In a shock to everyone I know, I missed the Emmy's this year. It is a shock because I am actually known for my Award Show parties. Sadly, this meant that I had to watch clips afterwards, What really makes this sad is the fact that it really felt like the Year of the Woman (again), at least from social media and traditional media following the event.
Obviously everyone has been talking about the speech made by Viola Davis which and for good reason, it was beautiful, poignant and thought provoking. It aligned so clearly with not just the issues of women of color on television and movies but the entire culture of race continue as a global community to perpetuate. Between the increasing racial tensions in our country with regard to law enforcement to the Syrian Refugee Crisis we remain a world where hate spreads.
If you were to ask most people if they are filled with hate or are prejudiced against other people, they will say no. Nobody admits to being hateful. They make excuses for what they do based on a variety of experiences, religion, history etc. Think about it, most people will admonish the atrocities of World War II and the concentration camps or the Civil Rights Movement yet so many are standing by and watching as the refugees are hit with fire hoses and dogs or another video of a black American being beaten or killed by an officer of the law.
So what does all of this have to do with the title of this post?
The other speech that impacted me but got less coverage was that of Regina King. Her speech was not necessarily out of the ordinary for an acceptance speech except for her seemingly very sincere shock at having won. There was one section/line though that stopped me.
It is a small but powerful sentence that I haven't been able to get my mind off of it since. It seems that we hear and see in the media a lot of the negatives and burdens of being a woman but rarely see the "power and blessing" being extolled. It is why I think this phrase needs more attention.
I study, speak and educate on women and it took me a minute to determine if I had ever expressed the power and blessing I feel being a woman. My stomach dropped as I realized that I don't honor that enough. Women are the most powerful force in the globe. Many will argue with me I am sure but let's really think about here.
1st and foremost we are the caretakers of the world. Without women, our children wouldn't become healthy and contributing adults to society. Women literally are raising the future.
We are responsible for 80% of all purchases
advertiser's want our money
We have a seat at the table - in some cases at the head of the table
We are big in numbers and we are good at organizing around a cause
we have more women in high places
the power to influence - in my mind, women are the most influential people and yet in the past have never received credit for this
We are educated
70% of all high school valedictorians are women
62% of all associates degrees
57% of all bachelors degrees
63% of masters degrees
53% doctoral degrees
now that is power...
So that is the power of being a woman, let's talk about the blessings.
It's a blessing because we have a voice and using that voice is changing the world in big ways. I feel blessed to call myself a woman when I see all of the amazing things women are doing. I feel blessed to be/have:
We are blessed enough to live in a time where we can get educated and fight for a career, a family and more and there is power in all of that
lots of conversations around women and girls now
to have a voice
empathetic to others
to be a caretaker
to be able to like sports and wear nail polish at the same time
that women in my generation earn more than our mother's and grandmother's on average and get to spend that money the way we want and still are selfless enough take care of everyone around us
I don't have to wear heels to cook in ( I actually don't have to cook) but I can
I can do anything I want but I don't have to do anything I don't want to do
The real blessing in my life is that I get to help other girls and women by sharing my experiences
There is power and blessings in being whoever we are and it is imperative that we dig in to realize what it means to us so that we can celebrate and express gratitude for who and what we are. Once we realize our own blessings we can be more empathetic to others and open up opportunities for people who don't have them; whether it is welcoming refugees into our country and caring for them, volunteering our time to help others or opening up roles for women of color and other individuals in our art. You may say these have nothing to do with each other but the do. The art that these women do open our eyes to the experiences of others.
Quick tip, be sure to look up the show Regina won her Emmy for, American Crime. It was an amazing look inside ALL sides of a single situation and the struggles we still see around race and gender in this country.
Social media has changed the landscape of how we talk. While on the surface I totally knew that, it wasn't until recently that it made me feel a bit out of the loop. I kept seeing the hashtag "#wcw", better known to people who actually speak words instead of initials as "Woman Crush Wednesday". Once I l got someone much younger than me to tell me what it meant in actual words, I realized, I need to get behind this whole WCW hoopla.
Because of that Wednesdays on the blog, for the time being are going to be dedicated to my Woman Crushes. Now before you go thinking this is some other kind of blog.
Let me explain. Each Wednesday I will share with you a profile on a different woman I am crushing on because of what she is doing to make the world a better place. GOOD IDEA RIGHT?
Since I just came up with the idea, I decided that week one would be someone everyone knows but in the future I will feature all types of women from business, arts, culture and even a few of my friends.
This week I chose Mindy Kaling.
If you are asking why. Then you don't know Mindy. Technically don't know here know her but that is why she is one of my fave's. It feels like I do know her. Sr she has written for the Office, and now runs her own show which she created, and stars in (Mindy Project). That means she's a girl boss. (we all know I love that.) That's all great, fantastic even but have you seen her hilarious tweets and instagram posts? If not, I will give you a second to go "like" those pages now and then you can thank me later. If that isn't enough to convince you to also have a crush on Mindy, then read her book (soon to be plural).
But the REAL reason I am crushing so hard?
She speaks her mind. She says the things you're not supposed to say but you think, so why shouldn't you? I could list all of the things she has accomplished and the walls she has broken down, but I think that is focusing on the obvious things. They're great, don't get me wrong but... I crush on her for that and so much more.
I crush on her because sometimes I swear she read my diary and makes it sound funny and normal, charming even. That takes some real talent. She is using her voice, pushing the envelope and making a statement, all with out purpose or malice. That is the kind of person that makes the world more awesome.
Plus...she is flipping hilarious!
Come back Friday for part 2 of our "writing your manifesto" series. Hope you've been working on your brainstorming.