I want to discuss insight from a recent conversation I had with someone who didn’t like ‘male gender’ pronouns in writing. This person doesn’t like wording like ‘he said, ‘ and want to change all wording to be ‘they said’ or ‘ a transgender individual said.’
The image of a pioneer woman in a Conestoga wagon came to mind. She was the woman walking from St.Louis to Oregon beside her dog and family members who took turns riding in the wagon with the food and precious items from her family left behind.
I see the woman from an aerial point of view like in a movie, amid Utah’s salty plains, stepping one foot over a dead cow carcass or something dried to bone.
The lady certainly didn’t see herself like that during her journey. Her view was limited to the situation immediately in front of her.
If you’ve ever tried on a pioneer woman’s bonnet you understand what I mean. Talk about tunnel vision, enduring the sights straight ahead while walking, bonnet visor six inches over her face, bent to keep all sunlight off of her skin.
How could she look from side to side? Her bonnet determined her viewpoint, and she was glad to wear it, because she wore no sunscreen, and pale white skin was valuable in its milky way. It was not like our valuable tennis tans or vacation glows we consider beautiful.
There’s something to the ancestral vision of tunnel vision and how we live today. As much as we like to think we’re open minded, we’ve only got what’s going on in front of our bonnets.