Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "What an interesting assumption." => Topic started by: Piratelvr1121 on July 08, 2010, 10:33:51 AM

Title: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 08, 2010, 10:33:51 AM
But are still assumptions based on stereotypes or reputations of a religion/ethnicity/nationality.

Not so much anymore, but it used to be that when I'd disclose that my dad is one of 7 kids, people would jokingly ask if we were Irish and of Green religion.   Well, yeah, my grandparents are of that religion, and they are 1st generation Irish-American, but it's still an assumption based on a stereotype.

Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Namárië on July 08, 2010, 11:12:45 AM
Ugh. I feel you. My father's family is the same (9 kids, Irish, Green), and I get asked that when I mention my enormous extended family. The worst is when I am asked is any of my dad's brothers are "Irish twins." Double ugh. (And the answer is yes.  :-\)

I wish I knew a good way to respond. 
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on July 08, 2010, 11:50:53 AM
Well, stereotypes are not necessarily a bad thing.  Generalizations exist for a reason - because in general, they are true. ;) 

The only problem with stereotypes or generalizations is when people hold on to them in the face of additional/new/contrary information. 

I wouldnt call that kind of conversation offensive, personally.  It's ok to be "they stereotpycial [X]" - there's really nothing derrogatory about that.  It just is what it is. 
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: MommyPenguin on July 08, 2010, 11:55:21 AM
Yeah, I'll admit, when I tell people that my dad was one of 8 siblings, and each of his parents were one of 10, I'll joke, "Irish (Green)."  The thing is that it's a stereotype for a reason, predominantly that artificial means of limiting family size was/is frowned upon among certain groups.  So it's sort of a given that families would tend to be large.  I guess I just don't look upon that sort of stereotype as unflattering, because it's a) true, and b) not negative, just factual.  I suppose it depends on context, though.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 08, 2010, 12:33:55 PM
Well I heard this so much as a kid, including from my dad that "You can count on a family with many kids being Irish Green" that I believed it.   After all, I was a kid and I figured since Dad was Irish Green, he'd know.   He also didn't clarify that it wasn't as common anymore, or that there were any other reasons for people having large families.   

I actually embarrassed myself, when I met someone from a family of 6 in high school and said "You're Irish Green, aren't you?"  They gave me a weird look and said, "Um...no, we're *other religion known for large families*.    :-[   I apologized for my ignorance and kinda sheepishly said "Learn something new every day!"

It was after that that I also learned that, until medical advances reduced infant mortality in the early 20th century, families of all backgrounds and faiths tended to have many children. 
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: whatsanenigma on July 08, 2010, 01:14:20 PM
The worst is when I am asked is any of my dad's brothers are "Irish twins." Double ugh. (And the answer is yes.  :-\)

Sorry, what are "Irish twins"? I'm curious now.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Elfqueen13 on July 08, 2010, 01:17:35 PM
The worst is when I am asked is any of my dad's brothers are "Irish twins." Double ugh. (And the answer is yes.  :-\)

Sorry, what are "Irish twins"? I'm curious now.

I think it's 2 children born in the same calendar year, from separate pregnancies.  So a January baby and his November sibling would be Irish Twins.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on July 08, 2010, 01:33:35 PM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 08, 2010, 01:58:58 PM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

This is what I thought too.   I don't know who coined the term, but my guess is that it probably originated around the same time as "No Irish Need Apply", the term "Paddy Wagon" and the stereotype that the Irish are big drinkers.    ::)   Probably meant as a snark about how frequently the Irish were adding to their families.   

In his eulogy for Grandma, my dad's twin brother (actual twins, not Irish twins!) told a few stories, one of them being when Grandpa announced to his coworkers that he was going to be a father for the 7th time in 9 years.   One of them said "Paul, why don't you just take Kate to the movies next time?"   
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Namárië on July 08, 2010, 02:26:15 PM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on July 08, 2010, 02:28:07 PM
My Pops is the 5th of 7 kids.  Irish-German-Polish Green.  All of them are named after saints too.

