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Submitted by anna on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:29
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5 books by & for women

Traveling alone could be one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences of your life--but, when you tell friends and family that you're embarking on a solo trip, you're often met with mixed responses. Suddenly everyone suggests that you bring a friend, gives you a can of pink pepper spray, or has some cautionary tale of a woman they heard of who was kidnapped and never heard from again. While their fears are usually warranted, there are some inspiring stories  of women who have had rewarding experiences. Here are five books, provided by BookPeople in Austin, TX, detailing the experiences of women who took a leap of faith and came out better on the other side. 

 

Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis (2011)

Becoming Odyssa

 

Davis is an avid hiker who grew up in North Carolina and fell in love with long-distance backpacking. At age 21, she found herself at a crossroads, unsure of what she wanted to do with her life. To find her purpose, she decided to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. As a solo female hiker, she wrote this memoir to detail the hardest and most challenging four months of her life. With every mile she hikes, she gets closer to understanding herself and what she wants to do with her life.  

 

Tracks by Robyn Davidson (1995)

Tracks

 

Queensland-born Davidson wrote this personable (and hilarious) memoir about her 1,700-mile trek through the Australian desert with four camels and a dog for company. She tackles life in Australia in the 70's, recounting the rampant sexism, racism, and harshness of the outback. Tracks is the compelling journey of one women who made a courageous decision. 

 

The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman (2011)

Good Girl's Guide

 

Self-described "good-girl" Friedman did well in school and always played by the rules before doing something she had never done before: went out on a whim. She spontaneously bought a plane ticket to Ireland, forming a friendship with a free-spirited adventurer along the way. They depart on a year-long adventure galivanting through three continents. This memoir is exceedingly charming, and you'll be hard-pressed to put it down.  

 

Taschen's New York: Hotels, Restaurants, and Shops by Angelika Taschen (2009)

Taschen's New York

 

Beautifully illustrated and design-forward, Taschen takes you through New York City hotels, restaurants, and shops through the lens of a well-connected local. It includes off the beaten path recommendations that are sure to keep you on your feet and impress your friends. (Bonus-- it would be a stunning coffee table book). 

 

Swimming Holes of Texas by Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy (2018) 

Swimming Holes of Texas

 

Written by two Austin-based ladies, Wernersbach and Tracy, guide you through the best swimming holes in Texas. They spotlight one hundred natural spots across the state, some hidden finds as well as more popular ones. Every swimming hole includes stunning pictures of the scenery, making you want to jump in a car with your girlfriends immediately.  

 

 

HERdacity thanks BookPeople for providing all 5 women-centric travel books. You can find all of these books online or at their N. Lamar Austin store.

books for womens travel
books for womens travel

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Leaning Back In: 5 Tips for Women Returning to Work

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Submitted by anna on Tue, 01/30/2018 - 13:28

In the US, women are the primary caregivers, often opting to drop out of the workforce to care for children, aging parents, and ailing relatives. According to a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (2010), of the 90% of women who wanted to resume their careers after taking time off to have children, 70% found a way to return to their careers but only 40% found full-time, mainstream work. In addition, a growing share of stay-at-home mothers say they are home-bound because they cannot find a job (6% in 2017, up from 1% in 2000).

What do stay-at-home moms do all day?

After 15 years in the professional world, I stepped back to stay home and raise my kids. It used to bother me when people would ask if I “worked”.  At dinner parties, someone would inevitably try and make conversation with me by asking,  

“Do you work?”    

“Oh, yes,” I’d answer. 

 “What do you do?” they’d continue.  

“I cook, I clean, drive kids, help with homework…it’s 24/7.”

They would laugh, as if there was some joke there, then look away uncomfortably when they saw I wasn’t kidding. 

For some reason, the type of work a woman does when she cares for her family often does not count as “work”. Nor does it count as legitimate career development, presumably because money does not change hands.  The reality is, staying home for a time to care for your family is both a job and an education.   

