Friday, June 12, 2009

wherein i am politically incorrect

I confess...I feel guilty about some of my less-than-PC observations. But shall share some anyway (many T-commute inspired):
  • Asian women have an odd penchant for perching right on the edge of train seats
  • Men in general will take up more room than they need, often by spreading their legs wide. This is especially true of African-American men. Noticing the racial disparity makes me wonder if there is any sociological reason ("marginalized" group trying to stake a claim, need to "look tough"). Asian men rarely do this...though they also tend to be much smaller in general which may be part of that.
  • There are two different trains that are on my home-bound track. I can tell which of the trains I just missed by the racial make-up of the crowd.
  • White men and women seem the most likely to reek of cigarette smoke.
  • The only people I've seen with chew on the train are young (late teens) white men. Is there a group trend? Who DOES that stuff?
  • I often see Indian families where the woman is dressed traditionally and the man is in jeans. It fits the image of women as the carriers of culture and history. Which is interesting since (across the board, not speaking of a specific group), both are a bit rougher on women.

Now I'm pondering my own pondering. I call these observations politically incorrect because they are group stereotypes with racial and gender-based lines. Is just observing something and noting it a politically in/correct act? I certainly don't assume EVERY African-American male will push his knees over to my side of the seat line nor expect every Indian woman to wear a sari. Am I a bad liberal for noting the trends???

1 comment:

Peaches said...

Noting trends is fine and not at all calling into question your liberal status. It only becomes stereotyping when you assume everyone will do the same thing and assign some sort of positive or negative value to it. Patterns based on observations are necessary for human brain function and decision making skills, it's what you choose to do with those patternst hat make a difference