Archive for March, 2012

Brené Brown: Listening to Shame

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

I just saw a TED talk about shame. The speaker was Brené Brown, who’s previously talked about vulnerablity.

This talk is especially interesting from a gender perspective, since she addresses the specific types of shame that men and women tend to struggle with. For women it’s more of a case of wanting to be perfect, and wanting to handle everything from having a nice home to keeping it together at work. For men it’s about always being strong and not showing any weakness.

So how does this relate to gender issues? To feminism? Well, feminism (combined with consumerism and the traditional female gender role) can be a driver of female shame, since it tells women that they can have it all, they can do it all, and perhaps they even should do and have it all.

For men, the obligation to always be strong (in order to avoid shame) means that it is very hard to address men’s issues. Talking about men’s issues feels like admitting to weakness, even though it’s really about vulnerability and being human.

Enough said. I leave you with her talk. Let me know what you think in the comments.