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We all pretend it’s normal…
We all pretend that life in NY is normal. Just today I had the day off, which isn’t usually for a Thursday, and I decided to go to the gym before noon. I got on a train at 10am and...

What If I Told You That You Can Have a Different Life?
I know I will sound very naïve now, but I had a recent revelation I would like to share with you. I started thinking about the choices we make and why we actually make them. Those who have rea...

Poor Rich Kids
I have mentioned money in NYC on Just Like NY a few times already. There is a lot of money here, and people spend lots of it on a variety of weird and stupid things sometimes....

Do You Want To Be Famous?
Because I’ve been living here for almost five years now, I tend to forget what kind of place NYC is. It’s where fantasy keeps meeting reality. The longer you live here, the more “...

Double Standard – Why Are Women Treated Differently?
I had a situation that I wrote about on Facebook, but I want to write more about it, because there is more to it.  So there was a guy, a customer of mine who I had met maybe three times, who&n...

Why Having a Boyfriend Will Not Make You Happy?
When I was a teenage girl (that is one week ago… just kidding), my biggest dream was to have a boyfriend. Especially since a weekly column called “Love Story” from “Bravo&r...

What Happens Once You Stop Caring If People Like You?
What happens once you stop caring if people like you…? It’s simple – your life starts changing. Yes, it’s that huge. One day I realized that it happened to me – that ...

Men and Sex
What is it that men want when it comes to sex…? The thing is: they want to have everything. Including a virgin. That’s the funniest part. I didn’t have a lot of sex in my life (c...

The Most Annoying American Family
I must say, I’m so fed up with these fake images and fake lives that are all over social media now. And there is one family that makes me especially angry. You’ve p...

Step 53 - Do You Have A Choice?
I believe I have already written about what I am about to say in this post, but I’ll be coming back to the subject, because it’s really important. I notice more and more often that we ge...

Step 52 - Don’t Assume (Or In Another Words, Don’t Judge)
We’re all guilty of it. We judge. And even if you say or think that you don’t, I have bad news for you – yes, you do. We all classify people based on our knowledge of the...

Stereotypes. Have Enough Class To Not Say Anything
I wrote about stereotypes already, but the longer I live here, the more I see that not much is changing in this matter. Living in NY will help you learn more about other cultures, but it doesn&rsq...

Stereotypes. Have Enough Class To Not Say Anything

added: 2018-02-08 , category: Living in NY

I wrote about stereotypes already, but the longer I live here, the more I see that not much is changing in this matter. Living in NY will help you learn more about other cultures, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll become magically free of stereotypes overnight. I’ve learned that even living here for your whole life might not help you (usually it might even make things worse, especially when you don’t travel that much).

What is a stereotype anyway? According to Wikipedia, it’s an oversimplified image or idea of a particular person or concept. In NY, that definition should also include: “of a particular culture”. Since people of all cultures live here, we have opinions about every nation or culture – based on what we see most often around us. This is how we build stereotypes – we see that two or three people from, let’s say, Poland, do something particular – and we create this image in our head that “this is what Poles do”. And I do get it, there is a grain of truth in every stereotype – they don’t come out of nowhere. I can’t be angry hearing that “Polish women usually clean houses in US”, because the majority really does. Does it make it the truth about all Polish women…? No, it does not. But as I said – I do understand where it comes from.

I heard of one situation that happened recently to a girl I know. She is Spanish, raised in NY. She was asked by an older rich white American guy at her job (in a fancy neighborhood where mostly white Americans live) where does she live and before she answered the guy said: Queens? And she got really upset. He thought that because she’s Spanish she “must live in Queens”, where most Spanish people live. His process of thinking was stupid, of course, because Spanish people live in every neighborhood. And she happened to live just around the corner, not even two blocks away from him. He would have learned that, had he waited for the answer. They had a big argument and she asked him if he dared to ask the same question to a white American woman or to a black guy (I know the answer – he would not). After that, he stopped coming to her work.

I used to get angry when people asked me if I lived in Greenpoint, just because I’m Polish. But hey, now I really do live in Greenpoint, so they would be actually right. I used to get angry when people were asking me if I was Russian. Now, I don’t care. And I wouldn’t also get as offended as that girl did. Not because she wasn’t right – damn sure she was – but because it’s not my problem that someone is narrow-minded. Because the question like that – that underlaying assumption – doesn’t mean anything else than that: a person making it is narrow-minded. It also means that they don’t have any class.

When I moved here, I asked people: “Where are you from?”. Now I ask: “Were you born in NY?”. Just because someone has a different skin color, or a different accent, doesn’t mean they are from outside NY or US. That also doesn’t determine their job, values or their goals. I’m not an angel and I have my opinion on some nations too, just because I encountered many situations with them, but I have enough class, and common sense, to not to say things like that or think that EVERYONE is like that. And most importantly – before I speak up, I think twice. I’m very careful with my words now – offending someone is one thing, but I just don’t want to be one of these people who say stupid statements like that. If you don’t know, just ask. And if you don’t want to ask, at least remain silent. Don’t assume that you know, because most of the time you don’t know shit about the other person’s life and goals (more about judging soon). Step one level higher than others and ask questions instead of making assumptions: I assure you that the answers will really surprise you. Don’t stereotype people, because it only shows how much knowledge you are still lacking. Not to even mention the class you clearly don’t yet acquired.



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