Now that the Rio Summer 2016 Olympics are over I think its important we unpackage some of the stereotypes and common misconceptions about Brazil. First, I don't speak for all Brazilians, I'm speaking from a western US gaze to remind other people in more 'developed' countries to check our privilege before falling for all of the stereotypes of Brazil. Second, it's important to note that the Olympics being held in Brazil have been contested mainly because they are seen as a 'second/third world' country filled with disease and corruption. I'd like to remind the reader that this kind of uproar wasn't so prevalent with the London 2012 Summer games because unlike Brazil,
When I was in grade school through high school I got picked on a lot for various reasons. My friends as well got harassed by boys who either taunted us with racial or sexist slurs or try to take things from us or poke us. We as girls and later as women didn't do anything about it. Rather we took the abuse because we knew as 'losers' and racial minorities in the school no one, not even the teachers, would care or know what to do When I watched TV at home of Hollywood's version of high school for some solace and escapism from real school I saw this mantra being played out, 'he's only doing those things because he likes you. He doesn't know how to express his emotions, he's just a guy. Guys mature emotionally slower than girls, you know?' So, being the impressionable girl that I was I believed these lies.
Culture is hard to put into words. It’s so easy to say culture is a language, food, famous land marks and famous people who come from that certain culture. Culture can be embodied in clothing, music and art. But is that it? Can we grasp a culture just by tasting its food, by walking down a street in a foreign city, or even by becoming an expatriate and living there permanently as an adult? Well, I don’t think so.
In the US we have a lot of stereotypes of a lot of different groups, mostly with negative stigmas attached to them. The stereotypes I’m going to focus on are stereotypes of other countries and cultures that the US has had contact with inside the US. What I think is the most interesting is how a cultural difference from a country outside the US gets produced in the US due to our high immigrant population. Then after it is made in the US it is applied to the country of origin. These stereotypes are not only at play within our borders but globally and that is detrimental not only to the immigrants who come here looking for safety and refuge but also to the people who live in the country of origin and are subject to the same sort of myths.
John Cleese from Monty Python said he doesn’t want to perform at universities because they’re ‘offended by everything,’ yet he said that he understands that being 'pc’ is okay when it’s not to mock a group of people who 'can’t take care of themselves.’
George Carlin (now passed) said that 'nobody’s deaf’ but 'hearing impaired’ and no one is 'stupid’ they have a 'learning disorder.’
24 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.