Adrienne Rich (U.S. poet, 1929- ) wrote:
If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless.
Who needs to be empowered? In what way can you be part of that empowerment?
I invite you to a day of reflection on these questions.
#30DaysOfLoveAndReflection – Day 20
Any individual or group that has been silenced needs to be empowered. Sometimes it is not obvious who this is because attempts to silence them have not been entirely successful. I think of the many subtle and not so subtle phrases that are used. We learn that someone doesn’t care about another person’s sexual orientation… as long as they aren’t “in my face about it.” We hear that someone is not racist… they just wish people of color would act a little more like them…. and especially not show so much emotion… by which they mean anger. The silencing of inconvenient voices starts early when we are told that children should be seen and not heard.
Although I am aware that I have sometimes been silenced as a woman and as a non-theist, I am more aware that as an educated, upper-middle-class, white woman married to a man, my voice is welcomed in most venues. I am committed to noticing when using my voice will drowned out the voices of others. I am also committed to naming it when I see it. I am committed to closing my mouth, stepping back, and listening when there are other voices from whom we need to hear. And, I am committed to noticing, not just who is silent, but also who is not even in the room… and taking steps to invite them in.