The Singing Tech is getting a revamp and I will be updating you all soon!
A month ago I found myself hitting nothing but a wall . I had stepped from the opera world into tech for about 3 years and , for a while, wondered exactly what direction I wanted to go in with it and what would make me happy. I had gone to school for 6 years to major in music as an Opera Singer. I wanted to pursue something that fused my love of communicating with people and technology.
I found social media. I loved it and starting immediately working on my profiles, writing blogs , going to meetings, learning in any way I could. From this “street education “technique I had gained followers and an understanding of social media and how to work my platforms . I was ready to apply this to a job in the field ( even entry level ).
But it wasn’t enough ….
I got plenty of interviews, meetings and conference calls with different companies looking to hire a social media manager. Each interview each time was exciting and I kept thinking ” finally, I can take that step forward in a career I want and love my job as I develop “. I never got that job offer. I just kept getting close and it was infuriating. I would reach out for feedback and always got ” well, we decided to go with someone who has more education/experience in this “.
Were they right ?
Maybe I had been going about this all wrong. I did build up my profile and had pounded the digital pavement but could still greatly benefit from classes to give me a method that works and have a certification to show for it.
I looked for a while for something that fit. Some recommended I completely go back to school but as a working woman in tech with someone else to support, all that money I didn’t have to spend… wasn’t an option. Then I found this program and it was PERFECT! Also perfect timing too! I was getting to that point in my life of ” will I just submit to this daily grind forever like groundhog day ? I guess things are just hopeless” . Then I found this and it was my “deus ex machina ” of solutions. Thank you Udacity!
As I got up out of my warm bath this morning that I took to soothe my period cramps since my Shark week start was brutal, I started to ponder the evolution we have seen in the feminine hygiene market lately. Are we finally evolving to using better products since the 80’s and 90’s tampons and pads solutions? You’re damn right we are.
It is no secret that there is a rise in the feminist movement especially considering the changes taking place in our country. With that rise of feminism, I have noticed a shift in the conversations about women’s issues. In particular, our periods.
We have started to have conversations about our periods freely. No shame!
We run races while on our periods
We talk openly about the effects of our periods
We joke about our periods
And now we innovate our period products.
The rise of feminism and women in STEM has brought on some amazing innovations in the period realm that were a long time coming. We are no longer shoving wads of chemical laden cotton into our vaginas ( I call them vajays), leaking out onto soaked pads and having mistakes happen on our underwear that are damn near impossible to hid.
Let’s celebrate and visit some of those changes!
This is not a tiny weird shot glass but a reusable silicone menstrual cup that you put in to catch all the blood during the day and empty it out at night.Made by Fempreneurs Francinne and Carinne Chambers in 2001, this baby Holds for 12 hours and only requires emptying and washing twice a day . While the menstrual cup has been around a while, it has seen a resurgence as the female audience is looking to alternative period products.
- Reusable- don’t need to create a stockpile of bio-hazard in your trash
- Odorless -Silicone is odor free. it could take on the odor of scented soaps though (not recommended to use).
- Easy storage- doesn’t take up a lot of space and when done you have a cute baggy to keep it in
- No leakage- I have worn this thing all day. Not a problem.
Ah the famous period underwear, keeps you dry and leak free . These thick swimwear-like underwear are put together with extra padding that include patented technology to absorb different amounts of blood. Created by Antonia Saint Dunbar, Miki Agrawal and Radha Agrawa in 2011,the underwear is anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent and leak resistant. This underwear can either be a complete replacement to pads/tampons etc or can be supplementary
- You don’t have to shove anything up your Vajay
- Moisture-wicking and antimicrobial so no feeling of wearing a mushy diaper
- No smell during
- washable and reusable
FLEX is a disposable, single use menstrual product that can be worn safely for up to 12 hours. Plus side: You can have sex while using this thing! This was created by Femprenaur Lauren Schulte.
