Advice from Dionysos: When You Wrong the Disempowered

Odd hours, but I had an interesting dream that bears repeating. Weirdly, it was Dionysos, ranting on an issue, and I really needed to write it down before I forgot it. I just woke up, so I’ll evaluate it later. Brackets are words I added later for clarity, but were clearly implied, either by context or emotion. I’m not doing it justice, and each portion of this little blurb had illustrations which now elude me, because I’ve been awake too long already.

When you wrong the disempowered in your community, it’s important to set it right.

Whether the injury is a micro or macro [aggression], whether against a person because of their size, gender, race, [or whatever other reason], the injury –more often than not– is that you’ve taken power and voice away from that group of people.

You’ve taken their voice away by defining for them who they are — by making stupid assumptions, or using stupid language that boxes them [in].

The best way to right the wrong is to acknowledge it as soon as you become aware of it, and to give voice and power back to the people it has been taken away from. Ask them [what they need to make it right].

Symposia can be really important community tools: not to create an open dialogue where everyone’s voice is heard equally on the issue, but a [directed] dialogue where the aggrieved can express themselves in whatever way [they need] — whether that is through ranting, poetry, monologue, it doesn’t matter. It’s their catharsis. It’s you giving them their voice and power back.

Somehow, if someone intentionally made me feel like crap about my size, or about my neurological lack of spatial awareness, I do not think I’d want to be given space to rant. I’d prefer a direct and quiet back-room apology from whoever said the mean thing. If someone made a genderist comment, however, or made some comment about my sexual orientation, I most probably would feel like ranting at somebody. That’s why asking what the person needs is so important. It can really vary from person to person or issue to issue.

It kind of reminded me of this button poetry piece:

5 comments

  1. owanderer

    Reblogged this on Snakeskin and commented:
    Dionysos recently arrived into my life. I think He might be who from I inherit my social justice rage. Hm. And my interest in theater.

    *squints and side-eyes own life*

    He’s been here all along! ❤

    Yay Dionysos!

    Also, Thenea, kudos to you for being able to remember words in your dreams so clearly. I am a lucid dreamer and travel to the otherworlds in my sleep yet I can still only remember 2-3 sentences. Images work best.

    • Thenea

      Yeah. The images are all gone already. I frequently wake up with entire fully written songs inside of my head. Of course, I’m often too sluggish when I wake up from a dream to write them down, and then I go back to sleep and they are gone. This time, I managed to actually get my butt out of bed.

      Social justice rage does seem to be very Dionysian. And Ariadne is very much in that camp, too.

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