2 thoughts on “#061 – #weSTILLjustneedtopee”

  1. Callie – I’m a straight white cis F. I had an insight while listening to this podcast. Thanks for making me think!
    Background- I have been speaking out to people who say anti-LGBT/racist/sexist comments for years. My approach is to ask why they think this. (I use a quality control tool to find the root cause of problems, called “5 Whys”. Essentially, it’s just asking “Why is that?” or some variation of “Why?” 4 more times after the first time, to drill down to the real reason.) I don’t always get to 5… if they are too resistant or I think they have enough to think about without overloading. Anyway, since I am genuinely curious in why they think that way, I think it comes off better than just negating their position or being angry at them, and it allows me to be less emotionally invested in the outcome. I’m not personally challenging them, I just want to understand. Many times, they will get angry because they haven’t thought it thru and they don’t like the mental work of logical justification. At that point, I back off.
    However, I had an insight from your podcast: I just now concluded that much of the ‘ick’ and squeemishness comes from the universal grade school and junior high self consciousness. Their discomfort always is about how these people relate to themselves. Remember in school we were always uncomfortable because we thought people we looking at us and judging us all the time? Then we grow up and realize that no one is paying us any attention. Thats why people with much more ‘worldly’ exposure care less about different types of people. They have experienced that other people’s differences have little to no impact on themselves, and are comfortable with not being important to other people. The bigots are those who have limited their own exposure to different types of worldviews, and so are still stuck in that adolescent assumption that they are the center of the world, and because they think everyone is focused on them, they think others are constantly judging them. Their judgement is a self defensive posture. Thats why, when they get to know an individual that is different, they can relax because their experience reassures them that they are not under attack by that person. Hmmm. Maybe next time I will lead off with a variant of “They aren’t thinking about you at all, why are you so focused on them?”

  2. Oh yes I love that comment…I had not heard of the “5 Whys” method you mention, but is sounds like it could be described as a variant of Socratic questioning to help lead your interlocutor toward more self introspection (and is something I need to check out). That (particularly with the preface of “why are you so focused on them”) sounds like it could be effective for some people (though sadly not all), have you had some pretty good results?

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