Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Kayla Thurin
Pine Bluffs High School Junior 

Hornet's Buzz

A Worldwide Issue: It’s only a problem if we continue to do nothing


Once a month during the school year, the Pine Bluffs Post will highlight a student from Pine Bluffs High School journalism class.

Before you read this please keep in mind that I’m not saying everyone is guilty of the following. Some people do it out of habit and don’t even realize that they are saying it and don’t necessarily mean it negatively. One of my goals is to cause people to reflect on the way they use certain words while speaking to others. Some people use language that may have had positive meanings, but in today’s society the positive definition has turned into a negative, and people may think you’re using the bad definition whether or not you are. Of course each definition is correct as long as it is in a situation that is not being used to insult someone else. This is something that stretches worldwide, and is not fastened to a specific community. There are celebrities, books, works of art, songs, etc., that use the inappropriate context supporting the negative use of words that make them insulting.

Throughout school hallways, business meetings, and everyday interactions, there are many hurtful words said on the daily. Stereotypes haunt many people in society. Negative words towards the LGBTQ, mentally challenged, and physically challenged are dropped all the time without people realizing or being concerned that these words are hurtful to other people. People try to use these words to be funny and sound “cool” to others, but it’s not cool.

Gender stereotypes are also a large part of our society. A quote from the movie Sandlot is “You play ball like a girl”. Guys use being a woman against other guys because they believe that girls can’t do what a boy can. Or girls describe each other as being manly and making fun of them for it because a girl should not have that type of build or be able to do something as good as a guy. Everyone is capable of the same things, and the sooner that we realize this the sooner a lot of our problems could be solved. High school students split themselves into different categories based on what they are involved in. There are the jocks, nerds, cowboys, loners, and many more. What everyone doesn’t understand is that everyone wants to fit in.

I, a high school student, am writing this article to try and spread awareness for people that are using stereotypes to describe other people. I personally feel that people should be more careful with the language they so choose to use. People need to start thinking before they jump to negativity when they hear an ethnic last name, see that someone has a different skin color, hear an accent, see a disability, or learn that a person is gay. The majority of negativity is aimed at the way people are born and I do not think that it is fair for any human to judge another based on things they have no control over.

We all know what it feels like to be called a name or be made fun of, it’s not fun. There are people that are scared to be who they really are because they know that society is going to judge them and they don’t want to be the outcast of the group, so they are forced to pretend to be somebody that they are not.

If you’ve ever called someone fat or too skinny, how do you know that the person doesn’t have a disorder that causes them to be that way? What if they are really sick? You never know what someone else is dealing with in their life and calling them a name or saying something to them to try sound cool to your friends isn’t funny.

I respect the people that stand up to someone when they say “gosh this is gay”. The people who say things like “I have friends that are like that and I don’t like the way that you are using that word”. Those people should be true role models because they are trying to set an example and they are getting their opinion out and we all should learn to respect that.

There is no way for one high school student to fix this problem in the whole world, but if we can start with changing the acts of our community, then we will have a bigger effect on others. I want you all to think next time you are about to call someone a name or use a stereotype to describe them, put yourself in their shoes and think about how it would affect you. I also want you to stand up for someone else if they are being called an offensive name or being called a stereotypical name. Don’t be that bystander that doesn’t do anything about it, these names are considered bullying. We cannot make a positive change without standing up for others and modifying our ways.


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