Speaking Up

Update: 2017-04-077


Whether it's asking for a raise or asking for equality, speaking up can be risky — even dangerous. This hour, TED speakers share ideas and stories about taking the crucial step to say something.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

support for this podcast in the following message come from rocket mortgage by Quicken loans lift the burden of getting a home loan with rocket mortgage and get a secure work transparent home loan approval in minutes skip the bank skip the waiting and go completely online at Quicken loans dot com slash ideas this the is the Head Radio Hour each week the groundbreaking Ted talks Technology Design Design at Stanford Ted conferences around the world gift of the human had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy Rush and other trade ideas about speaking up the cake in traditions of the Yes home and has had the I am from her he asked us not to use her last name because she's a human rights activists to us to live there and Bahrain it's the kind of place where people generally do not speak up me the advocated that hoof in school you go to University of Mary to have a job the bill some sane people support you as long as what you built is not controversial and a place like Bahrain speaking up can be dangerous I hear about my friend who was arrested or someone who has tortured imprisoned this is really not a game it's a life and death situation a lot of people get persecuted for their treats along so it is very scary and exactly what s red as she explained that the Ted stage but before we get into this I should mention that to protect her identity as first talk was not filmed it's actually not available anywhere online except for here right now so here she is the always outspoken try particularly in school but this was an environment in which you can really be heard during curse to be invisible and silent so as not to interrupt your daily routine of the salad was a for me I became increasingly involved in the human rights advocacy that is because the obvious thing to do us some who seek social justice but also because I'm clear is the primary class the but you understand why mention this time but be clear it made me understand and experience the trauma of being truly powerless and invisible it in our society as a denial for a long time about my sexuality I was overcome with fear and shame for being clear and I had to secretly hold on to this burden for the majority of my life because I still live in a society that finally discriminate against us and seems as for who we are in the rain homosexuality is a punishable offense verbal and physical abuse against LGBT community is normalize by the government encouraged by religious leaders but in my early teens I came across a powerful weapon the internet and a place for all media was state sponsored censorship and surveillance was the norm the Internet offered a unique space for dialogue and self discovery even as the government was deploying technology to censor our voices at least we had a venue to fight back and make our voices heard and if something was in character for me to be outspoken despite these challenges so I dedicated the last decade of my life and using the Internet as a crucial tool to advocate for human rights the yeah who knows us by Him in whom on the you know your family knows that you're queer we have he could find after this hike as it's not something every talk about at all and can't be that the now and they decide not to share it with me that they are rare and some not very open with that in fact my taco was the very first time in public with my identity and still concerned about the consequences involved it's bad enough that I'm human rights activists it's bad enough that I'm doing this as a woman now and clear to the equation and it's a cause for concern for my safety I guess we should mention here as for that year recording yourself and like the privacy of your apartment yes I mean is it important enough for you to be speaking out that you're willing to take that risk I mean I do think it's important you know and find him to preach it I have to live it it's not often that I speak out in such a public wake and play I realize that it was also my responsibility to normalize it I really didn't blind to be a part of the generation that doesn't pave the way to be speaking about something like this comfortably a lot of the time the Middle East is seen as just a backwards place for gay people get killed and where we have no aspirations there's no hope and there's no optimism that's why I'm still here McCabe just going to Canada and get a silence be done with it right and live a really open life that's not what i wanna do now and stay here and I fight for my people can't build a society or its okay for someone like me to speak up in not have to worry about dying or the show today speaking up ideas about when and why we do it and stories about different people in different situations we decided that despite the risks they had no choice they had to say something and in a stress case how she decided to speak up it wasn't my shouting out in public or confronting hostile officials in person instead she built a website where LGBT youth across the Middle East could connect online and discuss very personal things like identity and sexuality without the threat of violence or harassment we've had so many different people that have come across the platform and because these people are also you know I'm sharing these questions honestly don't care that other people are going to say to look so and so approached the ski Christian on Twitter asked you know we don't have that problem they sign up and they come to us and they say entry is tell me what is this LGBT think what is a T stand for is this a Western clit so we all stop having babies and eventually we are quickly taking over U S a conversation that we have all the time and the other thing is we have so many siblings of people come and say I suspect my brother's gay her I tell him I'm okay with that or my sister is a lesbian she has a girlfriend and disgusted by it and shy tell my parents because they think they might harm her or how do