How to Reach Critical Mass for Gender Equality Movements

A remarkable piece recently published in Time Magazine discusses how the “structures that enable sexism are exploding,” with every day seeming to bring new bombshells. Today’s bombshells were Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor (yes, it’s apparently true). All of this has been made possible by a culture that is finally starting to open up about the nearly ubiquitous harassment of women happening in our homes, schools and businesses.

The Time Magazine article, by Jay Newton Small, explains that when women reach 20 to 30% of the critical mass in an industry, change starts to happen. Women begin to take the risk of revealing their #MeToo stories. Men begin to talk about how they felt pressured to fulfill gender norms with aggressive sexual behavior. People of all genders begin to open up about how their lives were impacted by sexual trauma.

We are moving toward that point in our culture. This is a good thing, because we can evolve toward healthier relationships and less rigid gender norms. We can begin to make real systems change for gender equality, sector by sector, as different parts of society become more gender equal. But this won’t happen without the intentional effort of progressive movements to provide better news and information.

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Recap of #GivingTuesday Twitter Chat #FundWomen with WDN

For Giving Tuesday today, we hosted a discussion with Donna Hall, President and CEO of the Women Donors Network, as well as other members of the philanthropy women community. It is always so interesting to hear about how women’s giving takes a more multidimensional approach to social change. Thanks to the Women Donors Network for participating in the Twitter chat today. I also want to thank all those who chimed in for the discussion, and our donors who support us, particularly Ruth Ann Harnisch and Emily Nielsen Jones. [View the story “Storify of #FundWomen for #GivingTuesday with Special Guest Women Donors Network” on Storify]

Philanthropy Women Honors the Holiday Season with Self-Care

The holiday season means different things to all of us, but one meaning I would like to suggest we share this holiday season is a renewed dedication to self-care.

The idea of self-care can seem trite, but it is definitely not all about getting manicures. When I work with clients in my therapy practice, I like to help them widen their definition of self-care to include acts large and small that we can do to bring ourselves to a healthier place emotionally and physically. Here are a few examples from my life:

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Check Out #FundWomen Remixed with Storify

An interesting new tool called Storify helps to aggregate a social media conversation into a story. This is the first one I have created, and it was pretty easy!

The Storify helps to see who participated and to review what everyone said. We had some excellent questions and commentary, including participation from PBS To the Contrary, Philanthropists Ruth Ann Harnisch (disclosure: she is a sponsor of Philanthropy Women) and Jacki Zehner, as well as many nonprofits and women’s funds. Check it out!

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Tomorrow at 11 AM EST, Join the Conversation to #FundWomen, and Get a Tweet Preview Here

I’m excited about the #FundWomen Twitter Chat, starting tomorrow at 11 AM EST.   Also joining the conversation: clothing company Michael Stars, which has a foundation and uses its philanthropy to effect positive change for women. Below is a sneak peek of a few of my upcoming tweets! Here’s part of my answer for Question #2:  How and why do you opt to fund women’s rights organizations?
The Women’s Living Room donated $1,788 to Artists Exchange for theatre scholarships for girls. Pictured are Women’s Living Room donors, from left, Linda Harris, Lammis Vargas, Kiersten Marek, Kate Aubin, Mike Sepe, Elaine Yeaw from The Artists’ Exchange, City Council President John Lanni, and Paula McFarland.

I saw how my daughters flourished from improv programs at @ArtistsoExchange, so had confidence in their work. I started a giving circle and we made a grant of $1,788 to @ArtistsExchange to fund scholarships for girls #fundwomen #nationalphilanthropyday  https://buff.ly/2iaNZHW

For Question #4: Why is philanthropy so important when it comes to women’s rights and gender equality?

Leaders of Dallas Women’s Foundation, California Women’s Foundation, The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, New York Women’s Foundation, Washington Area Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham and Ms. Foundation on stage at the United State of Women Summit on June 14, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Philanthropy has the capacity to catalyze a feminist economy. Women’s leadership can move us toward economic models that bring prosperity to families and transform relationships from exploitative to collaborative.#fundwomen #nationalphilanthropyday https://buff.ly/2AHNsVy

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To #FundWomen, Join Us on National Philanthropy Day

We all have a unique journey in giving, and now that my journey has landed squarely on feminist philanthropy, I am excited to host a Twitter chat on National Philanthropy Day, to discuss my journey as a giver and to learn about your journey. I believe that by conversing, we can do more than we realize to help each other along the way.

The Twitter Chat will take place on National Philanthropy Day, Wednesday, November 15th, at 11 AM EST it, and will last for one hour. The chat is being hosted by Women Thrive Alliance, one of our spotlight organizations, and will focus on the following:

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Need a Lyft? Women’s Leadership Hub Partners with $11 Billion Taxi Business To Press Gender Equality

November 14th is Take the Lead Day. Get discounts on Lyft rides on November 14 with the codes on this coupon.

In case you haven’t noticed, nowadays people get around by Ubering or Lyfting instead of taking a cab or taxi. As these web-based transportation services grow, an exciting collaborations appears to be growing as well, specifically between Take the Lead, the women’s leadership organization steered by longtime feminist leader Gloria Feldt, and the company Lyft. To demonstrate its support of Take the Lead, the growing multi-billion dollar rideshare business is offering discounts on rides in honor of Take the Lead Day on November 14th. 

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This is How We Do It: Celebrating Some Feminist Victories

Teresa Tanzi,  a state legislator in Rhode Island, recently disclosed about fellow lawmakers’ sexual harassment of her. This led  party Vice Chair Joe DeLorenzo to  make sexist and offensive comments. As the Democratic Women’s Caucus hustled to call an emergency meeting to oust DeLorenzo, he resigned

The news is definitely not all good. But here and there, victories are being won for women and girls. This past week in my home state of Li’l Rhody, we saw a sexual harassment scandal in the state capital blossom into a resignation of an offensive ranking Democratic party official, Joe DeLorenzo. As representative Teresa Tanzi said on Facebook regarding DeLorenzo’s resignation: “This is how we do it. Stand up, speak up and do so relentlessly. And unapologetically.”

And then there is the matter of the New Republic’s thirty-year veteran Literary Editor, Leon Weiseltier, who we now know delighted in sexually humiliating women on a daily basis. Thanks to Laurene Powell Jobs, Mr. Weiseltier will no longer be pioneering a new publication called Ideas, since it appears his sexist and misogynist ideas and behavior are part of the problem.

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Feminist Alert: New Tool for Growing Young Feminists Now Available

Feminism From A to Z by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD, is a treasure trove of ideas and activities you can do with young girls and boys to help build feminist awareness.

When I first received my copy of Feminism from A to Z, I admit I was dubious. How well would a teenager appreciate being given a book whose contents were organized by the first letters of the alphabet?

But I was so wrong. In fact, the book immediately addressed my first concern by explaining its reasons for its organizing format. And as I began reading each of the chapters, it only took me until about letter D to realize I had just discovered a gold mine of ideas for how to work with young women to build feminist awareness into their identity.

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Funding Feminism: Unearthing the History of Women’s Philanthropy

When I became interested in women’s philanthropy, one of the first questions I wanted to answer was about who started the funding of feminist-strategy giving. It was surprising and disheartening to learn that there were very few accounts of the history of women’s funding for women. So imagine my delight when I heard about the publication of Joan Marie Johnson’s book, Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement, 1870-1967Her work in creating this history performs the desperately-needed public service of raising the profile of historical women who paved the way for gender equality, and a world where feminist leadership would set higher standards for civil society.

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