The Wisdom Your Body Knows

You are not just thinking with your brain.

This has been a golden age for brain research. We now have amazing brain scans that show which networks in the brain ramp up during different activities. But this emphasis on the brain has subtly fed the illusion that thinking happens only from the neck up. It’s fed the illusion that the advanced parts of our thinking are the “rational” parts up top that try to control the more “primitive” parts down below.

So it’s interesting how many scientists are now focusing on the thinking that happens not in your brain but in your gut. You have neurons spread through your innards, and there’s increasing attention on the vagus nerve, which emerges from the brain stem and wanders across the heart, lungs, kidney and gut.

The vagus nerve is one of the pathways through which the body and brain talk to each other in an unconscious conversation. Much of this conversation is about how we are relating to others. Human thinking is not primarily about individual calculation, but about social engagement and cooperation.

One of the leaders in this field is Stephen W. Porges of Indiana University. When you enter a new situation, Porges argues, your body reacts. Your heart rate may go up. Your blood pressure may change. Signals go up to the brain, which records the “autonomic state” you are in.

Maybe you walk into a social situation that feels welcoming. Green light. Your brain and body get prepared for a friendly conversation. But maybe the person in front of you feels threatening. Yellow light. You go into fight-or-flight mode. Your body instantly changes. Your ear, for example, adjusts to hear high and low frequencies — a scream or a growl — rather than midrange frequencies, human speech. Or maybe the threat feels like a matter of life and death. Red light. Your brain and body begin to shut down.

According to Porges’s “Polyvagal Theory,” the concept of safety is fundamental to our mental state. People who have experienced trauma have bodies that are highly reactive to perceived threat. They don’t like public places with loud noises. They live in fight-or-flight mode, stressed and anxious. Or, if they feel trapped and constrained, they go numb. Their voice and tone go flat. Physical reactions shape our way of seeing and being.

“You might think that in everyday life, the things you see and hear influence what you feel, but it’s mostly the other way around: What you feel alters your sight and hearing,” Barrett writes in “How Emotions Are Made.”

When we’re really young we know few emotion concepts. Young children say, “Mommy, I hate you!” when they mean “I don’t like this” because they haven’t learned their culture’s concepts for hatred vs. badness. But as we get older we learn more emotional granularity. The emotionally wise person can create distinct experiences of disappointment, anger, spite, resentment, grouchiness and aggravation, whereas for a less emotionally wise person those are all synonyms for “I feel bad.”

A wise person may know the foreign words that express emotions we can’t name in English: tocka (Russian, roughly, for spiritual anguish) or litost (Czech, roughly, for misery combined with the hunger for revenge). People with high emotional granularity respond flexibly to life, have better mental health outcomes and drink less.

If bodily reactions can drive people apart they can also heal. Martha G. Welch of Columbia University points to the importance of loving physical touch, especially in the first 1,000 minutes of life, to lay down markers of emotional stability.

Under the old brain-only paradigm, Welch argues, we told people to self-regulate their emotions through conscious self-talk. But real emotional help comes through co-regulation. When a mother and a child physically hold each other, their bodily autonomic states harmonize, connecting on a metabolic level. Together they move from separate distress to mutual calm.

Welch has created something called the Welch Emotional Connection Screen, which measures the emotional connection between mothers and pre-term babies. By encouraging this kind of deep visceral connection through 18 months, her therapy can mitigate the effects of autism.

When you step back and see the brain and body thinking together, the old distinction between reason and emotion doesn’t seem to make sense. Your very perception of the world is shaped by the predictions your brain is making about your physical autonomic states.

You also see how important it is to teach emotional granularity, something our culture pays almost no attention to.

You also see that we’re not separate brains, coolly observing each other. We’re physical viscera, deeply interacting with each other. The important communication is happening at a much deeper level.

How Love Will Defeat Hate | Russell Brand & Deeyah Khan | Under The Skin

Documentary filmmaker Deeyah Khan is determined to confront hate and prejudice by meeting some of the most extremist groups in the world. She has sat down with White Supremicists in the US and interviewed former Jihadists to further understand what drives people to join these groups.
Her film “White Right: Meecomplexting The Enemy” won an Emmy and is available on Netflix. We discuss the role politics, class, feminism and everything in between plays in relation to this issue.

