Posts Tagged ‘women’

fighting for change

when i was in law school,
my brother-in-law
would sometimes

when we’d go to
the grocery store,
i’d pay and then,
four times out of five,
the cashier (female
or male) would
reach to hand him
the change

“um, that’s hers,”
he’d say, routing
the change
back to me

more than a decade later,
i continue to get
the change consistently
when there’s no man around,
but often have to work for it
when there is

so, yesterday,
when i made a kind of payment
and the change was directed to
a male friend instead,
i went ugh, gah,

but i
was silent.
i just
did not
have it in me
to fight for change
right then

having never been
in a like situation
with this friend,
i wasn’t sure
what he’d do

and thus was glad
when he said,
“you should
give the change
to her”

it shouldn’t take a man to say it
for someone else to hear it,
but in those cases
where it does,
i am thankful
for the men
who will
and do say,
“i’m not



Categories: Reflections Tags: , , , ,

Leading like Tara & Louise

“You can’t trust women,” my mom told me often in my youth.

“Women are terrible managers,” she added as I neared working age. “They’re especially terrible to other women.”

I questioned her stance on many things: “So was that gem from Star or The Enquirer, Mom?” I don’t recall ever once questioning the veracity of her sweeping statements about women, nor thinking–consciously–what these words implied about me, my sisters and our futures.

I’ve thought a lot about leadership recently. I’ve thought about messages like my mom’s communicated in countless ways, verbal and nonverbal, in and outside workplaces today.

I reject them. Completely.

I taught English in Japan after graduating from law school. Read more…

I Am A Woman


It is not my obligation to be nice to you.

I don’t owe you anything.

Not because I’m a woman. Not because I’m in your vicinity. Not because it’s convenient to you, even if you’re a jerk to me. Not because pretty posters on Facebook tell me I ought.

Like this one, created for the purpose of this post

Like this one, created for the purpose of this post

A year or so ago, I told someone that something was hurting me. Then I told them again, and again. Read more…

A woman’s strength

What makes a strong female protagonist? Is it her sexy curve-hugging leather garb? Her knack for downing a half-dozen opponents with her sword, all in the same amount of time it takes for you to reach for another mug of coffee? Or is it her snark as she tells the bad guys just how little she’s fazed by their mediocre-at-best badness?

If you’re like me, physical ass-kicking capacity might be a part of the strength of some women you know. In such cases, it’s likely also not the determinative strength.

Sarah and Julie, who enhanced my strength by sharing their own

Sarah and Julie, who enhanced my strength by sharing their own

Picture a strong woman you know. What is it that makes her strong? Is it the way she kicks butt physically, or is it something else?

No, it’s not the physicality that makes the strength. So what is it? Is it:

  • the way she stands up to her abusive husband, despite his threats to her and her children?
  • the way she teaches her children to believe that life will be better, even if it’s hard now?
  • the way she unflinchingly holds her dying mom in her mom’s last breath and tells her she’ll remember her light?
  • the way she fights fiercely for what she believes, even if she trembles as she does so?
  • the way she tells her abusive father that she’ll always love him, but that she’ll never be able to have a relationship with him as long as he denies he ever did anything wrong?
  • the way she reaches out to her friends as they are struggling to say goodbye to a dying loved one, despite not knowing what exactly to say, because she knows it’s the reach, not the words, that count?
  • the way she sets aside what pennies she can spare to make sure the neighbors’ kids have enough to eat?
  • the way she holds herself together to comfort a friend who grieves, even though her friends’ sorrow feels like her own?
  • the way she decides to have children, even knowing the personal risks to her?
  • the way she intervenes on behalf of a stranger in a terrifying situation because she knows the stranger needs her?
  • the way she walks away from a relationship that’s bad for her because she finally understands she deserves better?
  • the way she forgives because she understands that we all make mistakes, and that failure to forgive will only hurt her soul?
  • the way she works four jobs to make sure her son will never know the hardships she’s known?
  • the way she adopts her friend’s children as her godkids and helps mitigate the impact of their poverty?
  • the way she helps push her friends toward the greatness she knows they’re capable of, even when they grumble at her?
  • the way she always says what needs to be said, in just the right way to make her friends feel comfortable hearing even the hardest of truths?
  • the way she looks at herself in the mirror and sees all the bruises, breaks and bitterness she’s been subjected to over the years and yet smiles, knowing there is so much light yet to come?

Read more…

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