Skip to main content

When You Lack The Language To Describe What's Happening

Shadow Man
"Shadow Man" by Jaqian via Flickr

Once I had a supervisor who used to call me in and do her e-mail while I sat there.

She would check it and respond; take phone calls; talk about the weather, and her home, and her weekend; and once in a while give me a task or two.

Sometimes she would say, "I have to go to the restroom," and would say something like "let's go."

I was young and inexperienced and fearful. So I went. Fortunately all I had to do was wait outside, but it was still pretty humiliating.

She talked and talked the whole time, and I had to nod and go along with it like it was totally normal.

I share this not for gross-out value but to talk about one aspect of the experience that stands out for me.

At the time, I did not have the language to name what I was going through. So although I knew there was something wrong, I couldn't really confront the situation.

Today I have the words, of course:

* Boundary-crossing
* Exploitive
* Sadistic

...and so on.

This boss was also what we call a "micromanager." She did not "trust" other people to do things just right. So her stamp of approval, or disapproval, covered everything.

I did not have the words.

A feminist tool, and a workers'  rights tool, is "consciousness-raising." That is exactly what it sounds like: People sit around in a circle and share their experiences. 

There is solace in sharing with others, getting support, and finding that you have gone through similar things and survived. You can learn how to recognize a problem and how to cope.

But what is also empowering, yet let discussed, is the fact that sharing your experiences leads to language. Suddenly that nameless monster has a name. 

And by designating it you gain a measure of control.

Sharing, consciousness-raising, education, the Internet and social media are all linked - and that is why oppressive people always try to shut them down.

The more a person can be isolated and kept ignorant, the more they can be victimized.

Which is why it's very important to not only train yourself and share what you've seen, but also to stand up against those why try to keep information from being free. And to help those without access to education and technology - access it.

In the end cruelty persists because it lives in the shadows.

Expose it for what it is, arm people with a pen and paper (or tablet computer), and put them in a room together. It is then impossible for evil to persist.

Have a good day everyone, and good luck!




Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …