On Being A Better Feminist (And Other Good Reads)

I spent the end of last week reminding myself what it means to relax. I don’t know if you’re in that mode, it being summer and all, but I struggle, sometimes, to just rest. I love the rush. I love being busy. I love having to-do lists, obligations, responsibilities, and plans. But sometimes it’s so hard to detach from that lifestyle, to be centered in the moment and put work aside.

I think it’s even harder when my ‘work’ isn’t really work at all. I love writing, connecting, sharing my heart through social media. But this passion can make it difficult to draw a line between when I’m working, or just living in the present. And this past weekend I tried to be a bit better about that. I tried to log off, to unplug. I listened to music, didn’t even record for my favorite DJ because I wanted to watch the whole thing in the moment and not behind a screen. I didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn to write. I slept in, I talked, I sat at a coffee shop and sipped on a cold drink and pet a dog and took deep breaths. As silly as this sounds, sometimes it’s hard for me.

Do you ever feel so inundated with information, articles, blogs, lists, LIFE that you forget how to live it?

Anyways, all that is to say I didn’t get around to sharing my reading list until today, but here’s what I’ve really ruminated on over the last week. Reading together and sharing thoughts connects us culturally, globally, spiritually, academically, etc. So I hope you always feel welcomed to comment and take part in the discussion.

1.

This week, what has challenged and encouraged me the most is the variety of articles I’ve read on feminism and amplifying women, like this piece from GirlBoss.

Just last week, I published an article about women stepping into their inner power after a conversation with Lucinda Hanover: bossbabe, feminist, and CEO of Lumeri. We talked about this exact term—amplifying women—and what means in the workplace. This article by GirlBoss mirrors that exact concept.

Amplifying is the process of reiterating what a woman says and bringing attention to her thoughts in a way that forces others (especially males) to listen.

“It’s actually pretty simple. When a woman makes an important point or suggestion in a meeting, but that point is either ignored or immediately shot down, other women at the table repeat the first woman’s idea, giving clear support and credit to its source.

For example, you might say something like the following: “I’d like to go back to what Kristin said previously. This idea was strong because it provided a number of viable solutions that deal with our problem at the source level. I second her approach and can offer a few ways to help make it happen.” Not only does this force male coworkers to listen to their female coworkers, it keeps them from taking credit for ideas that aren’t theirs.”

I love this tactic because it’s subtle, but powerful. Personally, I think that’s the most effective way to get a point across. When people (esp. women in this case!) are calm and collected, it shows that there is a silent battle happening instead of a destructive, outward one. Reading this article in conjunction with the powerful interview with Lucinda has really pushed me to take a look at my feminism, and see ways I can amplify women more in my everyday life.

2.

Are you a ‘clock-timer’ or an ‘event-timer’ type of person? This interesting article explains what that is, and what the benefits of each are.

If you’re someone who depends on the time to plan out a day, for example, when it’s noon you eat lunch, you’re probably a clock-timer person. If you are someone who’s more likely to eat when you’re hungry—regardless of the time—you’re an event-timer.

According to this article, “each approach has its advantages — clock-timers’ ability to zoom out and think big-picture can make them more creative, for example, while event-timers’ inward focus helps them to be more in touch with their emotions — but one in particular sticks out: Event-timers seem to be significantly better at staying in the moment.”

I’m intrigued. And now I’m thinking through my days, wondering where I fit, or if I’m a mix of both. What are you? What does this say about your lifestyle? #thoughtstoponder

3.

I’m particular intrigued by feminine leadership and the conversation surrounding that ‘buzzterm,’ if you will. What does it mean to have a ‘feminine vibe’ in the workplace, and is that a good thing? This article explains perfectly.

“Can you imagine boardrooms, invention think tanks, and cancer research facilities full of women, infusing femininity into spaces that have been traditionally masculine for many, many years? (Note that we’re talking about archetypal “feminine” and “masculine” energies, rather than associated genders, as all humans can benefit from a resurgence of this particular energy. When we look to this archetypal “feminine” vibe, we are talking about qualities such as intuitive decision-making, compassion, empathy, nurturing, and a fierce, protective heart.)

What would this look like?”

I love that we are beginning to both define, and proudly own ‘feminine energy’ without pushing it away and saying it’s too soft or weak. I’ve always believed that there’s a beauty to traditional ‘feminine’ vibes and seeing them come into play in a professional sense—and as empowerment—is huge!

Having a nurturing, ‘motherly,’ or even delicate approach to business or career goals is not weak. There is power in feminine energy.

(More on this in that behind-the-scenes interview with Lucinda Hanover, if you’re interested.)

4.

A genre I’ve always been fascinated by is memoir. In this essay by Laura Haugen, memoir is explained as a search for the present in navigating an often unknown past. I really thought that was beautiful.

“Novelists, Vladimir Nabokov once said, are ‘more fully at home on the surface of the present than in the ooze of the past.’ Great memoirists, on the other hand, are not fully at home in the present until they navigate their way through this ooze, searching for overlooked pathways and revisiting old landmarks with fresh eyes. They tread into the murkiness of past events and share where their memory or understanding falls short and where their probing and questioning begin.”

It’s fascinating that in writing through the past, we create space for the present (and future) understanding of who we are and where we’ve been.

5. With the ongoing conversation around #MeToo, this article, which talks about poetry and violence women face really struck a cord with me.

I think the hardest thing in writing about trauma is that it, in a sense, forces you to relieve some of the pain you’ve experienced all over again. I think that’s why I find it so commendable when women write about things like rape or sexual assault—even aggressively. To me it feels like their way of claiming their bodies and lives back.

5.

Last, but not least, this poem by Rachel Mannheimer really spoke to me in terms of grief.

I think grief is universal, and as I was reading this poem, I couldn’t help but feel this speaker’s anguish. She was talking about herself while talking about the deer. There’s such a connection that we all—human or animal—experience in this life, and it’s both wonderful and heartbreaking that we can understand.

Feel free to catch up on past reading lists.
Want more? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter(s).

 

Featured Image Credit: Kinga Cichewicz