Tag Archives: power

Adam Galinsky: How to speak up for yourself

Here is an inspiring and apropos Ted Talk for the Beautiful Kingdom Warriors to learn from.  Adam Galinsky is a social psychologist who “teaches people all over the world how to inspire others, speak up effectively, lead teams and negotiate successfully.”  In these 15 minutes, he explains why being a woman creates a low-power double bind, and offers research-based tools for expanding your power/acceptable range of behavior:

Here are my top takeaways from the video (I’ve sliced and diced and emphasized the full transcript):

Each of us have something called a range of acceptable behavior. When we stay within our range, we’re rewarded. When we step outside that range, we get punished – we get dismissed or demeaned or even ostracized. Or we lose that raise or that promotion or that deal.

Your power determines your range. When we have lots of power, our range is very wide. We have a lot of leeway in how to behave. But when we lack power, our range narrows. We have very little leeway. The problem is that when our range narrows, that produces something called the low-power double bind – if we don’t speak up, we go unnoticed, but if we do speak up, we get punished.

The gender double bind is women who don’t speak up go unnoticed, and women who do speak up get punished. Oftentimes we see a difference between a man and a woman and think, “Biological cause. There’s something fundamentally different about the sexes.” But in study after study, I’ve found that a better explanation for many sex differences is really power. The low-power double bind means that we have a narrow range, and we lack power. 

We need to find ways to expand our range. And two things really matter. The first: you seem powerful in your own eyes. The second: you seem powerful in the eyes of others. When I feel powerful, I feel confident, not fearful; I expand my own range. When other people see me as powerful, they grant me a wider range. So we need tools to expand our range of acceptable behavior.

The first tool I’m going to give you got discovered in negotiations in an important finding. On average, women make less ambitious offers and get worse outcomes than men at the bargaining table.  Except when they advocate for others, they discover their own range and expand it in their own mind. They become more assertive. This is sometimes called “the mama bear effect.”

But sometimes, we have to advocate for ourselves. One of the most important tools we have to advocate for ourselves is perspective-taking. It’s simply looking at the world through the eyes of another person. When I take your perspective, and I think about what you really want, you’re more likely to give me what I really want.

Another way to be assertive but still be likable is to signal flexibility. When you give people a choice among options, it lowers their defenses, and they’re more likely to accept your offer.

When I’ve asked the question around the world when people feel comfortable speaking up, the number one answer is: “When I have social support in my audience; when I have allies.” We want to get allies on our side. How do we do that? Well, one of the ways is be a mama bear. When we advocate for others, we expand our range in our own eyes and the eyes of others, but we also earn strong allies.

Another way we can earn strong allies is by asking other people for adviceWhen we ask others for advice, they like us because we flatter them, and we’re expressing humility. And this really works to solve the self-promotion double bind – if we don’t advertise our accomplishments, no one notices. And if we do, we’re not likableBut if we ask for advice about one of our accomplishments, we are able to be competent in their eyes but also be likeable.

Another time we feel more confident speaking up is when we have expertise. Expertise gives us credibility. When we have high power, we already have credibility. We only need good evidence. When we lack power, we don’t have the credibility. We need excellent evidence.

And one of the ways we can come across as an expert is by tapping into our passion. We give ourselves the courage, in our own eyes, to speak up, but we also get the permission from others to speak up. 

I highly recommend you watch the video and think about how you can expand your own range of acceptable behavior – by advocating for others, gaining allies and social support, seeing things from others’ perspectives and offering flexible solutions, and asking for advice.  Good stuff.

img_3767I was obviously connecting the dots on how women are subjugated in patriarchal religious denominations under the assumption of biological differences, when the real problem is lack of power.  Women are punished for their “ambition” to follow the call of God on their life.

I have seen the power of advocating for other women in the Church to have opportunities and credibility.  I love being a mama bear in the Church and encourage you to speak up for others as well.  Think your “Director of Children’s Ministry” should have the same “Pastor” title as the other staff members?  Speak up!  Think your friend has the gift of teaching?  Speak up!  See gifts in the women around you?  Tell them!  They probably aren’t hearing that from many others.  In doing these things, your own confidence will grow.  And couldn’t we all use more confidence?


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February Link-Up, “50 Shades of Grey” Edition

Today is the long-anticipated release of 50 Shades of Grey in American theaters. As I work on this post, people are sitting in theaters being entertained by an abusive relationship in which a woman is battered, degraded, coerced and tortured under the guise of “romance.”

TBKW firmly stands against the dehumanization of God’s children, in any form. Here are some excellent articles on the topic of this cinematic blight on society:

ACTIVISTS SAY SKIP 50 SHADES AND GIVE TICKET MONEY TO A WOMEN’S SHELTER – Take Part, Liz Dwyer

The campaign was started by women from Stop Porn Culture, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and the London Abused Women Centre in Canada. It’s inspired by 50 Shades Is Abuse, an effort begun nearly three years ago by Natalie Collins, a British advocate for domestic violence victims. She and other activists worry that the flick will send women the message that being stalked, controlled, and manipulated by a significant other is sexy and romantic.