Apparently there's a similar stereotype about Orthodox Blues.  A former employer of mine is Orthodox Blue, and he has 14 kids.  A current coworker of mine who is Reform Blue said that large families are very common in the Orthodox Blue community.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Lady Snowdon on July 09, 2010, 09:00:07 AM
I think in that situation, the best you can do is acknowledge there's a stereotype, and then try to bean dip away from it.  So, if someone says "Oh, Irish Green, huh?" when you reveal that you're one of 8, then you can say something like, "Gee, how'd you guess?  Do you think Spain or Netherlands is going to end up with more broken bones during the World Cup game?"
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 09, 2010, 11:02:20 AM
My Pops is the 5th of 7 kids.  Irish-German-Polish Green.  All of them are named after saints too.

Apparently there's a similar stereotype about Orthodox Blues.  A former employer of mine is Orthodox Blue, and he has 14 kids.  A current coworker of mine who is Reform Blue said that large families are very common in the Orthodox Blue community.

Italians too, I believe.  My maternal grandmother was the youngest of 5, and the first to be born in the states when the family came over from Sicily.  :) 

Been dip is a good idea.  Or sometimes I've turned it into an opportunity to praise my grandma.  "Yeah, Grandma was pretty amazing, I don't know how she managed to keep track of 7 kids, kept house and worked as a nurse!!  I don't think I could do it as well as she did!"
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on July 09, 2010, 11:07:21 AM
My Pops is the 5th of 7 kids.  Irish-German-Polish Green.  All of them are named after saints too.

Apparently there's a similar stereotype about Orthodox Blues.  A former employer of mine is Orthodox Blue, and he has 14 kids.  A current coworker of mine who is Reform Blue said that large families are very common in the Orthodox Blue community.

Italians too, I believe.  My maternal grandmother was the youngest of 5, and the first to be born in the states when the family came over from Sicily.  :) 

Been dip is a good idea.  Or sometimes I've turned it into an opportunity to praise my grandma.  "Yeah, Grandma was pretty amazing, I don't know how she managed to keep track of 7 kids, kept house and worked as a nurse!!  I don't think I could do it as well as she did!"

I know what you mean.  We sometimes refer to my grandmother as Saint Irene for raising 7 kids and putting up with my grandpa.  One of my uncles teases that when he was younger he thought his mother's name was "Da**it Irene".  Maw maw even once confessed to me that as much as she loved my grandfather, she's was sorta glad that she outlived him so she could do things her way for a change. 
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 09, 2010, 11:40:25 AM


I know what you mean.  We sometimes refer to my grandmother as Saint Irene for raising 7 kids and putting up with my grandpa.  One of my uncles teases that when he was younger he thought his mother's name was "Da**it Irene".  Maw maw even once confessed to me that as much as she loved my grandfather, she's was sorta glad that she outlived him so she could do things her way for a change. 

My mother used to say this about my grandma (her MIL) because she felt sorry for Grandma for sometimes having to host "all by herself while Paul went upstairs to watch a game on the tv in their room!"   

Now, mind you, because we lived 3 hours away from Grandma, we never went for only a day, we usually stayed a few days and we weren't the only ones there, either.   Especially at Thanksgiving when sometimes it wasn't just the 7 kids and however many grandchildren there were at the time (I'm the oldest of 16 grand kids), but also their nieces and nephews and their kids!    (Ever heard Tom Chapin's song "Cousins"?  I swear he must of heard of our family!)

Now, Grandpa was very friendly and loved seeing everyone, but being an introvert, he'd socialize for a while and then retreat to the bedroom to watch the game so the grandkids could have the main tv.    Maybe it's cause I'm an introvert myself, but I totally understood that!   
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: rhirhi on July 09, 2010, 12:59:29 PM
I'm 2nd generation French, we are Green (I think I get it), I have 14 siblings and my two DDs are Irish twins (but there are zero twins, Irish or otherwise, in Mom's family- the side that is French- nor in my siblings)
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Mazdoy on July 09, 2010, 03:05:37 PM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.

