Presentation on theme: "When the grand lord passes, the wise peasant bows deeply and silently farts Ethiopian proverb."— Presentation transcript:
When the grand lord passes, the wise peasant bows deeply and silently farts Ethiopian proverb
In Dignity: Addressing “Bullying” and Interpersonal Violence with Response-Based Practice Cathy Richardson & Allan Wade
Dignity and Resistance Understanding Responses to Violence and Oppression
Karin (15) Carolina: Can I ask in those situations when you were scared and felt like something was wrong, did you feel like you could do something then? Karin: No, that was the thing. I was so little and had so many feelings. Sometimes I could say to daddy, please dad please be quiet, don’t be bothered by what mummy says. I played along with him for a while and played along with him and thought this will help and pretended that mummy was the one who was sick. So I said that if you could only be quiet don’t be bothered by what she is saying you know she is wrong (pause) so be quiet and go outside and be angry.
Eric (8) is describing a scene where his father was acting aggressively. E: He said bad things. I was sad. T: I can understand that. E: I hid in the bathroom. T: You did? E: And Daddy came and knocked, bash, bash, bash. T: On the door? E: Yes. And I hid in the bathroom. T: That was clever of you. You were brave to run and hide. E: Thank you! Thank you very much.
Lotta (9) Margareta: Have things been okay at home? Lotta: Yes, but then yesterday mum and dad started fighting about something, but I just closed my ears. Margareta: What do you do when you close your ears? Do you use something to put in your ears? Lotta: No, I try not to care or try to talk to them about something else. Then I listen to really loud music so they’ll get angry at me instead.
What is dignity?
Respect/worth: Self-respect & respect from others. - “self-esteem/worth” and “social esteem/worth” - inclusion, competence Self-sovereignty/control: Autonomy, freedom, identity - in extreme situations (prisoners, patients) Physical and psychological integrity (wholeness) The ability to care for others, especially loved ones A sense of efficacy, agency, ability to “make a difference” An inherent quality of the person in spiritual and social justice terms
Dignity and Social Life Social life is organized largely around the according and preserving of dignity (face). Affronts to dignity create immediate social “problems” that participants work to repair. Humiliation requires “just redress”. Failure to supply “just redress” leaves an open social wound. Dignity is central to individual and collective well-being.
Dignity and Resistance For many victims, humiliation is the primary affront, the most lasting and painful injury “The bruises go away but you never forget what he said to you.” “He got my body but he didn’t get me.” Responses and resistance are often oriented to preserving, asserting dignity The violence may be only the first in a series of indignities delivered through social responses Our central task, whatever else we do, is to acknowledge the dignity to the victim
From the language of effects to the language of responses.
Kick a rock or kick a person If you kick a rock... If you kick a person...
Rain causes umbrellas Umbrellas are effects/impacts/consequences of rain
Sexualized abuse causes depression, despair Depression, despair is an effect/impact of sexualized abuse
The language of effects conceals responses/resistance The discourse of cause and effect is prevalent It centers the enquiry inside the person away from the topic of the social interaction It changes the topic to the mind
Response or effect? “When I was 15 or so I was touched up by the optometrist, and its meant I’ve never actually worn my glasses.” Example from Liz Kelly (1988) Surviving Sexual Violence
From effects to responses: Pairs or trios Part 1: One person shares a time they experienced some form of unfairness or injustice – nothing too raw or serious. The second person asks questions to track the effects or impacts of that event on the person: The physical, emotional, mental, social effects. The effects immediately and over the long term. The third person keeps track of grammar and verbs. Part 2: Using the same event, and beginning again from the beginning, the second person asks how the person responded, overtly and covertly. The third person keeps track of grammar and verbs. Purpose: To experience the difference between engaging in effects-based and response-based conversations, linguistically, socially, subjectively.
Accurate Descriptions and People in the Object Position The language of effects/impacts cannot reveal who a person “is”; what they stand for, who they cherish, what they detest, what they know and believe, how they see their place in the world. Bob punched Sue. Jeremy was beaten until he was unconscious and left on the side of the road. The colonial government implemented law to allow theft of Indigenous lands. Ever since he could remember, Harold saw his Dad beating up his Mom, putting her down, telling her she was “a piece of shit”.