50 SHADES OF BROKEN – CBE, Jenny Rae Armstrong

There are cultural, psychological, and even physiological reasons why some women gravitate toward threatening “heroes” or violent sexual fantasies. Women’s bodies respond to perceived sexual threat by becoming physically aroused. It’s a defense mechanism to minimize injury if they are assaulted.4 Knowing this may help us understand how fiction that celebrates sexual violence could be an easy way for inexperienced teens or exhausted moms to experience a bit of a tingle. Yet, this age-old storytelling medium has played a crucial role in promoting an unhealthy view of sexuality and relationships, one that has been passed down from a dysfunctional, and often violent, patriarchal past. In a blog post titled “The Brain on Lust,” Sharon Hodde Miller, a PhD candidate at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, explains that “whenever you learn something new, your brain changes, both physically and chemically. As that new information is stored, your brain creates new neural pathways and strengthens old ones…The more you use certain neural pathways, the stronger they become, whereas others weaken with lack of use.”5

In other words, our minds are, in the most literal sense, moldable. The more time we spend thinking about something (hours submersed in romance novels featuring domineering or abusive heroes), and the more our associations are reinforced (domineering men are sexy, and relationships with them will lead to happy endings), the stronger those neural pathways become. Just like pornography, romance novels can rewire our brains, overwriting reality with unhealthy fantasies that we increasingly associate with pleasure.

50 SHADES OF GREY IS A STUDY IN 50 SHADES OF ABUSE SAYS STUDY – Care2, Steve Williams

The researchers assert this analysis show that Fifty Shades of Grey depicts emotional abuse “in nearly every interaction” between the central couple…

The study concludes:

Despite the pervasive abuse patterns we uncovered in our analysis, popular reviews have suggested the book is liberating for women’s sexuality, providing women with an “opportunity” to openly experience erotica in an otherwise hyper-repressed culture.54 Our analysis did not set out to unravel the validity of the popular claim that the book is liberating for women’s sexuality. However, what our analysis sheds light on is the following: While Anastasia is depicted as experiencing “pleasure” during some of the couple’s sexual interactions, our analysis shows she is simultaneously confused and terrified that she will be hurt in such interactions, and she yearns for a “normal” relationship; in addition, Anastasia’s consent in the sexual activities is coerced through the use of alcohol and intimidation/pressure.

TRUTH ABOUT 50 SHADES OF GREY: MOVIE GLAMORIZES SEXUAL VIOLENCE, DOMESTIC ABUSE – End Sexual Exploitation, Dawn Hawins

50ShadesOfGrey_600x_AnastasiaSteele_21

The reality is that if you take away the glamour, “Fifty Shades” is just a sensationalized lie, telling women that they can, and should, fix violent and controlling men by being obedient and devoted, and that, somehow, this is romantic.

FIFTY ABUSIVE MOMENTS IN 50 SHADES OF GREY – The Rambling Curl

In case you weren’t convinced yet…

ABUSE IS NOT ROMANCE: ADS FROM 50 SHADES WITH ACTUAL INSANE QUOTES FROM THE BOOKS – GOOD, Adam Albright-Hanna

Ahead the highly anticipated film’s release, there’s a growing outrage aimed at 50 Shades of Grey. Last week, GOODwrote about a campaign called 50 Dollars Not 50 Shades, in which domestic abuse activists are urging people to donate $50 to women’s shelters in lieu of purchasing a movie ticket. They feel that the book’s lead romantic interest Christian Grey is often “extremely controlling, possessive, and forceful.”

Tumblr user The 6th Sirens of Pandora agrees, and to further illustrate her point she’s taken to reimagining the film’s movie poster to feature some of the most attrocious quotes from the book. Check out the images to read for yourself how insanely violent the book really is.

99 REASONS TO LEAVE YOUR ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP – Free Indeed,

  1. He hurts you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Enough said.

THE CHRISTIAN PORN CONVERSATION – God Loves Women

The Christian conversation on “porn” has (in the main) these aspects:

  1. Purity: viewing defiles the person looking.
  2. Addiction: people get addicted to viewing and so it becomes treated as a medical disorder.
  3. The redemption narrative: (mostly) men sharing their stories of moving from sin (watching “porn”) to redemption (no longer watching “porn”)
  4. Neuroscience/Intimacy: After Dr William Struthers (neuroscientific theologian) wrote a book covering the ways viewing pornographic content affects the brain and communicated the solution as greater intimacy, this is regularly talked about and he is the go to person Christians usually quote or invite to talk about “porn”.

Though all of the above can be part of the issue, I would suggest of greater significance are the following layers underpinning the spectrum of pornographies:

  1. A gendered analysis: this is about men consuming women.  Man as subject, woman as object.
  2. Industry: people make vast sums of money from selling pornographic material.  Viewers are groomed into harder and harder core porn, in order to bring financial benefit to (mainly) white men.
  3. Power: as we’ve seen in the latest power plays of The Sun around Page 3, pornographic material is more about power than it is about any sort of meaningful sexual experience.
  4. The broken lives: the (mostly) women who are groomed, used, abused and discarded by the industry.

