Isaiah Pompey February 18, 2012 English 101 Do You Stereotype? Have you ever judged a book from its cover? Have you ever judged a person by his or her looks or, maybe something you heard about them? If so this is merely a common mistake people make. This is called stereotyping. Usually you have some prior concept on the topic or person. In “About Men” the author, Gretel Ehrlich stresses these simple mistakes that are made when coming up with a judgment of cow boys and their characteristic. The same stereotypes cowboys face as do poets.
Poets are sometimes looked at as reclusive and over sensitive and in some case this may be true but not in all cases though. In today’s society, the general concept of cow boys is covered by old western horse backing, shoot outs and salon fights portrayed in movies. This idea foreshadows the real concept of cowboys and what they stand for. Poets are very much alike. The concept of poets to the general public is that they are overly sensitive, stuck up and lonely.
These stereotypes are untrue. I believe that the general public mistaken poets passion for their work as character. The Ehrlich gives prime examples of how in the case of cowboys, they can really be tender and caring and how society views can be so judgmental not just only on cow boys but on men in general or in this case poets . She goes to talk about the occupation of cow boys, which is to care for the farm animals, mostly cows though. Ehrlich goes to say that “ on some nights a cow boy can be caught sitting in front of an oven fire holding and caring for a struggling baby calf”(105pg) .
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This relation to animals is one of the author’s main points. Poets to some degree can have a relationship with their work. In writing poetry or any work of art you generally want to have some inspiration. The means of inspiration have sometimes been misunderstood as the use of drugs. This misconception of poet’s daily life is confused by movies such as, “Edgar Allen Poe”, which was a movie about a poet whose choice of inspiration was the drug Opium. This can then be in return misunderstood as poets in general using drugs and this is not true.
The misconception of cow boys and poets in relation are generally the same. Cow boys are often mistaken as cruel to women and rough at times, and in some cases this can be true, but there is reasoning behind it. In “About Men”, Ehrlich explains how cow boys differentiate themselves from woman and have a stronger relationship with the animal in which they care for. In a poet’s case, they have a stronger relationship with their work of poetry. Whether it’s a cow boys or simply a poet. Any thought that precedes the actual facts or value of something or someone, can be considered a preconception or stereotype.
In “About Men”, Gretel Ehrlich clearly shows how coy boys can be a victim of false preconceptions. Poets are much alike cow boys and are also victims of stereotypes, such as being over sensitive, reclusive or even drug addicts. With all of these examples, I think it’s safe to say that judging a book or person by a preconception is wrong. Taking the time to get a better account of that person or topic can make you realize that great qualities be blinded by false preconceptions. Erlich, Gretal. “About Men”. Fifty Great Essays. 5th Ed. Robert Diynann. Boston. Pearson,2013. 104-107. Print.
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