Why do we love to generalize about gender? As if every experience a daughter has is indicative of all women, and every behavior of a son showcases manhood. It’s as if we only want to live in a world where everything is rigidly and clearly defined. So we know how to react and respond instead of using our brains.
There are so many more differences between individuals than there are between genders or races. Why is it we insist on making the world easier for us by lumping everyone together in some categorical bucket? It makes the world easier for what – so we know what to do? But how boring.
How boring to respond to all women the same. How boring to be a woman who does everything according to the rules. How boring.
Let’s live a little. Live a little and experiment with what’s underneath. Live a little and ask a question. Be curious about the other person. Your daughter runs to mom for every little problem? Is it because it’s mom? Let’s look underneath. What behaviors have been reinforced? What messages sent? What were all the little steps taken to get to this point?
Your husband sits in front of the TV and doesn’t clean the dishes. Lazy man? How many times have his behaviors been rewarded by having the dishes clean without recourse? How many times has he had to pay the price? How many times has the chore been renegotiated?
Let’s find some freedom. There’s freedom in the subtle. Because in the subtle is where we get to learn about ourselves and others. In the stereotypical rules, we just get sameness. In the subtle we get to be unique and see how others are unique too.
All it takes is some questions. Just starting asking. Yourself. Others. Whoever, just ask.
© Jodi Detjen 2014