Everyone is nurtured into being with prejudice. We can’t help it. In an effort to connect, we draw delineations between them and us. And for those lines to have meaning, justification, they are couched in subtle judgements formed beyond our personal experience, just beyond our range of vision. And the lines pull every new experience or event into focus in a particular way.
I’ve accepted that I am more prejudiced than I could ever realise. It’s an uncomfortable truth that I’ve understood more as I have grown. But this week, those lines have been thrown into even sharper relief, ever more stark contrast. And I am thankful. Because now I know what I want to undo, unpick, erase as best I can.
This week on Facebook, a video has gone viral. It’s an ad and it’s smart, part of the new wave of brands pinning themselves to new awareness as part of their identity. But the fact that it’s a marketing ploy can’t undermine the removal of a paradigm lens that has been taken as a common viewpoint unquestioned for so long. This week, this video pulled back the veil on the phrase ‘like a girl’ and I saw female friends all around the globe suddenly see themselves, their daughters and Sisters completely differently. I saw people suddenly grasp how silently language can create bias and construct alternative realities. And this week, I had my eyes opened to how women can make boys of men. Slowly, systematically, subconsciously.
It’s easy to talk of being kind and of service to the world. It’s easy to ask people to move through life with compassion and grace. It’s easy to assume that you can walk the walk if you know the language to talk. It’s hard when you realise that every word is potentially loaded. It’s harder when you realise how every move you make is potentially governed by invisible concepts that materialise in your actions and reactions. But the best of all? It’s liberating when your vision is cleared. It’s exciting to understand the distortions when you finally see them. Because life is all about perception. And the more openly you see things, the more opportunities can reveal themselves.