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  1. #1
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    Default Those gosh darn uptight midwesterners

    (Seeing what a jazzed up title actually does.)

    Has anyone else heard of this as a stereotype? I have heard "midwestern uptightness" in an expression once, but never anywhere else (Most of the time midwest stereotypes seem to come in the "boring", "bland", etc., variety.)


    (I also ask that people please not write a bunch of posts about how wrong or right the stereotypes are, even though this thread is probably begging a lot of people for that type of response, since those types of posts will likely be a big distraction.)

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    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Yes, I've heard that. Is it true?
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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I've not heard uptight. I have heard boring and bland, and I've also heard provincial which I think could lead to uptightness. Mostly I hear uptight to refer to New Englanders, e.g. pinchy-faced Connecticut types.
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    Which states constitute Midwestern?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

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    being raised in Michigan and moving to Florida I must say the OPPOSITE is true. You will meet kinder, humbler people walking the streets of Detroit than you would in the best places of Miami or Tampa.

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    Same here, born and raised in Michigan. Moved to New York in '88 and was in for immediate culture shock. Got to go back to Michigan for Thanksgiving last year and was amazed at how nice and friendly people were. I would move back in a heartbeat if I hadn't become a New York asshole myself.

  7. #7
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    To the two previous posters: see first post.

    Which states constitute Midwestern?
    It changes slightly depending on who you were to ask, but in general the states between kansas and north Dakota, Iowa and up, and states on great lakes (aside from New York and Pennsylvania) would be considered Midwest.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Has anyone else heard of this as a stereotype? I have heard "midwestern uptightness" in an expression once, but never anywhere else (Most of the time midwest stereotypes seem to come in the "boring", "bland", etc., variety.)
    I think people mean "uptight" in the sense of "traditional" (personal values), or even "conservative" (red states).

    My wife is from Indiana, rust belt territory. She thinks of herself as a liberal and mostly votes Democrat. But her social values are pretty Midwestern and conservative at base.

    For example, she is in favor of the death penalty and likes gun ownership; she tends to think of gays as kind of yucky (she wouldn't legislate against them, but she doesn't particularly want to be friends with them either); she hates having to do anything with government and bureaucracy and refuses to fill out common personal information in bureaucratic forms (she wants to stay under the radar); though she's an economic liberal and gives charity, she's not a big fan of the homeless and the poor (believes in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps rather than asking for a handout); and so on.

    At the legislative level, my wife is mostly a liberal; she wouldn't use laws to restrict anyone or impose her own values on anyone, and she believes the government should be out there helping the less fortunate. But at the personal level, the sight of a couple Latinos sharing a beer on a street corner in the evening with a radio blaring sends her into a tizzy.

    She seems to have the outlook that civilization is fragile, and it doesn't take much to tip it over into anarchy. In that sense, she's like a Midwestern farmer watching the sky and praying for rain for the crops. Too many days without rain, one bad harvest, and everything you've spent your life building will be lost.

    So that's what Midwestern uptightness says to me. Conservative personal values. And even when they're political liberals, they still seem to project an attitude that we all have to be watchful against the anarchy without or within.

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    I've heard traditional, conservative, down to earth, salt of the earth and generous (as well as many jokes about farmer's daughters ) but I've never heard uptight!

    Upright, yes. Uptight- ummm... doesn't that seem totally UN-Midwestern?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I'd agree with FineLine, that we tend to be uptight in the values department, but we don't really want the government in our business (we don't trust it) or people telling us what to do. People seem to be pretty down to earth, casual, and friendly in general. It's not the southern hospitality friendliness of the south, but more of a "Good fences make good neighbors" sort of thing.
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    ~ John Rogers

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