I don't think it's derogatory now although perhaps it was in the past.  Only the other day at my mammy & baby group (here in Ireland) we were all joking about missing our pills and ending up with Irish twins!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: hobish on July 09, 2010, 03:38:34 PM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.

I don't think it's derogatory now although perhaps it was in the past.  Only the other day at my mammy & baby group (here in Ireland) we were all joking about missing our pills and ending up with Irish twins!

When my BFF got pregnant her FIL cheered, "We were hoping for Irish twins!" :) I know it wasn't meant as an insult there. Maybe it's one of thise things where from the inside it isn't derogatory, but those outside the group moght use it as such. <--- just conjecturing, i really don't know
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 09, 2010, 05:38:26 PM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.

I don't think it's derogatory now although perhaps it was in the past.  Only the other day at my mammy & baby group (here in Ireland) we were all joking about missing our pills and ending up with Irish twins!

Oh you're in Ireland?  Lucky! :)  I haven't been there yet, but it's my priority when it comes to traveling out of the country.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Mazdoy on July 10, 2010, 07:03:37 AM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.

I don't think it's derogatory now although perhaps it was in the past.  Only the other day at my mammy & baby group (here in Ireland) we were all joking about missing our pills and ending up with Irish twins!

Oh you're in Ireland?  Lucky! :)  I haven't been there yet, but it's my priority when it comes to traveling out of the country.

Be glad you're not here today.  It hasn't stopped raining :-(
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Nibsey on July 10, 2010, 09:44:51 AM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.

I don't think it's derogatory now although perhaps it was in the past.  Only the other day at my mammy & baby group (here in Ireland) we were all joking about missing our pills and ending up with Irish twins!

Oh you're in Ireland?  Lucky! :)  I haven't been there yet, but it's my priority when it comes to traveling out of the country.

Be glad you're not here today.  It hasn't stopped raining :-(

'you know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer' lol
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Nora on July 10, 2010, 09:52:27 AM
I thought it was just within 12 months of each other regardless of calendar year? like, basically you got pregnant right after you gave birth? Hmmm...

ETA: Apparently, it's a slightly derrogatory term! Never knew that... ???

Yes, this is the way I have always understood it. I've always considered it kinda derogatory/insulting.

I don't think it's derogatory now although perhaps it was in the past.  Only the other day at my mammy & baby group (here in Ireland) we were all joking about missing our pills and ending up with Irish twins!

Oh you're in Ireland?  Lucky! :)  I haven't been there yet, but it's my priority when it comes to traveling out of the country.

Be glad you're not here today.  It hasn't stopped raining :-(

'you know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer' lol

That's true of the side of Norway I'm in as well...
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 10, 2010, 09:53:03 AM
I like rain! :) :)   My favorite seasons here in the US are Spring and Fall because that's when it tends to be cooler and rains more often. :)
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Fi on July 11, 2010, 12:32:59 PM
*giggles*

Born and reared in Ireland (I left as an adult) and yes, the family is Green. I'm the only one among my siblings who *isn't* an Irish twin, which wasn't a phrase I'd heard until I read eHell!

We joke that my parents found out what was causing it...
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on November 14, 2010, 10:38:10 PM
My great-great-aunt was an Irish Green who gave birth to 27 children over her lifetime. Whenever I've mentioned her, people always ask first off if she was Green. I usually say yes, and then follow up with the fact that this was in the 1870's or 1880's, because my grandmother was born in 1895 and my father was born in 1941. Irish or not, plenty of people were having huge families, and when two people of very hardy genetic material marry, you end up with a ton of children. She and her husband could have just as easily been German Reds or Scottish Yellows or even Orangemen.

She did live into her 80's, though, and maintained her sanity awfully well. She just decided that Jesus Christ was one of her 17 sons, and got very distressed when she saw crucifixes.

Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Ponytail_Palm on November 14, 2010, 10:52:18 PM
I never realized that "Irish twins" was derogatory but I can see how it could be. My sister and I are a year and a half apart, so my mom used to say that we are almost Irish twins.

