FEMINEST BOOK CLUB: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Wanna join the Feminest book club? Of course you do. ;) See this post to learn more on how to join and check the events page on when the next book club is going to be!

The first Tuesday of every month, I'm selecting a feminist, business, or self-help book to review for that month. And, rest assured — if I'm featuring it — there’s something you oughta know! 

Last month I covered The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy. I gave it a 4/5. Two of the chapters I will keep on my phone to tune into as a pick me up and reading it inspired me to start this new 21-day challenge series.

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This month I'm covering We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I chose it because it was highly rated on Amazon - 4.6/5 stars out of 1,108 reviews. I downloaded it on my audible account and then listened to her TEDx Talk and it’s the same thing. I’m not sure what’s different actually. So that was a bit disappointing that I paid for content that I could get for free. She presented December 2012 and although some of her messaging is a bit dated in the current conversation (which is a good thing) some of it isn’t (which is frustrating).

Here's my review in takeaways:

Takeaway #1 - Something that’s obvious to me isn’t obvious to others

I thought being a feminist was obvious. I mean, even McDonalds is getting behind it. But apparently we still have some work to do.

I went to a lunch recently with some other women, when talking about female organizations to help support women entrepreneurship one of the women responded and said “yea, I just don’t like women focused stuff with the high heels and pink lipstick.” I wanted to respond with, “my sweet sister, what events are you going to?” and instead I just sat there confused.

It’s obvious to me that there needs to be more support for women in entrepreneurship but maybe it’s just not obvious to others even if those others are women. Maybe I need to say these stats before I talk about the need for female founder support.

Takeaway #2 - Men don’t even think about gender…

I was at a networking night once and naturally when people ask me what the name of my company is - feminism gets brought up. It’s kind of funny how some men act. I kind of feel bad for them… we’re in this whole new world of awareness - it’s going to be awkward for a bit. (but Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets it and apparently all these other celebrities dudes too… I love you Mark)

After introducing myself and my business a dude said “I don’t discriminate at all between men and women, it’s not an issue for me…”

I almost spit my drink out and wanted to be like, “yea, okay.” But I didn’t… cause, I was tired.

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Because look, it’s still an issue for me and I’m a loud, proud, angry, bra-burning (actually I’ll keep my bra for my size G ladies for now, thanks) feminist.

Also, I can’t for the life of me remember if my very feminist girlfriend said this or if I read it in a book but the story is that she hopped on a plane and noticed there was a female pilot. She thought, “Wow, a female pilot! Amazing”. But when shit hit the fan and there was some worse-than-normal-turbulence she instantly thought, “oh no, it’s a female pilot.”

Tina Fey went on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman and they were talking about gender inequality in comedy. David then said something like “oh, I don’t think any women would want to work for me anyway.” To which Tina responded “oh no David, they do.” THIS IS THE PROBLEM.

It’s these moments that we’re not thinking that are important. The thing is, we all (men and women) have a bias (unconscious or conscious) against women and it’s not until we’re aware of it that we’ll achieve equality.

Takeaway #3 - Men suffer from the patriarchy too, just not as much as women

Adichie talks about how men are culturally still required to pay for everything in a partnership even if that man doesn’t have the money to do so. They need to do it, to “be a man”.

It makes me think about this hilarious Michelle Wolf bit:

So look, not all men are bad and a lot of them are aware of inequalities and don’t like it. My partner is incredible and I think we have a pretty egalitarian relationship but sometimes both of us play into patriarchal roles because that’s what we were raised with and that’s the society we live in. For example, after we had married (10 years ago) I was doing our laundry and I swear was folding thousands of his tube socks. I was getting all worked up because all of them were inside out and it was taking so long. When he came home I really laid into him about it - “can you just put your socks off right side out before you put them in the hamper?” To which he replied “sure, but you could also just not fold my laundry.” It was like the heavens opened and angels sang, don’t fold his laundry, of course!

We all have a long way to go but it’s not until we understand that we all need to be feminists that women (and men) won’t live under the patriarchy and that we’ll have all the rights that men do.

Rating: 4/5

Recommendation:

The main reason this gets a 4 and not a 5 is because I paid $15 on audible for content that was free.

Next month I'm featuring How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan (USA + AUS). Read it with me! And sign up to come to the Book Club!

Have a book suggestion? Let us know in the comments below!

#FEMINESTCHATS VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH ELLE STEELE

Here's the sixth interview in the #feminestchats video series with the lovely Elle Steele of I Am Elle Steel, who “makes women’s lives and businesses more magical through uncovering their intuitive strength.” Yes please!

0:40 - Scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest - how are you feeling right now?

0:50 - What do you do for work?

1:47 - When you’re not in the room - what do people say you do for work?

2:15 - Best thing about growing up in Brunswick?

2:39 - Tomorrow your only plan is to lay in the sun with a book - and you have all books available to you - what book do you grab? - A Thousand Splendid Suns (AUS + USA) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

3:09 - You mentioned bread is your fav indulgence - can you get more specific? Are we talking sliced? Rolls? Loafs? Wheat? Rye? 7 grain? - Wild Life Bakery

4:02 - Kunzite (stone of unconditional love) is one of your desert island magic items. Does it just hang around your house currently? Do you put it to your heart? How does it work for you?

