a radical process

| 5 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

I'm back from Toronto, and about to retrospectively blog some of the best sessions. But before I do, as a followup to my "women's voices" post (which, as I predicted, has far more men's voices than women's), I'd like to thank xian for pointing me to Dan Spalding's "An open letter to other men in the movement: Shut the Fuck Up (or, How to act better in meetings)."

This essay is about how men act in meetings. Mostly it's about how we act badly, but it includes suggestions on how we can do better. Men in the movement reproduce patriarchy within the movement and benefit from it. By patriarchy I mean a system of values, behaviors, and relationships that keeps men in power. It relies on domination, claiming authority, and belligerence.


What's to be done? I've come up with a little idea I like to call, "Shut the fuck up." It goes as follows: Every time someone...

  • Says something you think is irrelevant,
  • Asks a (seemingly) obvious question,
  • Criticizes your proposal or makes a contradictory observation,
  • Makes a proposal
  • Asks a question, or
  • Asks for more input because there's a brief lull in the discussion. . .
Shut the fuck up. It's a radical process, but I think you'll like it.

Along those lines, I'd like to thank all the men who didn't post a response to "women's voices"--including those who sent me private notes of support. :) You guys rock. Thanks for listening.

2 TrackBacks

Reading a couple of posts from Liz Lawley on gender and communication -- the second of which points to an essay by Dan Spalding aimed at "other men in the movement" and designed to help men "act better in meetings"... Read More

Meeting Etiquette from Leaky Faucet at Twentybelow on June 29, 2003 8:10 PM

While reading Liz Lawley's blog, I ran across this post which has broad implications on how to behave in... Read More


I wasn't even sure if my trackback ping was kosher in that context, but given the backspin, figured it was worth the while.

My lips are sealed. . . .

Shut the fuck up.

Frank, I think you and my husband would get along famously. :)

Thanks. I think. While my response was perhaps over-the-top, it had a certain egalitarian je ne sais quoi, nicht wahr?

Universal Sophomore

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