girls inc

silencing women does not create peace on earth

I am taking a break from our goal setting challenge today because of a news story that has been making the rounds and causing some controversy.

Silencing the women in a family is not funny. 

Silencing the women in a family is not funny. 

A family from Louisiana decided to do something a little different for their Christmas card this year. Upon doing so a firestorm was created on social media . Before I go on, let me stress that in no way do I think that this family or photographer intended to promote violence against women (as many of the comments on social media elude to). I do however think that this points to a larger problem, this family didn't see why this image might be sending the wrong message

So, why is it the wrong message? This picture  creates the illusion that silencing women of all ages is okay.

it is not!

It implies that getting women to shut-up can be celebrated with a thumbs up.

it cannot!

It implies that silencing a woman can be laughed at with a witty tagline.

it cannot. 


Research shows that the first step to violence and terrorism against any group of people is that of dehumanizing them. Making them less than human by reducing them to a body part or an object, or even by silencing them. All of this is destructive but the silencing is the one that hits me the hardest.

It can be argued that most people are looking to be heard. What happens when we take that option away? When we take away a person's voice, we take away their ability to fight, to be heard, to be understood. We become less than in our own head. We become unhappy, unsatisfied, uninspired. 

Rather than ramble on about the research, check out this amazing series by    Jean Kilbourne    to learn more about gender in the media.

Rather than ramble on about the research, check out this amazing series by Jean Kilbourne to learn more about gender in the media.

Some of you may be reading this and think that I am giving this photo/concept way too much energy but you would be wrong. There is a wealth of evidence to back me up. 

I studied "communications" in school. I decided it had a broader reach than a traditional marketing degree. With this I chose to spend a large part of my time studying gender and kids. I knew that this is the direction that the business world was going and wanted to better understand the consumer that I would potentially be marketing too. I now work in marketing and realize the approach I took is rare. Very few if any marketers actually take course work focused on gender, psychology or sociology. Maybe a class here or there, but no real emphasis on it. This is why I struggle with my profession.  At it's core, marketing is convincing people to buy, do or act. It works with the psyche and what motivates people. It is great responsibility. 

Unfortunately, it seems sometimes like marketers are worse than the stereotypes of lawyers. I say that because in my experience very few people in marketing actually know anything beyond the "business" part of marketing. Marketing is so much more than that. It is about knowing how people think, what they desire and why and using that information for good. How can you do this if you don't know anything beyond the numbers?

Marketing shapes the way we look at the world, whether we like to admit it or not. Marketing and media shapes the way we see and feel about ourselves subconsciously, it convinces us what we want and what we need. Herein lies the responsibility. Do we use this power to do good and make the world better or do we use it to make a buck? Are they mutually exclusive? 

I would argue they are not.


From Killing Me Softly

From Killing Me Softly

We live in a visual society, one that puts emphasis on "seeing is believing". Instagram has exploded on the scene, as has Snap Chat and a number of other social networks that focus solely on imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If it is that how can we remain complacent with imagery like this family photo or any of the images on this post? How can we claim ignorance as to what these image are really saying?

How can you call yourself a marketer if you don't know how consumers digest the imagery and content you are putting in the universe?

my opinion? you can't.

I could continue to go on about this but realize this is an much bigger subject than a single blog post. So I will come down from my soap box for a minute and get back to the point Did this family have ill intent when creating this holiday card? of course not. Does it speaker to a larger problem in our society? Of course it does. I couldn't let today go by without at least addressing it. I won't apologize for this big soap box because I believe so full heartedly in it but I will work to better formulate my thoughts for future posts.

 

I would like to say one more thing regarding the "witty tagline" that says "peace on earth". The silencing of women will not create "PEACE ON EARTH". In fact, it is the attempted silencing of women that is causing so much destruction, war and terror on this place we called Earth. 

all choked up and inspired by strong, smart, bold girls

Emmy was one of my fave's, she was full of enthusiasm for life, it was pretty contagious.

Emmy was one of my fave's, she was full of enthusiasm for life, it was pretty contagious.

October 11th was International Day of the Girl. I was blessed to attend and speak at a fundraising event with Girls Inc. Pacific Northwest a few days before to celebrate the occasion.

The event is a day to celebrate the "strong, smart, bold girls of the program and showcase all that the organization does to promote and lift up these girls so that they can live independent, successful lives.

Jenny Hansson, anchor from KOIN TV shares her journey to the anchor desk and the supportive parents who helped her get there

Jenny Hansson, anchor from KOIN TV shares her journey to the anchor desk and the supportive parents who helped her get there

 

Hosted by Jenny Hansson, anchor for KOIN TV got the afternoon started by welcoming the attendees and offering her story and the support she received from those around her, I spoke with Jenny, an awesome woman who gets up every day at 2am to anchor the sunrise news. Yes, that is really early but she said it was a small price to pay to live out her dream.


reading the girls proclamation

reading the girls proclamation

Emmy and her Dad making an appeal to everyone to stand and support girls

Emmy and her Dad making an appeal to everyone to stand and support girls

Hands down, the best part of the whole event was the girls.. About 20 plus girls were there in total and they greeted guests with enthusiasm. They also each took lead at tables around the room to showcase some of what they experience with Girls Inc. PNW. A few of them were selected to get up on stage, no easy task for anyone but even harder when you are young. Many survey's done with people of all ages say that a lot of people fear public speaking more than death. YIKES. 

