In 2008, newly split from my partner, I had two little girls under the age of 4. I had no child support -- hell, I had no support of any kind. I did have an apparently "good" job as a Proposal Writer; but after I paid daycare & rent, luxuries like groceries were going on my credit card. At the same time, I was profoundly lonely. I had big ideas & dreams, and yet it felt like I walked through my daily life underestimated. I had no social life -- because I had little ones and no money for a babysitter. And so writing became a lifeline. Every night after I put my daughters to bed, I wrote a blog post. A couple of fellow bloggers started commenting on my blog posts, and then reaching out by email...and suddenly I had friends! A community! In those early days, my new writing & blogger friends were my champions. They taught me how to get more readers, about SEO, and insisted I join a thing called Twitter [maybe you`ve heard of it :)]. One, Dr. Dave Doolin, a coder and professor from the East Bay, taught me how to copy-write. Although I was already a good writer, Dave introduced me to a specific form of writing that helps people take action -- like sign a petition, call their representative, hire a coach, or buy the e-book. I started using my new copywriting skills to write sales pages and emails... ...and I started making money. One night, I wrote a sales page and sent an email to my (tiny) list, and in the morning there was $2,500 in my PayPal account. I cried. This was life-altering. You have to remember: I was a single mama with no money. I was putting my groceries on credit cards -- and that runway was running out. So being able to create a sales page to sell a service and actually get paid was not a small thing. It was HUGE. Having the practical skills to generate an income that actually allows us to thrive is MASSIVE for those of us facing systemic barriers to our flourishing. For me, learning the skill of copywriting was POWER...
Find the rest of the blog post, here: https://kellydiels.com/feminist-copywriting-power-resources/ 📷 by @anastasiachomlack (2009)
Here`s what I know: the thing you’ve been shamed for is nearly always a source of profound culture-making and personal power. It can fuel cultural change AND fuel your own body of work and life. For example. In my life, and especially in the last several years, I’ve been made fun of and erased; experienced concern-trolling, dismissal, size-ism; and even discriminated against because of my size and weight. And even as all that shitty stuff happens, my experience living in a fat body is the reason I can see around corners that other people can’t. ** As I explained in a Forbes interview: "…because I’m fat, and because I’m a woman, I see things and know things about our world that other people cannot. I can see the edges and contours of our culture and our corporate spaces specifically because sometimes I’m excluded from them. That insight significantly helps me in my own body of work. I am able to analyze the world and connect dots in novel and innovative ways because I have access to information that other people don’t...So in any setting where creativity is the engine, I’m an asset -- and knowing that is power." ** Being fat, being a woman, and being a survivor of sexual abuse, have together heightened my ability to perceive and explain and navigate and CHANGE invisible power structures. As a result, I can teach other people do this, too. My identities, even as they get used against me, are a profound personal and culture-making source of power. That`s why I post on social media, including pics of me and my fat body. That`s why I`m trying to get more #visible. Like Tina Turner explains about her amazing life, it IS possible to turn poison into medicine. Because we are the culture makers. And that`s what we do. --- www.kellydiels.com #wearetheculturemakers #tinaturner #poisonintomedicine #getvisible #takeupspace #useyourlife #socialmedia #whatIknowforsure #thewitchesarecoming www.kellydiels.com @kelly.diels
Many of us culture makers and feminist entrepreneurs would never, ever utter this sentence: “I want power”.
"I want to feel empowered"…sure, we’ll say that.
"I want to grow my business"...yep, we can say that. "I want a promotion…" "I want more money…" I want to grow my network…" "I want to grow my platform…" "I want to make an impact…" "I want to create change…" "I want to be the change…" "I want to make a difference…" "I want to be visible…"
We can say those things without a lot of pushback. Externally or internally.
ALL of those sentences mean "I want power."
We need power, and want it, but we aren`t allowed to talk about it, directly.
That`s why the word "empowerment" is everywhere in women`s communities, instead of POWER; and why it`s more common to hear about "feminine" leadership instead of FEMINIST leadership.
(Sidenote: I think we`re acquiescing to bias and reinforcing patriarchy when we use the language of empowerment/feminine leadership instead of the language of power/feminist leadership.)
