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Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. Rumi
Whaddya Say? The Video and Model
We’ve all been there: we overhear a sexist comment at a party, a work colleague makes a homophobic joke, a friend-of-a-friend says something grossly inappropriate, we are talked over in a meeting, we know our rights and our dignity are violated. Yet in that very moment, what do we say?
As something of an expert on life in the modern gender space, I get asked a lot of questions. And this topic comes up more than anything else: what do you do or say when unexpectedly confronted with a comment that is racist, sexist, homophobic, or misogynistic?
We all know – or should know – that doing nothing is absolutely not a suitable response. Taking it up later or ignoring it ‘just this once’ is exceedingly damaging to all involved. Yet too often that is what happens. We are not prepared to respond, to advocate for ourselves in an everyday context. Even my exceedingly aware, forward-thinking, woke activist colleagues struggle with this one, especially if the comment is heard at a social event. The truth is, most of us are not prepared with an appropriate response. We often don’t want to alienate social contacts, we are not sure what type of response will be effective, or we’re surprised into speechlessness.
I’ve given lots of advice and compiled many lists of appropriate responses. They range from the straight-up, in-your-face outrage to sarcasm and humor and, yes, even calm rationality. Any or all might be an appropriate response, depending on the people and the setting. But the planning, the practice, the preparation is key!
For a lunch event, I crafted a slightly different but very effective approach: a mock game show illustrating possible responses to those all-too-awkward and insulting comments. Perhaps what these “contestants” say will offer you some inspiration?
Wonderful audience and great questions at the Kate Tiedemann College of Business last week. Very gratifying to see so much interest in gender equality issues!
The UN Women USA Gulf Coast Chapter Fall Lunch is upon us - and it's going to be amazing. We're recognizing local Champions of Gender Equality and mobilizing for activism. Join us!
Spring 2020: Our play SPOILED is heading to La Mama in NYC! Over 5 years ago, I originally conceived of the idea of a theatrical work exploring violence against women around the world, but told from the male perspective. My research and personal experiences told me...
Delighted to be able to attend CSW in New York this year. Our UN Women-USA board convened a panel on Providing Social Services and Protection to Women and Girls in Conflict Zones and hosted an evening reception for fellow national committees. And at Dining For Women’s...
The 20th Anniversary of TWE featured films from France, Tunisia, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, and all over the USA, showcasing an incredible array of themes, including: River-rafting, with a purpose, in South Africa Tackling gender biases in Papua New Guinea with the...
February 12-15, 2019. Speaking on the role of the United Nations Today and Education in Africa at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs.
The Power of Voice Through Books (Public Speaking, Gender, Blog, tags for Women)– Zora Neale Hurston Our local UN Women Chapter has been celebrating women’s voices in film at the TWE film festival for the past 20 years - but what about books? The power of women’s...
Can a ‘panic button’ on a phone really help deter violence in India? Last April India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced the government’s order that by 2018 all phones include a panic button and GPS. And this...