I’m no chef, but as a dedicated if often unsuccessful home cook I’m floored to speaking with this group of women at the AMAZING Rialto restaurant on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Click below for tickets!
11:45AM – 2:00PM
This year we welcome back the extraordinary Victoria Budson, Founding Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, who will lead a panel discussion on Women and Media. Our all star lineup of panelists includes Food & Wine Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin and Founder of Women Online Morra Aarons-Mele, and James Beard Award winning Chef Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniere, Mijita Cocina Mexicana, and Public House.
This is a brilliant perspective from Jill Soloway in her blog post, “Woody’s Daughters“: “When I try to process whether I’m ready to indict Woody, I can’t ignore the way that film and art can work as propaganda for the self.”
It’s just hard not to feel a bit hoodwinked that a generation’s comic genius, neurotic reassurance, and icon is a child molester, and that he was telling us he was, the whole time, through his films.
I call Cindy Samuels my fairy blog mother. She and I met many years ago when we both worked at iVillage.com. Through the years Cindy has been a mentor, sherpa and confidante. She wrote this beautiful piece about the closing of iVillage.com, which makes me sad, too. Everything I learned about marketing, online community, and content I learned from the amazing women at iVillage.com.
Women need tribes. Need each other.
Two of the first online people to figure that out were Nancy Evans and Candace Carpenter Olson, the co-founders, along with two others, of iVillage. Together they built the best online home women will ever have. Parent Soup, where I worked for four years, was a mommy site before mommy bloggers or Babble or BlogHer. Vibrant, warm and well-led, it served – and listened to – women with inclusiveness and respect.
Well before blogs or social media, iVillage’s topical message boards, conceived as support communities like those in AA, engaged the site’s visitors and provided a sense of home and ownership that didn’t seem to appear anywhere else online. They shared parenting and relationship advice and once, right before my eyes, rescued a woman from a terribly abusive relationship as all the members of the board came together to support her.
Today we learned the site will “be shuttered” and folded into the TODAY SHOW Online under its current owner, NBC News.
I am thankful for the chance to raise boys who become loving men, committed to equality and life outside the “man box.
I realize that quote sounds waaay too earnest. I swear I didn’t mean it like that! And for those of you wonder WTF a “man box” is, you need to know. In “A Call to Men,” his powerful TED Talk, Tony Porter details his definition of the man box. A world where men are in charge, where women are not. A world where men are tough, strong, and never, ever emotional. This has stayed with me for years and years. And I will not let my boys grow up within the strictures of the man box.
I have been working in this field (marketing “social change” using the internet) for a very long time. Even though I love my work, I’ve been getting a little cynical. Every day I tell my clients, “Moms online are the most powerful force” and yet true change comes slowly. Women’s power doesn’t seem to increase as fast as we’d hope. Last week, at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, celebrating the most incredible women’s most incredible accomplishments, I cried and cried as the horrific impact of gun violence seemed a hidden guest of the evening.
And then, there’s this: at some level, I’m still giving the same sales pitch about the importance of reaching women online as I was in 1999 at iVillage.com. I guess that’s reasonable. After all, when I do online fundraising work, I still focus on the importance of email fundraising, same as we were back in 2003.
So yes, I’ve been thinking about impact.
But this weekend I had the honor of attending a planning retreat for a non-profit board I serve on: PostPartumProgress. In the room, six fabulous women planned how to drive a hugely impactful organization to the next level. And here’s the thing: the primary vehicle of PostPartumProgress, which many women have said “saved their life,” is a blog. It’s a website, founded by Katherine Stone almost ten years ago. This weekend reminded me that not only do organized and vocal communities of women on the internet have the power/potential to change things, we actually HAVE. This probably seems like a subtle difference but in hearing your stories and diving into the work of PPI I realized change is happening, and change is us.