I you know commit to conversion therapy and get her fixed and so other people start speaking to a person without attacking them letting them know look it's not a question about that and they start having really deep and meaningful and from the conversations I think that's really important to have it's not just about half of the advocate is important by a community pride is not going to change anybody's mind is not concrete discussion it's really sometimes even considered provocative where people say to push ahead in our country faces and it's not that we don't wanna see that and so that kind of provocation and I have absolutely nothing against gay parades but I just wanna have a different conversation that actually involves the people are likely to harm us you know and I want them to know what we're going through it seems like for you speaking out isn't about confrontation but about persuasion guess who the confrontation on Sunday was making very little impact it works for some societies don't get me wrong I've seen it work in India I've seen a work in Mexico it's not necessarily working in the Middle East are so many people are sitting on offense and these people and I can be persuaded necessarily with the deadly protest for example I it's not just about regime change let's overthrow the regime of us it's not about the something I like deeper and their state governments that you know there's just no reasoning with them I lay there still a lot of structural challenges that you can tackle by taking that that second approach the in my life I'm tired of living in the shadows of my sight and even the world expects of cream in the Arab and Muslim world are now to Terry Keyes for now just sitting around accepting this abuse against our community taking a stance and highlighting the impact we have in our societies are not just building tools for ourselves rebuilding them for all marginalized members of our communities and countries so that we can all of the life of justice and dignity as there is absolutely just by me standing here expressing this Iris the whole attic so you better be worth it the the mice to be so apologetic for being queer but I'm done with that I don't owe anyone an apology for who I am for who I love him but I believe three women in the Middle East are building groundbreaking tools against incredible odds to roll over so many people want us to fail while we insist on winning in a tree remained in a society that finally rejects it is empowering not weakening it makes this fight harder and louder to make a mark intervals show everyone else that we present and the matter uh uh the do you d think of yourself as a courageous person the now well because I'm sure everybody listening to this conversation right now would totally disagree with you maybe listen to my heartbeat bill understand it's got so scared talking about this I get scared every email I sent I get scared I mean I cannot tell you how many times I ready to eat and I deleted within five minutes because I run back to my room anything to myself I can do that I'm not found you know a courageous person would be all over Ted dot com My photos are nowhere to be found online if you do them even though spoken at many different places if I'm going to speak up I have to do it on my terms MY terms was I don't want to be seen I want to be that public figure doing this and taking a stand and speaking out is hard it's really hard especially where you are ever moments where you you wish you could just curl up in bed and give it all up o everyday every single day so what keeps you doing it but mighty keep doing it because of that great sense of responsibility that I have that keeps coming back to me now living in pain there's no distraction the injustice is surround you and you can choose to ignore it I was going to haunt you I think every decade I get older I really do believe they start caring less and less about the consequences because you really want to have a meaningful life where you've left an imprint on society where you made ok and for me I'm growing up I looked up to the people who spoke before me and there were many of them will die or tortured or burned alive for speaking up the the these are the people that touch me and gave me the strength to continue and they came at a price to them Chris is going to come a depressed me but somehow even if you know a couple people next generation I think it's okay because there was someone who did the essay I think if if you become that person that somebody else can look up to you you made the right choice and speaking of the regardless of the consequences the the the x ray lives and Bahrain she also speaks up the rights of migrant workers in the Middle East can find her website at much all dot o RG that and a JL or the show today ideas about speaking up and in a moment what happens when the fate of the world the entire planet depends voice stay with us and Guy rise near listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR o Hey Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who helped make this podcast possible first a Merrill Lynch an affiliate of Bank of America who asks what good your future holds learn works with you to create investing strategy built around your life and priorities and visiting L dot com era Lynch makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch your spinner and Smith Incorporated a registered broker dealer thanks also to Wordpress dot com every small business wants to find their customer base and now your customers can invite you to create a website on Wordpress to Wordpress Powers twenty seven percent of all websites they have hundreds of customized themes to get you started just a template and making your own last twenty four seven support when needed so you can get back into business or Wordpress dot com slash radio hour to get fifteen percent off your website today hey before we get back to the show should tell you that an event that's happening this April so you probably know that many of the amazing Ted talks you here on this show are actually delivered at the annual Ted Conference in Vancouver and beginning April twenty fourth you can experience those same powerful