Social stereotypes are still widespread in this country. I have always heard people complaining about stereotypes, but when I recently came face to face with them, I realized we still have a long way to go in dealing with them.
A week ago I was a passenger in a Hammer 3which was driven by a young tiny black lady. I was sitting at the back seat. Interestingly, whenever we stopped people looked in amazement, at the huge car driven by a young driver. The way people looked at the car and then at the driver told the whole story.
As if that was not enough, one gentleman congratulated me on my beautiful car. I smiled with pride and, in a way, confirming the stereotype that only men deserve or own those big cars. I accepted the congratulatory remarks without giving him the correct version of the situation.
Remember what this gentleman was saying was in line with what many people have come to accept as correct – that men are superior. Though I drive a small faded 1993 car whose name begins with a “G” – you know those that are said to be popular among thieves, I felt proud that I was associated with such a big and beautiful car. I took the credit I did not deserve and retrospect I helped to reinforce the stereotype.
Hungry, we went into a restaurant. My lady companion was the one who took me out for late lunch. We enjoyed the food, though I must confess, the service in the restaurant left a lot to be desired.
When the waiter brought us the bill, she put it right in front of me without even checking who was going to foot the bill. My heart pumped hard as I looked at the amount that was due. And there was no way I was going to afford that much just for late light lunch. With a smile, I pushed the bill to my friend who, to my relief, was already holding her card in her hand.
By the way all these events I have referred to happened in a space of six hours one Saturday. To this day, I still wondered how ladies survive these stereotypes every day of their lives.