Stereotypes are harmful, primarily because of the structure they impose on future narratives or interactions.

Which causes people to look out for instances which reinforce that stereotype.

A Facebook user posted an update decrying the smell of some Indian passengers on the MRT, imploring them not to sit beside her if they did indeed smell.

Image from Twitter

She apparently later clarified that her statement was hypothetical, before eventually taking the post down.

Now, it is perfectly within one’s right to not want people with bad odour near her for an entire train ride.

The point of contention lies purely in the need to bring up a racial component in her message.

Some took issue with her choice of words.

Both in the racial component, and the grammatical one.

Perhaps the most succinct argument against generalisation was ironically, another generalised statement.

Touche.

And it seems to work.

 

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