74:08
why do you only care when the
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perpetrator is the other man and
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similarly you see in the Muslim side of
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things as well you’ll see a lot of
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Muslim men who will be saying look at
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white American soldiers who are raping
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our women in Afghanistan who are raping
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our women in Iraq and you sort of go
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when rape happens by a white man you
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suddenly are women’s rights activists
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and suddenly you care I understand so
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it’s sort of like a confirmation bias
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meaning way of validating existing
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prejudice by pointing to truly horriffic
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transgressions and using them to bolster
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a pre-existing ideology of hatred so
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somehow your vile violence is okay
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because the other guy does it too but
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yes all their violence is worth and also
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earth and international level types of
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violence are considered necessary types
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of violence are considered rational
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expedient whereas other types of
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violence that are wacky religious crazy
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hands-on which side of the equation
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you’re on yes do you believe in God yeah
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I believe in love
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hmm yeah so so I use the word love even
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more than I use the word God why because
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to me that’s what it actually means it
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means a kind of a unity of purpose and a
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sort of benevolent oneness yeah how do
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you think that these ideas can be
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popularized and do you think that these
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ideas can be politicized and potent they
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are they already are and and how do you
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popularize it I think the fact that
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somebody like you does this and I think
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that somebody like you I said this to
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you when I walked in as well you know
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you don’t have to do this you can very
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comfortably do whatever it is that you
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do and be you know comfortable deal with
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your own kind of you know spirituality
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and your own practice and and that’s
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fine and your way of accomplishing
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change in the world is just by you
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yourself appearing in the world in in
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the kind of best sort of manifestation
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of yourself as you can and that in
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itself is is changing the world right
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but you’re choosing to go beyond that
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you’re choosing to to speak about issues
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that are difficult to speak about you’re
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choosing to engage with people who are
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difficult to engage with you’re choosing
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to ask questions that are uncomfortable
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and unpleasant but necessary so I think
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how we move the conversation forward is
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everyone doing their version of that if
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they can you know at the same time I
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don’t believe that we should sort of
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pressurize people or make people feel
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guilty or burdened by you know you have
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to do this otherwise we’re all screwed
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you know it’s people contribute in the
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way that they can contribute and if you
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just smile to a person if you don’t
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clutch on to your purse when a young
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Somali boy walks onto the bus and
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instead look at him and actually
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acknowledge him and nod and smile that
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in itself is you’ve changed the dynamic
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in the world a little bit so I think I
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think people underestimate the the
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individual responsibility and the
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individual acts of kindness yeah do you
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not they do well partly out I would say
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that we live in a time that place is so
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much responsibility thanks for those
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lovely things you said about me by the
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way
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that replaces too much responsible
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on the individual that we are told that
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you know that I guess we are given these
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roles in life as consumers we operating
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within quite narrow parameters I think
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what you said about hope is very
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important a lot of people just don’t
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believe that change is possible and when
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I think about why I continue to engage
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in conversation I have a stand what we
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were talking about prior to our recorded
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conversation I have as you clearly do a
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belief in the optimum in in there that
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there is an ulterior reality that’s
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trying to realize itself through the
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purchase nosov human beings that’s
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inviting us to overcome our personal
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darkness and to build systems and
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connections based on the beautiful
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aspects of our nature as opposed to the
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darker aspects of our nature when we are
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culturally encouraged to focus on
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ourselves and our competitiveness and
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our darkness our last and our fear we
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live in a culture that promotes these
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values so you are right in a sense we
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have to discard the way that you did
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when I was asking you about Muslims you
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still really kind of answer I want is
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like or what anywhere a scarf or a job
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all that kind of thing still would have
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liked a bit of a clearer answer about
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that because it’s not necessary that the
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fact that you think that that is
