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Bloody Men

by Wendy Cope
Bloody men are like bloody buses -
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.
You look at them flashing their indicators
!ffering you a ride.
You"re trying to read the destinations
You ha#en"t much time to decide.
$f you make a mistake there is no turning back.
%ump off and you"ll stand there and ga&e
While the cars the ta'is and the lorries go by
And the minutes the hours the days.
This is one of my fa#ourite poems. $ts author Wendy Cope uses metaphor to compare men to
buses suggesting that both are unpredictable and unreliable. Whether you agree with this or
not the techni(ue works brilliantly. Another great use of metaphor which $ think is appropriate is
the following (uote by )ita Mae Brown*
+,anguage is a road map of a culture. $t tells you where its people come from and where they
are going.-
.o bloody men are like bloody buses* they ne#er turn up when you want them to and you"re
ne#er too sure how long they"re going to stay. )ight/ Well actually no. 0ood poetry it may be
but it"s also a rather stereotypical #iewpoint of what men 1are" and what men 1do".
A stereotype is a thought about specific types of indi#iduals or certain ways of doing things that
may or may not accurately reflect reality. They"re a lot more common than we like to think and
not always #ery helpful.
As the psychologist .tuart !skamp says +.tereotypes de#elop and persist because they are
useful. They reduce the tremendous comple'ity of the world around us into a few simple
guidelines which we use in our e#eryday thoughts and decisions. 2owe#er the simpler and
more con#enient the stereotype the more likely it is to be inaccurate at least in part.-
2ere"s a great e'ample of how we all 3or $"m sure at least 456 of us7 innocently stereotype
without e#en thinking about it.
.mall minded
There are common stereotypes for countries too of course. $ found a great online (ui& you can
do to practise your reading skills and #ocabulary. Click here and see how many country
stereotypes you can name in four minutes.
The ad8ecti#e 1small-minded" perfectly describes those who rely on stereotyping to form opinions
and preferences whereas 1open-minded" means the opposite. !pen your mind to new ideas
and new ways of looking at things and you"ll find that tarring e#eryone with the same brush is
actually misleading and unfair. $ find that it"s much better to take people at face #alue and accept
them e'actly as they appear. $n other words what you see is what you get.
$"ll lea#e you with a picture which offers a great piece of ad#ice9 be mindful of stereotypes be
aware that they"re there and try to check yourself before you fall into the trap of using them to
form your #iewpoints and opinions. !n the left you ha#e .noop :ogg 3more recently known as
.noop ,ion7 the contro#ersial Californian rapper and on the right you ha#e Martha .tewart
business woman and T; personality. As it says 1only one of them is a con#icted felon1. Can you
tell me which one and guess what they were con#icted for/