Most working moms step back from their careers at some point to raise children, whether for a few months, a few years or a few decades.  And when they do, they find that they undergo a unique hands-on, pressure-cooker type of leadership program. It has long hours, zero pay and a hap-hazard vacation policy, at best. Technically, they do not even get sick days. But what they do get is an excellent management education. They learn to motivate, lead, negotiate, train, manage a budget, and drive to results with the most difficult, untrained work force imaginable: children under the age of 10. 

Yet, for women seeking to return to the paid workforce, this intense leadership education gets little or no recognition in an interview setting. Unless you’re going for a nanny position, the person across the desk may not readily acknowledge the people management or budgeting skills you’ve developed in your hands-on, stay-at-home Mom program. One of the biggest challenges a woman faces when returning to the work force is how to take the experience she has gained in her time off and leverage it to land a paid position. 

career mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some tips that helped me, and could help you, make the most out of your stay at home experience.

1. Break down the tasks you’ve used at home into marketable skills- 

You may have developed digital and networking skills through social media, blogging or other online programs. If you’re like many women, you’ve spent a big portion of your time volunteering and helping at your kid’s school. You’ve raised money by selling tickets for events, rounded up and managed volunteer workers to get the job done, and thrown entire events often without spending a dime. 

In job terms, these skills are: 

  • Social media & communications 

  • Sales management, 

  • Project team leadership and, 

  • Event planning.  

These are all resume builders.  Step back and look at what you’ve done and the skills you’ve developed as an employer might see them.  Whether you performed them for an educational institution, a nonprofit entity or an athletic leisure association, you’ve done it.  Remember to be specific and state the percentage of total revenues you drove, the number of people you managed and the impact you had on the organization.  These are all sound building blocks for a resume which reflect what you’ve accomplished in your “time off.” 

2. Showcase your skillset digitally-

Once you’ve got your resume updated, make sure you set a credible and updated online presence on LinkedIn.  Using the building blocks of the career skills you outlined above, try showing your experience by skillset rather than chronologically if your work experience is not recent.  Then develop your digital footprint by attaching a professional photo and by growing your network to around 100 connections, initially and ultimately to 500+ as your network grows.   

Remember to round out your profile by stating what is important to you and what you value. Employers appreciate volunteer work and want to see your personality in addition to your skills.  Spend some time making your profile is as complete as possible and include a crisp summary paragraph stating what you’re looking for and the skills you have to demonstrate your capability in this area.   

3. Network through your immediate circle of friends- 

Though you may not have been in the work place recently, you still have the ability to develop a strong network.  In addition to the strong network from your daily interactions, remember that the women you see in car pool lines, waiting for kids at after school activities and volunteering at your child’s school also have connections.  They may have spouses with jobs, know others that work for companies in your area or hold jobs themselves. They are not only great networking opportunities, but women you can develop personal relationships with that could help you professionally later on.

4. Have your elevator pitch ready-

It is important to you take some time to sketch out a brief description of what you're looking for—your elevator pitch-- and rehearse it in private until it rolls off your tongue naturally.   The more confident and well-articulated this "pitch" is the more credible you'll appear. Start by announcing your intent to get a job to friends and share the pitch which you've rehearsed in private earlier.   

Friends want to help; ask them if they know anyone you can reach out to for an informational interview.   Most people are happy to share information as long as they do not feel put on the spot to hire you and will be happy to connect you by email.  In your informational interview, ask questions about the industry, the company or their job responsibilities to bring yourself up-to-date in your field of interest. Any of these conversations can convert to more interviews and ultimately, an actual job. 

5. Persevere- 

It may not happen overnight (and probably won't), but your chance to move from an unpaid position to a part-time paid position or from a side hustle to a full-time job is out there.  Be open to volunteer opportunities if it expands your skill set (and your resume!) and don’t forget to ask for a detailed LinkedIn recommendation for your work contributions.  You can keep your efforts going strong by connecting with other friends that are looking to pivot, too.  It’s more fun to go with someone to the career meet-ups, lectures or career fairs. 