Here's a squicky situation that's a little more on topic: when people assume correctly that someone is having sex. When it's just an allusion or a chuckle - nothing to which one can really say "butt out!" - what the heck is there to say?!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: KittyBass on November 14, 2010, 11:46:46 PM
But are still assumptions based on stereotypes or reputations of a religion/ethnicity/nationality.

Not so much anymore, but it used to be that when I'd disclose that my dad is one of 7 kids, people would jokingly ask if we were Irish and of Green religion.   Well, yeah, my grandparents are of that religion, and they are 1st generation Irish-American, but it's still an assumption based on a stereotype.



I used to get that too. I have an Irish last name and used to be very active on the Irish cultural circuit with music and dancing. Sometimes it came out that I was not of Green religion and some people were like 'OH MY GEEZERS, you're not GREEN?' My DH is Irish, from Ireland and is Green religion, but not a practicing one. Sometimes in this culture, religion=political views and people would say 'She's not GREEN, you married an ORANGE, and she's American? Oh boy!', but I'm not a practicing orange either. I think the political=religious climate has changed over the years but there's still a few with old-fashioned views and different religions keep on their respective sides of the tracks. DH and I got married at the courthouse because to have a church wedding I would have had to have converted to green in order to do so and I don't really see the point of converting to a religion for the sake of it, rather than because I believe in it.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Nora on November 16, 2010, 02:46:46 PM
She and her husband could have just as easily been German Reds or Scottish Yellows or even Orangemen.

Most confusing sentence atheist Nora has read in a while!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Layla Miller on November 16, 2010, 02:55:45 PM
She and her husband could have just as easily been German Reds or Scottish Yellows or even Orangemen.

Most confusing sentence atheist Nora has read in a while!

Is it wrong that I'm hearing it in the Lucky Charms leprechaun's voice?
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Xallanthia on November 16, 2010, 03:22:57 PM
We joke that my parents found out what was causing it...

lol...

I imagine you could say the same about my grandma, who had four kids in as many years beginning immediately upon marriage, but her 5th 5 years later... (Italians over here).

But in general, as someone said early in the thread, stereotypes exist for a reason: the basic facts (for example, that families of certain religions tend to have a lot of children) are true, on average.  If someone brings them up, the insult (or not) of the thing is all about how that is done.

For example, I could call someone "a stereotypical (Religious group), contributing to overpopulation of our planet and setting Women's Rights back 50 years," and that would be rude (also note: not my actual opinion).  But if I'm telling a story about my French professor, and ask you to imagine "a stereotypically gay French man" while going on to describe how good a teacher he was, his passion for his subject (french film), and the way he would always drop into English to say "Iz zat cooool or wat," it should be obvious that I'm just painting a picture for you--indicating that he was flamboyant, good looking, a good dresser, etc--not implying anything negative about either homosexuals or french people.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: hobish on November 16, 2010, 05:29:34 PM
She and her husband could have just as easily been German Reds or Scottish Yellows or even Orangemen.

Most confusing sentence atheist Nora has read in a while!

What is this atheist you speak of? I think you mean blue, don't you?  ;)

j/k ... i know the deal with the ads & all. It just amuses me.


Xallanthia, i think that is a really great clarification.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: wolfie on November 16, 2010, 05:55:05 PM
My great-great-aunt was an Irish Green who gave birth to 27 children over her lifetime. Whenever I've mentioned her, people always ask first off if she was Green. I usually say yes, and then follow up with the fact that this was in the 1870's or 1880's, because my grandmother was born in 1895 and my father was born in 1941. Irish or not, plenty of people were having huge families, and when two people of very hardy genetic material marry, you end up with a ton of children. She and her husband could have just as easily been German Reds or Scottish Yellows or even Orangemen.

She did live into her 80's, though, and maintained her sanity awfully well. She just decided that Jesus Christ was one of her 17 sons, and got very distressed when she saw crucifixes.



Wow! That is a lot of kids. Where any of them multiples?
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Lynda_34 on November 25, 2010, 06:27:54 PM
My mother had six of us in seven and a half years.