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something that I I should or that that’s
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something that might be an obligation
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you even care about it you care if women
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do it down relevant I mean I run a
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magazine you know where we are
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constantly support I mean it’s set up
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with the purpose of of showing the the
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wide variety of Muslim experiences and
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Muslim women’s experiences that exist in
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the world and in that you know we are
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publishing articles of women who are not
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just you know we’re here jobs but also
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wearing the carbs and you know women who
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write things that I personally disagree
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with but that’s the whole point you have
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to allow people the full expression of
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what it means to be a human being to
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that person and if that means having
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your hair out that means having
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every type of politics it means loving
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whoever that you want to love that means
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all of that doesn’t matter
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our job is to or my job I feel in
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whatever tiny ways that I can is to try
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and support people and facilitate an
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environment where people can flourish
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and be themselves as fully as possible
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regardless of what that means and
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regardless of whether I approve of it or
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not and whether I think it’s right or
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not but I also ask for that same
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courtesy sort of for myself you know
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it’s why I have to qualify myself as a
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Muslim through having to wear a hijab or
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having to look like this or hold this
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belief or that belief is is sort of it’s
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sort of irrelevant it’s it’s it’s I am
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what I am
and similarly there are the it’s complex
people are complicated and we have to
allow for people to be complicated
why
do we have to fit them into these nice
meat boxes just for our own satisfaction
you know these Nazis I had all these
opinions about them very neat little
boxes of you know they’re just this
they’re just that they’re justice and
shouldn’t they just this or and they
don’t people our people have many layers
to them and and to only define them by
their their their visual or their in any
kind of superficial symbols I think is
is reducing somebody’s humanity all the
work that I do is about is actually
about recognizing ourselves in each
other it is to try and locate the
humanity in someone else not so much to
find their humanity but it’s actually in
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an attempt to hold on to my own Wow you
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know and it’s Annie and that’s important
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and and I’ve said this many times and
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people kind of roll their eyes at this
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but you know it’s I refuse as a woman of
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color as a you know the long laundry
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list of you know the things that I
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consider myself to be I know what it
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feels like to be stereotyped I know what
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it feels like to be dehumanized and
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because of because of that I refuse to
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do that to somebody else even if that
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means a Nazi because if I am willing to
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somebody else then there’s no difference
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left mm-hmm and and that’s what I’m kind
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of working against is this kind of
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simplification of people this kind of
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caricature of people for from my
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convenience it’s not supposed to be
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convenient it’s supposed to just be
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messy and wonderful and complicated it’s
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supposed to just be human and that’s the
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battle isn’t it the you know the whole
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challenge the whole thing is about
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recognizing that I can see myself in you
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and vice versa and there’s something in
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that and once we can recognize that it
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becomes harder for me to harm you and to
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hurt you or to exercise violence against
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you and this is why on a bigger level
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why our politicians encourage us to
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dehumanize each other is so that
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violence becomes possible it is so that
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we can strip each other of our rights it
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is so that we can become reduced just to
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a consumer or just to a voter you know
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we’re not just anything we’re not just a
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hijab we’re not just a woman or just you
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know a famous guy who’s trying to do a
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pod car to you than that there’s more to
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me than that there’s more to the Nazis
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than that there’s more to the jihadis
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than that so the more we can get
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underneath all the noise and and the
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kind of static to the real heart to the
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real the heartbeat of it the closer we
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get to solutions and and you know it’s
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we can’t afford we can’t afford to give
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up on each other is how I feel it’s it’s
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it’s we’re all in this together and I
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think if we give up any if we give up on
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each other then we’re also giving up on
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ourselves and I think then we’re handing
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over you speak about power you’re about
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power you’re about power me too if we do
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that then we’re handing over our power
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and I refuse to do that I spoke to I do
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a lot of work with women’s rights
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activists all around the world and in
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particular in in with women from Muslim
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majority countries and again people in
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the West would constantly
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like to cast us as victims and as poor
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pathetic women who are being abused and
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this that and the other but what I have
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found amongst a lot of these women who I
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consider to be my mentors who I
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considered to be my complete inspiration
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is even in the darkest darkest
