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.

http://www.roxannemanning.com/2017/09/26/why-dont-they-get-it/

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.

7 Likes

Thanks.
May I add https://qz.com/work/1128150/your-companys-slack-is-probably-sexist/ .
Ignore the title, since the point is not Slack at all, but how communications patterns differ between genders, and it’s enlightening.

6 Likes

@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.

2 Likes

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. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/acquired-spontaneity/201308/intention-and-effect

“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.

5 Likes

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.”

5 Likes