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During the filming of The Illumination Project, I asked my father why in the world he would compare women as pink to men as blue in his book, Love and Respect. From my politically correct perspective, those colors felt stereotypical and were a distraction from the overall message of the book. However, when you watch the video series, you will hear how he changed my mind and learn why I am on board with this analogy now.
Like my parents also say on this subject, “You’re not wrong–just different.”
So many of us get our panties in a bunch when we hear people make gender stereotypes. I get that—I definitely don’t fit into a lot of those female labels. Ultimately, however, it’s a detriment to our society when we completely ignore our differences. If we don’t seek to understand them, we will get caught in a cycle of frustration with members of the opposite sex—just because they don’t operate like we do.
Sure, there are personality differences. But sometimes there are simply biological differences that cause us to see the world differently—metaphorically and, as this article from the Smithsonian shows, literally.
If you’ve ever found yourself at a paint store with a member of the opposite sex trying to decide between, say, “laguna blue” and “blue macaw,” chances are you’ve disagreed over which hue is lighter or looks more turquoise.
Take comfort in the fact that the real blame lies with physiology: Neuroscientists have discovered that women are better at distinguishing among subtle distinctions in color, while men appear more sensitive to objects moving across their field of vision.
Scientists have long maintained that the sexes see colors differently. But much of the evidence has been indirect, such as the linguistic research showing that women possess a larger vocabulary than men for describing colors. Experimental evidence for the vision thing has been rare.
That’s why Israel Abramov, a psychologist and behavioral neuroscientist at CUNY’s Brooklyn College, gave a group of men and women a battery of visual tests…
A lot of times when I hear an acknowledgement of differences, it comes from someone who has just been wounded.
“Ugh! Guys are always…” or “Dude! Girls are so….”
So, the trick is this—how do we acknowledge and seek to understand differences in those around us without becoming insensitive or putting gender labels on all people? How do we point out our differences in a positive way?
This is your Formal Lunch challenge:
1. What strengths do the men/women in your life have that you don’t have?
2. Tell one person—man or woman—about a strength you see in them and why you admire them for possessing that trait.
3. Take note of their response and report back to me. Was their reaction positive or negative? How did saying something affect you?
Some of you may think highlighting our differences divides us as men and women; but I believe it’s our negativity that has divided us.
Personal acknowledgment of differences (even if they don’t apply to all) will actually unify us and make us stronger.
I’m thankful for differences. Are you?
From my heart,
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.