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environments they’re able to hold on to
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light they’re able to hold on to
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resistance they’re able to smile they’re
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able to love they’re able to laugh and
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they’re able to just do politics times
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10 and I asked one of them Hina Jilani
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is her name and I remember asking her
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you know why why are you hopeful you
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know why why are you such an optimist
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and she said she said because we don’t
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have the luxury of pessimism and I think
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that’s true and to me if women like that
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in circumstances that seem impossible
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and odds that seems completely stacked
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against them are able to hold on to
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their humanity and they’re constantly
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some of the women that I work with are
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working to bring their boys back from
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Isis and from various militias to try
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and and reintegrate them back into life
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and realize that jihad is not about
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spilling blood it’s about giving blood
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at a hospital if women like this exist
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when they’ve got everything against them
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then because I asked you this why do you
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do the things that you do the reason I
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do it is I was lucky enough to be born
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in a in a country like Norway and I’m
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lucky enough to live in a place like the
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UK for all of its faults and all of its
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stuff I could have been born and I could
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have been born a girl in Afghanistan and
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I think with all the privilege that I
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have and all the advantages that I have
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here surely it’s part of my
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responsibility to do something useful
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with that otherwise what good is it if
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it’s just for me if only I get to
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breathe and I get to be free and I get
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to do what I want to do what good is it
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if the woman next to me is bleeding well
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good is it so privileged do you good
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rent is you see as a duty it’s a
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responsibility
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see hmm you have to do something about
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it have you any thoughts about how men
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and women can relate to one another more
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positively in this time that seems to be
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seeing bifurcation and polarity between
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the genders I think my skill energy has
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to be reimagined I think what it means
86:45
to be a man the fact that the
86:48
associations to that has become about
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dominance and violence and power the
86:54
fact that men some men anyway seek their
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sense of self through through those
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things I think we have to reimagine what
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it means to be a man we have to
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reimagine what masculinity means and I
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think we have to liberate men from the
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very very tiny tiny incredibly narrow
87:14
destructive boxes that they get to
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operate within and I think we have to
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make it okay for men to feel things and
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to articulate their feelings and to say
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and this is why I appreciate what you
87:27
again I appreciate what you do because
87:29
again you being in the position that you
87:31
are and you being is open and willing to
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be vulnerable and willing to admit that
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oh my goodness you do have feelings you
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know I think it’s so important for young
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men to see because I think we constantly
87:44
talk about women being at the receiving
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end of toxic masculinity but I think
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toxic masculinity is also killing men so
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I think we need to liberate men from
87:54
that as well so how do we do that is I
87:56
think we have to speak about it as much
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as possible and we have to make young
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men understand that the liberation of
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women is not and feminism is not just
88:06
about women
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it’s actually about equalizing the sort
88:10
of playing field and also liberating men
88:13
from this cage yes liberation for men
88:16
from the narrative roles that they have
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been granted which ultimately I would
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say our roles that are prescribed by the
88:26
powerful directly but oh you know so
88:30
like we meant that I think this has gone
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on for substantially longer than
88:34
was intended you know often and I don’t
88:36
trouble you with this kind of detail
88:38
people would hold up like a things and
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like I really mean it’s 90 minutes now
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and it continues but I think you’ve done
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such an incredible work already I’m
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fascinated to see the work that you will
88:50
continue to do and I hope that I can be
88:52
of some help to you does it make sense
88:54
what I’m saying no I think you may be
88:56
mentally of course it makes sense what
89:00
you’re saying I think but do you believe
89:02
that it’s doable do you believe that
89:04
what I’m saying that on an individual
89:06
level is how we start oh and building
89:09
solidarity between people yes beginning
89:13
has to be non judgement and well-being
89:15
while being personally discerning I also
89:17
believe that we have to have a
89:18
relationship with the transcendent which
89:20
you seem to understand that I think that
89:21
perhaps the primary problem is we define
89:23
ourselves by outward and material ideals
89:27
I think that if we can start to
89:29
challenge them we can start to break
89:31
down identity and reform identity I’m
89:34
not talking about some sort of
89:35
postmodern nightmare where no one knows
89:38
what England is anymore I’m saying is
89:40
that was you suggested in your very
89:42
first controversial insighting interview
89:45
that we have to reimagine states that
89:49
includes all of us the best version of
89:52
all of us and I think it’s this
89:53
obliteration of hope to which you
89:56
continually refer that is an important
89:59
factor that we need to reignite rien Dao
90:02
encourage people once more to believe in
90:05
a new vision one thing I did want to
90:07
pick you up on was when you spoke about
90:09
politicians and their visions you sort
90:11
of spoke of it in the abstract and in
90:12
fact your body language was you placed
90:14
it over there somewhere
90:15
and I think that possibly the
90:17
responsibility lies with us the the time
90:20
for abstract leadership particularly
90:22
within bodies there as we now know sort
90:24
of operate primarily at the behest of
90:25
corporate interests you know with the
90:30
excluding one or two noble I think the
90:34
extremes are actually reacting to
90:36
exactly what you’re saying
90:38
I think the extreme that the the all
90:40
these kind of convulsions that we’re
90:42
seeing on the fringes of our societies
90:44
is an actual reaction to the
90:47
that we’ve been reduced down to
90:48
consumers were being reduced down to all
90:51
these incredibly dehumanizing labels and
90:53
I think their attempts are actually
90:58
