Monday, January 4, 2010

See Kate Conquer: Making an Impact (First Official Give-Away!)

Welcome to a new year, a new decade, a NEW YOU!

Well, perhaps that's a bit too ambitious for a Monday, especially before coffee. I'm not really one for resolutions, although I do enjoy a mental turning over of leaves, pursuing new things, and seeing results from concerted efforts. However, I find that sometimes the gung-ho-ness that accompanies a stride towards big change is enough to deter me, putting too much pressure on my delicate streak of gumption. If, however, I allow something to roll itself over in my mind, easing its newness into my consciousness with the slick finesse of a mesmerizing politician or a box of chocolates, I accept the change just a little bit easier, and get more bang for my buck.

Are you still following me?

What I'm trying to say is... over the past several months I've been thinking of how I can be more involved in helping and empowering women, from endeavors like supporting my friends (and myself) in their passions to advocating birth rights for women in America and Sweden, to helping stop the atrocities that women deal with worldwide on a daily basis. It can easily feel overwhelming, as I have much more of a penchant for instant gratification than I do for slow and methodical planning. One thing that I've done recently that actually did help me feel like I was in a position to help women was to read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

This book looks at several horrific ways that women and girls are terrorized with around the world, presenting both dramatic research and first-hand accounts. The beautiful thing is that this book also offers a lot of hope to the reader, both in terms of how these victimized women have risen above all circumstances, as well as how we can practically get involved.

I was so inspired by this book that I want to give one of you the opportunity to be moved and inspired as well. Count this as my First Official Give-Away. To enter, leave a comment that briefly describes something you find empowering about being a woman (if you're a man, you can still enter! What's something you find inspiring about women?). I'll pick a winner based on my whims of the moment, and announce the recipient of this great book next week (if you enter, please make sure to check back to see if you've won - I'll need your shipping address!).

One last thing... you may be wondering, why is this lady writing about women's rights on a design blog?! Fair enough. I guess I just assume that the predominant audience of this blog is a group of thoughtful, creative women that look at things differently, and with that perspective there's a lot of opportunity to see and act differently from others. I think that we thoughtful, creative types can move mountains with our visions of grandeur.


Fern said...

WOW! Just WOW! Awesome post! I'd love to win. Here's my email: - I can email you my address, if I win.

Thanks for sharing this. Makes me appreciate my freedoms.

What I find empowering about women: giving birth, carrying new life in the womb, mothering, nurturing, feeling... how God breathes life through us, women! Girl, you're gonna make cry - it's nice to sit & think about this topic for a change. I'm humbled.

Again, thanks for sharing :)

Faga-Meyer Family said...

Annie, I've been dying to purchase and read this... I love that you've read it and are giving it away.

What I love about being a woman... freedom to show our "soft side" openly, the gift of mothering and loving that seems innate, and the beauty that is women -- all ages, ethnicities, shapes and sizes. I'm just a huge fan of women, I guess. Doesn't hurt that I have three daughters and amazing girlfriends.

kateisfun said...

Great comments so far! I'm glad to have provoked some thought... keep the comments coming!

Anonymous said...

Woman as a sex or as a gender?

As a gender... Strength. Resilience. A woman's ability to keep going when the world is against her. This is something that I think that women have much more than men, but whether it's due to nature or nurture, I don't know. The women who have paved the way for me.

As a sex... Higher pain tolerance. The protective powers of estrogen. The blessing and curse of the maternal fat layer. Greater flexibility. Breastfeeding.


(If I win, I'll send you my email)

Val said...

Hi Kate!

As a contributor to this blog I am officially disqualified from your give-away, but i wanted to answer your query anyway.

The reason it's taken me so long to do so is something Bethany's comment indicated, which is that I've been trying to rethink the gender binary, but I will have a go at citing a label assigned to women by cissexism which we have recast and turned into a pillar of strength, and that is that women “talk too much and are gossipy.” It’s a common cliché - women going to the bathroom in groups, women talking on the phone for hours, women giggling with their girlfriends over cosmos (and these are just Western examples, of course) – but in trying to stuff us into this limiting box, sexists have unwittingly given us our greatest source of power, which is each other. Women are allowed to have close friendships and share emotions with each other in a way that heterosexism prevents most men from enjoying. We laugh and cry together, we encourage each other, and the intimacy of our bonds with other women gives us the strength and power to lead courageous lives in a world set against us.

So I posit that the most empowering thing about being a woman is my ability to empower other women.