Got Nuance?

Got Nuance?

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


YOU probably do. Most people do, at least a bit.

What you often post probably doesn’t. The memes you TOTALLY RELATE TO and reblog to share with others probably don’t. The political statements you post from other’s keyboards probably don’t. The judgments you make over other people and their lives probably don’t.

And that is a real shame.

Because the less nuance we share with each other, the less accepting we are of it.

In society.

In our friends.

In ourselves.

And that does NOT better us as a society.

It doesn’t make us better people.

What it does is make us pretend that we are not both good and bad. That we have not and do not currently make mistakes or think things that are socially unacceptable. That we can be both right for the wrong reasons and wrong for the right ones, or any combination thereof.

Chrissy Tiegen said:

“I’ve gone my entire life without saying the n word. Not when singing a song, not out loud, not in my head. It really isn’t that hard. The trick is to just…not say it. And boom! You’ve never said it and there’s no tape of you saying it.”

I’m NOT that good a person. At all.

And for those of you who don’t know me, or haven’t perved my pictures, I identify as white, or caucasian, or Heinz 57, but never have I or will I identify as a POC.

And I still sometimes sing the lyrics.

And I’ve used the word outside of songs as well.

And I thought it was OK for years, because, well, I was married to a POC, and he was OK with it, encouraged it…

Regardless of the reasons. I STILL use the word. Not intentionally. But as I like to say, intentions don’t really matter. Whether I meant to hurt someone or not, if I hurt someone, they are hurt.

And it’s a dick move.

I know this.

I do a lot of dick moves.

The ones I like best are the ones I do intentionally. After all, sometimes, I’m a dark, mean person. A perverted person. A deviant. Rude. Critical. Judgy.

And I try to portray this in my writings.

That I’m no saint.

That I don’t think you are either.

And that if you are, frankly, I probably won’t like you very much, because I won’t be able to relate to you.

Human nature is funny. I found or wrote this quote down from somewhere (I wish I could cite my source, I didn’t note it for some reason):

“Learning that a kid bullied some students but defended others might cause you some cognitive discomfort. You will either need to dismiss the new information, or you will need to accept the information and change your mental structures to allow for nuance.

We often resist the pressure to add nuance, especially when strong emotions are present. We feel an urge to reject or deny the new information, or to run away from situations that push us to accommodate.”

And this is exactly what I mean.

Something can still be wrong with nuance added. Something can still be right with nuance included.

But our brains want things to be black or white—certainly not black AND white, or (heaven forbid!) shades of grey.

And another thing I’ve noticed, those that see and respect nuance?

BOTH sides hate them as a sellout, white knight, traitor, extremist…

When it’s really just a different way of looking at the world that does not require either deification or vilification, but a simple acknowledgement of the complexity and nuance of humanity.

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