30 Days of Demanding the Change: Day 1

Spend the day focusing on the concept of power and how societal messages about power contribute to an environment that supports sexual violence. 

Power can be positive or negative.  When our power comes from having confidence in our abilities, or feeling a sense of internal pride, it can be a source for nurturing ourselves as well as others.  Similarly, when we choose to use our power to help someone, it can have a positive effect and is based on valuing equality.  Power can also have a negative effect.  For example, when power is used to gain possession of something, or to control a situation or person, it does not come from a place of equality.  When we choose to use power for gain (personal or otherwise), it is oppressive and harmful.

There is a societal value that is focused on claiming and maintaining power.  One ripple effect of valuing this type of power is believing and reinforcing the idea that you either have power or you don’t.  Instead of finding power from within and honoring another person’s power, the focus is on achieving power by taking it from someone else.

Imagine the change that would happen if we focused our energy on sharing power.  What would happen if it was no longer acceptable to take someone else’s power?

Spend the day thinking about how you define power.  How do you know when you have power? Is power based on oppression or equality?


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