ideas from the Ted stage live in select cinemas that Ted cinema experience will give you a front row seat to inspiring Ted talks and performances live as they unfold on the Ted stage in Vancouver if you want to get tickets and be among the first to see twenty seventeen Ted talks go to Ted cinema that calm the the it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and Guy Raz and I'm sure today speaking up ideas about what it takes and when know it's time to say something as the ocean gets warmer that melts the ice shell steak come out from Antarctica and Greenland into the ocean as though this is climate scientist James Hansen wants get the ocean to warm there's practically no way to stop and the impact of climate change on the planet was why he testified in front of Congress back in two thousand for teens they just made is blatantly false duo we don't how you explain climate change that occurred ten thousand years ago before man had a card and print all the incentives all manmade or natural end of the detected however and was chased the man made effect is now dominant this decade is going to be warmer than the last one and the fall when one will be still warmer but here's the thing this wasn't the first time James was speaking up on Capitol Hill because back in the nineteen eighties he was one of the first scientists to warn Congress and the world really about climate change actually my first testimony was after my first major paper on climate which was published in Science in nineteen eighty one and at the time James was a leading scientist at NASA in his article in Science magazine was kind of a big deal this paper pretty much told the story that you can't burn all the fossil fuels and still keep the planet that looks like the one that civilization on James Hansen except the story from the Ted stage in nineteen eighty one we published an article in Science magazine concluding that Earth would likely warm in the nineteen eighties and warming would exceed the noise level of random weather by the end of the century we also said that the twenty first century would see shifting climate zones creation of drought prone regions in North American major erosion of ice sheets rising sea levels and opening of the fabled Northwest passage that paper led to me testifying to Congress in the nineteen eighties testimony in which I emphasized that global warming increases both extremes of the Earth's water cycle heat waves and droughts on one hand directly from the warming but also because a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor with its latent energy rainfall will become more extreme events there will be stronger storms and greater flooding and all of these impacts have since either happened or are now underway the the the Hwy so this might all sound normal now but that testimony which was in nineteen eighty eight was really important because chairs and a few other scientists did something that was kind of frowned upon in the scientific community in Congress spoke up when he said climate change is real altogether this evidence represents a very strong case in my opinion that the greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now out yet so he said but its diff things haven't changed but when you made that estimate was it was a risky Freeman with other people said What you doing the nineteen eighty eight testimony was risky in the sense of the scientific community is likely to have some backlash about that because the scientific community is reticent to speak out until things are so certain that there's no possibility of having something wrong and there was backlash some people said James Hansen was crying wolf there were even calls to have been fired and the strange thing was it wasn't really what he said but that he set it at all they said if there were secret ballot we would probably agree that the global warming is there but we don't like a scientist step in now and saying that in public and even though James Hansen was one of the few scientists to speak out on this issue in the years after his testimony the body of overwhelming scientific evidence around climate change obviously grew by fifteen years later evidence of global warming was much stronger most of the things mentioned in a nineteen eighty one paper were facts I had the privilege to speak twice the President's Climate Task Force but energy policies continue to focus on finding more fossil fuels by then we had two grandchildren Sophie and Connor I decided that I did not want them in the future to say Oh par understood what was happening but he didn't make it clear so I decided to give a public talk criticizing the lack of an appropriate energy policy I gave the talk at the University of Iowa in two thousand and four and at the two thousand and five meeting of the American Geophysical Union this led to calls from the White House to NASA headquarters and I was told that I could not give any talks or speak with the media without prior explicit approval after I informed of the New York Times about these restrictions NASA was forced to in the censorship how did I get dragged deeper and deeper into an attempt to communicate the gravity and the urgency of this situation more grandchildren helped me along Jake is a super positive enthusiastic boy here at age two and half years he thinks he can protect his two and a half day old little sister it would be immoral to leave these young people with the climate system spiraling out of control so now you know what I know that is moving me to sound this alarm imagine a giant asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth that is the equivalent of what we face now yet we did either taking no action to divert the asteroid if we'd started in two thousand and five it would have required emission reductions of three percent per year to restore planetary energy balance and stabilize climate this century if we start next year it is six percent per year if we wait ten years it is fifteen percent per year extremely difficult and expensive perhaps impossible but we are even starting the what you think it's important for scientists to speak out because scientists are trained to be objective and that's the