My husband and I spent the past week in New York and words really can’t express how amazing our trip was — but I’m going to try anyway.
One of my favorite quotes about New York:
One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
Or five days.
I went to New York for the Melanie Duncan Workshop, a one-day conference for entrepreneurs. (Be sure to swing by the blog Friday for recap of the conference.) But we decided to make a trip of it and stay a few extra days.
My legs are still sore from pounding the pavement of New York’s city streets for five days in sandals not fit for walking several miles at a time, but that is not a complaint. All that walking was needed to help burn off delicious food from places like the Meatball Shop and Calle Ocho.
But someone once said…
New York walking isn’t exercise; it’s a continually showing make-your-own movie.
And the movie I made was a feminist one. Here’s why:
This year’s candidates include words like “bae,” “basic,” “sorry not sorry,” “I can’t even,” and “yaaasss.”
Also on the list is the word “feminist.”
Why exactly would you want to ban a word that’s about promoting equality of the sexes?
Well, here’s why, according to TIME:
You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrityhad to statetheir position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.
Look, I get it. Plenty of folks are worried that feminism is becoming trendy and that celebrities, and as a result their fans, are taking on the title of “feminist” simply because they think it’s the fashionable thing to do right now and not because they’re actually concerned about gender inequality. But to write off the word as tired slang? Girl, bye! (Sorry. Has that been banned yet?)
I am a feminist and I called myself one long before Beyonce had the word emblazoned on a huge screen at her shows, but I can’t deny that seeing the word in lights on stage gave me chills.
I am a feminist because I believe in gender equality. I am a feminist because I believe in the power of sisterhood. And I think it’s important that I boast that label because it can spark conversations about important issues and because I can help dispel ridiculous stereotypes about feminists being man-hating monsters.
I think feminist writer Jill Filipovic best described why including “feminist” in this list is so problematic. First of all, “feminist” is hardly a label that everybody is “throwing around like ticker tape.” As Filipovic writes:
According to one recent poll, only 1 in 5 Americans identifies as a feminist. Perhaps if more women and men heard their favorite male and female celebrities owning the word “feminist,” they’d find the term less threatening and, by extension, think through some of the tougher social, cultural, political, and economic changes necessary to achieve gender equality. Because while TIME is suggesting we ban the word, American women still make just 78 cents to a man’s dollar, only 1 in 5 U.S. senators is female, 1 in 4 women experiences intimate partner violence in her life, and women still see their most basic rights to make their own decisions about their own bodies used as political wedge issues and litigated in court.
But never mind all that, because TIME finds it very annoying when celebrities are asked about feminism.
So if you’re wondering why I call myself a feminist, all that is exactly why. And if you’re tired of hearing me talk about it — sorry (not sorry).
UPDATE: Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs has added the following editor’s note to the poll: “TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.”
Each day in November for #bloglikecrazy I’ll be publishing a blog post that answers your questions about blogging, social media, writing, wellness or women’s empowerment. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I should have known Friday would be a great day. During my personal Bible study time Proverbs 28:1 was brought to my attention: “The wicked fleethough no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” And this was after a week of feeling God urging me to be bold in my prayers and to be more confident about my future.
Marla and Marcia Pruitte
a.k.a. The Pruitte Twins
Then I went to Cupcakes and Conversations, a ladies empowerment night hosted by inspirational speakers Marla and Marcia Pruitte, better known as The Pruitte Twins. The night was full of motivational talks by local women who true are movers and shakers in our city. Women who spoke at the event included radio and TV personality Eunice Elliott, Robin Ato, owner of Gracie Grove Venue where the event was held, Kimberly Davis and TaShara King of Davis and King Consulting, public relations pro Chanda Temple and Kanisha Shamburger of Created to Win Enterprises LLC. All throughout the night the message I heard over and over was to simply be bold. Be bold enough to dream. I knew I’d love the Pruitte Twins as soon as they started talking because they mentioned that they are fans of vision boards. A vision board is a visual representation of your dreams and goals. I make a new vision board every year or so because I believe that, as Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (more…)
The B-Metro Blog Team We’re raising our glasses to the power of women!
