*** YOUR DAILY DO'S - FRIDAY, 7 AM EDITION ***
Most of us are aware of no-no female conversational tics: asking questions when we should be making statements, the words “just, like,” and “um,” apologizing for speaking up, and prefacing our good ideas with things like, “This is probably a bad idea but…”
There was a time when the mainstream fem lit was telling us, “Don’t do that! Stand up! Stop asking and start telling! Negotiate! Speak up and speak clearly and don’t you dare knock yourself down before you start! Do not apologize for talking!”
While the message was meant to be empowering there was something about it that made me feel chastised instead.
One day, back in 2015, I saw a headline that stopped me in my tracks:
“Stop telling women how to talk.”
As I read the article I understood why, for so long, those other allegedly “empowering” how-to articles left me feeling defeated and self-critical – they all began with some problematic foundational assumptions:
1. Women speak differently from men;
2. The way men speak is right;
3. The way women speak is wrong.
#1 has yet to be proven, and #2 and #3 are symptoms of our society’s misogyny, not the cause of our society’s misogyny.
Why are we charged with over-apologizing? Why aren’t men charged with under-apologizing? Why do we need to talk in deeper voices?
The articles that explained to women how they could change themselves to be more successful were JUST, LIKE, more voices in my head telling me that I’m inconsequential, not good enough, silly, weak, wrong, wrong, wrong. Worse, it made me listen to other women with a critical ear – Listening to a bestselling author at a packed reading, beginning her sentence with, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but…” the only thing I could think was, “Uh oh, honey, you’re not supposed to do that.”
“Stop telling women how to talk,” changed the way I listen to myself, and just as important, to other women.
So what’s the point of writing this today?
I’ve seen a lot of posts encouraging people to take various actions today – TVs on, TVs off, get outside, stay home, participate, incubate, look at the screen you have to bear witness, avoid all screens don’t feed the beast. These are all great suggestions.
As I stood in my kitchen to write these Do’s, I thought about what this day means to me, personally. How could I assume that what soothes me will also soothe you? How could I assume that you want to be soothed, today?
I’m not going to tell you what to do.
You are wise and powerful and smart. You have good ideas. You know what to do.
Listen to yourself. Believe yourself. I am not going to tell you what to do.
In lieu of the Do’s, here are 3 prompts to share what I think of as “good food” today.
1. Have you heard our Spotify playlist of Pantsuit tunes? Do you have any songs to add? Songs that make you feel strong, loved, powerful, capable, all fired up?
2. What does a powerful person look like in your mind's eye?
3. Wendi started this train last night and I want it to keep going - Comment on this post sharing what you’re proud of this community for accomplishing, and what you’re proud of YOURSELF for accomplishing. We’ve been here since November 9 and damn, we have been hustling for the past 3.5 months.
Take care. Be strong. We’re here if you need us.
OH, and another one of our Pantsuiters started this thread of incredible profile pics for this weekend! Check it out if you need some TLC! Thank you Cindy Christenson for starting this!
Katie Anthony is a writer, one of the administrators of Pantsuit Washington, and heads the Daily Do's team.
Liz Bander - writer
Angela Teater- Writer