Stereotypes: Who is to blame

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As one scrolls through social media one gets a snapshot into the lives of all those people that we call friends or acquaintances. Over the past few months I have noticed a handful of my African American friends make posts or comments such as the following statement:

“As a black man, I feel as though I have to work twice as hard and present myself twice as well in whatever I’m doing, because whether someone believes misconceptions and stereotypes or not, I can’t afford to let any of them enter their mind.”

I found myself guilty of liking and emphasizing with those friends who would post these status and updates. Although I am biracial, I could understand the motive behind these statuses and comments. I am constantly telling people about how I have to work twice as hard and seem to be prove a point every step of the way. In the same instant I have thought about how each person has to deal with stereotypes on a daily basis. Society has engrained within each of us a set of rules that we seem to guide our very existence upon.

How Asian’s are deemed as the mathematical and scientific intellects of society, white males the leaders, African Americans as underclass, Latinos as trespassers or illegal aliens, women as the weaker sex. No matter where ones turn there is another stereotype that we as a society continue to reinforce. We constantly talk about the dislike of others or outsiders placing us in a box but continue to endorse society to place us in the box.

We continue to allow stereotypes to exist by filming and producing shows and movies such as “Basketball Wives” and the Madea movies that only help to reinforce the negative images and actions of African Americans. In the instance of Latino the “George Lopez Show”, and for women almost any film which the woman is the madam in distress (which is about 85% of movies out there). Not only do we film and produce these types of shows, but we also become a captivated audience to these productions. How can we argue that society puts these negative stereotypes onto us when we are willing to sit back and laugh at this debauchery within our homes?

Not only do we watch this madness on television and in movies, but we are all guilty of placing ourselves in this box. By referring to ourselves or allowing others to refer to us as the “black friend” or the “white girl of the group”. We also soften the atmosphere by creating a joke like “hey don’t worry I am not going to steal anything”. And let’s not forget about apologizing or needing to explain being that black person who loves country music. Why do I need to apologize or explain my preferences?

I am going to leave all of you with something to think about. Next time you are tempted to post a status about needing to prove yourself to others, or working twice as hard to keep stereotypes out of their minds think about white men for one second. While most people think they have the easiest stereotypes to live under, they indeed are one of the hardest stereotypes to have. Because instead of being able to be the first woman to complete an obstacle on American Ninja Warrior, the first African American President, or the first Latino Court Justice, they are expected to become all of these things. When they have scandals and make mistakes, they are scrutinized heavier because they are expected to “know better”. When someone becomes the CEO or gets promoted over the “white men” they do not see the other person as the more qualified, but sees the fact that the “white man” is a disappointment for not gaining a position that is was destined for. Or if the son of a prominent attorney decides to become an artist it is looked upon with shame. The stereotypes when one has to live up to a high standard are much more difficult than those when people think lowly of you. It is easier to prove someone wrong than to try to prove someone right. It is more satisfying to do something someone sees as impossible or unlikely than to become someone people expect you to already to become.

Now I am well aware that stereotypes will not disappear overnight, but it is nice to be aware that although we complain about these stereotypes we also help to enable people to continue to solidify these misconceptions through our actions. I am not saying to give up your favorite television shows (it is also one of my guilty pleasure), but I am simply trying to soften the blow when someone decides to place a stereotype upon you or others you may know. Although I will still continue to like those status updates about the unfairness that stereotypes place on a race that I feel a part of, and share feminist articles on Facebook I do understand that I not only endorse stereotypes but help to create them. Simply live your life to the greatest and do not ever compare your struggle to another’s because everyone is fighting a different battle.

17 Signs You Work in the Health Field (Especially with the Elderly)

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Working with the elderly is Health Care is not always the easiest jobs, but it can be quite rewarding. It takes a certain type of person (you know that weird person that sits and talks to your grandma on a regular basis) to do this type of job. Almost everyone in the field has similar struggles, but here are sixteen signs that are relatable to all people who work within this field.

