Hello SOTGC community,
As we wrap up celebrating Women’s History month, I had the great pleasure of moderating a Salon. The Salon was the kick-off to a series of events for the month of March. The invite list was very specific, as the committee wanted to have a diverse cross section of women represented at the dialogue. But, more importantly, it was dire that the invited women welcome adding fabric to the serious conversation while moving past the traditional ideas of being nice and cordial.
Now, before I continue, allow me to explain further about this Salon. This was not the kind of salon where many of us frequent to relax and get our hair shampooed. This was a Salon … a gathering if you will. A Salon is defined as an important place for the exchange of ideas. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries Salons were used to educate and/or amuse through lively debates.
With this idea of a Salon and in the spirit that last month was Women’s History Month, and paying homage to all the brave and dynamic women who came before us, the Salon was fitting. The topic of discussion surrounded women and how we use power. Talk about a daunting task of ensuring the women present would have the freedom, authenticity, and space to truly share their feelings about how we, as women, view, use, and exert our power.
The conversation started off lightly with a simply question, “How do you define power?” It was the best way to get the audience warmed up and really thinking about power as it relates to women. To say that we had an awesome, interesting, and powerful experience is an understatement. However, it was the urging of a paradigm shift in our thinking as women that truly embraced the essence of what a Salon was created to invoke.
One uncompromising participant shared a story of how she’s confused by Dove’s new commercial “Speak Beautiful.” She invited the other participants to consider if there’s another message behind the message. What is Dove really asking us as women, mothers, daughters, aunts, and sisters to do? Are we not speaking beautifully when we share, discuss, and converse now? What does speaking beautiful look like anyway, and why not have a campaign about speaking truth? After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?
The truth of the matter is … as women we should use our power to catapult, pull, and offer opportunities to other women. It’s time for us to rise up, stand tall, and unite to inspire as we lock arms against all things unequal. Salons should be held all around the world in an effort to bind all women, regardless of education, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status. Women make up more than half the population, close to 50% of the work force, and yet we’re still fighting for certain equalities.
Regardless of how you define power, use, or view it … it’s important for us to know that we all have power! Especially, since we’ve had it all along. As women we have to determine how we are going to use our … collective, economic, and educational power! Since its use is imperative, it must be used as a platform to not only be seen, but, most importantly, heard.
First determine how you define power, and then decide how you will use it to empower all women. Power affords us all, especially women, with a voice in order to create change for the better and for those coming behind us.