Yesterday, I had post-lunch with a bunch of ladies attending Podcamp, just to talk about being a woman on Twitter, and what that means for us. We listed tons of Boston and Mass. based women’s tech and social media groups, like TwitterQueens, Downtown Woman’s Club, Women in Business Communication, Girls in Tech and the Women in Technology Institute.
Great conversation, and I was excited when they asked if we could do it again today!
Today, we had a much bigger turn out for Girl Power Part 2.2. And we even had some dudes. Yay!
We started the session talking about how the idea that we had yesterday “Real Women of Twitter” could work – blog articles pumping up different women that we know on Twitter, showing that women of social media aren’t all stilettos and trench coats. I’m working on the original post as we speak! More on that later. (I hope that our attendees are really as interested as the seemed in the room…)
However, it wasn’t all cupcakes and tea parties. ::sigh::
I get so disheartened by chicks who feel that being a woman is something that doesn’t matter. No matter how much you try to hide it professionally, you go to the bathroom with the stick figure in a dress on the door. You are a girl. Cherish it. Own it. Love it and use it in a way that works for you.
As I said in the session, I’m a girl. I’m black. I’m in my mid-20s. I’m plus-sized. Those are just four of the thousands of labels that are put on me every day. No matter what I do, or how I act or dress, I am those things. Period. But instead of seeing that as a weakness, or as a hindrance, I see it as a strength. For example, people meet me and see “black girl with a ghetto name”. Great. So when I open my mouth and begin to talk tech with them, or share my background with them, they are even more surprised, and the outcome is rarely ever negative. #smartboobs!
Does being a woman define me? No. But is it a part of me? Absolutely. To me, saying that you don’t want to be defined as a woman means that you don’t want to be defined as all of who you are. Yes, I would love to be seen as a “blogger”, but being a “woman blogger” or a “black blogger” isn’t a horrible thing. Just gives me a network to connect to for a niche, you know?
Labels on clothing are used to tell you where something came from and what it’s made of. True, I hate putting people in boxes, and I work to combat them every day. But I do see that they exist, and until the day that social justice prevails and we’re all equal, why not use them as stepping stones instead of boulders to build walls?
Either way, I learned a few things from this year’s Girl Power sessions:
1) We’re ready for action – #hirefriday and #followfriday-ing a gal pal or blogging on women’s issues or signing up to speak at conferences, etc. The women in that room are ready to do something to help “push, not pull”* their fellow woman. (*Great quote from @tamadear)
2) Some times you have to do things just because. A lot of the women in the room want to be a part of a blogging initiative to introduce and profile real women of Twitter. So what if no one reads it, or if only women read it. I’m going to do it. We’ll see what happens.
3) Some things never change, but some things do. And that gives me hope. 🙂