Several months ago, I attended a women business leaders networking/happy hour event. A friend had forwarded me the invite, and I figured, hey, why not? It was actually a bit comic as the event was being thrown by an internal group at Target corporate, and I’m 99% sure I was the only non-Target employee present. I crashed a Target party, you guys. Luckily everyone was LOVELY and didn’t make fun of me. At least, not to my face.
The networking event was a follow-up to a lunchtime presentation by the president of the White House Project, Tiffany Dufu. I wasn’t aware of the luncheon and therefore couldn’t crash it, which bums me out as the White House Project is utterly amazing and I would’ve loved to hear Dufu’s speech. Luckily, she attended the networking event and although she only said about four sentences, one of them is still resonating within me.
Originally posted 2013-03-29 06:13:10.
“The most common way people give up their power
is by thinking they don’t have any.”
~ Alice Walker
Quote shown at the beginning of “Miss Representation”
Last week, I attended a screening of Miss Representation, an amazing and heartbreaking film about how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in the United States. The film touched on body image, sexism, racism, the systematic demonization of feminists, the nauseating objectification of women, and many other issues that outraged and sickened me. Images of high school girls crying because they hate themselves, political leaders being dismissed for their fashion choices,and bikini-clad body after roiling bikini-clad body made me dizzy with dismay. And, if I’m being honest, it made me call into question my work, my writing, and my goals. I want women to be empowered, and in a moment of panic I questioned the value of style advice as a tool for empowerment. After all, the problem is that women are increasingly taught to believe that the ONLY thing that matters about us is how we look. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to contribute to that insidious lie.
Originally posted 2011-10-24 06:07:24.
More than a year ago, I saw the film Miss Representation. It was moving and inspiring and upsetting all at once, and even after months have passed I am still mulling its contents. One of the unexpected aftershocks comes in the form of a phrase that’s remained lodged in my brain. A political expert was explaining that the number of American women who show interest in pursuing political careers is dwindling. An oft-overlooked reason for this? There are relatively few women in politics right now. And – here comes the phrase – if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
Originally posted 2012-11-08 06:09:38.