…because it will.
“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say.”
-Maggie Kuhn, Founder of Gray Panthers aging activist and reformer
I’ve been thinking lately about the power of women finding and using their voices. Everything changes.
I’m not an expert.
I’m not a good public speaker.
I don’t know how to answer questions.
They might not like what I say.
They might not like me.
I might say the wrong thing.
I don’t have anything to say.
I’m not allowed.
Then we look at women who inspire us like RBG, Rosa Parks, Dolores Huerta, Michelle Obama, Wangari Maathai, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Emma Goldman, Malala and the list goes on.
Those women can inspire us, but sometimes we use their examples against us by thinking that they have special qualities that we don’t.
That is the voice of patriarchy in our brains trying to keep us quiet and convincing us of all the reasons to stay small. It might sound like a protective, friendly or chastising voice. Its mission is the same which is to believe it. Unless we disrupt the cycle, we end up looking for evidence that it’s impossible for us to find and use our voices, to say what we want in the way that we want.
I’ve seen so many women who didn’t think they were “strong women” speak when their voices and bodies shook.
A colleague of mine advocated publicly for her doctoral student who wanted to work on LGBTQ+ research even though those in power just wanted it to go away.
Another colleague spoke truth to power by challenging administrative decisions about changes in the institutional mission statement even though she did not have the “security” of tenure.
Friends in Croatia spoke out about the system of patriarchy (and militarized patriarchy) in the country and started a Center for Women’s Studies to help women find their voices.
To this day my mentor of 20 year writes and speaks all around the world about feminism and militarism.
A high school student started a “Feminist Club” at her local high school and fought for equal funding.
I worked at a domestic violence shelter where I learned from my colleagues how to answer the door when an abuser came looking for someone. Students found their power and organized even when the administrators tried to quiet them.
A friend left her job mid-career and started an entirely new profession because she wanted to follow her dream.
Each time a woman finds her voice, she makes one more crack in the collective patriarchy and she lives in her own personal revolution.
I coach women to shed second guessing, fear and imposter syndrome so that they can find their voices. Reply to this email to learn how coaching can help you claim your voice and make an impact in the world. I offer individualized 12 week coaching packages and a FREE 30 minute discovery call to answer all your questions about coaching. It’s the most important work of our time.