Show Me I Matter: Other options to calling each other out

Live tweets from my "Calling In" workshop at Playground 2015!

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  1. Learned this excellent tool from awesome sex educators of @BadSubject: In lieu of promising a Safe Space, we aim for a Brave Space, where risks are taken, mistakes are made, and healing is sought.

  2. Firstly, what is "Calling Out"?

  3. Basically it's a public challenge, of someone, or a group of people, or an organization. It's saying, "that's BS", or "that's unfair", or "that's unacceptable".
  4. I witnessed Asam Ahmad, who has written an excellent piece about Call Out Culture, do a free-association brainstorm on "Calling Out" once. It was a brilliant and quick way to have complex, conflicting, and controversial ideas coexist in the room. Here are some words the participants at Playground came up with:
  5. Other great words that participants shared included: Stop. Voice. Empowered. Accountability. Opportunity. Teachable Moment. Defensive. Woundedness.

  6. In what ways does Calling Out work?

  7. For one, it interrupts and disrupts. It stops whatever it is that is going on, and calls attention to it.
  8. It also feels empowering. Especially when there is historical silencing or enforced invisibility. Or, if you've had to fight your way back from feeling unentitled or like you don't matter, calling someone or something out can be the first step to redistributing power fairly.
  9. In what ways does Calling Out NOT work?

  10. The thing is, Calling Out is not a refined tool. There's no way to control it so that you can make the offenders JUST aware enough to become thoughtful and understanding, without having them slip into silence and inaction out of fear and guilt. It doesn't create strong allies. Often it leads to well-meaning people who are scared and/or resigned.
  11. And, in the grand scheme of things...

  12. But what's wrong with taking some power?

  13. Nothing. But it's more complicated than that.
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