This week's posts are about something really frightening: Feminism aka women empowerment and the struggle to find a place as a woman in a mans world. A struggle the road opened my eyes to and with this new vision I now see life through a new permanent filter-less lens of inequality.
A few months back I decided to spend the fall and winter in my home state of Nebraska. My goal was to focus and whip my business into shape along with training for my new adventure, Tour Aotearoa. Why Lincoln, Nebraska of all places? Besides housing most of my immediate family it also happens to be an entrepreneurial mecca.
After attending SCC Entrepreneurial coffee, Perk Up Thursdays, I met John Fulwider, who would help shape my business using Traction. Over lunch, John and I discussed my direction. I made some hard decisions to move my self, my business, and my vision forward. Over the next few months, John helped me establish what the hell I wanted to do by finding my core values then plugging them into the Traction business plan. My main objective: to tell stories through lectures, videos, and blog posts! OH, and to stay focused!!
When I got to the part where I needed to fill out who I wanted my ideal client to be, I struggled. Filling in the blank with a vague answer, I moved on. But in the back of my mind, something was eating at me. Why couldn't I answer this simple question more direct? What's going on?
During a Lincoln Startup Week workshop, I came face to face with the unexpected and the answers to the questions I was pondering. The workshop focus was social impact businesses and I found the importance of taking a stance then following through. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to take my stance, but why?? Finally, I knew exactly what I wanted it to do. Bring empowerment to girls and women. Others, like myself, who have struggled to be their strong true selves just because it wasn’t ladylike! But why was part of me so scared of this?? I had to dig deep and look at what was holding me back.
I found I was scared that others might see me as this burning your bra, Gloria Steinem-esque figure, which I very much didn’t want to be. How much I’ve tried, I’ve never related to Gloria, or burning my bra. I like my bra. I do admire Gloria's work and courage but am unable to jive with her energy. I relate more to the Robyn Davidson’s of the world, who have found that feminism isn’t an act or movement it’s a necessity for survival. Which is crazy to think about all on its own, it's a necessity for survival???!!! Oh, let's not go there right now. Regardless, the importance of both of these women is equal.
I was devastated that empowerment to women was bringing me so much heartache and inner struggle. Why did I care about what others thought? Why did this have to change me? Why couldn’t I just float through the world and not take this stance?
I realized I had to take a stance and this one in particular. I couldn’t just tiptoe around it any longer. I am a woman. I know the trials and battles that women face especially when traveling alone! It's hard and it sucks. I know what it’s like to be told you can’t do something just because you're a girl. Putting my big girl panties on, I took a stance. Which has been scary but empowering. When I get scared or overwhelmed, I tell myself, if I am able to bring support, comfort or love to someone else, like myself of the past, then it’s been worth the fright.
Arising Exhibition by Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono curated an exhibition where woman share stories of how they were harmed by being a woman. You are able to see some of the stories online and it's really powerful. I was honored to take part in this exhibition.
Heart Shaped World
Thanks Heather for sharing the heart you found! It's killer!!!