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    Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    While CF was down for the past day or so, I had to lower myself to reading the MSU board and reading what their opinions were of Ames or Iowa in general. I saw the typical corn and the population jokes. I just don't understand why Iowa is seen in such a bad light by people outside of the state. We have good down-to-earth people, good schools, and overall, I think it's been a great place to grow up. For me, the most annoying thing is the perception that we're all uneducated hicks that aren't up to speed with the rest of civilization.



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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Having lived in other places, I can offer what I have been told personally:

    1) No cities=no culture

    2) Small towns=small minds

    Those are the things that I heard the most. In some respects I see where they are coming from, but Iowa is what it is. I am from here, and it will always be my home no matter where I am at.


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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by trevn View Post
    I just don't understand why Iowa is seen in such a bad light by people outside of the state. We have good down-to-earth people, good schools, and overall, I think it's been a great place to grow up. For me, the most annoying thing is the perception that we're all uneducated hicks that aren't up to speed with the rest of civilization.
    I think you've answered you own question with the question.

    Interestingly enough, I'm originally from New York. When I was a youngster we moved to Iowa. My mom and grandmother wanted nothing to do with that because both of them were convinced that the Indians were gonna come and get her children and grandchildren. Funny thing - the only Indians in Iowa are in Tama county, and most of them are busy enough running their casino to worry about a couple of small kids from New York. Another funny thing - after living in Iowa for 25+ years, my mom wouldn't want to move (except maybe for a migration south after retirement...)


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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by darts180 View Post
    2) Small towns=small minds

    See that's annoying too. I don't understand why "big city" people would say that because that statement in itself is small-minded. Assuming everyone in a small town isn't tolerant of different cultures,religions, etc, is extremely hypocritical if they believe they are not small-minded.



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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by trevn View Post
    See that's annoying too. I don't understand why "big city" people would say that because that statement in itself is small-minded. Assuming everyone in a small town isn't tolerant of different cultures,religions, etc, is extremely hypocritical if they believe they are not small-minded.
    It has more to do with lack of exposure than anything else. I am from a small town just outside Waterloo, I wasn't exposed to multi-cultural opportunities in my neighborhood. All of the kids that I grew up with were white and lower middle class, just like I was.

    When I student taught in San Antonio (go Spurs), I was there with 26 other kids from Iowa. By that time, I had some life experience, so I tried to acclimate myself to the town, and the people. The rest of the people hung out together. All of the social things that they did were together. There were some truly frightened individuals in that group, and had no idea how to act in that climate. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I do know that I went down there to spend 4 months, and stayed for 6 years, and a large part of that was because I made my own way.

    I think that out of 27 people in my student teaching class, only two others stayed.


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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    It's all perception. Yeah Iowa is not the melting pot of America but there are a lot of honest, hard working people here with good morals which is more than you can say about some places. Just because we don't have the exposure to some of the culture that you might get by say living in New York or California doesn't mean we are a bunch of ignorant rednecks. I could say that people from there are lazy snobs that have never done a single day of hard work in their life too. That statement is just as stereotypical as them calling us stupid rednecks.

    I'm fine living in a state where family values and good people exist. All you need to do is look no further than our smaller communities where your kids get a fair chance to play sports at a young age and adults can be actively involved in contributing to how their community is. Most kids are not going to be professional athletes so let them enjoy being "stars" of their small town teams. At least they are being taught values and enjoying their youth without all the temptions of what is wrong with society today that you might find living in a large city. Most intelligent people will seek out culture and diversity when they are mature enough to appreciate it.

    I like that I can drive to work downtown in under 20 minutes and park in a garage my company owns. I'm glad I don't have to sit in traffic jams for hours or have to take a cab or the bus to get to our arena or ballpark like you would probably have to if you lived in a large city. If everyone had the same environment growing up this would be a boring world. People who knock us for living in the midwest are just narrow-minded.



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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by darts180 View Post
    It has more to do with lack of exposure than anything else. I am from a small town just outside Waterloo, I wasn't exposed to multi-cultural opportunities in my neighborhood. All of the kids that I grew up with were white and lower middle class, just like I was.

    When I student taught in San Antonio (go Spurs), I was there with 26 other kids from Iowa. By that time, I had some life experience, so I tried to acclimate myself to the town, and the people. The rest of the people hung out together. All of the social things that they did were together. There were some truly frightened individuals in that group, and had no idea how to act in that climate. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I do know that I went down there to spend 4 months, and stayed for 6 years, and a large part of that was because I made my own way.

    I think that out of 27 people in my student teaching class, only two others stayed.
    Understood. I guess I just have a problem with mass generalizations of people, but that's what people do (I know, that's a generalization on my part...I'm a hypocrite too!). We like to group things together so our minds can process things quickly. So I guess as long as there's perceived differences, there will be groupings.


    Anyway, you do realize that since I'm a Lakers fan I am required to hate you now that I know you're a Spurs fan right?



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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by trevn View Post
    Anyway, you do realize that since I'm a Lakers fan I am required to hate you now that I know you're a Spurs fan right?
    It's allright, I will forgive you for that fatal flaw. Kobe is a really good ballplayer, really bad guy. I thought it was funny that he was crying for help after the Phoenix series after he ran Shaq off. But that is good for me, because the evil empire is in ruins.

    Actually, I was beginning to think that I was the only NBA fan left in Iowa.


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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    I spent some time at Massachusetts. When I told them I was from Iowa some of them said:

    "That's where they grow potatoes, right?"

    UGHHH!!



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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by trevn View Post
    See that's annoying too. I don't understand why "big city" people would say that because that statement in itself is small-minded. Assuming everyone in a small town isn't tolerant of different cultures,religions, etc, is extremely hypocritical if they believe they are not small-minded.

