away the subject’s autonomy.




Both, it’s a feedback loop.


The Tripods Trilogy is my favorite memory of reading Boy’s Life.


“Essentially true”? Whether it’s true or not is obviously going to depend on what we mean by “sensitivity” but I can’t see that women are especially more sensitive than men by any definition.

Do you mean “essentially true” in the respect that the stereotype of women is more sensitive than the stereotype of men? That men are pressured to conform to stereotypes of stoicism while women are pressured to conform to stereotypes of emotional vulnerability? If that’s the case then your argument is simply circular. Women are “essentially” more sensitive to men because they are pressured to be so as a result of…stereotypes.

“What a jerk” and “I don’t trust her” aren’t necessarily stereotypes. They can quite plausibly be informed judgments (pretty much the opposite of stereotypes) based on knowing a person rather well rather than judging them on the basis of superficial characteristics (literally: stereotyping).

I suspect what you’re actually talking about hear is that some specific stereotypes apply to specific cultures – which is fairly obvious because stereotypes are often based on cultural constructions of identity (how men and women are supposed to behave within a particular culture will inform how people raised within that culture actually behave because people learn how to behave from observing other people and their reactions).

But I’d love to hear you go on about this just because I suspect the results would be groany/lulzy.

We all stereotype other people. We all judge other people. We all think only of ourselves and our own petty problems sometimes. We all think of others as obstacles in the way of our convenience and comfort sometimes. We all tend to rationalize our behaviors even when they’re based in ignorance and selfishness.

There are some things everybody does which are nonetheless not great things. The world might be a better place if we did less of those things. “Everybody does it” is not in itself a very good argument.


Girls’ Life may not be read by many, but is it really all that different from something like Seventeen (which is read by many: )?

Your comment reminds me of this: (Joss Whedon answering why he writes strong female characters.)


You also stated,

And yet, most of your examples seem to focus on weird hypothetical redheaded one-legged Chinese muggers, or men of no particular race actively engaging in disturbing (to you) activity.

I’m curious to see a case of some racial stereotype that using has helped you get through life more easily or happily.


Yeah, see, no. It’s still stereo typing. It’s really sad you don’t see that.

BB JUST had this article on a survey of those who identify themselves as Republican, but had different views on several topics.

Of course we can rest assured that Republicans are racist homophobes who hate Obama. <-- Probably just a bunch of Uncle Toms. (he got 6% of the Republican vote)

Well - uh - but for sure we know Democrats are anti-gun and pro-abortion.

As for religion, if you could lump everyone together because they “hold certain world views and beliefs”, then a) There wouldn’t be so many different sects and different beliefs, and b) They wouldn’t be trying to kill one another.

I think there is a distinction between identification/definition and stereotyping. For example saying “Christians believe in Jesus” is true, because that is the definition of Christianity and how they would identify themselves. Saying “Christians don’t believe in evolution” is a false stereotype.

Like any group, you can find similarities between members that are true, but making broad sweeping generalities is stereotyping and in most cases untrue.

ETA: [quote=“NathanHornby, post:89, topic:13124”]
assuming that a Republican Christian is against abortion isn’t so much a stereotype as it is an informed assumption.

So saying “black people like rap and hip-hop” could also be an informed assumption? Or is that stereotyping? Or is it only stereotyping when “they” do it.


You’re just diversifying my point to the extent where you create stereotypes.

It’s still completely and entirely different.

What makes someone black is that they’re black, it guarantees nothing except their blackness. What makes a woman a woman is being a woman, it guarantees nothing except being a woman.

What makes a republican a republican is the beliefs they have and their political ideology. A republican that doesn’t align with core republican concepts is not a republican.

Completely different.


Also your example only highlights MY point. A person doesn’t need to like rap to be black; a person DOES need to follow Christian ideology to be a Christian.

How do you see these things as being the same?


Not true. What people self-identify as isn’t always in line with the caricature and stereotype they are portrayed as. Only a percentage of Democrats or Republicans stick to the entire party line. Generally they will find issues the don’t like in their own party, and issues they do like in a different party. One can definitely disagree with a “core concept” and still be a Republican or Democrat. As per the before mentioned survey on BB, there are many Republicans who don’t care if gay marriage were legalized - certainly different than the evangelicals Republicans.

Again, I said there is a distinction between identification/definition and stereotyping. While you can make a statement broad enough to include everyone as per their definition (Christians believe in Christ, blacks have a dark complexion), you take a few steps in from that and you are generalizing and stereotyping. Perhaps accurately - an “informed assumption” - but let’s not pretend it’s not the same thing.

So you can say (as per it’s definition) “A Republican is a member or supporter of the Republican Party.”, you can’t make a statement like “Republicans are racist.” with out stereotyping.

To use the rap analogy again, “Rappers like rap music.” is true. “Rappers are black.” is usually correct - an “informed assumption” - but still a stereotype.


I absolutely do not know when to shut up.


That skewed test results thingy is interesting. Have you got any links I can brandish at folks in arguments plz?


I think it’d be nifty for someone to try doing a general interest tween/teen magazine that wasn’t aimed at either gender. I think kids that age would dig it if the magazine was cool enough. They’re already used to the internet where it’s a whole lot less gender specific. There’s no Boy’s Youtube or Girls’ Facebook. If a magazine focused on fascinating and entertaining youth appropriate content in general rather than falling back on just watering down grown-up gendered magazine content models, I think it would be a hit. And I think it would sell a lot more magazines,too. I was a teenage girl once and I read a lot of teen girl magazines. A lot of my girl friends did,too. The boys, not so much. There were less boys magazines out there and they just weren’t as appealing. And boys certainly weren’t going to find much interesting in or be willing to be seen owning girl’s teen mags. A gender neutral magazine would sell to girls and boys. And I think a lot of parents would be more on board with the kind of content that would find itself in a legitimately cool kids magazine. I know a lot of mothers of daughters especially that would be a lot more likely to let their kids put a magazine in the cart that had neat articles about a wider range of interesting stuff instead of just being watered down Cosmopolitan.