- Molds to your shape and creates a seal
- You have HAVE SEX while using it
- No Leakage
- Is disposable (if the idea of something reusable freaks you out).
Each one of the items listed above is a not only a great innovation for the Feminine Hygiene industry, but it’s also our challenge to the ” industry standard” . We now have more cost-effective and chemically conscious products made by actual WOMEN who understand their own bodies and the industry. This can only get better from here!
So what products are out there that you recommend?
a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it.
When I think of the term ” revolution” as it relates to women, I often picture ballsy women of the past that performed drastic actions in order to facilitate change in their future world. I see them marching down the streets towards congress in the early 1900’s with Susan B Anthony. I hear them chanting for workplace equality in the 1960’s while carrying banners meant to shock and appall. I feel their passionate determination in the 1970’s fueled by their inclusion in the civil rights movement by Coretta Scott King after the death of her husband.
On January 21, 2017, I marched with 175,000 people in Seattle in a show of solidarity to send a message to our government.
Even with my planned actions of advocating for women’s rights politically, protesting and writing my representatives I couldn’t help but think… what’s the next step for me here? This NEEDs to make a difference for me personally.
It’s when I realized that the change didn’t need to only happen inside our government. Change needed to happen in my actions in my everyday life.
When being the Woman who spoke up Backfired
When I started in the tech industry, I had made a point to build up my confidence in the workplace and in my career advancement. I didn’t want to be like Melanie Griffith’s character in the beginning of ” working girl” who hid her self-worth away and didn’t seem to fully understand she WAS something special and worthwhile in her field. I studied hard and sought to not only excel but to create and improve everything I touched.
But… I did end up being that “working girl”…
One particular meeting at one of my first tech companies stood out to me.They had introduced a new process in which there was a major flaw. Everyone on my team hated this new process because not only did it not make any sense whatsoever, it was slowing down our productivity as a team and lowering overall morale. The company had an upcoming meeting to discuss this new process and give feedback. I decided to take this as an opportunity to not only give my opinion but also propose a solution and encourage discussion.
They opened up the floor for discussion, I proceeded to give my constructive feedback, opinion and a proposed solution that I had researched and found to be successful at several big companies. When I had finished, most of my team vocalized their agreement. We waited for their response and were only met with them attempting to end the meeting with ” well, thanks for the feedback but we have seen MANY other companies use this process and various studies and we KNOW it to be successful so we are going to go ahead and do it this way”.
At this point, I could have shut my mouth and conformed to being your stereotypical “yes” man. But I figured “If they know this way to be better, maybe they can tell me why”. So instead I decided to speak up ” Oh I didn’t know other companies successfully used this. Could you tell me which ones? Also which studies have you seen this process be successful in? I’m curious”. He didn’t answer me. Instead, another manager told us that was “enough for today ” and we were ushered back.
Later that day I was called into an individual meeting with that the manager I had questioned and my direct supervisor. The manager proceeded to talk down to me and implied that I shouldn’t question any process changes because he felt I just “didn’t understand the big picture” and even when I asked him to explain it to me he refused. He also made sure he kept mentioning how someone ” like me ” could never begin to understand the business and I needed to “learn meeting etiquette” because a “woman speaking up as much” as me could never get ahead. I left that meeting with a red face, tears and a feeling of defeat. I just didn’t understand. I had seen many of my male colleagues at this same company speak up the same way ( to the same manager mind you) I had done and were never taken aside and berated like this. Why was this meeting any different just because a woman had spoken up and dared to ask a question?
The Depressing Research
This was the first event of many where I was the subject of gender bias in the workplace. While sexism may not be as blatant as it once was in years past, there is still an undercurrent that exists in business today. We are still undervalued in the workplace to this day:
- Women are paid less – Pew Research study , Census Bureau
- Women are less likely to negotiate their salary- Glassdoor Survey
- Women that DO negotiate their salary lose likeability- Harvard Business Review
- Women that speak during meetings are more likely to get interrupted- Study, NY Times Article
What do we do to start moving our society forward? How do we navigate the subtle sexism that was bred into our culture and lives beneath the surface without many realizing it?
