Social cryptomnesia – an argument for change.

Social cryptomnesia describes the phenomenon that achievements which are widely regarded as positive, made by minority groups are dissociated from said groups. One prominent example is the feminist movement!

 

Whilst most people appreciate the changes like the right for women to vote and to work, feminist groups themselves are usually perceived as rather unlikeable and pretentious. But how is it possible that the group, who is the main reason why we have these rights, is seen rather negatively these days?

We dissociated the accomplishments or the message of a minority from said minority. This allows us to change our opinion on certain topics, without actually changing the way we view that group and without risking a connection to them and their undesirable reputation. Because of these processes, minority groups are still singled out and looked down upon.

But why am I telling you this? What does this have to do with change? Because of the way social cryptomnesia stops these groups from changing something today. Without the association, feminist groups today are often accused of wanting equality, which is viewed as already present. The phenomenon stops change and clouds our view.

It is possible to consciously make a re-association between the minority group and its accomplishments, but only if it isn’t perceived as too scary. How many times are we scared of change? How many times does it stop something good from happening – like the right to vote for women? And if being open to change in big pictures, allows such great outcomes, imagine what it could do for your personal life?

Whether we like it or not, our lives are changing every day. Maybe it is the people we meet – or more importantly those, who we lose. Or it is far greater than us, like the Covid-19 Pandemic. We can’t stop change from happening, but we can influence the way we react to it, our attitude, what we get out of it: Because sometimes something really great comes from it. Like the way the pandemic gave us time to spend with our family or made us realize that we still try to find ways to communicate, even though it is far more difficult than before, that some connections remain, even if physical contact is absent. And like nothing else, it made us realize how many things, we take for granted are actually really precious and valuable.

Some things in this life are out of our control, but maybe this is the magical, unpredictable part of life, the part that makes us human, the part that determines what kind of person we really are, the part that really changes us and influences us to become better, the part, which helps us realize who we can actually count on, who will be there through the good and the bad – change is not comfortable and sometimes it feels like it takes everything from us, but in my experience, it always gives back more than it takes.

 

By Celina Eichhorn