Yesterday I was working at my day job when a new member of my department stopped me in the hallway near our break room. He asked if I was a writer because he had heard I was. I told him yes, I write. I have a few books published and am working on a few more at the moment. He gave me a funny look and stepped back as though he were studying me. After a minute of being scrutinized he shrugged and said he didn't believe me. I told him that was fine, he didn't have to. I knew I was a writer and those that had my books, including a few other dealers could happily attest to the fact.
I started to walk away when I heard him speak up behind me. He said I couldn't be because I wasn't the right kind of person to be a writer. That got my attention. I asked him what kind of person a writer was then. He said either smart men, retirees with nothing better to do than write cookbooks or gardening manuals, teenagers with delusional personalities and ugly women. I don't know where to start on my being offended. Women are just as intelligent as men so the gender thing should never be an issue. There is no age limit or requirement to write. Many people that a retired do write but not just about gardening or cooking. I know several retirees with much more active lives than I have. I think the most irritating one was the ugly women part.
Being pretty does not automatically make you dumb. Being a writer does not mean you are unattractive. I know women that could grace the runways of Milan, are college educated, write books and happen to be introverts just because that is their personality. Some are extroverts like me. I know people of all ages, genders and backgrounds that enjoy the writing world as much as I do without letting what they look like or appear to be limit them in any way. I was baffled that he would not only say it out loud but even think that way.
I understand there are stereotypes about many professions but most are not true. Even if there are those that may fall into a stereotypical category from time to time it does not mean they are the rule of that profession. I break the mold in almost everything I do but that is just who I am. Please if you are under the impression that someone has to look, think or act a certain way to do anything, take a moment, look around and think again. We are not always who and what you think we are.