Why? Let’s face it—history has largely been defined through the male lens, recorded by male pens, with men as the main protagonists, and women, if noticed at all, in supporting roles. As the saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see.
The converse—you can aspire to that which you can imagine—is why I created six new speeches for Women’s History Month, March 2013. I had fun cooking up these new ideas to make women’s history interesting, relevant, and inspiring to corporate, professional, civic, college, and nonprofit groups of all kinds:
—“The Power of Sheroes: Why Women Want Role Models, Mentors, and Sponsors, and How to Get Them”
—“Remember the Ladies: 3 Surprising Mistakes of the Women’s Movement and the Leadership Lessons They Can Teach Us”
—“On the Waves: Celebrating Top 10 Highlights of Women’s Advancement – and Envisioning the Journey Still Ahead”
—“Is This the End of Men or the Beginning of Women?”
—“What Will It Take for Women to Reach Parity in Leadership?”
—“Seriously, Henry Higgins? Must a Woman Be More Like a Man to Succeed?”
Last fall, I taught my Arizona Sate University course “Women, Power, and Leadership” online for the first time. I had a chance to learn webinar skills. If you are interested in exploring a digital version of one of these speeches, we can talk about that option.
And if a leader is someone who gets something done, then LisaBeth exemplifies leadership too. She uses the power of her artistry to make a difference for the causes she—and YOU—believe in. When you or I wear one of LisaBeth’s cause pins, we’re also using Power Tool # 6: Wear the Shirt –showing the world what we believe.
I’ll bet LisaBeth would love to know what you want on your pin, if she were to design one for you. So tell her in the comment section below.
How do I know Gloria? Our paths were destined to cross, and they finally did back in 2004 at a campaign event in Pennsylvania. Having defined a mission of making a difference in the world over 20 years ago, I’ve always channeled my core beliefs into my work. It seems inevitable that my creativity and mission would manifest into a line of handmade pins for causes that began with a pin about CHOICE.
As an artist and activist, I realized that an art-pin could be like a mini-billboard for people to ‘wear their heart on their lapel’, to spark conversation, and to effect change.
Over the years, I developed cause pins for politics and voting, peace and social justice, women’s rights, the environment, animal rescue, and more. The pins found their way to many non-profit organizations that have utilized them for fundraising and awareness.
Not long ago I sat down with freelance writer Corine Garcia for this interview. The article originally appeared as a blog post at Womenetics.
Years ago, as a teenage mother without a college education, one could only imagine that Gloria Feldt felt somewhat limited in career options. But with the right amount of optimism, the proper use of power and her penchant for saying “Yes” to every opportunity, Feldt paved her way to leadership success as the former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood.
My heart bursts with joy when people tell me what No Excuses and the message of changing how we think about power so that we can embrace it in a positive way has meant to them.
When I speak to organizations or conferences, I often ask the question “When did you know you had the power to_____.” Each person fills in the blank for herself. Then we discuss the answers with one another. Try it, and talk about it with your friend, sister, mother, or whoever you can requisition.
So after my keynote speech for the New Directions Career Center in Columbus OH (a fantastic organization that helps low income women gain economic self-sufficiency), I had one of those joyful moments. Why?
About 40 years ago, someone close to me told me she was involved with another woman and asked me how I felt about that. “I don’t know,” I replied. That was my honest answer at the time. You see, this “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) business has been around for a long time. Nobody asked, nobody told, nobody really talked at all about sexual orientation with me as a heterosexual woman, and certainly not in the social justice and human rights context as I now understand them to be.
But change can happen. This week I joined many other Americans, gay and straight, to celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” an event that culminates decades of LGBTQ movement building and educating people like me about the fundamental fairness and justice of ending discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s not the end of the battle, but certainly a great milestone. This Friday Round Up is a tribute to the end of an unjust and unworkable policy on gays in the military, with particular emphasis on its impact on women…
You’ve probably seen author and commentator Keli Goff on MSNBC and elsewhere, read her opinions on TheLoop21 or Huffington Post, or perhaps have read her books Party Crashing (which I love) and the brand new one, The GQ Candidate (which I know I will love but haven’t read yet). I ran into Keli at the HBO screening of “Gloria: In Her Own Words”, the moving documentary about Gloria Steinem that’s been getting so much well-deserved play lately. After the screening, she wrote this eloquent commentary about her self-perceptions and the f-word, and then delivered it as her “rant” on Dylan Ratigan’s MSNBC show…
There are many ways of turning the wheels of history. Sometimes an act that seems small and obvious at the time changes the course of a group’s actions. Like the butterfly wings flutter that changes the climate halfway around the world, I believe every one on the subway car described by author and co-founder of SheWrites.com, Deborah Siegel, will forever think twice before looking away from a violent act.
The other day I was riding the number 2 train home from the city, thinking about what I might write here in honor of Women’s History Month and feeling overpowered by current affairs. The tsunami, earthquake, nuclear disaster. Senseless murders in Libya. The gang rape of an 11-year-old girl. This month, I sense such widening circles of sorrow swirling, it’s easier, I confess, to shut off and just hold close those I love. If I pause long enough to truly let the world in, I fear I’ll be carried out on a wave, swallowed up by a sea of emotion from which there is no return. And then, there’s the tragedy going on right in our own backyards—that which lifts us out of our chairs and just kind of compels us, without thinking, to act.
Here is what I mean:
On the subway seat across from me, a woman sits with a large-sized purse taking up half the seat next to her. A hulking man enters the car and sits down—partly on the seat with the bag, and partly on the woman who owns the bag. The woman gets up in a huff.
“You don’t sit on women,” she says.
“Your bag was taking up half the seat,” he says.
“You don’t sit on women!”
“Your bag was taking up half the seat!”
This seems like it’s going to go on for a while. People nearby are getting edgy. I try to catch the woman’s eye, shoot her a glance of solidarity.
An older woman sitting closest to her catches her eye instead and says, “Let it go. You’re the bigger person.”
The two women chat. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but the man is listening all the while. The first woman gets off at the next stop. The man, it seems, is not through.
“She’s the bigger person huh?” he says to the older woman.
“Oh you’ve got the wrong one. The wrong one. Don’t you start with me now,” she says.
As the subway doors close, the dozens ensue. I try not to listen but, like a rubbernecked driver who can’t look away from a car wreck, I’m compelled. The words “Your mama…” “Your wife…” “Your mama…” “You’ve got the wrong one…” pour from the pair repetitively, and in escalating tones. There’s a feeling of gas rising to the point of combustion.
And then: THUNK. Sound of woman’s head being slammed against subway wall. Next, a piercing wail.
Wednesday, Oct. 2-Nov. 13, 2013Gloria will teach a 6-week online course "9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career".This is a Take The Lead event in partnership with Arizona State University Online. Participants will receive a certificate to enhance their resumes along with practical skills and understanding of power dynamics in the workplace. Don't miss this opportunity and register today!