I once asked her if she had ever used birth control (back then it was condoms) we're talking 50's here.  She was a southen belle and told me, "If your father did he never told me and nice girls never discussed those things."

Someone once asked her if she was green religion and she said no just a "messy blue."

I was sexually active for about two months and was on the pill with the only MD who would prescribe it for unmarried women in my state. 

After I was married (shacked up with him for a year and a half, was engaged three weeks and married, yes people were taking bets I was pregnant, (I wasn't) as far as I was concerned that wasn't a reason to marry.  I/We waited almost five years before we started a family.

Before the advent of the "pill" there were large families, lots of chlldren died in infancy.  In the last 50 years we have more control over pregnancy than ever before.  Assumptions change but so does society and what is available to people.

I don't want to get political here but the recent announcements from the Vatican are a perfect example of evolving with the times.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Twik on November 26, 2010, 01:38:27 PM
My great-great-aunt was an Irish Green who gave birth to 27 children over her lifetime.


Wow! That is a lot of kids. Where any of them multiples?

My triple-great grandmother gave birth to 20 children (wasn't Green, either). Only the last pregnancy resulted in twins. Unfortunately, it also resulted in her demise. The twins were raised by her first-born child.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Hushabye on November 26, 2010, 01:46:53 PM
My great-great-aunt was an Irish Green who gave birth to 27 children over her lifetime.


Wow! That is a lot of kids. Where any of them multiples?

My triple-great grandmother gave birth to 20 children (wasn't Green, either). Only the last pregnancy resulted in twins. Unfortunately, it also resulted in her demise. The twins were raised by her first-born child.

I grew up with kids who were grandkids/great-grandkids of a family matriarch who had sixteen children, all single births.  In fact, in my younger brother's graduating class there was a grandson and a great-grandson.

That's so sad about your triple-great-grandmother, Twik.  But all too common in previous years, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Sharnita on November 26, 2010, 07:59:42 PM
I had a great aunt or cousin or something who had 17 kids.  No twins.  They were German Catholic.  I run into people with my last name and ask if they are related to her.  They generally are, sometimes through marriage.  Most of the family I have never met because her kids fairly big families and many of them have started their families.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Moralia on December 10, 2010, 08:11:27 PM
When people have commented on large families in my husband's and my family tree, we had two jokes: "Yep great-gran truly had a womb of steel!" and "Oh yes, (husband's surname) sperms, they're like Navy Seals crossed with Ninjas, they WILL find their objective!"

This nicely derails any stereotyping comments about Irish and Hillbillys.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on December 13, 2010, 05:41:14 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Nora on December 13, 2010, 10:19:13 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

And unquenchably horny, and undauntable. I'm telling you, it would not take 17 pregnancies (given they where like my first) to never let my husband in the bedroom again!

17 kids. All fed and clothed, and loved. I think 1 is hard darned work! Give those people a medal!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on December 13, 2010, 06:05:33 PM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

And unquenchably horny, and undauntable. I'm telling you, it would not take 17 pregnancies (given they where like my first) to never let my husband in the bedroom again!

17 kids. All fed and clothed, and loved. I think 1 is hard darned work! Give those people a medal!

If you are really fertile, 1 visit a year is enough...  ;D
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: exitzero on December 13, 2010, 06:19:44 PM
My dad was one of 19 children.

My grandfather once got arrested for drunken brawling, and my cousin had to go down and bail him out.

They went before the judge, who asked him, "Are you a family man?".

Do which he replied, "Yes."

"How many children do  you have?"

"19"

"You misunderstood my question, I asked you how many children you have."

"I understood fine. I have 19 children."

With that the judge yelled, "Get this man out of my courtroom, he deserves to be drunk!"


And, yes, he was Irish (Green). So that's two stereotypes for the price of one!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on December 13, 2010, 06:23:20 PM
My dad was one of 19 children.


