Power Tool #2 - Define Your Own Terms
Most high school debaters can tell you that the first person to set the terms of the debate usually wins. That’s because when we allow someone else to define the terms, we allow them to set the framework that constructs our thoughts. Just think about how power has typically been defined, as an oppressive power-over model. If we shift the definition of power to a power-to model, suddenly the discussion is about leadership, and the ability to get things done. Almost anyone can employ power-over, but it takes skill to employ power-to. It takes a skill to lead others rather than to force, require, coerce, or lord over them. Leadership power is much different from the use of force to gain acceptance of a goal. Watch feminist icon Gloria Steinem, CODEPINK founder Jodie Evans, young feminist leader Shelby Knox, El Diario/La Prensa editor-in-chief Erica Gonzalez, and others talking about their power-to moments, both personal and interpersonal. Was there a moment when you knew that you had the power to . . .(you fill in the blank)? What was it? And how did you feel? What did you do? If you didn’t have one moment, was there a process that led you to that awareness? What can you share with other women that might help them on their journey?