 

Ultimately, as in other areas of life, you will get out of your job hunt what you put into it. If you take some time to figure out what you want, articulate the new  skills your time off has given you, and share your abilities with friends and potential employers, you will stand out.  And when you do get that job, remember to take time and encourage that next woman who may be trying to move out of her comfort zone and find a way back to paid employment.  

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Toughing it Out & Motivating Others

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Submitted by anna on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 15:23
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Anne Grady: Entrepreneur & Professional Speaker

Inspired by hardship, Anne Grady has worked to forge both a rewarding professional and personal life. From raising a child with mental illness to being diagnosed with a tumor in her salivary gland, Anne Grady found courage to start her own public speaking business, the Anne Grady group. Her challenges and setbacks have been a catalyst to her success as a public speaker and entrepreneur, leading to over 2,000 keynote speeches with audiences up to several thousand people. We set to find out how she does it.

What inspired you to become a prolific speaker? 

I learned very early on in my corporate career that I wasn’t political, politically correct, or a good rule follower. I was actually petrified to start my own business. I partnered with an amazing mentor for a decade before venturing out on my own. The catalyst was living at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas for 2 months while my son was in the hospital. I realized if I could do that, I could do anything.

How did you discover your passion for public speaking? 

I loved debate and public speaking in high school and college. Communication was always my strength.  From the time I was little, I told my mom I would get paid to speak. She said, “You can either be a minister or a politician”. I’m Jewish, so that ruled the first one out, and I had way too much fun in college to be a politician! I’m one of the lucky few who have known what I wanted to do since I was a little girl. I’m really proud of the fact that I found a way to make it happen. 

 How are you able to apply your personal strengths to your professional life?  

My strengths are my ability to communicate, to connect with people, my desire for achievement, and my need to help and inspire others. My professional life is built around these things. I’ve been fortunate to build a team that can compensate for my weaknesses.  

What one experience are you still learning from today? 

I have two kids. A 16-year old daughter, and a 14-year old son. My son suffers from severe mental illness, making every day a new opportunity to practice. I have had to go beyond theory and really put into practice what I teach every single day, and not always successfully. My son’s illness certainly helps you put your priorities into perspective. His illness makes him really tough to live with sometimes. We live in a constant state of crisis, and it makes it a real challenge to keep the right head space and be able to focus on my family and the business. I’m fortunate to have a great support system. 

What do you  NOT let get in your way?  

Rather than hide our challenges, I hang a lantern on them. One in five suffer from some type of mental health issue, yet no one talks about it. People need to know they are not alone, and if by sharing my story in some small way helps people, I’m thrilled to be able to do it. Almost four years ago, after my son was discharged from his second hospitalization, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my salivary gland. The surgery resulted in complete facial paralysis on the right side of my face. Because I couldn’t close my eye, I scratched my cornea. While getting ready for surgery to implant a gold weight in my upper eye lid and stitch up my bottom eyelid, I fell down the stairs and broke my foot in four places. I was terrified to speak in front of groups, but I did. I’ve never had more standing ovations in my life! I used to think I wasn’t brave because I was terrified. Now I know that true courage is doing it anyway. 

 Where you do you find your motivation? 

I’ve always been self-motivated. It’s a blessing and a curse. It creates momentum to push harder and accomplish more. It also means it’s never enough, and always feel I should be doing more. Sharing our story has also give me the opportunity to be a source of inspiration for others, and that is so fulfilling. Knowing I help people makes it all worth it. Every time I get an email from someone saying I’ve had a positive impact on their life, I am inspired and grateful.  

How are you able to create a sense of purpose that embedded itself into your professional setting as well as personal life?

As my son’s illness has progressed, I have explored, researched and learned about information that I otherwise would not have pursued. I believe my purpose is to use this information to help people, to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and to provide a little laughter and inspiration in the world. 