1. The perpetual smell of old people.

Old people smell comes in a number of different varieties; it is the old lady perfume, aftershave. Vic’s vapor rub, Aspercreame, or the common old people smell it never seems to leave your pores.

2. Calling baby diapers Briefs

You are brainwashed to the fact that telling an old person that you are putting a diaper on them is so detrimental to their wellbeing that when you actually have to change a baby you say “will you pass me that brief”. Let’s face it; diaper is no longer in your vocabulary.

3. Nicknames such as: cupcake, honey bun, sweetheart, and babe

These names are common grounds between both the staff and residents because either you are calling your 90+ residents this because you never want to say the wrong name or you are in fact one of these pet names because old folks mind is not as sharp as it used to be. In my case no offense you do not want to be called cupcake, it means you have become an old ladies slave.

4. Only time it is appropriate to wear cartoon clothing in public no matter how old you are.

Yes, I like Scooby doo, Spongebob, and Winnie the Pooh. So yes I will buy and wear scrubs to work. I don’t care if my residents know who they are. They are just so cute! Yes most of us are guilty of this.

5. When 65-70 years old is considered young

Your concept of young completely changes. Fifty is no longer old, but in fact it is quite young. Hey half your nursing staff is probably fifty are close to fifty, and your residents are probably almost 100!

6. Getting paid to be insulted and assaulted

Yes I probably get called out of my name about twenty times a day, and it is never a surprise to get hit, punched, kicked, and (in my case) a cup of cold water thrown in your face.

7. Bland unseasoned food

Between the no spicy food and no salt diets all the food taste like is a bunch of mashed soft particles no matter what it is! “You know we are having spaghetti for lunch or more like really soft noodles with flavorless tomato sauce sounds more like it.”

8. When you have the same conversation everyday with the same person.

Yea my name is Kate and I am… let’s just say there is tons of repetition and most to all will not remember who you are tomorrow.

9. There is no off time because your job never closes

This is a 24/7 job and you will never forget that but hey holiday pay is kind of nice! I mean you come to expect those calls at three in the morning asking if you could make it to work early.

10. Poop is forever known as BM

Enough Said. No need to explain that one!

11. Speaking of BM you probably are comfortable discussing BM

No matter if it is talking about how often you may go, or how big one of your residents was that today. We love to talk about poop. It makes our world go round.

12. It is normal that within an 8 hour period you probably have urine, BM, or blood (that is rarely your own) on your scrubs and it is acceptable.

And yes I have had days where I have come home with all three. Believe me showers become your best friend. You can never shower enough.

13. If you are under the age of 35 you are considered a Baby still.

No matter how long you have been in the field you will be always considered a baby in the eyes of your residents, and if you are not a baby. The scary alternative is that you are considered one of them! Yea I like being a baby.

14. You have probably seen more balls, tits, and vaginas than any human should ever see!

Hey at least you will never be surprised in any awkward situation because sadly you have already seen everything before. Ranging from big to small. Circumcised to uncircumcised.

15. No matter how much you make it is never enough!

I mean let’s be real, you are taking another human beings life in your hands, but you make less than the people at Lowes. It defiantly sucks and the pay is not always worth the crap but at the end of the day you are not there for just a pay check (although getting paid is nice!). You are there because you care, or you are the type of person that can handle the environment.

16. Overtime is to almost always to be expected

Regardless if you want the time and half or not you will probably get stuck picking up others shifts “Yea Patty found out this is not the field for her, so who wants to pick up some shifts?”

17. Your residents and coworkers become like family

This is probably one of my favorite. Each part of the team that I work with is like members of my own family. We cry together, we laugh together, and we struggle together. Some of these people will attend your wedding and share your every day joys. I think I call a large portion of my residents’ grandma or pops. They simply help make the job worth it and your day faster. It is simply part of the job, and is the reason everyone stays at a job that sometimes does not seem worth it. These people count on your vital role in making the team operate.