It is more commonly found in Men and rarely exhibited by Women. Color blindness is sex linked and passed down by the x-chromosome. Since Men only have one x-chromosome it is the reason why it is more commonly expressed in males (females must have both xx-chromosomes linked to colorblindness to be affected).
My mother, two brothers, and I share the colorblindness genes which has led to my understanding of the genetic causation as well as perceiving reality through my own lens of color perception.
This condition is reminiscent of the philosophical argument of describing color to a blind person. While not quite the same thing, it touches upon the characteristics of the dilemma.
My friends have come to look at my color difficulties with humored affection and have often asked me to describe what color blindness is like to them.
(I have no idea what normal color perception feels like.)
My two brothers seem to have difficulty with certain color combinations; whereas, I have difficulty with almost all color patterns and contrasts. I discovered my condition in college when I began having trouble reading the classroom board when the lecturer used different colored chalk or markers. I made an appointment for an eye exam where a color blindness test was administered. My focus was better than normal which meant I could read small numbers and letters; however, I failed to see any of the hidden images within the color blindness wheels. I flipped through the Ishihara test booklet thinking that it was a joke. Every page contained a colorful mosaic of tiny bubbles where I was told the image of a number was hidden. The doctor (after laughing) then explained the optic cells he referred to as 'rods and cones' were in some sort of imbalance and resulted in this genetic visual condition.
Small things like wearing matching clothes became challenges. I often found myself buying the wrong type of milk at the grocery store even though I carefully read the label before searching for a later expiration date (it would often be skim or fat free milk masquerading as my 'blue' 2%). Sometimes, I can't see which color a traffic signal is glowing and have to use visual cues based upon the environment (it has made me a better, safer, and more intuitive driver with a flawless record).
I began to wonder what regular people perceive. What have I been missing?
I would ask people what they saw, and would get incomprehensible explanations to which I concluded that without some glimpse of what another person is experiencing, it is impossible to accurately convey a concept or idea. Every attempt to describe a unique experience was a distorted secondhand translation. Perhaps this is why people from different cultures have difficulty understanding another point of view.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Without common perspective it becomes nearly impossible to understand or explain anything to another person. We operate under the assumption that each individual possesses a fundamental understanding of reason and comprehension; however, we sometimes forget that due to biological and environmental limitations common perspective may not be available.
The Truth is not defined by a democracy, it does not rest on majority rule.
"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience"
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
All we can do is our best to be respectful, compassionate, and understanding while seeking out experiences for ourselves. In the end, who is to say which perception is "right or wrong"?
“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha