Girl with Pen:

Embracing Controversy

Politics writ large is the clash of uncertainties from which social realities are constructed… You are groundbreakers. Your mission is creating new social realities. We tend to recoil from controversy, women especially. Learning to walk into the wave of controversy and ride it rather than backing away from it is by far the most important political communication lesson I learned and that I want to impart to you.

Like Margaret Sanger and Rosa Parks, we are revolutionaries. We are insurgents. We are a movement. And a movement has to move. Forward. More or less together. And when we do that we will make some waves. We will create some controversy. We will tick some people off. That is a good thing. Parks and Sanger had to do civil disobedience—so our task is easy, we just have to use our freedom of speech.

We must learn not just to deal with or dodge but to embrace controversy. Controversy is your friend. Think of 6 “C’s”:

Controversy is the
Courage to risk putting your
Convictions out there to the world, using the controversy strategically, because controversy is a Clarifier—it gets people’s attention so you can use your platform to present your
Case at a time when people are paying attention, and therefore controversy is a
Change agent—because to make change you have to make people think differently, learn new things, and clarify their values.

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