DiversityNZ logo

Viewing entries tagged with 'Brene Brown'

Will David Cunliffe's male shame change domestic violence?

Posted by Philip on 13 July 2014, 11:45 am in , , , , , ,

David CunliffeThere's been a lot of talk, both for and against, David Cunliffe's recent public confession that he is sorry to be a man. While I admire his intent, I think his choice of words let him down and weakened his message, for several reasons.

Firstly, personalising the message made it all about him and took the focus off women, for whom he was trying to advocate. He would have come across more genuinely had he apologised, on behalf of men, for the violence and abuse women endure from men.

Secondly, Cunliffe's apology for who he is — a man — indicates shame. Researcher Brené Brown is very clear, in her discourse on shame, that shame inhibits change. You simply cannot change your behaviour if you feel bad about who you are. The antidote for shame is the admission of vulnerability. Men, in particular, are nurtured to be invulnerable — which of course they aren't — and so many if not most men feel shame about their vulnerability.

Continue reading...

What I don't do and why (HT @thisissethsblog)

Posted by Philip on 2 May 2013, 2:04 pm in , , , , , ,

This morning I read a blog post by Seth Godin. He's one of my favourite bloggers, mainly because he's brief and uses ideas from one area and applies them to others.

Here's what it said (I've taken the beginning, middle and end — you can read the whole post here).

If your writing feels like nothing but easily defensible aphorisms, as if you're saying things that are obvious... Consider the alternative. Say the opposite.... And then tell us why. We'd love to know how you're going to wriggle out of that. And along the way, if your story is a good one, we might even give it a try. 

Continue reading...

Will the big guns have the balls to change gun laws after shooting?

Posted by Philip on 16 December 2012, 3:50 pm in , , ,

Today at brunch with a friend was the first time I've discussed last week's Connecticut school shooting. In itself I found that disconcerting – have I become so immune to US massacres that I no longer feel the need to voice my sadness and amazement?

But while I may have only just voiced them I haven't been without thoughts on the matter. Obama himself concurred that such incidents have been too many this year and the mainstream press has, in its usual clumsy way, begun to bring back into focus the gun debate.

What seems obviously different to me with this shooting is that pro-gun lobbyists, who have done so in response to previous incidents, particularly the the Colorado cinema attack, can't argue that more gun ownership would have stopped this one. To do so would be to suggest arming children for self-defence.

Continue reading...

Blame, shame or take responsibility?

Posted by Philip on 10 October 2012, 7:28 pm in , , , , , ,

The Mike Tyson and Gerald Shirtcliff headlines raise interesting issues about blaming, shaming and taking responsibility.

Both challenge us, collectively, to consider where individual responsibility ends and systemic responsibility begins.

I've already been anonymously crucified for challenging Tyson's suitability as a South Auckland role model in Facebook.

Continue reading...

From sympathy to empathy – understanding disability

Posted by Philip on 2 February 2012, 5:48 pm in , , , ,

I'm currently reading a very interesting book — "I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power", by TEDster Brene Brown. The book's core themes are the causes and connections between shame, courage, empathy and compassion.

One of the sub-themes Brown talks about is the difference between empathy (understanding) and sympathy (pity). Instantly I got thinking about the astounding amount of sympathy or pity people display about the experience of disability.

Brown says sympathy conveys the idea that you could not possibly understand someone's experience, while also implying that you are glad you cannot. "In most cases, when we give sympathy we do not reach across to understand the world as others see it," she writes. "Inherent in sympathy is, 'I don't understand your world, but from this view things look pretty bad.'"

Continue reading...