Communicating involves a symbiotic and simple exchange between the sender of the message and receiver. The main purpose has always been make the receiver get the sender’s message. And if s/he identifies with it, it’s one of the most gratifying bonus ever. Communication ties up some loose ends and when we face some texts about the different kind of roles (social, racial, gender…), a word stands out: the role. And the crowd gets excited and forgets reading-and-listening about what’s being communicated. Actually, this term says more about respect and empathy, not about opinion, as many people believe. If you know these two magical and essential little words, we’ve got a minimum understanding of those who receive the message with heart and head wide open.
But how is it done? Is it possible to blend everything together in a mixer? What difference do these words make?
This practice proposes the creation of a greater collective awareness along with inclusive and fair spaces due to the expression of people who are so plural inhabiting in the same society.
Therefore, the roles are not there to shut people up. It’s not about taking the hand from one’s mouth and covering another, but let the voice of minorities echo. A black person, for instance, is the sum of experiences that that community faced and still faces. So, s/he has authority and preference to talk about racial matters.
What we’re talking about in this text is made for those who creates content (just like us), and also for any and every person that uses social media to vomit ignorance disguised as opinion.
We’re living in a key-moment, and in a certain way, it’s very positive, in which, every inclusion, empathy, respect, identification and behavior matters in communication has gained strength. For those who were used to traditional practice, promoting and reproducing fobic speeches, even if “it was not the purpose”, injecting diversity and representativeness is walking on eggs. Honestly, we eye roll almost everyday reading texts, comments and diverse content made by people who don’t have the tact to deal with theses questions. We just decided to ignore them all and focus on doing our part, as individuals. Always question yourselves!
Anyway, it’s important to get how the message has to be published: diversity exists and the movements speech must be diffused.
Protagonism exists and it’s a priority. And we’ve got to understand that the role of who is not a part of any protagonism, is not giving the voice, is not being a certain minority or simply determining other people’s behavior based on one’s own beliefs. We want to discuss, debate, inform, have more productive conversations, in order to understand diverse experiences, which are not ours. The more experiences and angles shared, the more diversity, and so equality can walk a step ahead.
It’s worth reminding and highlighting that equality is not a privilege. It’s having and giving the same treatment, conditions, respect, mindset and empathy that most people have since they were born.
Renan Quinalha, on his text to Cult Magazine, talks about the plurality of the different kinds of roles: “obviously, not all people speak of the same social place and have the same relations as the structures of oppression. It can not be denied the existence of “the roles”, but precisely it must be emphasized that “roles” is an expression always pronounced in the plural.”
If you haven’t found your place on all of this and wants to know if it’s the right time and place to open your mouth to talk, let’s go to a clever step by step (which was inspired in an infographic, present in two texts that are totally worth reading: this one and this one)!
Are you a minority in question?
If YES, your role in this is guaranteed, you have priority, protagonism, and can treat the subject the way you think that best expresses your experiences. One of the questions that may transform this role are the own minority members, that reproduce discriminatory comments. A gay person that is LGBTQ+fobic, a woman with a misogynist behavior, and so it goes on. The eternal deconstruction of the human being.
If you are NOT part of a minority, there are more questions to be asked.
In case there’s someone who represents the group which is being talked about, automatically you are there as a listener. Just pay attention to what’s being said.
In case you really has something to add to the conversation, talk, provided that you don’t offend the present ones. Express your vision, always respect the minority’s speech. But if there’s no one representing it at the moment, be even more careful with what you’re about to say.
DO NOT SPEAK if you don’t have a subject base, or simply if your speech offend someone, even if it’s not your intention. Always be open to listening. In theses two cases, the role is not yours, the speech is not your, and so life goes on, there will be many other opportunities for you to discuss the subject.
Do you have a basis on the subject? Have you studied, gone deeper into it, listened to reports of people who are part of minorities? SPEAK. Speak with the experience of someone who gets it, but not necessarily someone who sees yourself as a motherfu**ing deconstructed person, as if you have lived that situation. But clarify your point of view, according to your knowledge and background.
And one more time: listen, talk, question yourself and understand your place in society.