Accurate Descriptions and People in the Subject Position By learning how people respond, even in part, we begin to see their sense of purpose and can obtain a more complete and accurate picture of events. The response is the first effort to retain dignity and manage adversity. Bob punched Sue. Sue backed up slowly and closed the door to the bedroom where the children were sleeping. Jeremy was beaten until he was unconscious and left on the side of the road. Witnesses said he refused to stay down after intervening to stop a man slapping a child. The colonial government implemented law to allow theft of Indigenous lands. Indigenous people resisted the theft of their land through rebellion, letters, petitions, protests, and more recently through appeal to the supreme court. Ever since he could remember, Harold saw his Dad beating up his Mom, putting her down, telling her she was “a piece of shit”. Harold would bring his Mom tea and a warm cloth and stay home from school with a stomach ache.
How to switch to agentive response based questions Keep the context Move from object to subject – ‘Bob hit me’ (me in this sentence is the object) to ‘When Bob hit you, what did you do?’ You becomes the subject To maximise agency, look for Actions Thoughts Feelings Spirit Clarify abstract terms: what do you mean by ‘fighting’
Exercise Exploring some ways of responding to stories involving distress or trauma
Language that justifies perpetrator acts of violence and hides responsibility Brainstorm some notions and phrases and think about the discourses they convey
Some descriptions are quite ugly: “comfort women” “settlement” “abusive relationships” “sex with a minor” “unwanted intercourse”
Violence is Unilateral Violence consists of actions by one person against the will and well being of another Mutual Acts vs. Unilateral Acts Hand-shaking vs hand-shaking Boxing Kissing Mutual acts imply and entail consent, co-action, co-agency, joint activity “If you hit someone on the head with a frying pan, you don’t call it cooking.” (Anonymous Canadian genius)
Unilateral Language and Property Crimes Car theft is not “auto sharing” Bank robbery is not a “financial transaction” Similarly... Wife-assault is not a “dispute” or “argument” or “abusive relationship” Child rape is not “sex with a child” or “child prostitution”
From Clear to Obscure Active:Bob hit Sue. Simple passive:Sue was hit by Bob. Agentless passive: Sue was hit. Nominalization:An assault took place. Mutualizing:There was a domestic dispute.
Violence is deliberate (with rare exceptions) Offenders anticipate and work to suppress victim resistance Bank robberies Purse snatching Biker hangouts Child violation Bullying, social cruelty Workplace harassment Offenders exercise control and strategy even in “explosive” attacks In domestic and family violence, there is typically a history of skilled and sensitive and respectful behaviour before the offender begins to abuse. Offenders work to manage social responses
“Self-correction is better than correction by others”. Nick Todd (2000)
Finding Control, Deliberation: Example 1 A man gave a long and agitated description of how his wife “pushed his buttons” and how he “lost it”. In the middle of the description, he said that he broke through her patio door with a hammer and “headed for her bedroom... just seeing red”. T: “So, just a second, can I just ask you... after you broke the window, what did you do with the hammer?” C: “Oh, I put it down. You don’t think I’m going into her bedroom with a hammer in my hand. I’m not frikkin’ stupid”. T: “Okay... well... that was very deliberate of you... to put down the hammer. How did you manage that?”
Reflexive Frame Breaks: Problematizing Responsibility C: She accepted this guy's phone number and I got really pissed off. Like, that's wrong, it’s just really wrong. And she never told me about kissing this guy until we moved out here. And it was like, you know, I have a very hard time trusting women. I have yet to have a woman that's... and... it’s my own fault, maybe its because of me.... But, you know, I've yet to have a woman remain loyal. T: What's got you thinking, maybe I had a hand in this, maybe it’s my own fault? C: Because... I feel I push them away. I force them away.
Problematizing Responsibility cont’d T: How? C: By being angry, being jealous. I'm a very jealous person. T: So you've been thinking over this problem, where the trust doesn't seem to be there, like, "I'm wondering if my anger....” C: Yeah, I think it's got a lot to do with it. I push them away. I pushed Sue away because I can't just let them just go and do what they want. I have a hard time. I want... you know, I don't want to be a push-over... but I don't want to be... as aggressive as I have been.
Alternatives to Responsibilization: Example 1 A 15 year old boy in a residential program for “acting-out youth” “trashes the room”, throwing furniture. A chair breaks a window. Later, the boy is willing to take responsibility for breaking furniture and for dealing with his anger inappropriately but insists that breaking the window was “an accident”. Responsibilizing: “Don’t you think that since you threw the chair you should take responsibility for the window breaking?” Alternative: “So if you had broken the window on purpose that would not be good. Why do you think that breaking things on purpose is not good?”
Relating the day to your practice Think about some work with a client where you think the ideas we have looked at today might be helpful Work in groups to focus on the possible response based questions you would now ask.