PHENOMENAL WOMAN: why my love for my daughter unleashes my need to roar
We apologize for boldness, adopt self-deprecating humor, and under-value our contributions. What we need to do is roar.
“I am woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” ~ Maya Angelou
We’ve all faced chauvinism. Usually, the most disarming part is that it’s coming from a nice person who is just an idiot. Like when I left a networking event early to make it home for my kids’ bedtime and a co-worker (who is a dad with kids my kids' ages) said, “Yes, leave! I can’t believe you’re still here!” Or when the male CFO said, “I’m not surprised your leaving banking to stay home with your kids, I’m just surprised it took you this long!” Or when the relative said, “So, what do you do with all of your free time now that you’re not working?”
I love being a mom of a daughter because it unleashes my need to roar. I’ve been conditioned to laugh politely at sexist comments and just focus on my end goal. But when it comes to her, an “it is what it is” mentality makes me rage. I need her to know: We are women phenomenally. Phenomenal women, that’s us.
I want her to know how strong she is, and to view that strength as a muscle. It’s always there, even if it hasn’t been exercised is a little while. The more she does exercise it, the more undeniably powerful it is.
I want her to know power can take the form of kindness – that powerful kindness is basically woman’s super power. I want her to see authoritative and courageous woman who lead their families, their teams, their businesses with intentional kindness. To see how things can build and compound when we work together instead of in competition. To realize we’re all in this together.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do for this International Woman’s Day, and I’ve decided to contribute 50% of sales today to women entrepreneurs through the Grameen Foundation. I’ve mentioned microfinance before since Water.org is one of my favorite ways to give back with our quarterly contributions to improve clean water access. I love it because it’s a hand up, not a handout. And, when the people repay their affordable loans, the money gets redeployed to another entrepreneur.
So, I’ll leave you with a few action items: read Maya Angelou’s full poem out loud, buy some truly amazing Paraguas Beauty products for yourself and/or a strong woman in your life, and learn more about Grameen and microfinance.
You are woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s you.