Tue Apr 7 2015 - Thu Apr 30 2015, 12:00 am
We all have a story.
“Be a man.” “Act like a lady.” We have all encountered society’s norms and stereotypes around gender—the way a man or a woman is “supposed to be.”
These norms hold us all back. They allow us to be only some parts of our best, most authentic selves. And often, they lead to discrimination and violence, whether “micro-violence” such as bullying or street harassment, or overt physical abuse. But in storytelling our experiences, we will find power and community. Join us.
Here’s the power of sharing yours.
Breakthrough is launching an exciting new storytelling project—and we need you to join us.
We are collecting, curating, and presenting personal stories from men, women, and everyone, regardless of gender-identity and sexual orientation. These stories will become a part of an interactive project designed to illuminate—and ultimately transform—gender-based norms and stereotypes, discrimination and violence.
Why stories? Stories connect us. Stories make the private public. Stories help us make sense of ourselves and our choices. Stories show how some challenges are not just personal, but societal. In telling stories, we have the power to envision, and create, the world we want to live in. Stories—including yours—can change culture. And the world.
So let’s think.
Do you recall a time when you were held back, held someone else back, or you intervened when seeing someone held back because of gender (norms, stereotypes, expectations, or bias)? And did this change you? What did you do about it? Did you take action? Were you inspired?
You could tell us about:
1. How you responded to being teased for throwing, crying, or anything-ing “like a girl.”
2. How you faced violence within your home or family and grew from the experience.
3. How you dealt with being told that you could not do/be/wear/sing/try something because of expectations around your gender. Did that change you?
4. How your experience with gender-based discrimination or violence inspired you to make change your own, or someone else’s life.
5. When your buddies or teammates did something you felt crossed the line—and you spoke up. How did that make you feel?
If you have a story to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a story but don’t know how to express it, email us anyway! We’ll talk it through with you.