What would you tell your  20-year-old self?  

Stop letting the little shit weigh you down. I promised myself after my tumor that I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. That lasted about 6-months. Then I started slipping back into sweating almost everything. I have always put so much pressure on myself. I would go back and say, “You can’t chase happiness or you will never find it. Learn to be grateful and content with where you are, and happiness will follow.” And lastly, “Be kind and focus on what’s most important. Everything else will fall into place.” (I still tell myself these things every day) I want to know I have made a positive impact on the world, and that I’m leaving it better than I found it. 

 What are three things  you want other women to know?  

  1. Focus on what you can control: YOU 

  1. You are strong enough to handle any challenge thrown your way. The fact that you’re still standing is proof. 

  2. Learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Embrace failure, change, and adversity.

What's one thing that you would change in the world? 

Selfishly, I would wish for my son to be healthy and to have mental health coverage that makes treatment possible for anyone with mental illness. If you had any other illness, there are ways to get treatment. With mental health, there are limited resources, it is out of this world expensive, and there are few if any options. 

And of course, world peace. ;) 

 

 

Anne Grady


Anne Grady is a Motivational Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Influence, Communication, Resilience, and Navigating Change. Find her at:
https://twitter.com/annegradygroup
https://www.facebook.com/AnneGradyGroup/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/anne-grady-group/

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Power Magnets Ignite Daily Inspiration

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Submitted by CassieCT on Wed, 12/13/2017 - 11:42

Power magnets are the best!

 

I got three incredible HERdacity magnets… and here are the words on each one. 

 

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK I CAN’T DO SO I CAN GET STARTED.

 

WHEN SOMEONE TELLS ME WHAT I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DO, I LAUGH BECAUSE I DIDN’T ASK.

 

DON’T BE A PASSENGER ON THEROAD OF LIFE.  TAKE THE WHEEL.

 

I love each and every one of these and for different reasons. So since I have been a big fan of magnets for years, I searched my kitchen. Where can I put them?

 

Refrigerator? Nope. That new kind of surface isn’t really metallic. Stove or oven? Same problem. Wooden cupboard doors don’t work for the obvious reason that they are, well, wood. No metal involved except in the hinges and I don’t see an easy and obvious way for me to stick a magnet on a vertical hinge.

 

But inspiration struck. I have a weird little breaker box with a metallic door under a cupboard in my small kitchen! And thank goodness these little chunks of powering magnetism stuck nicely.

 

It seemed a powerful omen.

 

HERdacity’s messages do best with electricity, and that is where all of us come in.

 

We each generate our own spark, our own interpersonal electricity… and we give zing and energy to each other.

 

So figure out your magnets for your life – change them frequently – and find a place to put them that will provide the power, the boost, and the fire to drive you forward.

 

 

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Gratitude's Double Edge

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:34
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For Bold Women Only

Gratitude has two sides.

When Sarah Ban Breathnach published Simple Abundance 22 years ago, her gratitude journaling practice started a movement.

Since then, studies have consistently proved that expressing gratitude is an indispensable key to happiness and fulfillment, an increase in generosity, physical and mental health, and thriving relationships.

Without it, we continually peer over the fence, longing for greener pastures. When people live in the future or the past, this “want” in life prevents us to feeling joy in the present.

This Thanksgiving, we’re inspired by women who not only exude gratitude, but help others tap into it in their daily work and lives.

One such woman is Rha Goddess, the founder and CEO of Move The Crowd, a coaching and entrepreneurial training company. Her take on gratitude, however, goes beyond cherishing the good stuff. Rha challenges people to take stock of the painful, messy parts, too.

Before you launch into goal setting in the new year, you must first summon gratitude for your blessings.

And here’s the kicker:

Blessings include both the abundance of riches AND the calamities and near misses. It's the fullness of your experience that allows you to be here at this moment, at this place, with these people.

