Frances E. Kendall, Understanding White Privilege (via nadashannon)
This is wonderful. In college, we talked about philosophy as if it were warfare. “Defend your position.” “Take the best line of attack.” “Shoot him down here.” Ever since, I’ve been very wary of metaphors. They’re powerful, and they can distort and alienate.
This is a great point. I remember reading a book around 13 years ago about a large travel agency (at the time) that had a policy of picking a class of metaphors for use in meetings. As in, one week football metaphors would be acceptable but the following week it would be something like dressmaking, then fishing, etc. I tried to find it but didn’t have any luck with some quick Googling.
The time I spent in college with non-American born roommates (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, and Russian) was my first exposure to this. If your goal is to communicate with people who don’t obsess about football or war to the degree that you do, you may have more success if you don’t use language that’s foreign to them.
I’ve for sure picked up on these same themes - we recently had a large global leadership meeting and the North American folks used like a million baseball analogies that I’m sure were lost on a lot of others - but keeping it real, it sounded just as silly to someone who understands baseball. Clownish and desperate to communicate a point. And I think it’s important to realize that there are people who make lazy dumb metaphors in meetings and there are people who routinely and insensitively bring their own lexicon to the conversation and I feel like there are a lot more of the former than the later.
Totally hit this one out of the park, you guys.