“Emerson, I hate your use of Pink and Blue. You stereotype each gender when you refer to wives looking through pink sunglasses and husbands wearing blue hearing aids! Why do you do this?”
My mom had three businesses. She taught thousands of kids to swim, dance, and learn their ABC’s at her pre-school. In those settings she would say to an expectant mother, “Think pink but blue will do.”
My mom put this analogy in my brain.
I suppose she knew of the many hospitals that identified baby girls with pink bracelets and boys with blue bracelets. Hospitals still do that to this day and I have yet to hear of a mother or father who insisted the hospital change the color of their newborn’s bracelet or cap because they were offended by the color!
Drama Queens and Jerks
However, I agree, we must not oversimplify gender.
For instance, to say that ALL women are emotional and dramatic and ALL men are unfeeling jerks reduces people to an image that is horribly distorted.
We must reject such categorical declarations as demeaning.
Pink and Blue are not the Offenders
“But Emerson, I have heard people typecast with pink and blue. ‘Oh, grow up, you are the typical pink woman. All of you are drama queens.’ Or, ‘Good grief, all of you blues are alike. You don’t get it. You are insensitive jerks.’”
I agree, these comments offend.
However, the colors are not the culprits. Pink and Blue are innocent bystanders. The perpetrator’s condescending tone of voice, the use of the word “all,” and the labeling as Drama Queens and Jerks, stereotype.
The use of pink can bring love and respect.
Sarah, my wife, had breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon visible around the world does not stereotype women but brings attention to female needs and honors a woman’s worth.
My Biblical Purpose
Why do I use pink and blue?
My purpose is to bring home a precious Biblical truth via these colors. God made us male and female. Notwrong, just different.
Jesus drives home this revelation from Abba Father: “Have you not read, He who made them from the beginning made them male and female?”
Some Do Not See the Differences
Doesn’t everyone know these male and female differences?
Actually, no. Because of the cultural voices that preach males and females are equal, a subtle misleading occurs. Some think, “Because we are equal, we are the same.
Equal = Same?
Some couples think this way:
- We are the same because we are equal.
- My spouse feels differently than I feel.
- I know I am normal and right.
- Therefore my spouse is abnormal and wrong.
- I resent my spouse.
- My spouse needs to change and be like me.
This mindset escalates fights between husbands and wives. In the heat of the moment, one feels right and righteous and passes judgment on the other as having serious issues.
Pink and Blue Serve as a Lighthearted Tool
Encouragingly, when I highlight that pink is not wrong for not being blue, this positively impacts most husbands. I have heard guys say to their wives, “You are not wrong, just pink. Here, put on my blue sunglasses and try to see it from my view.”
When I state that blue is just different, this simple visual helps wives imagine their husbands differently. I have overheard women exclaim, “You are blue and that’s ok. As Emerson says, ‘Not Wrong, Just Different.’ But can you try to listen again with these pink hearing aids?”
Pink and Blue serve as a quick, easy, and light hearted tool to run at conflict again in a more harmonious way.
Pink and Blue Stops the Stereotyping
They actually pull back from demeaning stereotypes!
People do not need to fear that the use of the colors pink and blue will pigeonhole women and men. From my observations, greater acceptance and appreciation comes to the marriage. The analogy lessens marital conflict and halts dismissive stereotyping.
Many couples have testified that the pink and blue analogy helped them to realign with God’s design! They stopped judging each other as childish or unstable.
We Need the Other’s Difference
We are different and that difference is good and purposeful.
For example, neither of us can produce a baby on our own. Though male and female have a common humanity, men and women are not the same. God created the husband to bring the sperm and the wife to bring the egg.
We need the other’s difference to survive.
There is something distinct about women and unique about men. Each brings value that the other does not.
I Would Not Have Predicted This
I long for couples to be in awe of God’s creation of male and female as different, and to live in unity as He intended. Pink and Blue helps many couples live as a team.
When I launched this ministry to couples I would not have predicted the impact of the pink and blue analogy. But clearly it is one of the most commonly applied analogies with which couples connect.
I hope my explanation proves acceptable to you.
If not, blame my mom.