Noble in Anna and I kind of it’s a bit
91:01
uncomfortable for me to even say they
91:03
sort of feel this but I think some of
91:05
their intentions are actually no wolf in
91:07
that they’re fighting it mainstream is
91:09
well yeah and in the you know that their
91:11
intentions are actually about love
91:14
believe it or not it’s actually not hate
91:15
that drives them I know we keep talking
91:17
about hate when we’re speaking about
91:18
people like that but it’s actually love
91:20
and loyalty for each other and for a
91:23
future that they believe is it better
91:25
they don’t want to they are kind of the
91:28
collateral damage of global
91:30
globalization of of kind of this
91:32
consumer hyper extreme capitalist system
91:36
as well and so they’re trying to create
91:40
more meaning and and to become powerful
91:43
instead of powerless they want to matter
91:46
because they don’t and also as a culture
91:49
we only you have to you know sort of
91:52
think that the only time we reward these
91:54
guys with our attention is when they do
91:57
horrible things
91:58
so they matter to us when they commit
92:01
crimes sorry they’re telling you that
92:03
was ninety five minutes that we don’t
92:05
even have a sign for that sorry so I’m
92:07
not to make a new side to amalgamate the
92:10
five and the ninety signs never been
92:12
used before in completely new territory
92:13
an imagined realm history itself but no
92:17
less I just wanna do these quick could
92:18
do you mind if I ask you these quick
92:20
questions which we may be able to use
92:22
for clips and stuff because they’re more
92:24
to do with contemporary issues okay so
92:27
we talked about Tommy Robinson and Asian
92:30
grooming gangs and you were extremely
92:32
passionate weren’t ya it’s inspired one
92:34
of your girl greater rants one among
92:36
many in the league table of deer and
92:38
stars in constructing his Donald Trump a
92:42
real threat to Muslims and minorities in
92:45
America yes how
92:52
because he is dehumanizing anyone who
92:55
doesn’t fit into his vision of what it
92:57
means to be an American and what it
92:59
means to be a citizen and I think his
93:02
continuous reduction of people’s
93:06
humanity in this way will ultimately be
93:10
a recipe for violence really good and
93:12
surprisingly sinked he’s wearing a hijab
93:15
or burka anti-feminist
93:18
I think wearing a hijab can absolutely
93:24
be feminist burka I have real real
93:27
issues with personally right but again I
93:32
am a feminist concealing well the worker
93:35
also you meet very often it also
93:37
includes a niqab so it means you know
93:38
only your eyes showing so I have
93:40
problems with that when it comes to
93:43
hijab I completely will support women’s
93:45
rights to to choose that and to wear it
93:48
line then where’s the cutoff it’s like
93:50
it’s a creeping bit of fabric that’s
93:52
gotta be stopped at a certain bit the
93:54
face I think well I think it’s a matter
93:58
of the creeping fabric but I think it’s
94:00
also a matter of the age of the the
94:01
woman I think you know like I don’t
94:03
believe in compulsory veiling for
94:04
children I think that if you are at an
94:06
age where you can make an informed
94:08
decision about you know your politics
94:10
and your your body and how you manifest
94:12
your you know idea we don’t even think
94:14
that the Nazis are making informed
94:16
decisions we think they’re making
94:18
misinformed decisions we think that your
94:20
hat isn’t making misinformed decisions
94:22
that no one’s making informed decisions
94:24
people are responding to stimuli that’s
94:26
bogus distracting and misleading what
94:30
autonomy is there what free will is
94:31
there what is there accept abandoned in
94:33
fact of our individual identity at the
94:37
sack to be sacrificed at the altar of
94:39
some higher ideal called love or God no
94:42
but I I don’t think that it’s as fluid
94:43
as that I think you know it’s it’s all
94:46
really went for it you know but but you
94:48
know you look at Iran you know
94:49
compulsory veiling you know it’s a nanny
94:51
and if a woman just you know lightly
94:52
loose and surveil you know it’s it’s
94:53
it’s a it’s a reason for her getting
94:55
punished
94:56
you know violently or with prison
94:57
sentences or with social ramifications
94:59
same in Saudi Arabia you cannot walk
95:02
you know the the the kind of conduct
95:06
that women are expected to expected to
95:08
participate in is incredibly reductive
95:12
when it comes to their humanity so I
95:14
think it’s not as fluid as that but I do
95:16
think in Western countries you know with
95:18
so many of my Muslim female friends who
95:20
do choose to wear the hijab I absolutely
95:23
support it I choose not to my
95:24
grandmother didn’t use it my mother
95:26
doesn’t use it but a lot of other women
95:28
do they have done in the past and they
95:30
will continue to in the future and I
95:31
support that when it comes to the burka
95:33
for me personally not so much will if a
95:36
woman sits herself down here right now
95:38
and says look here this is my choice I
95:40
really feel more comfortable this way I
95:42
would say great I will fight for your
95:44
right to do so but when it comes to
95:46
three year olds four year olds five year
95:48
olds I’m not a fan of that but can it be
95:52
feminist it can be I don’t particularly
95:54
like I don’t know how many times I’m
95:57
gonna say that I don’t particularly like
95:58
the book as you can imagine about it
96:01
yeah what about auntie fur our Auntie
96:05
fur as bad as the far right how do you
96:07
mean by as bad as you know volatile
96:10
aggressive extremists I do think that
96:14
aspects of the auntie fur are becoming I
96:18
think there’s a Co radicalization going
96:20
on I think the extreme right and the
96:22
extreme left are kind of feeding off
96:23
each other and I do think that in in and
96:26
again I think masculinity comes here
96:28
more than anything else I think in in
96:29
the attempt to outdo the other end of
96:32
the spectrum I think both sides are
96:34
becoming more and more willing to to
96:37
relegate their political views to
96:40
violent expression which I disagree with
96:43
regardless of which side it comes from
96:45
but obviously my political leaning is on
96:48
the left anyway so I mean I’ve been a
96:50
part of kind of the ante for protests in
96:53
my own life and you got that spray the I
96:56
did I used to be a Nazi when I see
96:58
remember that other day yeah remember
97:00
that one are they as bad as each other I
97:04
think it depends on their behavior I
97:07
don’t agree with violence no matter who
97:11
perpetrates it does have some general
97:13
principles like that isn’t it let’s not
97:14
have violence there
97:15
let people express their individuality
97:17
and up to harming others yeah consent
97:22
just basic ideas right there are some
97:25
general principles that we can have the
97:29
label saying no have we surpassed all
97:32
that people are just saying five stuff
97:33
out there now they’ve gone it’s just you
97:36
know people I am recording this we’re
97:38
having this conversation hey this is the
97:43
thing say when I chatted to Jordan
97:45
Peterson and he says that much of the
97:48
rise of the current wave of feminism and
97:51
the anger inhered within it is in
97:54
accordance with us a archetype known as
97:58
the I can’t really the exact sort of the
98:02
exact archetype is saying that it’s in
98:04
accordance with an idea of that sort of
98:05
a negative female energy like the
98:07
devouring mother that what we protest
98:10
against is the sort of like you know
98:11
that there’s the possibility for the
98:13
positive male the you know benevolent
98:15
king they’re cruel King the benevolent
98:18
mother they’re cruel mother that we are
98:21
experiencing not you know people took a
98:23
lot about toxic masculinity what about
98:25
toxic femininity that’s a good more
98:27
succinct way of saying that there is
98:30
such a thing do you think so toxic
98:32
femininity do yeah that’s the my
98:34
question I mean III don’t know how that
98:36
manifests itself I don’t know how was
98:38
right – rage rage against the patriarchy
98:42
commerce but how is that toxic I mean
98:45
it’s it’s if you are on the receiving
98:46
end of persecution abuse violence
98:50
oppression for centuries
98:53
then if women dare to be angry for once
98:58
and not fill that the prescribed boxes
99:01
of be a good thing of government be
99:03
obedient
99:04
be be you know be a good girl don’t
99:07
react to be polite if women for once get
99:11
angry at being cut walking brutalized
99:14
and that’s it yeah yeah but what about
99:19
min ago when you just said with Muslims
99:22
we can’t have one category that is
99:24
Muslim with 1.5 billion people this the
99:27
need
99:29
to verify the the feminism is that there
99:32
is such a thing as a woman and that
99:34
there is such a thing as female
99:35
oppression couldn’t we similarly regard
99:37
oppression as happening at the level of
99:39
economics of under classes that occurs
99:42
regardless of gender well but it happens
99:46
because of agenda it happens but but you
99:49
but there are multiple layers of
99:50
oppression though that there’s not one
99:52
women don’t experience oppression just
99:55
because of their gender women also have
99:57
class women also have race you know all
99:59
these other markers aren’t just the
100:02
luxury of men or just the identifiers of
100:05
men they’re also identified identifiers
100:07
of women so women experience all the
100:10
layers of oppression that for example a
100:12
working-class man a working-class woman
100:14
experienced all the same forms of
100:17
oppression that are working-class mandus
100:18
but she has one added form of oppression
100:22
which also is assigned to her gender so
100:25
a woman can be standing out in in the
100:29
streets of or Tahrir Square in Egypt
100:31
right fighting against the oppressor
100:33
against Mubarak at the time
100:36
the Arab Spring when that was going on
100:38
she can be standing shoulder to shoulder
100:40
with her male you know there they were
100:42
demanding for freedom and and liberty
100:44
and dignity and bread and and you know
100:46
various other things but that woman also
100:50
has the added pressure of being
100:53
oppressed and abused potentially by her