WE ADDRESS THE BIAS IN FRONT OF US
Sometimes the best way to approach a problem is to first acknowledge it’s there. It exists and is right in front of you. Why the hell are you ignoring it? .First, address that elephant in the room and acknowledge the damn problem. Then, most importantly, find the BEST way to move forward. Sometimes the perpetrator of the biased action is not even aware of what they did.
I have found the best way to help shift the behavior in business has been not only to point out that bias has taken place, but also to cite recent studies to further illustrate your point.When someone is not only told they have done a harmful action, but also that they are following the ways of an oppressive past, they tend to listen up more.
You would be surprised out how often this technique of simply making others aware has turned out in my favor.
During a project that was split between me and a male colleague, we would give weekly reports to our supervisor on our progress and present him with powerpoints and even video walkthroughs of what we were building. I had started to notice at the end of each meeting, our supervisor would congratulate and thank ONLY my male colleague at the end of every meeting but never me. The first time I let it slide as an oversight, but started to notice it kept happening.
The Options of Approach
Did I have the option to ignore it? Of course, I did. But did I want to have this type of behavior set the tone for the rest of my career as a pushover that never spoke her mind? No. Finding the right approach had proven to be more difficult than the actual conversation. Now there are several approaches one can take when this kind of thing happens:
- Angry Approach” HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?”
- passive aggressive approach ” well… maybe …like…. you could not say that please?”
- Saying nothing
How about an informative approach? I decided to go with that.
When I approached our supervisor about this issue, I made sure to point out that it not only hurt me because I applied equal effort to this project along with my male colleague, but it also hurt because studies had shown that women get looked over in the workplace every day. His actions had made me feel like I wasn’t included in the credit to our department’s success.
Now at this point, I am betting you expect the said “boss ” of my story to perhaps start to mansplain to me, bully me, or even get angry. Well, you’re wrong. By having an open conversation with this boss and pointing out how his actions were hurtful but also a direct reflection of the bias influenced in our culture, he immediately apologized. He even went above and beyond from that point on in making sure to thank me, acknowledge me and even gave both me and my colleague an award at the end of the quarter for all the work we had done. He is still to this day one of the best bosses I have ever worked for.
What I learned from this is that we can’t expect change to happen when we don’t take an active role in creating that change every day. Tell your boss/colleague/manager/director when this happens to you. Educate them.
Even little actions like asking for acknowledgment when you have been looked over is a step towards the new feminist revolution. You are saying ” stop! I’ve had enough !” to the status quo of how it’s always been done and instead shifting our culture to see things from another point of view.
If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow. we aren’t really living-Gail Sheehy
Make every day your revolution.
Recently beauty and the beast complete with Emma Watson has been released and everyone is going Ape SHIT over it , myself included. This was an amazeballs re-imagining of the story complete with musical numbers, a sexy man-beast that climbs towers and Kevin Kline surprising me even more with his sweet tenor. I also liked that this movie chose to humanize more of the characters in the story instead of making them one-dimensional characters only capable of one emotion. One of the more interesting subjects was Gaston.
Now Gaston definitely has his less-than-stellar qualities but his pursuance of Belle even after she gave him a huge dose of ” thanks but no thanks” always puzzled a much younger me in the cartoon version. I remember thinking ” why doesn’t he just go after one of those other girls? They’re all really pretty “. After seeing its re-imagining, it caused me to think back again on this question. I have to say, from Gastons point of view, some of these perceived reasons make a lot of sense to me.
1.Belle is SMART!
I noticed in both the movie and the cartoon while Gaston may call her “odd” and even going so far as saying it’s ” not right “, he never tells her to stop or calls the woman dumb. In fact, I think part of his reasoning for choosing her is knowing his own shortcomings when it comes to what he stores in his muscle-y noggin…which, let’s be honest. It isn’t much. Marrying someone like Belle would guarantee his kids have a good education.