Grown up women need to recognize this aspect of gratitude and embrace it. As you envision how to create lasting change in your life and those of others in the world, the key is to take a thorough inventory as you prepare to meet new challenges and receive new blessings.

Next time you’re trying to summon gratitude, include the unexpected car repair bill, the child’s illness, and the minor disaster at work. They count.

The holidays and new year are coming, wrapped up in pure promise and potential... and yes, you are ready.

You are here. You are stronger than you think. Life is precious, all of it.

Thanksgiving a great time to begin the process of practicing bold, bring-it-all, audacious gratitude. 

gratitude's double edge
the other side of gratitude
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The Secrets Behind Confident, Successful Women

It’s a funny thing about confidence.

If you don’t possess it naturally, you can’t just sign up for it, or attend a class. You can identify it in others and try to emulate what they do, but even that will only get you so far.

The only way to exude self-confidence is to practice it.

Self-confidence is as self-confidence does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump.

All successful people appear to possess this desirable quality, since confidence makes an individual memorable and magnetic. Even if you’re wrong most of the time, if you exude confidence, people will be attracted to you and listen to what you have to say. Just look around you and see who gets the most airtime. It’s those who are dripping with confidence.

We started the week with National Boss’ Day, celebrating bosses who have made an impact on the lives of those they manage. Genuine leaders in the workplace and in the community have an aura of confidence, certainly. But have you ever noticed the quiet self-confidence of women who have something to give from a more personal level?

Good Foundations

For women in the western world, all the stepping stones for success appear to be in place. We stand on the shoulders of giants whose stories teach us to overcome fear and try new things. Laws prevent discrimination based on gender. Each of us can personally name a few women who make their own choices and thrive.

We’ve collectively earned our place at the table, and yet, we’re still talking about how to pull out a chair and sit down.

For the woman whose stomach ties in knots every time you flex your confidence muscle, fear feels like the invisible hair on your face that you can’t see, can’t find, and can’t brush off. No one can see it or feel it but you. But you know it’s there. 

Nellie Borrero, Managing Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture urges women to keep pushing on the gas. In a Huffington Post article, she wrote,

My main message these days is confidence. I can’t overemphasize how important confidence is for women to move solidly into senior leadership. Much of the structural work regarding diversity has been done - laws against discrimination; increasing numbers of women, including Latina women, going to college; companies creating diversity programs and putting inclusion on the CEO agenda.
Now we must have more confidence than we’ve ever had before. 

That was a full six years ago, proof that this confidence torch is one we must keep lit for each other, and for future generations. 

[By the way, Borrero will be speaking at the Texas Conference for Women on Nov. 2 in Austin, and we're interested to hear her insights this year!]

Degrees of Confidence

Women who have walked through fire in their personal lives are often the most confident of all because they learn how to withstand disappointment and loss. Is it any wonder then that as women mature, they come into their own in a way they could not have imagined as young women? 

Reluctant confidence still counts. 

  • The one who ends up divorced after relying on a husband for 20 years, learns to manage the house and her finances, so that no one ever needs to “take care” of her.
  • The one who is railroaded out of a job where the C-suite is comprised of only men, starts her own business and competes within her industry on the playing field she designates.
  • The one who struggles to earn her position on a board becomes the one who teaches other women and boards to embrace diversity and their rightful place at the table.
  • The one who loses someone she loves winds up sharing her story with others to help them navigate similar emotions and circumstances.

Indeed, the best use of confidence in women is the kind that pays forward. And that brand of confidence is almost invariably earned through failure and survival.

Confidence Earned is Confidence Owned

Do you remember the eye-rolling disclaimers during discourse surrounding Sheryl Sandberg’s first book, Lean In? Before I actually read it, I’d heard a review of the book, asserting that leaning in could only really be accomplished if you started from a position of privilege. Women who were interested in raising their own kids, and those who did not have an ivy league network need not apply. (Ironically, critical book reviews test the mettle of even the most opinionated authors, so kudos to Sandberg for holding her ground.)

