I recently applied to a Tedx talk for East Vancouver and I wasn’t accepted. This is part of a longer-term game plan to speak at any Tedx I get into this year to expand my network and have my business’ message connect with a larger audience – so I am not heart-broken… yet : ).
I’m guessing part of the reason I didn’t get in has something to do with the whole “female empowerment” thing no longer being a “new idea.” Fair enough given that this is Tedx’s mandate, and I’ll come up with one! However it doesn’t change the fact that female empowerment or gender equity is an unresolved topic.
The fact that you desire more income than you earn (and that you perhaps feel guilty for wanting more or don’t know how to do it) is systemic and not just you.
The fact that you don’t have the negotiation skills to get the promotion or the job that you want is, again, systemic and not just you.
The fact that you have a difficult time stating your opinion, advocating for whatever you care about and want influence over, or simply making the life, work, or business you want happen is… not just you.
The fact that you feel burnt out, stressed out, or don’t have the energy that you wish is… not just you.
Below is my Tedx application, which simultaneously reads as the mission of my work… See this as the preamble or intro to a series of blog posts that I’ll be sharing over the summer about women, identity, and our personal, professional, and collective evolution.
What is your Idea Worth Spreading?
My idea worth spreading is the quiet revolution for women to honour themselves: particularly first-world women who have the privilege and opportunity to do so, and the power to risk self-honouring without sacrificing their basic survival. I believe the “personal is political” and that we ultimately sabotage what’s possible for us as a collective when women are not addressing the socialized beliefs that drive us. This includes undoing the binary, either/or thinking that equates honouring the self with selfishness (self-minimizing ultimately does this instead by repressing what is most authentic) or with loss of belonging (a hugely ingrained concern for women in particular). I’m not talking about self-care when I speak of honouring the self. I’m talking about the much deeper work for women to get out of the stereotypical ways in which society has socialized us to be as women (e.g., the archetypes of victim, martyr/saint, bitch/queen), and into a far more authentic place of self-expression. This idea worth spreading comes from my own 12 year journey to ally with my own power, and the time I have spent in transformation processes with women in my coaching practice, and learning about what we need to develop as women to achieve what we desire.
Why do you want to give this talk?
I believe this is an idea worth spreading because now is a critical time where how women show up effects society in critical ways. Although not the only work that needs to be done in the area of gender, I want to give this talk because I believe we’re at a place in the world that needs female agency and feminine agency more critically than any other time throughout my lifetime, and I haven’t seen the post-gender world or female empowerment that supposedly happened in my mother’s generation internalized by my female clients, my friends, or me in the way that it was supposed to.
This has resulted in a “shouldn’t we be past this?” kind of attitude (mentioned in this blog post) or denial of what’s not working in the first-world amongst women I find that’s harmful to our self-realization, leadership, and ability to contribute fully. There’s a new way or approach to female empowerment that’s not about becoming like men, but shaping the systems that facilitate patriarchy into those that are more holistic and inclusive of different ways of being. Until this happens, I believe women who lead this change have the hard work of undoing our internalization of patriarchy, so we can demonstrate, role model, engender another approach to power that is neither patriarchal nor victimized nor retreating from society. It is engaged, empowered, evolved, generous, and, revolutionary instead.
Our theme this year is “Human”. Please speak to how you think your talk can fit within the theme.
My talk is ultimately about how female self-development can transform humanity and society. By stepping out of the expected and contradictory roles so many women encounter – mother, wife, “female leader” – and into fully self-expressed humans that embody all of these at once, women change the way things are done and what health looks like in our culture. Professionals become authentic human beings (and not patriarchal versions of ourselves) who are fully women, fully competent, fully self-expressed. We all know research shows that female empowerment improves the social good for all of us: so what are we waiting for?
Longing for your life and work to become the expression of your dreams? Work with me.
Thoughts on this post? Please leave a comment below or get in touch!