Perspective 3 comments

A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s: She changes it more often.

Oliver Herford

This is the selection I chose for my daily quote. The first reaction I received from a female coworker was similar to:


Then I got the words to accompany the tilt, “I don’t know if I agree with that.” The second reaction from a female coworker was, “I’m not really that way most times.” The third female coworker’s reaction was an audible reading of the quote followed simply by, “I like it.” Ah, ha! I had someone who was willing to look past the words to explore the possibilities behind it.

Upon first read, it would be easy to infer that it’s a derogatory quote against women and their ability to make a choice and stick with it. But what if it’s not? What if it’s actually a compliment? What if the intent behind the quote is really saying that women are more open to change? Rather than making a decision and obstinately sticking with it, they are less rigid and more receptive to new information in the decision making process. More importantly, they aren’t afraid to admit their first choice is no longer valid. It’s all in your perspective.

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3 thoughts on “Perspective

  • TōB

    “receptive to new information in the decision making process”

    That’s really the crux of it. The quote you started with is probably *meant* to be derogatory because we tend to fetishize the mind that’s made up and sticks with it. There’s no better time than an election year to see this in action. Notice all the times a candidate’s position on a topic today is compared with their position on the same topic several years ago, and how that translates into a “flip-flop” and evidence that they can’t be trusted.

    We *should* celebrate the opposite. If people could actually celebrate the ability to change one’s mind in response to new evidence, a lot of things, including politics, might not be so frustrating.

    • pcalderone

      Exactly! Where would the scientific method be if not for that final piece called “modification of hypotheses”? I don’t mind people, even politicians, who change their minds when the evidence supports it. What would the world be like if more people were willing to admit when they’re wrong and, more importantly, willing to change?