Then came the death of Sandberg’s husband, the heartbreak that followed, and the second book, Option B. In it, she recounts how she picked up the broken pieces and assembled an authentic reiteration of the confidence she once possessed, lost, and then reclaimed.

And women across the board are embracing this new facet of confidence. Why?

Sandberg herself admits that she has always struggled with confidence:

I had spent a lot of time thinking about self-confidence. I struggled with it all my life. Then I gave my TED talk, I wrote Lean In, and trying to help other women build their self-confidence I built mine up too. But then when Dave died my confidence crumbled overnight. 

Confidence forged through hardship rings truer for more women because it comes from a place of learning and earning. We see the humanity behind the successful career woman who seemingly has it all. We can all finally identify with her because she shared the ugly crying scene. 

There has to be a trick to it, right?

For some reason, natural confidence – especially in women – is suspect. The truth (for both men and women) is rarely that you're born with it. So we search for the secrets behind confident people.

We want to see the tricks, the actual maneuvers you make in order to fake it till you make it; the trials other women went through to get where they are now. We want to see something good come out of the ashes, like the triumphant raised-arm poses Amy Cuddy taught us to do in the bathroom stall before the big interview or speech, tricking our endocrine system into actually BEING confident.

The real angle on confidence – having it, earning it, displaying it, etc. – is to push yourself there, taking bold, but minor, uncomfortable steps in a cold flash of sweat if necessary.

In the book The Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write,

We need to fail again and again so that it becomes part of our DNA. If we get busy failing in little ways, we will stop ruminating on our possible shortcomings and imagining worst-case scenarios. We'll be taking action instead of analyzing every possible nook and crevice of a potential plan. If we can embrace failure as forward progress, then we can spend time on the other critical confidence skill: mastery.

That humble pie is getting stale anyway, isn’t it?

If you’ve ever assumed that a powerful, confident, successful woman sits on some imaginary throne, you’re right! She actually created it out of thin air, from a lifetime of audacious, elegant, and cringe worthy feats; and over time, it finally starts to feel comfortable. It’s time for all women to step up and assume their places one thrones they fashion for themselves.

Now you.

Are you naturally confident or have you earned it by trial and error?

How Do You Dare?
Jen McGahan

Remains of The Viking Warrior Everyone Thought Was a Guy... Was Actually a Badass Woman

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Submitted by Larissa at HERdacity on Tue, 09/19/2017 - 05:45

As women fight to get more representation and power in our respective fields, take note… the women who came before us have been kicking ass for hundreds and hundreds of years. 

The latest proof: bones of a viking warrior presumed to be a man… are actually those of a woman according to new DNA analysis. 

She’s being deemed as a ‘high-status’ viking because her remains were found with weapons as well as a strategy game board… which indicates she was an officer involved in  planning and tactics. 

So what does this all mean? If you were in awe of Wonder Woman— you may have some real life 'sheroes' to draw some inspiration from too.

Like the stories you see on HERdacity? Please like us on Facebook and share this article on your own Facebook feed! 

Larissa at HERdacity

Generate Your Own Spark. It’s Magnetic.

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Submitted by Larissa at HERdacity on Wed, 09/06/2017 - 09:40

Power magnets are the best!

I got three incredible HERdacity magnets… and here are the words on each one: 

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK I CAN’T DO SO I CAN GET STARTED

WHEN SOMEONE TELLS ME WHAT I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DO, I LAUGH BECAUSE I DIDN’T ASK

DON’T BE A PASSENGER ON THE ROAD OF LIFE.  TAKE THE WHEEL.

I love each and every one of these and for different reasons.  So, since I have been a big fan of magnets for years, I searched my kitchen.  Where could I put them?