2.An Actual Challenge: AKA she has her own damn mind!
In both movies, everyone loves Gaston and is his ultimate BFF. He is like the mean girls crew rollin’ up on horseback with his buddy Le Fou. No one would DARE say no to him or ever disagree. No one…that is except Belle. Now hear me out on this one! I could imagine being popular is super awesome and all but it would definitely get tiring for me being surrounded by constant “yes ” men that agreed with everything I said and did. I would never know if someone was telling me the truth or what I want to hear. You need that kind of honesty in someone you trust. Belle actually told him things he didn’t like but it also showed that she wasn’t afraid, to be honest with him. This is probably the first person he ever encountered that wasn’t afraid to stand up to him let alone a woman.
3.She does her OWN thing.
From what I gathered, most other women in the village would love nothing more than to do whatever it was Gaston was doing at the time. This goes along with the previous version of telling Gaston what he wants to hear and simultaneously doing whatever he wants to do to garner his favor. Belle is perfectly happy hanging out with her inventor father, reading books and even skipping through fields singing bout that provincial life. Being with Belle would mean that he gets breathing room because she has shown herself to be her own person with her own mind.
4.Kindness. No Matter What.
Yes while everyone in the village is also kind to Gaston, you could never be sure what they would do if the popular opinion was suddenly against him. Belle has been the only person in the village to show that she is kind and helpful regardless of the popular opinion.
This one is a no-brainer. Home girl follows a HORSE to a rando castle in the dark with furniture that talks and a man-buffalo-bear thing holding her father and she is not very bothered. Gaston with all his hunting excursions and battle-ready attitude shows that he would love a good adventure as much as her. Hell if they did end up digging on each other they would probably go off on adventures all the time.
So really given all these reasons, Gaston was choosing the best woman for him socially and physically. They would have made quite the power couple of Belle was interested and if Gaston wasn’t such a Douche Canoe. Alas, Gaston ended up FALLING short… see what I did there ?
What are your thoughts? Please comment below!
Breasts. Boobs. Fun Bags, Twins. Knockers…
The two soft protruding organs on the upper front of the body hold so much weight in today’s society and in history.
They are either praised or damned but never just accepted. That’s a damn shame,
Recently, Emma Watson did a cover with Vanity Fair where she was interviewed about her life and upcoming movie. They also did a photo shoot with one particular photo that made some smaller minded people go up in arms. Here is the “offending” photo:
What surprised me about this was that this beautiful and fashionable photo was seen as anything else BUT that. Instead, so many people were just “outraged ” by this photo and sought to call Emma a “hypocrite” for daring to show her breasts.
First of all. Feminism is not about being prude or sexual. Feminism is about CHOICE and equality. Emma was proud of her body and made a choice to show it and be proud. THAT, my dears, IS FEMINISM.
She has the freedom to choose how she displays her body and expresses herself in photos, fashion, and life. She can wear whatever the f*** she wants.
Let’s look at other women in history who expressed their views with their body:
This awesome broad sought to express her displeasure at the unfair taxation on her tenants brought on by her husband. She used her awesome bod to shock him into listening while riding a majestic steed through town. Badass!
This lady did not have a lot of choices open to her when it came to making a living. Back in her day, it wasn’t considered normal for a woman to read or write. This lady chose to make a living being a courtesan and putting pen to paper about her experiences. She used her body to gain access to funds and later set up a charity for courtesans and their families.
I personally love this woman’s music and message. She does leave you guessing sometimes but her political views are clear as is her body image. This woman wears whatever the f*** she wants and takes no prisoners.
My question here is: Why are we shaming Emma Watson in the name of Feminism? The very idea of shaming her isn’t feminism at all. This is just a means to silence someone because you are either jealous or uncomfortable.
As I am ALSO a feminist and not afraid of my body I too have chosen to REVEAL my feminism and have no shame whatsoever. My body isn’t perfect but I’m proud of it and it’s mine. I stand with Emma Watson in celebrating your body.