    Interesting, in relation to your point, a book came out several years ago called "Postville," that describes some internal strife in the town of Postville between orthodox jews and local natives. The writer was from EIU, but transplanted in from San Fran I think. My sister, a doctor at the EIU hospitals at time, but also from our tiny town north of Cedar Rapids, went to his talk about the book in IC. The dude did nothing but rip on Iowa and Iowans for their narrow minded views. So the dude bashes and stereotypes Iowans because of the conflicts going on in the tiny town of Postville. I was proud of my sister for calling him out for being hypocritical.

    In another slightly different bashing of Iowa, this journalist from UC-Berkeley wrote a book on various farming methods in the world, focusing esp. on industrial and organic farming. Teri Gross on NPR interviewed him, and while talking about his section on industrial farming, he used an area in central Iowa as an example. When asked of the impacts of this practice of farming, he flatly stated "There is no biodiversity in Iowa, there are no birds in Iowa." I about blew my stack. I wrote the guy an email immediately, he replied back and apologized... I realize that many coastal lefties take NPR as gospel (like righties take Foxnews as gospel). I proved my point when an older couple I knew in Boulder commented to my girlfriend that "did you know there are no birds in Iowa?" Amazing what perception and mis-information can do.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by frontrangeclone View Post
    Interesting, in relation to your point, a book came out several years ago called "Postville," that describes some internal strife in the town of Postville between orthodox jews and local natives. The writer was from EIU, but transplanted in from San Fran I think. My sister, a doctor at the EIU hospitals at time, but also from our tiny town north of Cedar Rapids, went to his talk about the book in IC. The dude did nothing but rip on Iowa and Iowans for their narrow minded views. So the dude bashes and stereotypes Iowans because of the conflicts going on in the tiny town of Postville. I was proud of my sister for calling him out for being hypocritical.

    In another slightly different bashing of Iowa, this journalist from UC-Berkeley wrote a book on various farming methods in the world, focusing esp. on industrial and organic farming. Teri Gross on NPR interviewed him, and while talking about his section on industrial farming, he used an area in central Iowa as an example. When asked of the impacts of this practice of farming, he flatly stated "There is no biodiversity in Iowa, there are no birds in Iowa." I about blew my stack. I wrote the guy an email immediately, he replied back and apologized... I realize that many coastal lefties take NPR as gospel (like righties take Foxnews as gospel). I proved my point when an older couple I knew in Boulder commented to my girlfriend that "did you know there are no birds in Iowa?" Amazing what perception and mis-information can do.

    I've actually seen a video documentary of this same thing in one of my classes when I was in school. The video did a little better job about not portraying everyone as closed-minded bigots as you described the book. Towards the end of the video it showed how the different cultures in Postville were working together and making strides to get past differences. The thing that I remember from the video (it was a while ago) was the "natives", hispanic population, and orthodox Jews were all celebrating together in the streets during a hispanic holiday or festival. I thought that was pretty neat and indicative of the growing acceptance of a wide variety of cultures in small towns.



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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by darts180 View Post
    It's allright, I will forgive you for that fatal flaw. Kobe is a really good ballplayer, really bad guy. I thought it was funny that he was crying for help after the Phoenix series after he ran Shaq off. But that is good for me, because the evil empire is in ruins.
    Another Lakers fan here...I think Shaq is mostly out of LA because the Lakers refused to pay him the big salary he wanted. I'm guessing that right about now, the Maimi Heat are not so thrilled about the ROI on Shaq Daddy's big salary. For whatever it's worth, I doubt Shaq will ever be near the player he was in LA...

    As for Kobe's crying, he's got a point...Magic/Kupchak have kind of fallen asleep at the wheel as far as team personnel...

    As for trashing Iowans (or any geographic area for that matter)...it usually comes from those who are ignorant about what the rest of the country has to offer.

    As for ISU, it is a good school with a gorgeous campus...and about 100 profs that need to stop worrying about the FB team and more about improving ISU's academic ratings...


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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    iowa state university=home of the ames laboratory--where all of the uranium was purified for the two bombs in world war 2. shortened the war,saved millions of lives and forced the japanese to surrender on the battleship missouri.
    iowa state-home of the invention of the digital computer.
    iowa the tall corn state-if it was not for our corn,where would the residents from the other 49 states have any corn sugar to put on their
    cereals ,and where whould they get their corn flakes and oatmeal. and yes i like my iowa angus beefsteaks and top of iowa pork chops.let the rest of the 49 states starve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    Talking Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by trevn View Post
    the most annoying thing is the perception that we're all uneducated hicks that aren't up to speed with the rest of civilization.
    I get the biggest kick out of this! I've worked for companies based in NYC, New Jersey and Cleveland, and home office types are always busting on my home state. My wife's family is from suburban Chicago and they still think their standard of living is better than ours. Let them think it! I've had much more intelligent conversation on national events and world history with a group of retired farmers in a cafe in Prairie City, IA than I have with a group of Fortune 1000 execs in a pricy New Jersey steak house! They can waste their lives away with two hour commutes from Connecticut and worry about their $1M mortgages; I'm happy to spend quality time with my family and deal with honest warm people on a daily business!

    I've lived in big cities (Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, much time in NYC), enjoy them immensely and feel entirely comfortable there. But when it comes down to it, we moved back to Iowa when our children were young because we wanted to raise them in a better place. I can't make a much stronger statement than that...


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    Re: Most Annoying Stereotype/Misconception of Iowa

    I was at the airport in OKC a couple years ago. The guy behind the counter asked for my ID, and then said, "you're from Iowa? I'm sorry." I'm like, you work at an airport for a living - in Oklahoma!



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