“And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” -Oprah, Golden Globes 2018
As a FemHealth company, we couldn’t help but be inspired by what Oprah had to say at this year’s Golden Globes.
We think a lot about what it means for women to “be empowered” and this past year has been a great illustration of what happens when women start to use this power.
Oprah was right on. This year, women did become the story. We became the story when we stood against abuse of power, when we supported each other, when we shared our experiences and our opinions, and when we raised our voices loud.
Now that’s what empowered women look like.
Oprah and her female colleagues from Hollywood have used their platform this year to speak up in film, on talk shows, and in print. Of course...
Not all of us get to be on TV.
Not all of us get to make a movie.
Most of us won’t start a blog or write an article for the Wall Street Journal.
But we each have a voice in our communities, in our offices, in our schools, and in our homes.
“And I'm especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.” -Oprah, Golden Globes 2018
So, while we work to empower women to gain control over their reproductive health, it’s up to all of us to figure out how to actually exercise that power.
We’ve compiled a list of what we’re doing as individuals here at Cycle Technologies to flex our power.
Talking at our dinner tables
Simply talking with our family members is a good place to start.
In the past we might have ignored the cranky uncle or let certain comments pass. But no longer. If we hear sexism, racism, any “ism”, we call it out and try to have a dialog.
For those of us with kids, we’re having hard conversations with them about subjects like gender and race. Many of us grew up thinking that if we didn’t talk about something “unpleasant”, it would be a non-issue and maybe our kids wouldn’t notice or be affected by it.
But we realize now that we have to talk about the uncomfortable stuff. Kids pick up subtle cues. When you don’t say something, they draw conclusions about what must be true.
We’re talking to our daughters about how they don’t have to be limited to certain careers, certain sports, certain hobbies just because they’re girls. Why things they see every day on TV or at school, are playing into gender stereotypes.
We’re teaching them how to respond with respect, kindness, and empathy to everyone they meet, regardless of race, gender, ability, age.
Same goes for our sons.
Conversations start at home.
Talking with our coworkers
In our office, we’re immersed in reproductive health and women’s empowerment. We talk about it every day.
But we realize this isn’t always the case. In most offices, people are talking about the weather, or the Packers or their office mate’s coffee stained pants (Ok - we might talk about those things too).
Connecting at the coffee place, gym, favorite park, neighbors
Be present. Social media is great for connecting and sharing, but it’s also really easy to hide behind a screen.
Connect in real life and talk. Tear down taboos, share experiences, learn from each other how to be better, how to do better.
Our company founder Leslie started wearing statement t-shirts to start conversations about issues she thinks are important.
“Nevertheless she persisted” and “wild feminist” are just two in her collection that get either high-fives, start arguments, or raise eyebrows.
They open the door for her to talk with people she sees every day and have conversations about issues that matter to her.
Not all of us get a microphone or a camera to broadcast our message to the world.
But we have little people we can raise right as well as friends and coworkers we can talk to and people we see each day who we can inspire or at least engage.
This is what empowerment looks like.
How are you using your voice to empower other women today?
Talk about something real. Be there for your female colleagues. Share your stories.
Cycle Technologies is a socially minded consumer product company based in Washington, D.C. The company creates Brilliantly Simple™ solutions to address global health needs. Since 2002 the company has worked with researchers, healthcare partners, and technologists to identify, develop, and make available leading edge ideas that fit its mission. To see more about the company’s initiatives, visit http://www.CycleTechnologies.com