"Know that no one is silen[ced] though many are not heard. Work to change this."

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Hi y'all,

So I've been thinking a lot about feminism--its advances and its shortcomings of creating spaces for folks who have been traditionally marginalized. We all play a role this. Even though there are many branches to feminism, it can still be argued that they are exclusive in their own terms-- or that they are not as accessible to some as others. I feel that our class discussion from last Thursday hinted at community building. Thus, I thought of this poster. Of course, the poster is also just one (reduced) way of understanding building community. But, I especially like the last few lines. Although it does not address larger structures and systems, it places accountability on us--in how we interact with one another-- and points out how these structures and systems shape/influence our daily lives.

Feel free to expand on how you might envision what building community embodies!

how-to-build-community.jpg

4 Comments

I love this poster! So many awesome messages that remind us to be open and humble!

I agree. Lots of great messages here! I would add: be curious, make some trouble together, bear witness to other's stories, learn to listen actively and without judgment, ask LOTS of questions (like, "why?" or "why not" or "at whose expense?")

Also, this list makes me think of the What is Feminist Debate? handout that I passed out earlier in the semester. Here were the virtues that I proposed for having effective debates, debates that are aimed at not winning, but building community:

FLEXIBILITY: The refusal to be fixed in one particular idea of how an issue should be understood or resolved and a willingness to look beyond our own positions in order to understand others’ perspectives.

HUMILITY: Never approaching the debate with an attitude of arrogance, believing that your position is the only correct one or that the goal of debate is to be the winner. Instead approach with a willingness to recognize the limitations of your own position.

OPENNESS: The resolution “to be as open and sensitive as we can to the diversity of interests and range of values involved” (Jaggar, 11).

PASSION FOR JUSTICE/GUIDED BY A BROADER VISION: To engage in critical feminist debate is to be motivated by a passionate and democratic desire to develop more effective agendas that account for a wide range of individuals and that lead to the elimination of injustice and oppression.

COURAGE: A willingness to be wrong and to allow others to be critical of our ideas, to not only recognize the limits of our own perspectives but to give up our position when it is proven to be ineffective, to change ourselves as a result of the debate, and to challenge others to do the same.

CURIOSITY: Cultivating a sense of wonder about the world in ourselves and others, and always exerting the effort to question and wonder about why things are the way they are and at whose expense.

PATIENCE: Taking the time to listen to the widest range of perspectives possible and refusing to come to easy/simple solutions in the interest of saving energy and time.

@Sara "make some trouble together, bear witness to other's stories, learn to listen actively and without judgment", I love it! Your comment is a great way on how to expand on the idea of community building. I also like how flexible the ideas on the handout can be applied to situations outside of "debating" (I place it in quotations here "debate" is often associated with the connotation of "arguing", as opposed to listening and discussing). Additionally, the point on humility is vital; it speaks to the dangers of dehumanization in debating. For the matter, all of these ideas get at the importance of: love, compassion and humanity. These are things we should always be aware of, in whatever spaces we navigate.

Make some trouble together. LOVE!

Thanks. Making trouble together is my favorite too!

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