critical factor and it's a difficulty I have with both political parties because their decisions are influenced so much by their politics and other things so I think that the objectivity of science is really need an issues like this sister was one of the consequences if if scientists don't speak up well I think the greatest threat than that civilization faces because if you wait too long the system can be out of control with regard to ice sheets and sea level rise there's practically no way to stop and it's amazing how many of our large cities in the world more than half are located on coastlines the migration that would be forced by large sea level rise from Bangladesh in the Netherlands in Florida so we really can't let that happen and that's the big danger that we made a lock that idea so I did half to speak now that James Hansen he retired from NASA after thirty two years now heads up that climate science awareness and solutions program at Columbia University's Earth Institute you can find useful talk Come What do you think explains like this force inside of us that you like that that sometimes compels us to Him to speak out yeah I think it's something that psychologists call moral convictions the the we are as human beings are moral beings we believe and principles we are driven by values the mg Alinsky or not is a very compelling and motivating force for people to want to speak up it's not just that I have a strong attitude I believe in something that I really feel that it's morally right and because of that that's when people speak up and get the right thing even when the objectively analyze situation and no Ana suffer a lot of punishment a backlash for doing so Adam says social psychologist at Columbia Business School and he's kind of an expert on the stuff I study the dynamics that help determine whether the context in which people feel comfortable speaking up and second the how of speaking up to create the least amount of resistance the minimal not a punishment the Adams says besides moral conviction there are two other motivating factors that compel us to speak up when we feel that we have expertise when we feel that we have some particular insight or knowledge and when we feel like we have social support in our life more conviction plus expertise plus allies the combination of those three are really the equation that produces people taking that step four to speak up the Adam figured out this equation after interviewing thousands of people on all kinds of issues big and small resemblance keep on the Ted stage as people all over the world about this dilemma of speaking up when they can assert themselves when they can push their interest when they can express an opinion when they can make an ambitious to ask and the range of stories are varied and diverse but they also make up a universal tapestry can I correct my ball off when they make a mistake I confront my coworker whose keep stepping on my toes I challenge my friends insensitive joke can I tell the person I love the most my deepest insecurities and through these experiences come to recognize that each of us have something called a range of acceptable behavior and this range of acceptable behaviors when we stay within our range were rewarded and we sat outside that range we get punished in a variety of ways we get to Smith or demean or even ostracized or you lose that raise or promotion or the deal the the and you have you ever been in a situation like that absolutely at the Just as one example I give you from way back in nineteen ninety two I was a research assistant professor at Harvard and his research quite an eater were planning their trip to go to London to write a key study Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and I jokingly said when she I buy my ticket and he laughed in the next they said if you want to come to London you can come and then that became my first publication ever had and really helped my career and the number different ways and so you know I spoke up and I was rewarded for doing that but sometimes other people speak up in that exact same situation and they might have been punished they might have been seen as who you think you are asking for this thing yes and sometimes I have mis read situations and I've spoken up and you can immediately see that that was the wrong thing to do by everyone's expression of affection in the room the indictment says that's what makes speaking up so difficult because your range of acceptable behavior is vexed it changes based on the context of each situation and there's one thing that determines that range more than anything else of a match or power when we have lots of power are ranges vary why we have a lot of leeway in how to behave but we have power or range near us we have very little leeway and the problem is that when a range Narrows that produces something called the low power double bind in the low power double blind happens when we don't speak up we go unnoticed but if we do speak up we get punished now many of you heard the phrase The Double bind and connected it with one thing and that's gender women who don't speak up go unnoticed and women who do speak up get punished oftentimes if you're watching a man and we think biological call for something fundamentally different about the sexes but in study after study I found a better explanation for many sex differences is really power the the my research has shown of the last few decades is that not really a gender double bind it's really a low power double by what looks like a gender differences are really often just how are differences in the skies the the the adjuster for women is true for minorities in fact there's an old phrase for you know African Americans speak up be uppity great that represents this double bind lower social caste people aren't allowed to be speak up without getting punished and low power people in organizations and so what happens in any situation in society when a group or individual doesn't have as much power they have an error range of acceptable behavior they have little leeway in how they can behave I have power either wide range of accent
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Speaking Up