Monday, September 17, 2007

Stereotypes of Lesbians

As long as they aren't mean-spirited, I'm actually kind of a fan of stereotypes. My wife works w/ refugees, and my favorite work updates are ones that concern some cultural generalization (The over dramatic Cubans, those dour Ukrainians, the Spicy Cheetos loving Somalians...). Of course, stereotypes can be used for racist purposes and an individual can always prove them wrong, but I find they are often, at least moderately, true.

I don't think this is the case w/ lesbians. Before knowing any lesbians, I assumed that most had short spiked hair, were good at sports, and tended towards being humorless hyper-feminists. Well, living Portland has given me a crazy large sample size of lesbians. And, many do have short spiked hair and, more than you would expect, are in softball leagues. But only 1 of the 12 I know fit the humorless type, and, actually, most seem to have great senses of humor.

I was thinking about this b/c in my Birth Class there was a lesbian couple and they were totally the class clowns. This gave me a theory. Being a minority and knowing you stand out, you have a choice. Everyone's going to be paying attention to you, so the best way of making everyone feel more comfortable, is to make them laugh. Ergo, lesbians actually become funnier than your average Joe. This would fit with the long tradition of other minorities being known for their homor (jews, blacks, gay men).

What do you guys think? Am I right? Should we be altering the lesbian stereotype? I think it's a solid hypothesis, although it does nothing to explain the propensity of Canadian comedians (Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Jim Carey, Martin Short...) during my formative years.



Blogger Kadonkadonk said...

My bitchy-ass co-worker and my psycho ex-roommate are both lesbians and about as much fun as digging your own eye out with a spoon. But my roommate in college and one of my other close friends are also lesbians and two of the coolest people you'll ever met. Personally, I don't feel like it has anything to do with who you are sleeping with, it's just what kind of personality you have. But it would be nice if my co-worker would stop bitching for half a second and actually crack a joke once in awhile...

5:29 am  
Blogger The [Cherry] Ride said...

I so try not to stereotype, and I wish I could agree with you, but my years in Portland left me with a bad attitiue about lesbians. I know, I am a bad person for saying that. I ound I needed to meet a lot of lesbians before I found a fe I could be friends with(and vice versa).

8:42 am  
Blogger Michael5000 said...

@[cherry]: Vice versa? You needed to meet a lot of friends before you found a few you could be lesbians with?

1:27 pm  
Blogger chuckdaddy2000 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:31 pm  
Blogger chuckdaddy2000 said...

No one seems to be feeling my lady-on-lady humor theory...

8:31 pm  
Blogger Heatherbee said...

Um, I'm not sure about the class clown theory, but the humorless stereotype definitely needs to go. Of the umpteen dykes I know in PDX or went to college with, the majority are flippin' hilarious people.

8:01 am  

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