LUNDY BANCROFT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE
This is such an insightful and important series of videos.  I’m linking to Part 1 of 7.

LET’S CALL 50 SHADES OF GREY WHAT IT IS: PERVERTED – Charisma Magazine, J. Lee Grady

2. It glorifies violence against women. Last year a researcher from the University of Michigan did a study on the effects of Fifty Shades of Grey on women readers. It showed that women who read the books (it is actually a trilogy) were 25 percent more likely to have an abusive partner; 34 percent were more likely to have a partner who stalked them; and 65 percent were more likely to engage in binge drinking.

Just as there is a link between violent video games and violent behavior in teen boys, this study showed that women who read graphic porn novels tend to gravitate toward the types of abusive relationships depicted in books like Fifty Shades. The study also showed that these women were more likely to have eating disorders. (Interestingly, the dominant male character in Fifty Shades carefully controls his girlfriend’s eating habits.)

WHAT EVANGELICALS FAIL TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CONSENT – Sarabeth Caplin

I would hate to see this much-needed dialogue turn into a debate about BDSM between consenting couples, which the church has no business policing, and not about the real issue at hand: what abuse looks like in real life. Given the number of people in the BDSM community who say this series misrepresents what it’s all about, it’s a dialogue worth having.

50 SHADES OF CONFUSING: SEARCHING FOR A #TRULYHUMAN PERSPECTIVE – Missio Alliance, Karina Kreminski

A reign of God perspective on sexual desire sees that we are embodied beings given a gift by God which is to be used with discernment, wonder and joy. As we engage with this gift well, we become the true humans that God had always designed us to be.+

Will we react to the issues around sexuality in our world with simple moral outrage or will we rather seek to engage with, relate to and speak into a world that is broken and needs restoration?

50 SHADES: WHY THE OUTRAGE HURTS WOMEN – Michele Phoenix

Here’s the problem: by our disproportionate outcry, we in the Christian culture are subconsciously conveying that WOMEN seeking out indecent content are so much more disgusting than MEN doing the same.

The message we send with our selective displeasure, even implicitly, is that sexual materials aimed solely at WOMEN are a greater shame than those designed for mixed or male audiences. We’re saying that audiences of female BDSM fans deserve more scorn and judgment than male audiences entering porn stores, watching (often sexually-exploited) women online or just “being boys.”

TO STOP VIOLENCE, START AT HOME – The New York Times, Pamela Shifman and Salamishah Tillet

THE pattern is striking. Men who are eventually arrested for violent acts often began with attacks against their girlfriends and wives. In many cases, the charges of domestic violence were not taken seriously or were dismissed.

WHY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS DON’T LEAVE – TED TALKS, Leslie Morgan Steiner

Cannot recommend this video enough.  A survivor of domestic violence shares her story.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EVERYONE IS IMPACTED AND THE CHURCH NEEDS TO BE MAKING A DIFFERENCE – TBKW, Ruth Perry

A post from October with DV statistics and resources.

DAVE BARRY LEARNS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING HUSBAND FROM READING 50 SHADES OF GREY – Time, Dave Barry

This seems so wrong to share after all the others.  This is just for fun – I was laughing hysterically all the way through!


As I am finishing up, I just saw my friend post this fantastic note on Facebook (food for thought as you encounter this book and movie in your community):

I just submitted this letter online to Hannaford via this link and encourage others who share my concerns to do the same. Thank you!:

http://www.hannaford.com/content.jsp…

I love our ___ Hannaford. The staff could not be more helpful, friendly, or efficient. Our family of 8 shops there 2 – 3 times a week, and we almost always fill 2 large carts. While checking out recently with my kids, however, I was extremely shocked and disappointed to see that “Fifty Shades of Grey” was being sold at the check-out. Not only is it a XXX book, but it depicts the most unhealthy kind of relationship. This book glorifies dating violence and abuse. As a store that promotes healthy choices, I fail to understand why it would sell such dangerous garbage. I have many friends who feel similarly and I have encouraged them to contact you about this important matter as well. Thank you for your consideration and prompt action.  Sincerely, ______

Like my wonderful friend and the authors and speakers in these links, let’s be brave and courageous Beautiful Kingdom Warriors as we speak up for the dignity and worth of every human being.


EDIT:  this one is amazing:
EVEN THE CO-STARS OF THE MOVIE “50 SHADES OF GREY” THINK IT IS AWFUL (AND MAYBE EVEN A BIT LIKE HITLER).

President Jimmy Carter’s book, “A Call To Action”

There is a remarkable video on The Huffington Post yesterday.  In it, President Jimmy Carter is interviewed about his new book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.”  President Carter left the Southern Baptist denomination in 2012, after many decades of membership, when the SBC voted against women holding clergy positions.

“There’s no evidence at all that Jesus Christ did anything except to exalt women. Never has a single word or action been alleged to him that would deprive women from their equal or superior rights.”

Here is the link to the HuffPost video, and be sure to flip through the inspiring album of Powerful Women Religious Figures from Around the World following the Carter interview.