Last week I had the opportunity to cover B-Metro magazine’s Women of Power party, which celebrated the release of the magazine’s annual Power of Women issue. As part of the B-Metro blog team I shared highlights of the party via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Power of Women issue is my favorite. Last year I had the honor of being one of the women featured. The profile See Javacia Lead focused on my work with See Jane Write. I was quite excited to see several ladies of See Jane Write at last week’s party, which was held at Vino in English Village.
Abiola, Jane, and Shella came out and represented for See Jane Write!
The turnout was great and everyone seemed to have an excellent time. We enjoyed delicious free hors d’oeuvres from Vino and live music by Gabriel Tajeu.
Along with Vino, the party was also sponsored by Alabama Power and Cadillac, who showed off some gorgeous new cars. At the party I had the chance to chat with Raquel Morgan, a top commercial account manager at Alabama Power, about what it means to be a woman of power.
Raquel Morgan of Alabama Power
“Being a woman of power is about being willing to give back and being willing to uplift other women,” Morgan said. When asked what advice she would give to young women graduating high school this month, Morgan’s response was simple yet wise: “Enjoy life, but make smart choices.” Morgan has worked for Alabama Power for 15 years and says it’s a great place to work for women and for anyone. “I’ve been given so many opportunities and resources to excel in my career path,” she said. Morgan said that one of the women of power she admires most is Bobbie Knight, who is the head of the Birmingham division of Alabama Power. “I admire her integrity, her strength, and her intelligence,” Morgan said. “And she has great fashion sense!”
How do you define a woman of power? What women of power do you admire most? Cross-posted at WriteousBabe.com.
There’s often chatter on some of my favorite blogs about whether superstar Beyonce is or isn’t a feminist. Her girl power anthems, all-female band and determination to be independent lead some to say that Bey is absolutely a feminist. But some look to her sexy persona and performances and say she’s a pawn to the male gaze. Some folks even complain about her decision to name her upcoming tour “The Mrs. Carter Show.”
Despite the fact that I’ve been waving the flag of feminism for years, I actually don’t care whether or not Beyonce has the label of “feminist.” She continues to inspire me regardless.
I had no intentions of writing about her HBO documentary, Life Is But a Dream, that debuted tonight. But when I found myself scribbling down notes throughout the program, I knew a blog post was about to be born.
Believe it or not, sometimes I do have reservations about calling myself a feminist, but not because of the negative connotations and terrible misconceptions people have about what being a feminist means. Sometimes I feel as if feminism doesn’t fully describe my politics, my life mission or my love for and devotion to women. Feminism is simply a belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. But my desire to improve the lives of women and help them express themselves is about so much more than equality. It’s about sisterhood.
In the documentary Beyonce describes how much her love for women influences her work. She says, “I’m always thinking about women and what we need to hear.” And with those words she describes exactly why I blog and why I started See Jane Write.
Beyonce goes on to talk about how important it is for women to have conversations with other women and how much she grows from those heartfelt discussions. I feel the same way, which is why I want to build community here on this blog and offline through See Jane Write networking events.
Life Is But a Dream is a compelling documentary because it reminds viewers that Beyonce is human. Yes, her life is acutely different from ours, but she still has insecurities and heartache, hopes and dreams. She’s a woman of faith. And when she’s talking about her husband you see she’s still a girl in love with a boy, and suddenly the fact that she’s calling her new tour the Mrs. Carter Show makes you smile.
But obviously it’s when Beyonce talks about her concern for women that she makes my feminist heart flutter. In the documentary during a segment on her Billboard Music Awards performance of “Run the World (Girls)” she says:
It really pisses me off that women don’t get the same opportunities as men do or money for that matter because let’s face it: money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define our values and to define what’s sexy and what’s feminine. And that’s bullshit. At the end of the day it’s not about equal rights it’s about how we think. We have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead and reach as high as humanly possible. That’s what I’m going to do, that’s my philosophy and that’s what “Girls” is all about.
I love that she puts the ball in our court. If you see an injustice or disparity around you, do something about it! It’s time out for whining about men or “the Man” holding us down. It’s time that we take control of our careers and our creativity.
It’s time to take control of your life so it can finally look just like the one you live in your dreams.