Speaking of Generalizations

Ahem!…A little warning that it is mostly going to be a random kind of reading (like most of anything else)

I have always hated generalizations, of almost all sorts. I do not believe when someone says:

1. Well, you are getting involved with a woman. It’s of course going to be complicated.

2. Well, what do you expect when you are not dating an Asian? That person can break up with you any time.

3. Well, he is a guy. He is an asshole. All men are dogs.

4. Well, how can you read a woman’s mind?

5. Well, he is French, and in-your-face.

6. Well, he is a European, and he can have casual sex and not get involved.

May be some of them are true to an extent. But the reasons that I hate such generalizations are more than because they are just untrue.These generalizations are used by people who don’t want the responsibility of dealing with individuals. They want to leave things to generalizations, act smug, and fit themselves into good categories of such generalizations. It’s beyond me when people throw around such words as a woman being complex and crazy, a man being an asshole, an Asian being emotional, and so on. It’s vain, demeaning, narrow.

Though, there are some generalizations that I have noticed around me. They are true, only to me. They are my plain observations, and of course, there are many exceptions. Here are some:

1. In one of my classes, I am the only Indian, and the rest are mostly Chinese, and some Americans. There is one Greek, one Thai, and one Moroccan too. But being the only Indian puts me in a sweet spot many times, because it’s a class about psychology, and everyone is amazed and awed about Indian stuff. They ask me questions that bore me, because I have to go to great lengths to explain to them that what they see in the videos is not what represents India. It’s so diverse, that no Indian can really put it in a nutshell and explain it.

2. Next thing, in the same class, some Chinese girls almost always give presentations where they show how powerful China is getting, how they are number 1 here, number one there. In the charts, they show the US too, and it basically shows how US is way behind, and kind of dumb. I sip my tea whenever my eyes widen. The American girls make faces at all this and I can sense the discomfort in the environment. I sometimes feel that may be it’s just me, and it’s a class where people share things. But I cannot be wrong about such observations always. These American girls also look at each other when a Chinese mispronounces an English word. Again, may be it’s just me trying to read too much between the lines, because nobody else seems to be noticing these things. But come on! The whole point is – it’s not about Americans or Chinese. May be most American women talk behind your backs, and most Chinese women love to gossip (even inside toilets, across the walls…that’s again an observation), but these generalizations have more to do with women. Even when they are small, as girls, women are mean with the intention of being mean. They exactly know what they are doing. When men are mean, they usually are just being stupid and direct. They have no clue that it’s probably going to hurt someone.

3. When a guy asks out a girl, it’s usually either a yes, or a no. Direct. Plain. To the point. But when a girl asks out a guy, in most of the cases, the guy keeps the girl hanging, for whatever reasons. Almost always. They try to be diplomatic, they try “not to hurt”, they try to keep her just in case, they evaluate and measure, they test, blah blah blah.

4. There is no way that an Indian (or an Asian, for that matter) has more emotions when it comes to love, friendship, etc. than a person from some other country/continent.

5. I can touch upon a lot of chords if I have to speak about being proud of one’s country. I know who really is, who knows the facts, who pretends, who fakes, who really cares. It all boils down to individuality, history, how much you know about it, and how much of dirty facts about your country you are ready to embrace, along with the good things about her.

6. Women are not so much complex really. They talk a lot until they can, and then they stay silent. Most women are intuitive. These are generalizations, albeit mostly true. Why? Genetics. Since we can remember, women had to shut up, suffer, look after families, sacrifice, etc. This probably might have lead them to develop their senses, where they observe and have strong gut feelings about things. Also, a woman is generally accused of being conniving. It is not completely untrue, because when a woman has to act all clean and is suppressed, she finds ways to pleasure herself. Through conniving methods. It’s my personal observation. Not getting into the details, a small message is – don’t wait for a woman to go silent. Listen to her when she is talking.

7. Men are not assholes. They are selfish, just like any woman can be. They are confused, just like any human can be. When they are silent, it usually just means silence (in day-to-day situations) and has nothing to do with finer connotations of speech and silence.

Basically, genetics has to do with some generalizations here and there. But a human decides what s/he is. An individual is above any such generalization, and respect every individual, if you respect yourself for the person you are (and not just for what your sex, nationality, etc. is).


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