This month at the School of Visibility we’re talking all about controversy. Namely what might be stopping you from speaking up about controversial topics.
Last week we covered some of the things to keep in mind when you’re contemplating speaking up about a controversial topic.
Today I’ve a specific question for you to ask yourself before you decide not to speak up about something controversial (or potentially controversial).
Before we dive into that question, I want to remind you of something. (Something that we explore for a whole day of the Visibility Challenge. A free challenge that we run a few times a year.)
In a world that prioritises one perspective – that of the white, ably bodied, heterosexual, economically secure males – all other voices are controversial. By virtue of there being one dominant perspective, all people who don’t fit within these parameters are sidelined as ‘other’.
Which means that all women are ‘other’. Women of colour are ‘other’. Disabled people are ‘other’. The LGBTIA community is ‘other’. The economically insecure are ‘other’. Together we form what I’ve termed ‘the diverse majority’. We’ve been deemed as separate ‘minority groups’ for many years and that has served the dominant perspective very well.
Because when we’re only a ‘minority group’ it’s not such a problem if our perspective isn’t taken into account in national debates, or if a state or country’s resources are not allocated toward the things that matter to us, or if we’re not well represented in positions of power. It doesn’t matter because we’re only a ‘minority’ after all. Hence my preference for the term ‘diverse majority’.
Anyone of the diverse majority who presumes to take up space, except in accordance with the pre-determined norms about what is and isn’t acceptable for that group of people, is an aberration. They challenge the dominant narrative. A narrative that’s sexist, racist, ableist, and heteronormative.
When you’re ‘the other’ in society, it’s very difficult to speak truths about yourself and your life without it being controversial.
So instead of trying to manipulate your opinion into the least offensive version possible, stop. Understand that such an approach isn’t serving you and will never serve you.
Then try this;
Systems of oppression win when we quietly allow the status quo to perpetuate itself.
When we refuse to speak up, when we don’t have the courage to share our stories, when we place a greater priority on keeping the peace than we do on telling our truth, the dominant perspective wins and everyone else loses.
It’s time to disrupt the dominant narrative.
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At the School of Visibility to prepare you for visibility, or for your next level of visibility.
We'll support you in releasing resistance, clarifying why you want to be visible, and making a plan for how to be joyously and effortlessly visible.
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