Instead of Focusing on Emma’s Boobs * which are lovely * Let’s look more at her accomplishments and how we can move the feminist message forward. I have listed a few ways below:
Make a commitment to HEforSHE
Check out her Feminist book group Our Shared Shelf
Get involved with UN Women
My challenge to you now is to make your own feminist reveal picture! Show me what you got!
STD’s can stay with you for quite a while .These bad boys are infectious and will be spread from person to person if you’re not careful. It’s time to get a condom for your blog and understand a treatment plan. I’m talking about :
Socially Trolling Dialogue
Trolls can be found on blogs, social media … anywhere with a comment section really.Sometimes they are alone, other times they come with a group to ” trash ” your page and bring you down. What most don’t realize is that NOT taking action is just as TOXIC as the trolls themselves. What’s important is coming up with a game plan.
One of the best lessons I took away from reading Jay Baer’s “Hug Your Haters” was this ” Your haters aren’t the problem, not responding to them is”
Here is what I mean by that- if you are keeping dialogue open on social media make sure every comment with a valid concern (even though angry ) does better when addressed than ignored. They say the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. When someone perceives themselves as being ignored it only infuriates them more and spurs them to continue their crusade.
In this case I like using Jay Baer’s set rule of responding twice then walking away.
Here is my own example :
I have posted an blog with my commentary and agreement about a previously published article on women alone in bars. This outlines how women shouldn’t be afraid to say ” I’m not interested ” instead of feeling pressure to give the ” I have a boyfriend excuse”
“Guy Alpha” comments on this with ( paraphrasing): ” Well this is a load of crap! Women are just trying to make us poor guys feel good. You know it takes a lot for a guy to go up to a woman and she should be grateful.”
I respond: “While I appreciate your opinion on the matter I wouldn’t go as far to say this is crap. Women do not get afforded the same treatment when they go up to a guy and most people would appreciate the truth. ”
** several other comments occur from more of my readers on the subject with links to evidence etc supporting this article’s original claim. Then ” Guy Alpha ” Responds a second time.
Guy Alpha : “You all just don’t seem to get it. I would not tolerate a woman doing that to me . MY FEELINGS are what’s important here not hers. …(rant)”
My response : ” At this point we will just need to agree to disagree here. We have differing opinions on this matter and I feel like this conversation is not going to progress well. I am more than happy to discuss other topics with you but I ask that we end our discussion on this topic here. ”
** At this point, Guy Alpha had already shown some signs of aggression but by commenting in the thread I was showing my readers I cared while monitoring the situation. While I am not one opposed to discussion, it was not a discussion anymore. I wasn’t going to let me or my other readers get abused. After my last comment he decided to comment again.
I could have responded for days, but I chose not to do so and stick to my original plan. I had other articles to write and things to do. I sought to engage this person and set boundaries but they didn’t want to play ball. After they made a third comment , I deleted the person’s comments, blocked them and added one final comment to the thread addressing the issue.
Even though some trolls are trash like this Guy Alpha, by addressing him digitally I stood up to his bullying on my page . I showed my readers that I was responding to them reasonably but when the conversation got abusive, I ended it. The readers appreciated it.
So before I launch into this I will get this out of the way : I KNOOOOOW a fake dating profile has “been done” before. I wanted to have my own experience but with a twist.
I was originally inspired by this article I read on the awesome sight Hello Giggles.
There were a lot of these kind of articles that sprung up but there was something about it that bothered me. They were messaging guys with quotes but still under a legit profile and these guys still thought they were making a love connection.
I knew I wanted to do this but I didn’t want to do this under the guise of catfishing anyone in any way. Then while binge-watching The Mighty Boosh and having waay too many glasses of wine the idea came to me :
I’m Old Greg. ( In case you’re wondering about the Episode I’m referring to, find it here)
The rules were hilarious :
- Make a profile with only pictures of the Old Greg character from the Mighty Boosh.
