4 Bizarrely Specific Stereotypes You Can't Help But Notice

I don't really think stereotyping is a good thing. Negative stereotyping leads to racism and all that, and I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I think that racism is bad, and that we shouldn't have it. But that's me, I guess.

That said, I have noticed several consistent stereotypes that are completely unrelated to race. Most of them aren't even negative; they're just weird consistencies that baffle me. Consistencies like ...

#4. Women Believe in Ghosts


I don't know everyone in the world, but 100 percent of the people I've met in my life who have admitted to a fear of ghosts have been women (I've mentioned this before). Whenever I've been told, "No, seriously, I'm not, like, a crazy person or anything, but I swear there's a ghost or a spirit in my new apartment," it's always been followed by "I am a woman." Or, you know, it would be, if people regularly announced their gender in the middle of a conversation.

"Did you catch the premier of Smash? I have a vagina."

It's crazy, because having an irrational fear isn't specific to any one gender. I know an otherwise completely rational woman who hates frogs because she's afraid they all want to jump into her mouth, and I know an otherwise completely rational man who is terrified that old women want to give him home-cooked food. Everyone is afraid of something they have no reason to be afraid of (I myself live every day knowing that, at any minute, my toilet will explode without warning or provocation, and never stop). When it comes to the fear of ghosts, however, that's all women all day.

"But what if this soup is haunted!?"

I want to be clear that I'm not bringing this up as a subtle way of insulting the intelligence of women. I'm not saying that more women than men believe in ghosts because they're dumber, because I'm much dumber than women, and I don't believe in ghosts. I have no idea why this trend exists. I thought it was something bizarre that only I was noticing, but according to a 2009 CBS News poll, 56 percent of women believe in ghosts, while only 38 percent of men do, and women are twice as likely as men to say that they've actually seen one.

My Best Guess:

I actually have several competing theories on this one. Maybe women are just encouraged early in life to be more open to spiritual things, while men are encouraged early in life to be more focused on practical things (it's why my girlfriend in kindergarten dressed up as a fairy for Halloween and I dressed up as a ninja). Or maybe women convince themselves to believe in ghosts so they can cast themselves as Demi Moore in the Ghost movie that they hope will happen in their lives. Or maybe ghosts are real, but they only stalk women, because they're perverts.

"Boooooo ... oobs."

That's probably it.

#3. The More Stories You Have That Start With "I Was Hanging Out With My Cousins," the Trashier You Probably Are


It was actually a buddy of mine who first came up with this theory, and I was shocked by how immediately I agreed with it, and how consistently I'd recognized the trend in life. I grew up in an area that always seemed to teeter between middle and lower-middle class. As is the case with most neighborhoods like that, the bordering towns and areas were upper class and slightly wealthier on one side and distinctly lower class and much shittier on the other. And I noticed without exception that, if someone started most of their anecdotes with "My cousins and I" or "I was hangin' out with my cousins" or "Down at the shack where my financially unfortunate cousins live," you could tell instantly whether they came from the wealthier neighborhood or the poorer neighborhood (especially that third one).

I will never know why this is.

I have a bunch of cousins, and I get along with them great, but I have very few stories that start with "I was partying with my cousins when ..." and neither do most of my friends.

My Best Guess:

I know a big stereotype regarding white trashy rednecks is that they're all having sex with their own cousins and siblings, but I don't know if that's related in any way. Honestly, I have no idea on this one. I don't even know if it's a common observation, because there's no way to Google it.


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Daniel O'Brien

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