POWER Understand the connection between power and social change
Alice Walker The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any
The power handbook Learn the rules of the game Analyze the structures of power Sign up voluntarily to the Nomination Committee Launch of women candidates Take presidency
The five methods of domin ance 1) Making women invisible 2) Making women ridiculous or belittling women 3) Withholding information 4) Double punishment of women 5) Burdening women with guilt and shame
1) Making women invisible – lack of respect Wordless method of dominance: People do not listen when you speak Looking through their papers, Talking/ wispering to another person Visit the lavatory. Fail to recognize women’s reality To a group of w: ”Here you sit - all alone!” You feel diminished and unimportant and loose engagement
What to do? Acknowledge and refuse to accept method Demand attention – pause until shuffling and murmuring stops! Train your voice – distinct and clear – not easily ignored
2) Making women ridiculous Well known - refinement in being funny at the expense of women. Denigrate women and the efforts of women ”Stupid blondes” and hysterical wives”, old hags, ”the government at home”, chuckle like hens – other examples
What to do? Refuse to accept such treatment Do not laugh along macho jokes – especially not at another woman’s expense Stare with a look of sheer amazement – create an embarrassing silence – ”what on earth is he trying to say?”
3) Withholding information Men make deals in ”the sauna” consciously or unconsciously. Following meeting - decisions are quickly ratified. No chance to discuss what has been already decided in smaller group. Women perceived as ”nagging”, lengthening the meeting, not ”decision potent”
What to do? Demand extensive background information Postponing of important issues if no preparation of background Ensure that you get information by own contacts
4) Double punishment Women suffer from a bad conscience about everything - should always be somewhere else, family-work-husband-old parents Worst of all is the feeling of not beeing good enough. STRESS!!! Men, unlike women seldom face this sort of double punishment. You are dammed if you do and you are dammed if you don’t
What to do? Choose your husband with extreme care Choose your boss with extreme care Make agreements about the ability to say ”YES” and ”NO” Make agreements with partners and husbands about the right to engage in politics
5) Burdening with guilt and shame Women who are victims of abuse or humiliating treatment develop a sense of guilt for what has happened. Most confusing of all! ”she” only has herself to blame – asked for it! ”It´s probably all my own fault” – regardless if justified Analyse situation – no reason for guilt!
What to do? Analyse situation with close friend Get friends to defend you Defend other victimised women Form a clear picture of underlying pattern and get rid of guilt Get back to person who blamed you – show what really happened
Martin Luther KingJR “Power is the ability to achieve a purpose.” It is a strength required to bring about social, political and economical change. Whether power advances justice and transforms inequities it depends on its purpose, the values guiding it and the way it is used.
Power is changing Reductions in basics freedom More conservative view on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights Dominant ideologies delegitimize the state
Four corners I look upon myself as a person with power I don’t have power Power is something that other have None of these statements suits me
Four corners I want to have more power I have power to change other’s opinions I am a follower None of these statements suits me
Power over The ability of the powerful to affect the actions and thoughts of the powerless, the power of the strong over the weak, power to exclude others
Power within A sense of self-dignity and self awareness that enables agency An ability to recognize individual differences while respecting others The capacity to imagine and have hope
Power with Collective power through organizations, solidarity and joint actions To find common grounds among different interests in order to build collective strength To build alliances, networks, movements is to get power
Power to The capacity to act, agency Education, training and leadership development for social justice are based on the belief that each individual has the power to make a difference
Power charad Choose one situation where you felt power (use five methods of dominance, cartoons, the cube, own experience) Decide on how you can act this power in a charade and be prepared to act it in front of the others.