“Blond Jokes” – an exhibition on stereotypes

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Until May of next year, the Ethnographic Museum will feature an exhibition titled “Blond Jokes: Stereotypes We Live By”.

The title of the exhibition is evocative of one of the globally most widespread contemporary stereotypes about the intelligence of blond-haired women. The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to become familiar with stereotypes as both universal as well as cultural phenomena, but it also helps them to understand and break certain stereotypes, which can only be fought with knowledge.

Although stereotyping is sometimes accepted, it usually has a negative context, and it is mostly related to women. Male stereotyping usually tends to be positive. “Women are housewives, they are supposed to take care of the children and they are worse drivers than men, while good looking women are not the sharpest tool in the box, especially blondes, and real men must drink beer”…The exhibition presents these stereotypes in an interesting way, and it will also feature various lectures and workshops. Since this is an interactive, multimedia exhibition, visitors can submit videos of stereotypical situations they come across in their lives, so the exhibition will be continuously updated throughout its entire run.

Apart from modern stereotypes, numerous exhibited items also present historical stereotypes, to prove that stereotyping has probably existed in various spheres of human life since day one. Among them are traditional artefacts such as wall samplers that were once must-have kitchen decorations. Usually placed above the stove, they were embroidered by women, and they featured comic messages such as: “Less talking, more cooking”. In such a way, women maintained stereotypes about themselves. As a response, in 2007, the feminist B.A.B.E. Association printed a calendar as a parody of these wall samplers, which featured men in traditionally female roles. Among others, there is a comic message which reads: “When I iron the laundry, my darling wife is in a better mood!” This breaks the stereotypes about male and female chores.

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