This Guardian piece was published a week before Trump was elected:
[Valerie] Aurora is a feminist activist and founder of Frame Shift Consulting, a tech diversity and inclusion firm. She has come to the company to run a three-hour training session for a group of men and women, teaching them how to use their societal privilege – whether male, white, straight or able-bodied – to benefit people who do less well in Silicon Valley.
Her workshop, a version of which has already been adopted by Google, isn’t aimed at the Donald Trumps of the world, says Aurora. The attitudes of the Republican nominee have sparked a national conversation about sexual harassment and sexism in America. Instead, what Aurora calls “ally skills training” is meant to teach people who both understand there is a problem and want to help fix it by taking practical action – including teaching men how to step in when they see other men engaging in casual sexism.
I think the stories of the last week of Trump supporters exhibiting misogynistic behavior suggests this should definitely be “aimed at the Donald Trumps of the world”.
And I agree with her stance on who needs to change their behavior to change sexist behavior:
Aurora sees Silicon Valley’s most prominent efforts to increase diversity as backwards. Encouraging women to give the industry a try and exhortations to “Lean In” – a motto and accompanying book by Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg – wrongly puts the onus on those who are marginalized to change their own behavior, she believes.
Instead, her “ally skills” training asks those with the privilege to change theirs. Protected by that privilege, as well as generally having more power and influence, they can speak up and are in a better position to take the heat. “It is the exact opposite of Lean In,” says Aurora. “Everything has been framed in terms of ‘what can women do to overturn sexism’. I have reframed it as ‘what can men do to stop sexism, because it is their responsibility’.”
Absolutely. The problem with sexism isn’t something fixed by women, it’s fixed by men. We’re the ones who are sexist. We’re the ones currently in positions of power. If we truly want equality, we have to be willing to give up some of that power.