My science teacher - in the late 80s - had 19 children. 17 natural, 2 adopted from his late brother. So I thought he was wife was gonna look... well, exhausted, but she looked very young for her age, fit, and rested. And this was not a "5 nannies, celebrity lifestyle" situation, they had 16 children living at home in a 4 bedroom home.

She clearly had a womb of steel.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: exitzero on December 13, 2010, 06:28:09 PM
My dad was one of 19 children.


My science teacher - in the late 80s - had 19 children. 17 natural, 2 adopted from his late brother. So I thought he was wife was gonna look... well, exhausted, but she looked very young for her age, fit, and rested. And this was not a "5 nannies, celebrity lifestyle" situation, they had 16 children living at home in a 4 bedroom home.

She clearly had a womb of steel.

I never met my grandmother, but they say she had the patient of Job.

She gave birth to all 19, no twins or triplets.

They were raised in apartments in a poorer section of Boston.

And she had been an only child!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: #borecore on December 13, 2010, 07:07:41 PM
My mom was Eastern European 'Green' and one of seven, which was plenty enough for my peers to make similar assumptions about them (again, usually true).

But my paternal side is where the really rough (and true, unfortunately) assumptions come in. They are not of a background that's known for this (at least in the U.S., though it's common where/when they're from), but his parents were first cousins. Cue all the inbreeding jokes you can shake a stick at in  ... 1 ... 2 ... 3! To add to that, he eventually started bragging about how his own great grandparents were uncle and niece, too!
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: wolfie on December 14, 2010, 08:13:29 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

Condoms are hundreds if not thousands of years old and there are other ways of preventing children. Not as good as what we have now but BC is not a 20th century invention.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: hyzenthlay on December 14, 2010, 08:22:30 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

Condoms are hundreds if not thousands of years old and there are other ways of preventing children. Not as good as what we have now but BC is not a 20th century invention.

POD

The rhythm method is far from perfect, but it could certainly reduce 17 kids down to a number that is far more reasonable to raise in a healthy manner that doesn't burn out the mother. And it's been around a looooong time, it just was to obscene to be discussed in many times and places.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on December 14, 2010, 08:48:27 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

Condoms are hundreds if not thousands of years old and there are other ways of preventing children. Not as good as what we have now but BC is not a 20th century invention.

And people are still having issues getting their long term SOs to want to use them right now (see increase of AIDS among married women). I can't imagine a married woman, in the 1930s or 1940s, getting her husband to use a condom for birth control. It was widely thought of that it was something one would use with a particularly unsafe looking prostitute, and if men complain that the very comfortable modern and inexpensive ones are still bad, imagine a sheepskin one in that time. Not to mention I doubt people would even want to buy that from their pharmacist at the time.

Availability is not the same as widespread use, especially not when the consequence of not using it - pregnancy - mostly affected the woman.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Twik on December 15, 2010, 07:06:36 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

Condoms are hundreds if not thousands of years old and there are other ways of preventing children. Not as good as what we have now but BC is not a 20th century invention.

POD
The rhythm method is far from perfect, but it could certainly reduce 17 kids down to a number that is far more reasonable to raise in a healthy manner that doesn't burn out the mother. And it's been around a looooong time, it just was to obscene to be discussed in many times and places.

Remember, thought, before TV, there weren't too many ways to entertain yourself in the evenings.  >:D
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: mechtilde on December 15, 2010, 10:34:28 AM
Before the 1960s, there was pretty much no choice but to have as many kids as nature would gift you, so I don't understand stereotyping people of earlier generations. If you assume someone that right now has 17 kids is extremely religious, that would be a somewhat based on reality assumption, but in the past they were just very fertile.

Condoms are hundreds if not thousands of years old and there are other ways of preventing children. Not as good as what we have now but BC is not a 20th century invention.

