Being aware of our social location in discussions

As someone who frequently reads and participates in discussions (often in a position of privilege), I have found this article interesting.

Here are some suggestions on how to respond when someone talks to you about something they have noticed or experienced that is not true for you:

  • Be empathetic.
  • Be curious.
  • Acknowledge impact before intention.

(This is not a summary, just a sample to open your appetite. Go read the article! :nerd_face: )

This article mentions the acronym NVC, which stands for Nonviolent Communication.


May I add .
Ignore the title, since the point is not Slack at all, but how communications patterns differ between genders, and it’s enlightening.


@Elitre_WMF , thank you so much for sharing this article. It is a long read but I recommend it to anyone caring about (ab)use of privilege, conscious or not, and about gender dynamics in Wikimedia. I was about to start sharing quotes from that article but I quickly ended up with a long collection.

I so wish that Wikimedia Space becomes a model of respectful, friendly and inclusive communication! As the article explains, there are many factors involved but I simply cannot imagine how we are going to succeed without (plain and simple) a critical mass of women feeling psychologically safe (*) in public and private conversations. With this critical mass, the rest will become simpler.

(*) A concept and link extracted from the article.


I cannot resist sharing this quote from the article @Elitre_WMF shared:

I was, and am, frustrated by my instinct to end every message with an exclamation point or emoji, as many women do.

I know the feeling, and it comforts me to know that I am not alone! :wink:

This article, linked from the first one you have shared, also has some gems.

“What I have come to believe is that between cause and random occurrence there is an entire complex relationship for which I don’t have a word, I don’t believe it exists in the language. Perhaps the closest thing to it would be to define it as a culturally-specific set of probabilities about how a certain action will affect others.”

This is an interesting take on how “assume good faith” may be the wrong approach.


I’m late to this, but I can’t resist highlighting one favorite quote either:

In general, Herring found, the women cared about politeness far more than men did. “What men really value, according to the study, is [not being] censored,” says Herring. “They perceive even politeness norms as a kind of censorship.”