Being told that, categorically, he knows what he’s talking about and she doesn’t, however minor a part of any given conversation, perpetuates the ugliness of this world and holds back its light. After my book Wanderlust came out in 2000, I found myself better able to resist being bullied out of my own perceptions and interpretations. On two occasions around that time, I objected to the behavior of a man, only to be told that the incidents hadn’t happened at all as I said, that I was subjective, delusional, overwrought, dishonest–in a nutshell, female.
The goal is for parties to learn from each other, rather than to evaluate perspectives and determine who has the "best" view. They participate in the conversation together, as equals. As they interact and listen to one another, participants become aware of all of the different opinions that have surfaced, and begin to examine them. Rather than trying to persuade or convince one another, they regard their opinions as existing on the same level as the opinions of others. Once they have laid all of the assumptions and opinions of group members out on the table, they can begin to do something that none of them can do separately. They begin to talk with one another rather than at one another, and to listen to one another's opinions. While they may very well continue to disagree, they can begin to think and work in some common area beyond these different opinions. The content of their conversation does not exist prior to or independently of dialogue, but rather arises as they collaborate and relate to one another.