10 Stereotypes Of Vermonters

10 Stereotypes Of Vermonters

Don't ask for fake maple syrup unless you want to get thrown out into the snow.
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Vermont is a unique state that has developed very specific stereotypes over the years. Some say we are basically Canada, others say: “Vermont? Where in New York is that?” Despite our small size, Vermont has a lot of heart and is full of stubborn, lovable, passionate people. The stereotypes often associated with our state vary in their accuracy, and here is a list of the most popular ones.

1. Worship Bernie Sanders.

We certainly love our senator who is running for president right now, but not everyone who lives here is a diehard liberal “feeling the bern.” Bernie followers tend to be louder and more public about their support, while Republican Vermonters keep more to themselves about political views. For those of us who love Bernie, we are so proud of the messages he is spreading and feel as though our voices are finally being heard. It's exciting and we are not afraid to show our support.

2. Real maple syrup or no maple syrup.

Maple syrup is a staple in the majority of Vermonters’ lives. Any stereotype about how much we love our syrup tends to be accurate. I’ve visited many sugar houses and refuse to even look at the fake, watery syrup on grocery shelves next to my beloved Grade B Vermont maple syrup. You can put it on anything: pancakes, oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, barbecue, snow, and more. The possibilities are endless.

3. Hippies.

If by hippies, you mean we are calm, open people who just want peace for the world, then yes we are hippies. If by hippies, you mean we smoke marijuana, wear peace sign glasses, and listen to vinyl records, then yes some of us are hippies. If the worst generalization you can make about us is we are the type of people who put flowers in guns or use recycled bottles to create indoor gardens, we will accept that and are probably already doing it.

4. Hate outsiders.

In general, I find that outsiders either experience the kind, welcoming Vermonter or the rough Vermonter who hates tourists. Both of these views are true depending on the situation. Vermonters don’t particularly like when flatlanders are driving 10 miles per hour down the road to stare at our mountains, but if we see you in a store trying to figure out a map we will certainly stop to help. Every state will have friendly and mean people, it just depends on who you run into on a given day.

5. Friends with cows.

It’s true that you can start at almost any house in Vermont, drive a couple miles, and come across a field of cows munching on some grass. Not everyone gets up close and personal with those cows, but a love of animals is present in most Vermonters’ hearts. Cows are just so goofy and sweet, so how can you not love them?

6. Indifferent to the cold.

This stereotype is both true and untrue. A lot of Vermonters take pleasure in proving their ruggedness by wearing minimal clothing and criticizing those who think it’s a bit chilly outside. Then there are the more sane Vermonters, who know when the time has come to put on a parka and scarf. We still probably won’t point out the cold though because then everyone would just be complaining constantly for five months and nothing would get done.

7. Wear lots of flannel.


This varies a lot based on each person’s fashion choices, but I find that most people I know at least own a flannel, if not wear it frequently. The Vermont Flannel Company has everything from blankets to thongs, so it is hard to resist buying some of that warm material for the harsh winter months.

8. Only drink craft beer.

Brewing craft beer would be Vermont’s hobby if the state were a person. There are many people who make a living out of it, and they take pride in their work. Heady Topper is particularly popular and can be hard to get your hands on. The brewing company responsible for it, the Alchemist, releases it in waves and as soon as it reaches stores Vermonters go crazy buying it all. If you want the Vermont beer experience without all the hassle, I would recommend grabbing some Long Trails or a Switchback and relax as everyone else scrambles to purchase the last six-pack of their favorite microbrew.

9. See moose every day in the backyard.

It’s true that wildlife pops up everywhere in Vermont. I see a lot of foxes, rabbits, deer, and raccoons around my house, but moose are actually fairly rare. I’ve lived in Vermont for 20 years and have yet to spot one, but on the other hand my friend watched a moose chase her dog down the street one time. It depends on how lucky you get and where in the state you live. Don’t worry, her dog made it home safely.

10. Eat only Ben & Jerry’s and cheese.

This is spot on and don’t you for a second think we eat anything other than Cherry Garcia and Cabot Cheddar Extra Sharp.

I think it is safe to say most Vermont stereotypes are accurate. We are very clear on our opinions of maple syrup and winter. I love my state and hope that tourists and visitors can truly appreciate all we have to offer. Don’t underestimate us because of our size. Someday we will take over the world, and when that day comes we will live on a peaceful, sustainable planet. Until then, we will be up here in the northeast hanging out with Canada and trying to convince New Hampshire to merge into one big Super Vermont.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cheapmovingcompanies.co/vermont/

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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Donald Trump's Sanctions Toward The Iranian Government Are Giving Us Painful Flashbacks To North Korea

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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The recent news is that Iran president Hassan Rouhani is willing to talk with Donald Trump and the American government about newly established sanction towards Iran. Three months ago, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the Iran Nuclear Agreement and threatened to impose sanctions on Iran nuclear in 180 days. Recently, Trump tweeted what could be seen as a threat to the Iranian government.

Donald Trump wanted to force the Iranian government to change their economic policy. There are a lot of domestic problems in Iran. The Iranian government is busy expanding their power in the Middle East. The government used to support the Syrian government. The Saudi Arabian government and the West, which supported the Syrian Rebels, attempted to stop Iran from interfering with Syria. The Iranian government worried that the Syrian governmental crisis would affect their political stability. The overuse of the financial budget has influenced economics, causing Iranian people to appeal the government to revolutionize.

Compare the North Korean Nuclear Crisis and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and we can see Donald Trump's similar strategies. Firstly, Donald Trump has put in a lot of pressure of either country to force them to give up the nuclear plan and improve economics instead. In the North Korean Crisis, last year, Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man" and Kim Jong Un condemned him "crazy."

After temporary language confrontation, Kim Jong Un gave and was willing to negotiate with Trump beginning in early 2018. As for Iran, Rouhani also laughed at Trump's policy and criticized Donald Trump's sanction to Iran which was not supported by the European Union. But the latest is that Iran officials are still willing to talk to the U.S. In the trade war with China, Donald Trump also exerted the pressure on China in order to negotiate.

Many people dislike Donald Trump. It is undoubted that Donald Trump's sanction has effectively forced the country to open their economy to a larger degree of freedom. In the Kim-Trump Summit, the U.S. government reportedly played a video that assumed the future of North Korea.

In Iran currently, the inflation is so high that the public wants the economics to be promoted and anti-America sentiment is expected to end. As Donald Trump mentioned, the aim of the sanction is not to overturn the Iranian government, but to let them rethink how to focus on economics rather than on political stability.

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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