Today we will learn some elements that make up the activist and fighting means of minorities.
EMPOWERMENT, REPRESENTATIVENESS, PLACE OF SPEECH, SILENCE AND PROTAGONISM.
EMPOWERMENT: empowerment is a recent term in our language and activist circles. Therefore, there may be different conceptions of its meaning and usefulness. Commonly, empowerment is used in the sense of socializing (sharing) power among other people. The empowerment of a group means the insertion of this group into spaces of discussion, debate, political participation, etc. Many activist groups on behalf of political minorities have mobilized to empower these groups. It is important to differentiate empowerment (which is a collective sense) from the rescue of self-esteem (which is an individual matter). Empowerment refers to the political achievements of a group or the effort for these achievements. The sense of individual emancipation is eventually also called empowerment, but it does not guarantee rights or protection to particular individuals within a group. For example, the empowerment of homosexuals has slowly guaranteed some rights in Brazilian legislation, such as a civil union. However, an individual who feels "empowered" is subject to the same risks as any other homosexual. The idea of individual empowerment is a conception of economic liberalism, that is, of social (financial) climbing in search of protection of oneself, in spite of the collective. It does not make sense from a horizontal society perspective.
Representativeness: This is also not a concept with only one definition. In general, representativeness is related to the participation of each group in deliberative spaces (that is, in the environments in which society is designed), whether institutional, such as chambers, or informal, such as popular assemblies. Representativeness can also be thought of as occupying positions of power within a vertical society, that is, important functions within the state and/or the private sector. Some groups also extend this concept to the visual representation of these groups in the media (movies, books, drawings, advertisements, etc), but in these cases, representativeness becomes questionable, because it can also mean that centres of power (media, government, companies) are using the image of oppressed groups to promote themselves. To better understand this, a question remains: what is in fact representative, the woman who appears in a beer commercial or a woman who holds a management position within the company that produces beer? The black man who appears in the government campaign against racism or a black man occupying a seat in the Senate? It is also important to think of representation as a collective factor, and not an individual one, otherwise, it is just a projection of a personal image.
Place of Speech: This is a more difficult concept to explain because it is somewhat subjective (it depends on the situation and the people involved). In addition to objective knowledge (built from research, from the scientific method) we also need to take into account people's experiences and livelihoods when we analyze social issues. We must always seek to add these forms of knowledge together. When an oppressed group expresses itself in the search for rights, it is important that people belonging to the group that represents oppression respect this space. Often, men try to explain to women how feminism should work, white people try to define for black people what racism is, or cis-gender people try to tell what being transsexual is. This kind of attitude is a disrespect to the place of speech, that is, it is a speech that comes from someone who does not "feel in the skin" the issues related to that form of oppression. But we also need to emphasize that no debate about politics and rights can be summarized to subjective experience. Nor does this mean that the oppressed are always right. It is necessary to use common sense in the use of objective knowledge to emancipate victims of oppression, not to silence them.
Silencing: "Silencing", sometimes also called "muzzling", is a process by which the people voice belonging to certain social groups are ignored or being superimposed by other more privileged group. Many times, the silencing occurs with no intentions. This occurs when someone interrupts a oppression victim during its speech and takes a conclusion in its position. Or even, this happens whenever a person is reporting about a oppression, then a more privileged person tells that it also has been there and the discussion becomes focused on the privileged person experience. Ignoring the victim speech within a discussion about the same issue can be considered a "silencing" too. Silencing is subjective, but also this is a common attitude, which aims to draw attention away from the victim speech and give attention to the privileged person.
Protagonism: "Protagonist" is the main character in a presentation. This concept has been extended to a political application so that movements become "protagonists" by those they are meant to represent. Those who speak for feminism, therefore, are women. Those who speak for the black movement are the black people. Those who speak for the LGBT movement are LGBT people. And so on. The protagonism also involves the occupation of positions or functions of greater visibility, bureaucratic positions and management positions. It doesn't make sense, from this point of view, that in a black movement its leaders, secretaries and communicators are white people. The protagonism is important as a way to combat the process of silencing and minorities and political causes erasing. As oppressed populations are generally excluded from representative positions in the various spheres of society, the movements affirm the political participation of these people from their organizational structures.