Hedonisia Diversity & Free Speech Workshops – DFS

Enjoying Free Speech in a Diverse and Increasingly Sensitive World

"Identity politics is a political approach wherein people of a particular gender, religion, race, social background, class or other identifying factors, develop political agendas that are based upon theoretical interlocking systems of oppression that may affect their lives and come from their various identities."

Identity politics is a crucial component of what is known as DEI, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Though its goal to reduce prejudice is noble, a compilation of studies by the Heterodox Academy shows that DEI programs offered in many corporations and organizations have further divided people by social, gender, and racial identities. 

Diversity and Free Speech for Company Team Cohesion

Diversity & Free Speech for Company Team Cohesion

DEI has become a continual effort to divide people into "marginalized" and "oppressors" because of their social identity. This ideological approach has now become the norm in many countries of the West, especially unilingual English-speaking countries such as the United States, Australia, and England. A satirical way to describe DEI is the "Oppression Olympics". 

Under DEI, the most sensitive member of any marginalized group can reset the community standard based on phrases and words that offend them. This creates a cancel culture that has no end because the standard is increasingly lowered to the most sensitive person of a social identity group. It becomes a censorship smorgasbord with an ever-increasing list of forbidden words or phrases.

DFS: An Alternative to DEI Programs Used in the Workplace Today

The Hedonisia DFS program has a different approach to communication than DEI. It is based on the following:

PREP - Personal Responsibility Encourages Politeness. 

Any open discussion will often bring up issues of race, culture, gender, orientation, and other ‘hot button’ issues. With PREP communication guidelines, we try to create a safe container for participants to feel comfortable enough to communicate freely with others of differing political views, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations.

1. Personal Responsibility

While a word or expression is offensive to one person that does not mean it is offensive to others of the same demographic or social identity. People of diverse backgrounds can speak from their personal experiences.

It is important to make the distinction between personal offense and being offended on behalf of a group. 'Trigger Words' and 'micro-aggressions' are personal. They are not objective indicators of bigotry.

The advantage of taking personal responsibility when you are offended is that it allows you to tell a little bit why that word or phrase is hurtful to you. You can share an anecdote or a personal experience—anything to your comfort level.

2. Personal Politeness

In most cultures, is natural and polite not to say something personally offensive to another. That is the essence of living in a civilized society.

Once it is known that a word is personally offensive, most polite people would not use the word when in the presence of the offended person. However, when they are with other friends, they are free to use the word again without any feeling of guilt. This is a much better outcome than feeling censored forever using that word based on one person's offense.

SISC: Social Identity Sensitivity Check

Everyone has different social identities. Each person has different sensitivities based on those identities. Sensitivity often depends on events in their life that had a lasting impact. A SISC score allows an individual to look inside and see whether their sensitivity is High, Low, or Medium with each social identity they feel part of.

SISC allows adults to negotiate their personal and political sensitivities with each other. Every individual can share a single number for others to know the level of sensitivity they have about Jokes, Ignorance, Stereotypes, or Criticism (JISC) concerning any of their social identities.

RISC: Racial Identity Sensitivity Check

We also identify how and why we are offended on behalf of others. A RISC score allows us to make a distinction between personal offense and being offended on behalf of a racial group.

Diversity and Free Speech Workshop. An Alternative to DEI

Hedonisia Diversity and Free Speech

Online Workshops

  • DFS Business Communication Workshop: Unlike DEI, we teach how to personalize rather than politicize offense to de-escalate tensions that can arise when someone feels offended by a joke or criticism they feel is sexist, homophobic, racist, etc.
  • Private Workshops for Individuals or Couples. Many adults would like to practice these free-speech communication tools without the social anxiety that some feel when participating in a social group. Private sessions are also for those who are facing a social or work-related challenge related to diversity.