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For example, I was born and live in New Jersey. I'd say 90% of new people I meet also grew up in NJ. So I make the initial assumption that a person I just met is originally from this state. It doesn't mean that I think less of a person from Maine. It's just another detail about the person I'm talking to. Likewise, if statistically speaking, 90% of the people you meet are heterosexual, then it follows that you might assume someone you just met is heterosexual. Again, it's just another detail.
"Hey, did you ever go to The Land Of Make Believe out in Hope when you were a kid?" "No, I grew up in Ohio." "Oh, OK."
"So are you married?" "No, but I have a boyfriend." "Oh, OK."
If you live in an Italian neighborhood, then you will probably assume your neighbor is Italian. She might not be. And does it matter if your first assumption was incorrect?
One more example, then I'll shut up.
When you call a customer service line, you hear the person on the other end of the line, and you get a mental image of this person, right? You could be completely wrong about every detail you assigned to them, but if you aren't going to treat this person any differently if they have brown eyes or green eyes, is the assumption a bad thing?
My thought is simply that if the detail doesn't matter, then the assumption doesn't matter either.
OK, seriously, good point. I never looked at it from the other direction before - that the very thing that makes the books so painful to read also makes the movies equally brilliant.
And while we're at it, isn't it about time to reboot the Harry Potter series? I envision it set in Zimbabwe, with a yodeling faculty. Who's with me? No?