Let's Talk About Power in Relationships

Conversation Guide

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2017 was a year of upheaval. Children and women are the most likely victims of harassment, assault and rape. Our society is now watching women with a public platform give voice to the ways in which nearly all women experience some degree of sexual violence over the course of their lives. And men are learning about the impact of their behavior on the women in their lives. However, we have yet to approach this topic with both compassion and curiosity across the gender divide. This conversation offers an opportunity to do just that. It is for people who are looking for ways to move forward — in partnership.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 2:

What are your thoughts on Let's Talk About Power in Relationships?

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • How do you know you are respected?
  • How do we treat boys and men differently from girls and women?
  • How do power and status impact seduction and dating?
  • What should the signals be from women? From men?
  • How are power dynamics expressed in relationships? at home? at work?
  • What makes for a healthy exchange of power between any two people?

Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ of the following questions:
  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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