Lily tore the house down with her courage to get up and speak for the first time in front of an audience.

Lily tore the house down with her courage to get up and speak for the first time in front of an audience.

Sama, a 10 year old business older and future actress who saves animals gave an impassioned speech and rocked the house

Sama, a 10 year old business older and future actress who saves animals gave an impassioned speech and rocked the house

That makes what these girls did all the more amazing. For most of them it was the first time they had ever been in front of an audience. I am not understating how amazing it was to watch them in action. For most of their speeches I was a puddle of tears. No joke. I was so overwhelmed with the intelligence, enthusiasm and fearlessness of each of them as they explained who they wanted to be and why Girls Inc. is helping them make their dreams a reality.


Final speaker of the day can be an intimidating place to be.

Final speaker of the day can be an intimidating place to be.

Just my luck, I was the final speaker of the day and directly followed all of these girls. Talk about intimidating. There was nothing I could say that would appeal to the audiences desire to contribute to Girls Inc. more than what these phenomenal young women did. I had a job to do though and so I got up on stage and let the room know that they just saw the REAL reason to donate and support. There was really only one question to be asked...

dog 1.png

will you stand in a girl's corner to help her be strong, smart and bold?

 

A little gift to thank the people at my table for attending and donating to this great cause.

A little gift to thank the people at my table for attending and donating to this great cause.

This truly was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I get to live out my dream and speak to a room about girls but I got to see what happens when we support girls and lift them up. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a Friday. I have to thank everyone who came to support the event, especially my friends and family who came to support me and this great cause. I also have to thank Girls Inc. PNW for doing what they do and letting me play in their sandbox for a bit with some amazing girls who inspired me to keep following my path and be

strong               smart               bold

How great would it be to keep the momentum train going? If you would like to donate to Girls Inc. PNW and support these girls, send me an email I can help get your donation over to the group. Hope to hear from you soon.

friday's 3 favorite things...what made you smile on social media this week?

Happy Friday! If you are a regular reader or even a regular social media follower, you will know that I often talk about putting positive content into the world. We are indundated with content from every direction. We have music, television, movies, social media and beyond. It doesn't matter how hard we try, we can't escape getting hit over the head with content whether we like it or not.

Unfortunatley, a lot of that content is negative and being surrounded by negativity can get very exhausting. There is a saying Negativity begats Negativity. Heavy right? But the good news is this.

positive minds lead positive lives

Taking from that I wanted to share some people using social media in positive and fun ways. These are just three of my favorite posts this week.

Who doesn't love Amy Poehler? Not only is she smart and funny but she is using her celebrity for good with Amy's Smart Girls where they not only help young girls but they use the internet to spread positive imagery, words and energy of girls and women everywhere.

Here is a snipped from the website and if it doesn't convince you that this belongs on my list today, then...well I don't know.

"The Smart Girls organization is dedicated to providing a healthy alternative to so much tat is being marketed to young people on the internet.

 

 

 

Our motto is: Change the World by Being Yourself."

 

The Written Runway is a great site dedicated to fashion and lifestyle topics. While it does not focus only on women, it's lean towards women and portraying strong visual of images of them through fashion will get you excited to get back in your closet. 

She loves fashion so much, she even gets her dog Bentley into the mix. She swears he loves it. How awesome is his birthday pic?

Here is how she describes her mission;

"In 2011 Ambyr broke off and began The Written Runway. This creative outlet has allowed her to share her love of runway fashion, how to adapt it into every day style and inspire others to express their talents"  

 

The next one is a little bit of self promotion and for that I apologize but as I said this is a list of my favorite things on social media this week. And...one of my favorite things was getting the opportunity to represent Girls Inc. PNW. If it isn't clear yet, I believe in lifting up girls and women. I think the future will be determined by strong smart women. If I have any chance to be a part of this movement then I am going to take it.

If you are not familiar with Girls Inc. and it's local affiliates here is a their vision:

"Our vision is empowered girls and an equitable society. Our mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold."

That's it, three positive social media posts to end your week on a good note and get you pumped for the weekend. They may even introduce you to some new people to follow.


P.S. You thought I was actually going to finish with 3 things huh? Come on, you know I can never leave it at that. I probably should change the number of things I want to talk about on Friday's. 

To apologize I share this, which quite frankly was really my favorite image from social media this week. My sister-in-law and new baby nephew in a moment that just looks like pure bliss. That is not only a positive image but one that looks like pure love.

If being an aunt is this awesome after just one month, I cannot wait to see what happens when this kid starts laughing and I can teach him some really great stuff...