In order to be able to use them though, you need to know what they are and be able to get them. Contraception was fairly well available in the UK, thanks in no small parts to Marie S.topes, but other countries were different. It was considered pretty shocking when Beate U.hse started selling information booklets on natural BC in Germany in the late forties, and it wasn't until later she was able to start selling condoms. There were similar problems in other countries.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: channa17 on January 06, 2011, 07:49:40 AM
Well, stereotypes are not necessarily a bad thing.  Generalizations exist for a reason - because in general, they are true. ;) 

The only problem with stereotypes or generalizations is when people hold on to them in the face of additional/new/contrary information. 

I'd say there's a huge problem with stereotypes that are held as judgments about an individual - now, some stereotypes about groups are in fact true, or somewhat true, or true to a large but not complete extent, so I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to have some general idea about another group of people:  if and only if you can actually back that belief up with observation and if and only if you accept that this may be generally true of the group, but that it cannot be applied to any given individual and finally if and only if the stereotype is not actively racist/offensive (so "1st and 2nd generation immigrated 'Old World' families tend to have intergenerational culture clashes" is basically OK, but "_______ people smell / are stingy / are stupid is REALLY NOT FINE).

The second you apply that stereotype to an individual just because (s)he's a part of a group and not based on an individual assessment of the person...that's where assumptions and stereotypes fail miserably. 

So it's OK to think "1st and 2nd generation immigrated 'Old World' families tend to have intergenerational culture clashes" is fine, but "You are the children of Old World parents who immigrated so you MUST have intergenerational culture clashes" is really, deeply NOT OK.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: channa17 on January 06, 2011, 07:58:15 AM
As an American living abroad, I get a lot of assumptions lobbed my way.  They are mostly not true (I don't own a gun, I don't hate Muslims, I do speak more than one language - in fact I speak 2 foreign languages well and another with basic proficiency, and one of those languages is really hard, I am not conservative, I am not religious, I do follow world news, I don't have a dog, and I've never had more than one "boyfriend" at a time, and in total have not had that many) so I'm fine with saying so.  I love broadening minds everywhere about what real Americans are like!

As a liberal feminist, I get even more assumptions lobbed at me - and some are partly true (I do lean a bit towards Socialism, for instance, and I am pro gay marriage and pro choice) and some are false (I don't hate men, and I don't hate America!).  Not that I want to discuss politics - I don't!  Just pointing out that people assume things about all sorts of groups, even groups who share political beliefs.

As someone who is ethnically Armenian whose family came over during the 1915 genocide/diaspora, I get even more assumptions - "So, your family must hate the Turks, huh?"

Well, yes.  In fact they do.  Especially my grandfather.  *I* however do not hate Turks.  I hate what was done to my family, but Turks alive today didn't do it.  (It'd be nice if they'd recognize that it happened but you can't blame an individual Turk for that, or for being mis-educated about it).
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on January 06, 2011, 08:02:26 AM
As an American living abroad, I get a lot of assumptions lobbed my way.  They are mostly not true (I don't own a gun, I don't hate Muslims, I do speak more than one language - in fact I speak 2 foreign languages well and another with basic proficiency, and one of those languages is really hard, I am not conservative, I am not religious, I do follow world news, I don't have a dog, and I've never had more than one "boyfriend" at a time, and in total have not had that many) so I'm fine with saying so.  I love broadening minds everywhere about what real Americans are like!

Well, but that is because that kind of American would never live abroad, duh.  ;D

I'm just kidding! But I do think someone who is the stereotype people ask you about would be unlikely to leave their home country.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: channa17 on January 06, 2011, 08:08:09 AM
Cue all the inbreeding jokes you can shake a stick at in  ... 1 ... 2 ... 3! To add to that, he eventually started bragging about how his own great grandparents were uncle and niece, too!

"Uncle marries niece" is a really quite common thing in some parts of southern India, as well.  Not so common anymore, but it does happen.  It used to be not only normal, but expected.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on January 06, 2011, 10:30:35 AM
Cue all the inbreeding jokes you can shake a stick at in  ... 1 ... 2 ... 3! To add to that, he eventually started bragging about how his own great grandparents were uncle and niece, too!

"Uncle marries niece" is a really quite common thing in some parts of southern India, as well.  Not so common anymore, but it does happen.  It used to be not only normal, but expected.

