Jenny EriksonI’m in Washington D.C. this week for CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), an annual conferences for conservatives to gather and revel in camaraderie while listening to speakers like Texas Governor Rick Perry, Representative Michele Bachmann, and Mitt Romney tell us how awesome we are.
It’s really fun.
Once the panels and sessions end for the day, everyone heads out to various parties for food and drink. Conservatives like to have fun, after all. One of the social events was a party sponsored by Andrew Breitbart and GOProud featuring Sophie B. Hawkins.
You may remember some of the controversy surrounding GOProud’s involvement with CPAC.
After an unfortunate incident with my zipper, I went on the prowl for a safety pin. I asked a girlfriend who happened to be talking to two gay friends if she had one. She jokingly asked if I was asking the gay guys for clothing repairs because they’re supposed to know about these things. I told her I was asking her, and then ribbed her back about having stereotypes about me having stereotypes.
Which got me thinking about stereotypes in general, and how often we employ them. Are they detrimental? Are they useful? I think they can be useful in the sense of one should ‘observe and proceed with caution.’ I stereotype 2 year olds as messy … is that bad?
The tricky part is to understand that a stereotype is not a fact. According to some people (whoever they are) gays should be liberals. According to those same people, females should be liberals too. And black people. Basically anyone that’s not old and white and a dude should vote Democrat.
That’s not the case anymore. I’m a chick and a Californian, yet I’m a conservative. GOProud believes in limited government and greater liberty (aka personal responsibility). Herman Cain puts to bed any nonsense that people should align themselves with a party based on their skin color.
Bottom line: Go ahead and stereotype people. But keep an open mind and prepare (hope?) to have your preconceived notions blown out of the water. I’ll blow one away for you right now … not all gay men can fix clothes. Thank goodness I brought a jacket to the party.