- Answer the profile questions only with quotes from the skit
- IF anyone messages , only answer back as Old Gregg lines
I honestly didn’t think anyone would message me but then…
What. The . Actual . Fuck .
Seriously ? I then turned to the messages and realized that they were ALL messages from other people either quoting the skit back to me or telling me how much they loved my profile. Every now and then I did get some people that were clueless or at least pretended to be :
I had so many people message my profile with quotes and praise…I felt like an Old Greg mascot on OK Cupid.
Some just thought the profile was funny and didn’t even know what it was :
This was/is still so shocking to me that putting up a comedy sketch character on a dating site got such a good reception.
Maybe these guys were looking for love, for their soulmates and Old Greg was a goo break from the hunt, Or Maybe Old Greg served as a reminder to these guys that we need to laugh always, despite the loneliness , sadness or journey we have ahead.
Noel Fielding, if you’re ever reading this, know that I love your show and all of your characters. Your comedy bought me joy and so many others as well. Also, even you as Old Greg makes quite a killing on dating sites.
2016 has brought us a lot of disappointment lately and it sucks ass.
We just gained a President that has made us fear for our country and lost so much.
This includes a great artist that had a profound impact for my life and my future: David Bowie.
I first saw this man in an awesome movie called : Labyrinth. He was decked out in a sparkly cape, weird elf-fairy eyes and legs that slayyed in them tight pants. Well… along with his HUGE … “presence”.
Tuning into the song ” Magic Dance ” today was a welcome distraction . The Lyrics got me thinking …
We are now beginning the dance.
Dance is defined as a movement to a designated rhythm. That’s it basically. It also dawned on me that the best kind of dances are those that sought to break the rules and send a message to the establishment.
Right now our country is in such a place. Our current President and his chosen group are trying to set the basic waltz with only steps that they deem worthy. Not this time.
On January 21st, I marched with 130,00 people in Seattle for the Women’s March. Together we created our own dance and set our own rhythm. We dance to the beat of women’s rights and protecting the rights of equality. We marched to the beat of defiance in the eyes of a government that would seek to keep us in the darker ages thinking that we would and will stay complacent and reserved.
It’s time to join the dance and set our own rules. The new forbidden dance: Feminism. We ARE the Babes with the Power. Here are some of the things we can do together:
1.Write to your Senator. Click here to find yours.
2.Follow The Women’s March Website to join in their action.
3.Sign up for Women’s Rights Groups in your area. Check your local NOW website here.
4.Show up. The more of us who show up to events the more people will pay attention
5.Let’s dance! Be the dance of power like in the Labyrinth, Be the dance of Defiance like in Footloose, Be the dance of individuality and freedom like in Dirty Dancing. Show the Government you are not afraid to Tango!
Now let’s see if they can follow the steps!
Contents of a Villains Purse in the Digital World
We all love a good villain, especially yours truly. Whenever I watched disney movies growing up as I child I always ended up liking the villain more. I mean THINK about it .
They have goals …
They don’t need no man…
They are unstoppable ( most of the time )
So this caused me to wonder… what would Ursula from the Little Mermaid keep in her purse if she was around with us humans in the digital world?
She could carry this baby around with her to remind her of the voices she stole AND be fashionable. Find it here
2.A Stealth Voice Recorder
You never know when you find the perfect voice to steal. She might not always get to her phone so this diva would need something that she could carry with her in her purse but be discreet.Find one here
3. A swimsuit
I mean … come on this woman RULED the waters. Even if she was made permanently human she would always keep a swimsuit in her bag to prance around the club pool.
This diva loves hearing beautiful voices so I feel like she would be very into itunes. She would have the best iphone on the market.
5. High Class Headphones
This b was obsessed with sound. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had not only a phone with good music but a top of the line device to listen to it .
Overall I think that Ursula would love existing in the world today especially with all the digital toys she would have at her fingertips. What else do you think this lady would be walking around with?