100:55
father brother husband partner but the
100:58
man doesn’t I also work a lot with
101:00
artistic freedom and an artists who are
101:02
persecuted and in prison and tortured
101:04
and censored for various reasons women
101:07
experienced all the same things as their
101:08
male counterparts female journalists
101:10
experienced the same thing as their
101:12
their male counterparts with the added
101:14
layer of abuse that comes with the fact
101:17
that you’re a woman I understand this
101:20
Jordan Peters I think I actually only
101:21
got familiar with him through your work
101:23
actually people kept mentioning his name
101:25
I’m you know I’m still not that familiar
101:27
with him I appreciate the fact that he
101:29
is tracked he trying to speak to
101:30
something in men who are really
101:32
struggling and are really searching for
101:34
something I really appreciate that and I
101:35
think it’s really important that
101:36
somebody speak to that however I don’t
101:39
think that that needs to be at
101:40
expensive women and at the expense of
101:42
women getting to manifest their there
101:45
for Humanity it doesn’t have to be
101:47
either/or that’s what I do but perhaps
101:49
then we shouldn’t be opposing those
101:52
arguments by using its binary opposite
101:55
perhaps we should be continually
101:56
rejecting those terms those labels
102:01
female male you know I’m not suggesting
102:04
that we’ve become some kind of beingness
102:07
but just be human we can I agree with
102:11
you I agree with you but I think I think
102:13
we can try to aspire to the label of
102:16
human but the the reason these labels
102:19
matter in the process of getting to that
102:21
place is until and until oppression and
102:26
violence and an abuse of women stops in
102:30
the name of their gender in the name of
102:33
because you are a woman you are less
102:36
than until that stops we don’t get to
102:40
the category of we are all human
102:42
all women want all feminism is about
102:44
it’s not an T male it’s not we want men
102:48
to have less rights or we want now it’s
102:50
the time of women they want women to
102:52
take men to take a back seat
102:54
it is about liberating us all to just
102:57
yeah but when you speak on behalf of a
103:00
kind of spiritual progressivism you
103:03
speak as an individual when you speak in
103:04
terms of gender you speak as if feminism
103:06
is one you near when I would imagine
103:09
there are possibility many times I feel
103:10
it is different no no no I I don’t speak
103:12
of it as a unit I speak more as the
103:17
general experiences of women across the
103:21
world having done the work that I’ve
103:22
done and of course I can only you know
103:24
be in contact with so many people
103:26
personally but in the contact that I
103:28
have had it is absolutely undeniable
103:33
that women are suffering in so many
103:37
different contexts around the world
103:39
whether it comes to equal pay whether it
103:43
comes to equal protection under the law
103:45
whether it comes to protection from
103:47
violence whether it comes from there
103:50
just basic dignity and human rights when
103:53
something is expand
103:54
even as global as that how can you know
103:56
like I’m a man and but my most important
104:00
relationship in my life are with women
104:02
there all of them like so like I
104:05
obviously have a vested interest in the
104:08
people I love most living in a fair and
104:10
equal society
104:12
yeah I’m not particularly unique among
104:17
men
104:18
you’re not other than the charisma and
104:19
the eyebrows let’s not rule them out I
104:21
like it in loads of ways I’d like my
104:23
priorities would be the people I love
104:25
and the people I love are women and this
104:27
is where I do have I mean I do have
104:29
arguments with my feminist friends who
104:30
basically say you know me some of them
104:33
do say you know men are kind of a lost
104:35
cause all that kind of right there are
104:37
different types of feminism I’m not
104:39
saying that there aren’t I’m not saying
104:40
that there aren’t to me the goal is that
104:45
we all get to a place where we are just
104:47
human that’s got to be the goal that is
104:49
the goal that absolutely is the goal and
104:51
that is also the goal of a lot of
104:53
feminists maybe not all as a woman
104:57
believe that one of the areas that most
104:59
needs to be addressed is gender
105:00
inequality and then I as a man believe
105:02
for some quirky biographical reason
105:05
think iceberg to do with class and
105:07
oppression that have dinner Lille I know
105:09
but it’s I don’t believe that it’s just
105:11
got to do with gender I believe that
105:12
it’s got to do with gender class race
105:15
icon it’s got to do with all of it
105:18
that’s that’s the difference I’m saying
105:21
that gender is one more layer of
105:23
identity or one more layer of the
105:25
experience of being a human being that
105:28
defines what that experience is for for
105:30
an individual for a human in the time
105:33
that we have here so I’m not saying that
105:35
it’s not class not race not all of this
105:38
it absolutely is but one more experience
105:41
is also gender and I also want to say
105:43
that you being a man and like you just
105:45
said you know your closest relationships
105:47
or you know kind of investments in human
105:49
beings are actually with a lot of women
105:51
I think where a lot of feminists are
105:56
struggling or where we need to do better
105:59
if I mean I don’t really like a group
106:01
thing anyway but there you go if we have
106:04
to speak in those terms I I think we’re
106:06
feminists could
106:07
better is to understand that we are only
106:10
going to win these battles shoulder to
106:12
shoulder it has to be man and women
106:14
together
106:15
it cannot be women will win this battle
106:17
and men will win this battle and then
106:19
we’ll somehow figure it out together
106:20
it’s we have to fight together but you
106:22
tell me how do we involve more men you
106:24
know every like when I’ve been to
106:26
conferences and and conversations or
106:28
whatever about violence against women
106:29
the entire room it’s filled with women
106:32
the perpetrator is male so where’s the
106:35
guy I reckon it’s by you know luck when
106:38
we talked about James Baldwin I mean it
106:40
go yeah it’s by reconciling that the
106:44
identity is non-binary of sort of a
106:47
modern gender politics idea within that
106:51
you have to liberate the femaleness that
106:55
is almost like a kind of internal brexit
106:59
well fifty-one percent you know wanna
107:01
leave forty-nine percent want to stay
107:04
any man is almost female that we are
107:08
closer to reject these terms to liberate
107:11
the female within yourself to
107:12
acknowledge that women are the most
107:15
important people probably in your own
107:17
life and not to commodify and objectify
107:21
other human beings and to look at how
107:25
look at your own life and see where you
107:27
do that and see and be willing to change
107:30
a lot of people aren’t willing to change
107:31
I think you can do with anyone who’s
107:33
willing to change you hasn’t ossified
107:34
into a belief system that they use
107:37
instead of an identity yeah but I think
107:39
that that means that both sides of the
107:41
argument have to as you said be willing
107:43
to stand shoulder to shoulder willing to
107:44
reconcile willing to have a shared
107:46
vision is about creating an ideal as
107:49
opposed to venting ray yes and I mean
107:52
ultimately the goal like we said you
107:53
know it is about how do we ensure that’s
107:56
that people’s full humanity and whatever
107:59
their dreams and their hopes and their
108:01
their loves and and and whatever that
108:03
whatever their vision of themselves and
108:06
their future is that that gets to
108:08
manifest its manifest itself in its full
108:11
flourishing positive wonderful glory and
108:14
how do we how do we do that together how
108:17
do we do that without demeaning each
108:20
other
108:20
and to me the answer it’s sort of in my
108:23
kind of personal sort of small life is
108:26
being empathy empathy is kind of one of
108:28
the most important tools and one of the
108:30
most instruments I think that we have
108:32
available to us that we need to deploy
108:34
in that and and there within that is
108:37
it’s about stories how do we tell
108:40
stories in a way that we see ourselves
108:43
in each other where we recognize our
108:45
humanity in each other where we make it
108:47
possible for a disenfranchised man to
108:51
recognize what it might be like to be a
108:54
woman who’s experiencing violence and
108:56
vice versa you know and how do we and
108:58
also for us to recognize that a lot of
109:01
these barriers are sort of barriers and
109:04
divisions these walls I mean Trump keeps
109:06
talking about building a physical so
109:08
what are you for but but you know he’s
109:11
been so successful at building walls
109:13
between us as human beings already that
109:15
wall doesn’t the physical doesn’t exist
109:17
he’s already being successful in that so
109:19
how do we break down those walls how do
109:21
we create some more in plural inclusive
109:24
future you’re an incredible person I
109:27
think that what you are doing by placing
109:32
yourself among the people that you would
109:34
have the most obvious conflict is a
109:37
brilliant way of metabolizing our
109:40
potential to transcend those barriers
109:44
and boundaries and create connections
109:46
and ultimately having the optimistic
109:49
perspective that you clearly have that
109:51
love is more powerful than I that we
109:53
will get there that you will never undo
109:56
hatred with more hatred and that we have
109:58
to continually reach out in love to the
110:00
people that we have opposed it and
110:02
certainly those that oppose us yes dear
110:05
Wow what an incredible conversation that
110:06
is I feel a little bit like I’ve taken
110:08
drugs word drugs likewise thank you
110:14
you know thanks for watching this
110:16
podcast and going all the way to the end
110:18
of it was using kind of to kick the bell
110:19
when I’ve been able over there and
110:21
they’re subscribing so that we can
110:23
infiltrate your serenity and peace of
110:27
mind with jangling bells and buzzers

