I, and most people, have always been guilty of stereotyping personalities and gender. I often catch myself, and my friends, jumping into a drama filled conversation with the “Men are pigs!” or “Girls are psycho!” mentality that we have worked so hard as a society to avoid. It’s funny to me because honestly, everyone can suck. We spend so much time shitting on the other gender that we don’t realize that there is not necessarily a “worse” gender in terms of emotional maturity. There are just shitty people. I understand there is a commonality such as that women tend to overanalyze and men tend to not pay attention, but in order to better understand each other, I think it’s easier to view each other as strictly humans and not limit our judgement to a metaphorical box. While there is science behind gender and associated typical psychological behavior, there are always exceptions.
When I started approaching situations with this mentality, it helped me remove useless bias. For example, I’ll use the unfortunately popular relationship story of cheating. When a man cheats on a women, we assume it’s because he’s a pig. When a woman cheats on a man, we assume it’s because she’s a whore. If we look at it in a genderless perspective, we realize they are all just shitty. They may have cheated because they weren’t happy but didn’t have the courage to call it quits, because they want more attention than that relationship can provide, or whatever lame excuse people use for such an unforgivable action.
I’ve probably said we love to put people in boxes. It’s a human tendency that gives us a quick answer and sometimes shields us from the ugly truth. A girl may say her boyfriend never listens to her problems because that’s how men are when really he just isn’t as invested in the relationship as she is. A girl may say her girlfriend flirts with other girls because it’s just her “bubbly personality” when she really has no respect for her relationship. A person may be in denial that their partner is in the wrong because they throw their behavior in to a box of gender stereotypes. We’ve all been there. It’s also not always in terms of romantic relationships, that’s just where I found the best examples. Next time you catch yourself excusing someone’s actions based on this cliché, think of it unbiasedly and see if it gives you more perspective.