341 posts tagged gender
"I don’t mean to be a feminist bitch, but…"
My TEDx talk, a fast and dirty summary of the arguments in my book The Sex Myth, passed 10K views over the weekend. That’s double the number of views it had this time last month.
Thanks to everyone who has been watching and sharing it. And here it is again if you haven’t seen it already.
"Shared girlhood," Red Herrings, and the Creation of the Third Wave - culturallyboundgender (via mediumtrip)
I actually disagree with this quote entirely. I think feminism has become much more radical (by which I mean innovative and boundary pushing) since the explosion of feminism in the blogosphere. We’re in the fourth wave now.
A couple of months ago, when I was visiting New York, I went to a friend’s “not-Lean In” group. The focus of the discussion was risk, and at the end of the evening we each had to commit to taking an action that felt risky to us within the next week.
My own commitment was fairly blithe: I would strike up a conversation with a woman who was expected to be at an event I was to attend at the end of the week; an actress who had graced the pages of the magazines I had read was I was a teenager. I didn’t end up following through with it – partly because I never actually saw her at the event, but also because when the day came, I found I didn’t really want to it.
My declaration had been blithe because I had thought of myself as someone who already took risks. I had quit my job and moved to the opposite side of the globe three years before to make a career as a freelancer, a notoriously unreliable profession, hadn’t I? I had big goals and dreams, and I went after them (well, almost) wholeheartedly.
But with a few days’ reflection, I realised that if I wanted to take an action that felt truly risky to me, I would do something else altogether.
I would stop apologising for myself. I would stop making myself smaller and less threatening by laughing, or simpering, or following up my confessions of the full scope of my goals and hopes with a nervous, “I know that sounds silly, and I know it might not happen, but I’m going to try anyway.” I would know that they might not happen (because, after all, there are no guarantees in life), but go after them nonetheless, without always feeling the need to paste a disclaimer over them.
I would stop putting myself down in public, and on Facebook, splattering my insecurities everywhere for everyone to see. I would stand tall when speaking in public, and speak calmly and with conviction, instead of rushing my words or punctuating them with apologetic laughter when I get nervous, feeling presumptuous for daring to take up the stage.
When I was fabulous, I would be fabulous without hesitation, but I would be content to disappear when I needed to in order to make my next contribution.
I would be, if not a bitch, then certainly less vulnerable and more inviolable. Or more accurately, I would stop using my vulnerability as a tool to make myself more likeable, or to ward off criticism.
I’d like to try it, at least in baby steps. Are you in?