For retailers and brands “the moment of truth” has already passed

In the 1980s, former Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) CEO Jan Carlzon transformed the struggling carrier into a leader by turning customer service into an obsession. In doing so, he coined the phrase TheMoment of Truth to describe the exact point in time a customer made contact with a SAS employee — when SAS had to prove its value in order to keep the customer.

For SAS, Carlzon preached, the collective outcome of these Moments of Truth — 50 million of them per year, he tallied — ultimately determined the success or failure of his company.

Walmart founder Sam Walton put the same phrase into action by instituting the retailer’s famous Ten Foot Rule. Employees who came within 10 feet of customers were expected to greet them to influence The Moment of Truth at the shelf when they decided whether to buy a product.

In 2005, Proctor & Gamble declared The Moment of Truth to be about the customer’s experience with a product:

  • seeing it in a store or online,
  • buying and
  • using it, and
  • offering feedback about it.

In 2011, Google (perhaps not surprisingly) proclaimed The Moment of Truth to be when a customer researched a product online before making a purchase.

Fast forward to today. Given the massive disruption in retail over the past decade, if you asked a hundred consumers or retailers to define The Moment of Truth, you’d get just as many answers. That’s because for retailers and brands, The Moment of Truth has passed. It’s been replaced by the sum of the consumer’s connected experiences.