Here`s what I think is going on in the way we revere empowerment but shy away from actual power:
1) We believe that power = abuse/oppression and so we don`t want any part of it 2) Women who show signs of power get punished -- including by their own family, friends and community members
The outcome? Because we`re made to believe power is ONLY abusive, we stay away from it. And the negative power structures stay in place.
Because we get punished for showing signs of power, we stay away from it. And the negative power structures stay in place.
HOW CONVENIENT FOR PATRIARCHY.
Let`s not leave power to the domain of systems and people who will abuse it.
Let`s not buy into the notion that power is only abusive (that`s the least creative form of power).
Let`s remember that POWER can be a life-giving, creative source of change that lives in each of us, and between us, and BELONGS TO US -- and then cultivate and share it.
Let`s use our power to change our lives AND THE WORLD.
Wondering if you’re worthy, over-giving (`tis the season) (it`s always the season) questioning if you belong at the table, and feeling like you have to do everything yourself are NOT your natural inclinations. They’re the voice of an unjust culture working through you without your consent. So is imposter complex. We doubt ourselves because we live in a woman-doubting culture. And...no more. Let`s change the channel. Let`s unlearn this toxic social conditioning and reaffirm + revalidate ourselves... ...so we can shrink our self-doubt and grow our power. Personally AND collectively. Because #WeAreTheCultureMakers ::::: Please, in the midst of the pressure that is our current reality, take a moment to connect with someone who sees your power and sincerity. Let them tell you great things about yourself. Really hear it. And, if you can, do it for someone else. Get on the phone and praise the sh*t out of them. We`re often running on empty tanks and being seen and affirmed with sincere & true words of encouragement are pure jet fuel. Let`s fly. Or land the planes that have been in the air too long. love + justice, Kelly #📷 @daniellecohenphotography #feministmindset #leadwithsoul #feministcoaching #embodiedleadership #womeninthearena #breakingcycles #darkbeforethedawn
Many feminist entrepreneurs & culture makers see the immense scope of social need in front of them and try to fill it with their love, their body, their labor, their hours, their BUSINESS. For free. Because it`s needed.⠀ ⠀ Then they fit their billable hours AROUND the pro-bono/low cost work they offer in their business. ⠀ ⠀ The result? Our most caring, committed community members stay broke, suffering, over-extended and their businesses don`t get traction...which means the system is working EXACTLY as designed.⠀ ⠀ WE ARE BEING DOUBLE-BILLED FOR OUR OWN OPPRESSION.⠀ ⠀ If our folks with marginalized identities & social justice commitments are barely scraping by, then we`re not actually interrupting the extraction machine that WANTS us in that position. ⠀ ⠀ One of the #FirstPrinciples of my feminist business coaching work is this: if the feminist running the business isn`t flourishing, then it`s not a feminist business.⠀ ⠀ (h/t Dr. Lilia Graue @liliagraue for our conversations about sustainability & social justice over the years.)⠀ ⠀ Another one of my first principles: in order to be a feminist business, *sustainable* accessibility must be baked into our business models ⠀ ⠀ (h/t Dr. CV Harquail @cvharquail for this insight & her book, "Feminism: A Key Idea for Business"). ⠀ ⠀ Usually, however, we`re taught to choose between chasing individual success at the expense of the #collective, or working towards the common good at the expense of our own financial wellbeing. ⠀ ⠀ It`s not one or the other. We can do both.⠀ ⠀ For me, both #MoneyAndJustice are non-negotiable -- and that shapes my work with clients.⠀ ⠀ I want you to be able to financially flourish AND culture-make. Right now -- not far off into the future (but then, too!).⠀ ⠀ Because we are here to create mutual sustainability, not more self-sacrifice. ⠀ #BeenThereDoneThat #BreakTheCycle #WeAreTheCultureMakers⠀ ⠀ 🌸🌼🌻⠀ I`m Kelly Diels and I`m a #FeministMarketing consultant. One of the first thing we do in GOOD MONEY is help you define your #BusinessModel aka HOW YOU MAKE MONEY -- and we do it through the lens of justice.