It is illegal here, but I know a guy who did it by proving with a blood test that they weren't related - his dad was married to his wife's grandmother, and adopted her daughter from an earlier relationship. Then this woman died, and his dad married his mother, and had him. And to make it grosser, they were raised in the same house, as the adopted daughter/bride's mom never left the home.

I found them being together so repulsive, that I have to confess I was relieved when they were divorced, even though that is a terrible thing to say.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on January 06, 2011, 09:40:44 PM
As an American living abroad, I get a lot of assumptions lobbed my way.  They are mostly not true (I don't own a gun, I don't hate Muslims, I do speak more than one language - in fact I speak 2 foreign languages well and another with basic proficiency, and one of those languages is really hard, I am not conservative, I am not religious, I do follow world news, I don't have a dog, and I've never had more than one "boyfriend" at a time, and in total have not had that many) so I'm fine with saying so.  I love broadening minds everywhere about what real Americans are like!

Well, but that is because that kind of American would never live abroad, duh.  ;D

I'm just kidding! But I do think someone who is the stereotype people ask you about would be unlikely to leave their home country.

As a gun-owning, religious, dog-loving conservative who only speaks English proficiently, that is a bit of an interesting assumption on your part too. Then again, I do follow world news, and only having mastered one language is not for lack of trying.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on January 07, 2011, 04:29:33 AM
As an American living abroad, I get a lot of assumptions lobbed my way.  They are mostly not true (I don't own a gun, I don't hate Muslims, I do speak more than one language - in fact I speak 2 foreign languages well and another with basic proficiency, and one of those languages is really hard, I am not conservative, I am not religious, I do follow world news, I don't have a dog, and I've never had more than one "boyfriend" at a time, and in total have not had that many) so I'm fine with saying so.  I love broadening minds everywhere about what real Americans are like!

Well, but that is because that kind of American would never live abroad, duh.  ;D

I'm just kidding! But I do think someone who is the stereotype people ask you about would be unlikely to leave their home country.

As a gun-owning, religious, dog-loving conservative who only speaks English proficiently, that is a bit of an interesting assumption on your part too. Then again, I do follow world news, and only having mastered one language is not for lack of trying.

I was not actually correlating religion, conservatism, or dog owning with not wanting to live abroad, but "following world news" and "speaking a foreign language". Which I believe is an assumption that is actually true - a person who shows little interest in other countries and cultures, unless they are transferred forcibly by their work to live abroad, is unlikely to say "You know what, I feel like moving to a country I know nothing about the political situation of, can't speak the language of, and don't intend on learning the language of".
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Shea on January 08, 2011, 01:52:57 PM
I'm of Scottish and Jewish heritage, and I've definitely been known to make jokes about my frugality being encoded into my DNA (the stereotype being that Scots and Jews are noted for frugality).
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Seraphia on January 08, 2011, 02:05:52 PM
I'm something like 1/3 Finnish, but I'm afraid I'll never like seafood as much as I'm supposed to. On the other hand, I do read a lot, and Finns have (I believe) the highest literacy rate in the world, as well as most library books checked out per person.

I always look for resemblances in any Finns I see on TV - some of them definitely have the same eye crinkles and cheekbones as I do. :D
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: boxy on January 08, 2011, 04:11:31 PM
I'm an American mutt and have no clue what stereotypes could be said about me.
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Xallanthia on January 10, 2011, 12:28:36 PM
I'm an American mutt and have no clue what stereotypes could be said about me.

Why that's easy!  All the American ones! :P
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Jan74 on January 10, 2011, 06:52:44 PM
I'm an American mutt and have no clue what stereotypes could be said about me.

Why that's easy!  All the American ones! :P

And probably all the European ones as well, since you have multiple backgrounds!  ;D
Title: Re: Assumptions that are actually true
Post by: Ponytail_Palm on January 11, 2011, 10:16:41 PM
I'm an American mutt and have no clue what stereotypes could be said about me.

Yep, there's no need to worry - there are plenty of stereotypes to go around! ::)