Here’s why: As consumers, the value we once associated with the act of buying a product has diminished. Sure, there are lots of ways to buy products today — online, in stores, using mobile payments and even digital currencies. But in an omnichannel world, every successful transaction is still just a transaction. A non-event, not a memorable experience that creates lasting value. Ironically, it’s often memorable only if something goes wrong.

Today, brands at the vanguard don’t push products. They curate connected customer experiences by leveraging partners to create ecosystems of value for consumers.

Take Airbnb. They’re not just selling rooms, they’re delivering a broader, more satisfying travel experience involving such diverse experiences as violin making in Paris, truffle hunting in Tuscany or driving classic cars in Malibu.

Or consider Ikea’s acquisition of Task Rabbit. It improves the home furnishing experience by taking the frustration of assembling furniture off the table.

For consumers, it’s no longer just about buying a product or service. It’s about anticipating memorable experiences from their favorite brands, regardless of industry. In today’s connected economy, customers are placing more value on their experiences than the products or services they’re consuming. They want experiences that make their lives easier and precisely reflect their preferences, needs and aspirations.

Think about it. Decades ago, a Moment of Truth with a retailer or brand was when a customer in a store interacted with a salesperson or spoke with a customer service rep by phone. With the dawn of the Web and e-commerce, the number of these touch points exploded. Today, the Internet of Things has brought the digital insights of the online world to the physical world. Using machine learning and augmented intelligence, retailers and brands design highly personalized customer journeys spanning the real world and the digital world, which to consumers are one.

For today’s connected consumer, the most recent great experience with a retailer or brand automatically raises the bar for all other competitors going forward. It’s become a virtuous cycle that’s made them feel empowered, always expecting more.

For retailers and brands, this has made connected customer experiences the new competitive battlefield. Instead of pushing products, they must now sell great customer experiences that play out seamlessly across their integrated physical and digital worlds.

Leading born-on-the-Web retailers such as Amazon understand the importance of connected consumer experiences for creating greater value. That’s why industry pundits are so intrigued by the company’s foray into brick-and-mortar stores and its acquisition of the Whole Foods supermarket chain. They’re eager to see what it holds for the connected customer experience.

For retailers and brands, the implications of Connected Consumer Experiences are daunting. How do data-driven marketers reconcile the new Moment of Truth — the sum total of the consumer’s connected experiences?

They have to go well beyond selling products to address broader consumer needs and aspirations like beauty, adventure, health or wellness. They must orchestrate customer experiences that span multiple brands, service providers and commercial ecosystems.

Instead of static product offers, carefully designed connected experiences need to continuously raise the bar, feeding the virtuous cycle of consumer expectations. Imagine if a fitness equipment store went beyond its traditional boundaries to serve its customers — as an example, when a consumer buys a rowing machine, the store offers not just assembly services but also

  • fitness apparel,
  • nutritional supplements and a
  • trial membership at a local rowing club.

Doing this at scale is a tall order. It requires capitalizing on the gold mine of customer data retailers are sitting on and IoT insights from the physical world, including stores. Connecting, analyzing and sharing it in real-time across company silos and with their new partners in value to

  • understand,
  • anticipate and
  • satisfy customer needs.

And most important — continuously detecting and learning new consumer consumption patterns so customer experiences get better and better.

The new marching orders for retailers and brands are clear: they must deliver connected consumer experiences that add up to The Moment of Truth.

 

The Welfare State Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

A social entrepreneur in Britain shows the way.

I met Cottam in London last week and she made the point that welfare systems are often designed to manage needs, but they are not designed to build capabilities so that families can stand on their own.

Moreover, most Western systems were not designed to confront the kind of poverty prevalent today. When these systems were put in place in the 1950s and ’60s, unemployment was more often a temporary thing that happened between the time you got laid off from a big employer and the time you got hired by a new one. Now, economic insecurity is often a permanent state, as people patch together different jobs to make ends meet. Health issues for people in the welfare system are often chronic — obesity, diabetes, many forms of mental illness.

Our legacy welfare structures are ill suited to today’s poverty.

For example, Ella was asked if she would like to lead a “life team” that would help her family turn around. She agreed. She was given the power to select the eight people from across agencies who would comprise the team. She chose people from social work, the housing authority and the police force.

Members of the team spent 80 percent of their time with the family and only 20 percent on administration. Ella and the team worked together to stabilize her most immediate issue — negotiating away eviction notices. Then the team worked to improve inter-family dynamics so there wasn’t so much violence and screaming.

Cottam has designed other programs with a similar collaborative ethos. Backr is a program that takes people who are detached from the labor force and helps them join extended social networks where they can connect one another to job openings and develop skills. Circles is a program for the elderly. It brings together lonely seniors into small groups that are part social club, part concierge service and part self-help cooperative. Wellogram is a similar social structure for the chronically ill.

Basically, Cottam’s programs create villages within the welfare state. Her systems are not designed around individual clients, but around relational networks. People tend to have better outcomes when they are held accountable by a network of peers. Three-quarters of the smokers in Wellogram successfully quit, 44 percent lowered their blood pressure, 64 percent started work or went back to school.

The old legacy welfare programs were designed for people enmeshed in thick communities but who had suffered a temporary setback. Today many people lack precisely that web of thick relationship. The welfare state of the future has to build the social structures that people need to thrive. This is one way government can build community.