Change of Perspective

Musings on Writing, Reading, and Life Narratives

Fiction writers and literary critics speak of point of view. Social scientists are more likely to discuss perspective. But both of these terms refer to essentially the same construct: the consciousness behind the perception and narration of experience. Each individual’s point of view is unique, and point of view shapes the stories people tell to themselves and to others about themselves and their relationships with their environment. The same event narrated from two different perspectives will produce two different stories.

A change of perspective can expand our perception and reframe our thinking about our experiences. We can all benefit from an occasional change of perspective.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

(More) Perspectives on Gender

Mining the Gender Gap for Answers - New York Times:

This short piece asks some important questions about the head-to-head match-up between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination: "How much of Mrs. Clinton’s political vulnerability is linked to being a woman, and how much to her own, very specific political identity and past? Why do so many Democratic men and women, at this particular moment, see the race so differently?"

One expert on women in politics comments that "gender stereotypes were among the “most ingrained,” and argued that much of the news coverage — including whether Mrs. Clinton was too tough and whether she was crying on cue — played off of those stereotypes."

At this point polls indicate that Obama leads among men, while he and Clinton are splitting the female vote about equally.

Even after the race is over, it will be difficult to determine whether gender stereotypes or Hillary Clinton's personal political baggage most influenced the political process. Are Americans just not yet ready to elect a woman President, or are they just not willing to elect THIS woman President?