Forum Navigation
You need to log in to create posts and topics.

1.1 Bonus material: How did I benefit from and where have I suffered in centralized power structures?

Let sink in what you saw and heard. What does it do with you? What emotions and thoughts does it trigger?

The video that you watched was a conversation that happened in the US amongst men who were raised in that culture. So it’s easy to say for us „Oh it’s not that bad here in Germany/the Netherlands/… (you name the place you grew up/ live in). I can see that as a choice that makes it less uncomfortable. And even as a woman I can say „Oh yes, that’s the men and this terrible patriarchy that is responsible for that!“
Now, I invite you to look very close here and be honest with one another and ourselves: where do we benefit from the power structure as it is? Also: where and how did you suppress/harm (parts of) yourself in order to fit in?

I invite you to take 10 min to journal on one or both of these last questions and - if you feel ready to do so - share your thoughts here in the forum with the other participants.

What I was reminded with is Stafford Beer's coined term, POSIWID, short for "The purpose of a system is what it does." I frown on the bullying, harassment, abuse that we inflict one another, especially when it's coming from repressed passive-aggression. Yet these are exactly behaviors resulting from a system we designed consciously and unconsciously. Everyone is an participatory agent of the system, be it the perpetrator, the victim, the bystander, or any other outstanding cross-functional roles we play. And we are stuck with a sort of ambivalence on tolerating these behaviors when acts of not tolerating -- exposing and calling out -- can risk us confronting the forces of stigma, threat, and denial. Civic apathy became a convenient demonstration to a world dominated by power-over, excused with "as long as it doesn't happen to me," -- or even if it did, it's not that bad; and if it's bad, I can justify the latent benefits granted by it such as security.

Fitting in could mean surrendering a fraction of self-sovereign power for the sake of social order, hopefully oriented toward harmony -- what accounts for this then. But it appears there's a thin line between giving power for the collective good and being deprived of one's potential.