Single Stories stereotype and dehumanize people. It is not so much that they are untruthful as they are incomplete. It simply does not acknowledge the complexity of a human being.
Second Stories is the platform to start introducing oneself with ‘secondly,’ a platform to get to know people through multiple stories that they, themselves, find to accurately describe their identity, complexity, and humanity.
Single Stories take away the curiosity and imagination of society towards what else a person is next to a refugee, what abilities someone has next to being poor, what traits next to being gay, and what talents next to disabled. When society no longer imagines beyond the Single Story it stops offering opportunities beyond this.
Exclusion and Discrimination
Single Stories dehumanise and often end up marginalising vulnerable groups, as the choice of what a Single Story includes is up to the ones in power. A Single Story can lead to exclusion and discrimination of those affected by it.
Power of Language
Some Stories tend to be told over and over again, in different versions, due to a lack of further information. Other Stories are purposely kept one-sided as a result of power structures in the world. When one has only a Single Story to refer to, this can lead to generalisation.
Complexity and completeness
A Second Story is every story that a Single Story leaves out. These stories add to the completeness and complexity of the person that the Single Story fails to describe. It is relevant to the identity of the individual and/or their group and values their diversity.
With many Second Stories, we aim to find ourselves with multi-facetted stories about the people we listen to and curiosity towards the people who have yet to reach the stage.
Intersectionality means to us to recognise that people’s identities overlap and intersect and form the complexity and humanity of every human being. We are more than one Single Story that is told about us. Second Stories acknowledge the intersectionality of every human.
Intersectional Discrimination describes how systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class and other forms of discrimination overlap. Black persons from the LGBTQIA+ community, women with and without disabilities are experiencing different forms of discrimination.