Tuesday, April 26, 2011

vive la diffrence

As a Director of SHARE Family Services I was attending a celebration of Volunteers for the SHARE Family Services and I was sitting at  table with two older men who worked at the Thrift Store. As the luncheon progressed we started talking and the conversation moved around a number of topics. I asked about how they came to be volunteers  and they talked their commitment to the organization. We also talked about grandchildren, travel, retirement plans and genealogy, as well as many other interesting topics, not once did we talk sports.

At the end of the meal, two of the woman volunteers came around with home made desserts and the woman seemed to know the two men very well, and the woman asked what we were talking about, our conversation was not loud, but we were all enjoyng the discussion--at the time we were talking about joys of travelling so I was surprised when one of the men said, "Oh you know us, we were just talking guy stuff." The ladies laughed and said, "Oh ya, sports and cars, we know you guys." then moved on to the next table. I didn't say anything as I did not want to contradict the man and we continued our conversation about travelling and about children.

I thought about this for a few days and wondered why had the women assumed we were just talking sports and cars, and why did we agree with that thought.  Have men and women of my generation been  conditioned to belief the stereotypes that advertisers create for us? I hope not, but I suspect that it may be safer for some to hold onto the stereotypes, so we don't have to question our own beliefs.

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