Yet, denial is still widespread
• A way to avoid change is to first refuse to
acknowledge the problem.
• And denial takes many forms:
– Questioning the figures
– Relativizing the situation
– Saying it’s already better now
– Making jokes
– Being cynical about it
• Leveraging different strategies as defense
mechanisms and protection.
Because change triggers fears
• Standard gender roles are safe and
• Change is uncomfortable:
– Will I lose my privilege?
– What is my new role?
– What is my identity?
– What Is OK and not OK now? I am lost.
Fear of losing love from the
• The patriarchal thread that runs through
all dysfunctional dynamics between
mothers and daughters is the demand for
obedience in exchange for love.
• Fear of “existential nothingness”, Mary
• Threat of loss of communication, love and
approval from man in her life.
Universal Stories/ Myths/
META CULTURAL LEVEL
Create beliefs, images, stereotypes, roles
EDUCATION ToysPlaygroundHousehold chores School Sports
INDIVIDUAL LEVEL Talkativeness
Political representationLEADERSHIP: WORK Boardrooms
Tech and scienceMoney and investment Public speaking
RELATIONSHIPS: LOVE Porn
BOYS Emotional intelligence Feelings repressed Violence
CITY Urbanism Transport
We need to work on many levels
Common expressions Insults
Big changes start with small
actions: which is YOUR battle?
My choice is to work on the
THE INDIVIDUAL ONES THE COLLECTIVE ONES
I teach storytelling as a tool to change your internal and external narrative.
Because women have been
excluded from History making
We perceive historical events from
white catholic male perspective
• Example: Columbus day
– Genocide or discovery?
– Mistake or historical turning point?
• Holy war or terrorism and slaughter?
• Fanatism or just cause?
Women’s acts and experiences have
been unrecorded and ignored
• The record of the human race is a partial
• The vision is distorted, seen from the male
• Women are the majority, yet we are
structured into social situations as if we
were a minority.
• Creative and educated women have
barely left an imprint.
A great unconscious dominance
way is to silence others.
• Speaking louder
• Speaking on behalf of
• Occupying the space
• Interrupting the
• Not listening to others.
• Making fun of the other
There is a contradiction between women’s
central active role in creating society and
marginality in meaning giving process
• Women are essential and central to
• Women have made history, yet they have
been kept from knowing it.
• Women have been excluded from creating
symbol systems and theory formation.
• Women lasted 3.500 years to realize their
own subordinate position in society.
And women are even more
targeted by negative narratives
You are fat
You can’t please your partner
You are a bad mother
You are not enough
Women don’t know
how to drive
Women change opinion
all the time
Women are emotional
These constant messages have a
huge impact in terms of self-esteem
Your significance in history is
key for psychic well being
• The myth that women are marginal to the
creation of history and civilization has
profoundly affected the psychology of
women and men.
• The denial to women of their history has
reinforced their acceptance of the ideology
of patriarchy and has undermined the
individual woman’s sense of self worth.
• Men’s version of history has become the
You are insignificant
• One cannot think universal when oneself
is excluded from the generic.
• How resilient have we been to survive
during more than 3.000 years in a world
constantly denying our worth…
When we see with one eye, our vision is
limited in range and devoid in depth.
• Men and women live on a stage. But men
have written the play and directed the
• Equal parts will not make women equal if
the script is still written by men
• Feminists point to that stage.
We need a system shift.
Like the one from Ptolemaic to
From you are nothing, invisible,
worthless To you are half of the
We need to reclaim power at
individual and collective level
• Women’s history is indispensable and
essential to the emancipation of women. It
changes their lives.
• We need a shift of consciousness.
You are the vehicle for change
• Social change is a marathon:
– Know yourself!
– Preserve your energy!
– Cultivate your positivity!
Now let’s work on your own
Universal Stories/ Myths/
• Give me examples of universal stories in
your country conveying gender
stereotypes. What is their message?
• Do you know any folk tale telling the story
of powerful women? Which one?
• Think about the last movies you have
seen, books you have read.
– Were they directed by a woman?
– How were they portraying men and women?
– Which roles did they have?
• Think about the city you live in.
• Any street or square named after a
• Which way of transport do you use
• How comfortable do you feel in them?
• Could you list some expressions or words you
commonly use which have a gender connotation?
• Think about insults, common phrases, expressions
with different meanings for male and female.
• Do you speak a lot or are you more shy?
• Do you tend to interrupt often?
• How much do you actually listen?
• Do you accept compliments easily?
• Do you apologize a lot?
• Do you use shrinking language?
• Which words define you best?
• How often do you speak in public?
• Give me examples of stories running in
• Any limiting narratives involved?
• Which ones? For who?
• Think about your house. Now or when you
were a child.
• Who is doing what?
• What were the last toys or outfits you bought
for your children or friends’ children? What
• Any books or fairy tales?
• Which sports do they practice?
• Which activity?
• Remember your time at school. Which were
the historical women you learnt about?
• Do you have different rules for sons and
• Do you like your body? Why?
• What about your daughter? Son?
• Which body posture is most common for
• How conscious are you about the clothes
• How much do you know about sex?
• When and how did you learn it?
• What do you actually teach your kids?
• Do you talk to your boys about consent?
Women’s pleasure? Contraception?
• To your daughters about their current and
• How judgemental are you about others?
• Do you practice any physical activity?
• Which one?
• Have you ever been confronted to gender
based violence? At home? In the street?
• How did you react?
• What was the reaction of the
• Did you have any limitation at work related to your
• Any remark during job interview or assessment?
• How did you react?
• How did you choose your professional
• Do you have a mentor?
• Are you paid as much as your colleague?
• Did you experience any harassment?
• Have you witnessed a sexist joke or comment
lately? What did you do?
• How comfortable are you with money?
• When was the last time you asked for a
• Have you considered being an investor
• Do you portray yourself as a leader?
• Would you run for office?
• Would you lead a company?
• How would you assess your level of self-
• Have you ever been inspired by a female
Now which commitment would
you like to make for the future?
It’s time to shift the balance!
Feb. 13, 2017
Stereotypes are trapping us in a box.
How aware are you of your own biases?
What can you do about it?