In society stereotypes are thinking mainly of; race and gender differences. As Claude M. Steele explains in, Whistling Vivaldi, stereotypes can be anywhere and affect anyone. I grew up as a Caucasian female in the suburbs of California. Stereotypes; for the most part, was not directed towards me. After high school, I entered an unhealthy, turned abusive relationship. I stayed in that relationship; no one would want me after having two kids, and there was no way I was going to be able to support myself plus my children on my own. These reasons for staying were not my own, but the product of my community. The thought of leaving the relationship was taken out of option, because of the stereotype threats put upon me; not only by my abuser, but by society in general.
My upbringing didn’t prepare me to be independent or have self-respect. My family placed the thoughts on me that, what was happening at home, simply stays at home. I was to stick it out, because that is what a young lady was supposed to do. My mother used to tell me, “Dedicate your life to your family and you are to stick by your husband, no matter how mean he is”. Statements such as these are what creates the ideas of failure, if a woman were to leave the abusive relationship. These thoughts plagued my mind. The fragment test in Steele’s book reminded me of this. “When black students were told that the test measured ability, they completed more of these fragments with stereotype-related words than when they were told the test was not a measure of ability. Being under stigma pressure clearly brought the stereotype about their group’s ability to mind. Being under no such pressure during this test, whites made almost no ster...
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... spends it on herself.
I spent six years of my life dictated by stereotype threats. My life became a Spector; I was determined to be autonomous. Just because I was no longer in an abusive relationship, I still struggle with identity contingencies. My children are court ordered to no longer see their father. For that, I can me sectioned off to some as a woman keeping his children from him. Every day I am faced with a new identity contingency, because I am a young single mother. I have overcome so much with all I have dealt with. I am in a healthy relationship with a man who accepts my children as his own. I went back to school full-time to get my business degree. I beat domestic violence, even though some believe it is impossible. My strengths are now seen as such and my family and friends no longer pity me. Stereotypes can affect anyone, and in many different ways.
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