Refrigerator?  Nope.  That new kind of surface isn’t really metallic.  Stove or oven?  Same problem.  Wooden cupboard doors don’t work for the obvious reason that they are, well, wood.  No metal involved except in the hinges and I don’t see an easy and obvious way for me to stick a magnet on a vertical hinge.

But inspiration struck.  I have a weird little breaker box with a metallic door under a cupboard in my small kitchen!  And thank goodness these little chunks of powering magnetism stuck nicely.

Magnets on Susan's Breaker Box

It seemed as though I had discovered a powerful omen.  HERdacity’s messages do best with electricity, and that is where all of us come in.

We each generate our own spark, our own interpersonal electricity… and we give zing and energy to each other.

So figure out your magnets for your life- change them frequently – and find a place to put them that will provide the power, the boost, and the fire to drive you forward.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. WHICH OF THE MAGNETS RESONATES WITH YOU? 

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Susan Combs

Does Wonder Woman Represent A Powerful Woman? Patty Jenkins VS James Cameron

"There Is No Right and Wrong Kind of Powerful Woman" - Patty Jenkins, Director of Wonder Woman

What does a strong, powerful women look like? For the director of the movie Terminator, James Cameron, it isn’t necessarily Wonder Woman. In an interview with The Guardian he said:

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. Sarah Connor [the main protagonist from the movie, Terminator] was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”

Patty Jenkins, the director of Wonder Woman fired back in a tweet saying, "James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman. Strong women are great. His praise of my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we. I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.”

So what do you think? Tell us about a strong, powerful woman you know who doesn’t fit a traditional “daring woman” stereotype. Also share what makes her amazing, tenacious and someone who inspires you.

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HERdacity Shoutout: Musician Stops Concert to Shame Sexual Assaulter in Crowd of His Show

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Submitted by Kelly Smith on Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:56

Musical festivals and concerts are meant to be places to enjoy good live music amongst friends and mutual fans. Unfortunately, the fun of these festivals can become a nightmare for the many women who experience sexual assault at the events.

And while these sort of behaviors have been prevalent at concerts for a long timeand are not isolated to one country—recent events and the reporting done on them have begun to shed light on the problem. For example, it was reported that at the 2016 Bravalla Festival in Sweden, there were 5 reports of rape and 12 reports of sexual molestation. Another Swedish festival, Putte i Parken, had 32 sexual assaults reported that same year. Which raises the obvious question...why is this still happening? And why should these places of supposed fun become a threatening place for women? Moreover, how can we change this culture of 'acceptable' behavior and what can be done to prevent this from continuing to occur? 

An important way to combat this problem is by raising awareness and talking about the problem openly. Sam Carter, the lead singer of British metalcore band The Architects, did just that during a concert recently where he called out a sexual assault he witnessed from the stage.

The band was performing at the Lowlands music festival in the Netherlands, and during their show, the lead singer saw a man in the crowd grab at the breast of a woman that was crowd surfing. Before going onto the next song he stopped to discuss the incident with the crowd. Here is what he had to say:

**WARNING: Contains explicit language**

"I saw a girl, a woman, crowd surfing over here, and I'm not going to f***ing point the piece of s**t out who did it, but I saw you f***ing grab at her boob, it is f***ing disgusting and there is no place for that s***.

It is not your f***ing body, it is not your f***ing body and you do not f***ing grab at someone. Not at my f***ing show. So if you feel like doing that again, walk out there and f*** off and don't come back.

Let's keep this going, let's keep this a f***ing safe place for everybody, and let's have a f***ing good time."

Although his language is profane and raw, we applaud Mr. Carter for his blunt refusal to accept this kind of behavior. He is an important example of how people in positions of 'power,' male or female, must call out this sort of conduct when witnessed, in order to change the culture and combat the normalization of these occurrences.

Lastly, the most important thing to remember in these situations is that if you experience it, report it. Tell a festival organizer or security member if you ever feel unsafe or threatened. And if you witness sexual assault, be an advocate by doing do the same: call it out and report it. 

Kelly at HERdacity