As our society becomes more polarized, finding common ground can be difficult. For two people bitterly divided, how can they bridge the gap between them?
At times, it can feel like there is more dividing us than there is uniting us. Whether it is politics, religion, gender, age, income, skin color, or any number of other differences, the distance between two people can seem like a chasm.
And yet, there is a need for two people to bridge that distance and talk, no matter how far apart they might be. Doing so might be necessary to build a working relationship at a job. It might mean a harmonious atmosphere at a family dinner table. It may even lead to a political committee with adversaries accomplishing meaningful change.
Of course, finding common ground is easier said than done. What are the elements necessary for two people who disagree, perhaps even strongly, to build a bridge between their two viewpoints? Particularly if the environment they are in encourages or rewards polarization and divisiveness?
How do you bridge a divide between two people who are far apart in several different ways, and have little in common? After all, each one of us may find ourselves in such a situation.
Society has some pretty well-established gender stereotypes. In what ways do you not match up with those stereotypes?
Gender stereotypes are pervasive, starting with people’s behavior towards infants. Boys are given blue blankets; girls pink. Young boys play with action figures, while girls play with dolls.
These assumptions continue to adulthood. Men like cars and sports, and are emotionally distant. Women, on the other hand, wear dresses and makeup, and tend to be flighty.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What gives a person value?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes you you?’
Of course, in reality, each and every one of us is an individual, and so we may find ourselves in agreement with all, some, or none of these commonly-held gender expectations.
Are there any ways in which you feel you don’t fit in with conventional gender roles? How so? And what does that difference mean for how you see yourself, and how others in the community might see you? In what ways do you defy gender stereotypes?