4:34 - One sentence - what does freedom oracle mean for you?

4:57 - You’re creating a freedom oracle tarot deck - and putting it on kickstarter! Amazing! Why should someone get that instead of the millions of other ones?

6:36 - Wow - I asked you - When do you feel like you put on an act? And you said “When people want me to be angry about living with a disability because I'm just not. I could not give two shits. I'm in a wheelchair. Whoopdedoo”. I really loved that. Do you find people are awkward about people with disabilities?

7:40 - Fill in the blank, “I’m a feminist but ________”

8:48 - Now fill in the blank - with whatever your guilty feminism is - like “I’m a feminist but I watch a little bachelor” - so yours is?

9:25 - You mentioned a highlight of your work is helping people to see the truth of who they are. What’s the main thing you’ve found holding someone back from doing that?

10:25 - It’s hard for a lot of people to charge. But why is it so hard for intuitives to charge for their work?

11:00 - What Instagram account should I be following? Our Satellite Hearts, Gregory Scott - daily and weekly tarot readings, and Lucy Sheridan - The Comparison Coach

11:28 - What business inspires you? Path Hunting

12:04 - Who is your icon?

13:06 - Who should I interview next? - Bec from Path Hunting / Nicole Rowan Holt of Australian Women’s Day

Thank you Elle! So lovely to have you!

How do you feel about this new format? I'm changing things up and aiming for a Vogue 73 questions vibe that's a bit faster paced.

Missed the first one with futures trader, Jamie Nugent, all about money mindset?? Check it out! Or the second with graphic designer Lidia Varesco Racoma? Here it is! Or maybe the one on closing a yoga practice and starting podcasts with Andrea Klunder? Go watch! Or brand therapist Leisse Wilcox - have a watch. Or Domini of Her Words! Click here.

Know of anyone that I should interview? I’m looking for strong feminist business owners that have a story to share!

FEMINEST BOOK CLUB: The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy

Wanna join the Feminest book club? Of course you do. ;) See this post to learn more on how to join and check the events page on when the next book club is going to be!

The first Tuesday of every month, I'm selecting a feminist, business, or self-help book to review for that month. And, rest assured — if I'm featuring it — there’s something you oughta know! 

Last month I covered Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown, which won't surprise you much, it was awesome, I mean, we're talking about The Dr. Brené Brown here. She's a force.

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This month I'm covering The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy (I chose it because it's highly recommended by my friend and talented coach T-Annwatch her video on it here!). Here's my review in 3 takeaways:

Takeaway #1 - Own your choices

Book chapters:

  • 2 - Choices

  • 3 - Habits

  • 4 - Momentum

  • 5 - Influences

  • 6 - Acceleration

Chapter 2 was one of my favorites, and I'll keep it in my pocket for future listening when I need a pick me up. I had a friend who talked about certain books being good "ear worms" - content that lifts you up, gets you out of your head, and in a brain space you want to be in. You Are a Badass is one of those for me and I'll be adding this chapter to my "ear worm" list.

Hardy saying things like "wake up", "stop pointing fingers", and "successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people aren't" are very helpful reminders for me to take ownership for how I'm creating my life, what thoughts I think, what I say, and what I do.

Ultimately, I'm choosing how much time I'm spending on Instagram, whether I eat that cookie, email that total "it's a long shot" contact, and/or crawl out of my bed to meditate in the cold morning when all I want to do is hit snooze one more time, stay in my warm cozy bed and close my heavy heavy eye lids.

Hardy compares compound effects of choices to money that for every $1 you spend today will be worth $5 in 10 years and $20 in 10 years. You can view this in a negative way and a positive way. That for good choices you'll reap the benefits down the road and poor choices you won't. 

Takeaway #2 - Where are you going?

Hardy quoted a story that goes something like this, "there was a man riding a horse down a path, a passerby asked him where he was going and the horse rider replied 'I don't know, ask the horse'." 

It's hard to be intentional about every single aspect of our lives. But if we can take a moment to choose a couple of different habits that we can re-evaluate and decide to take action on the better we'll be.

I chose to focus on two different habits in my life, I'm going to save the full explanation for a later post but here are the two that I chose:

  1. Starting an actual, serious meditation habit for 21 days (which I successfully did!) See post here!

  2. Tracking my instagram use for 21 days - how long I was on it, and what I was doing. It was alarming and frankly, embarrassing. At the end I created instagram "rules" for myself - to keep me in check.

Takeaway #3 - Maybe this vibe isn't for me?

So good. But I can't give it a full 5 out of 5 because ultimately voices and energy like Darren Hardy are too... masculine, macho, dude? I found all the methods to be extremely methodical and calculated and it didn't leave a ton of room for the flow of intuition. Also, the emphasis on performance and accomplishment can be a bit overwhelming - even if it is in small increments. 

Funny enough I came across this video "Too much happiness? Resisting the self-help craze in Denmark". "But as the pressure to keep striving for more happiness and success intensifies, Danish author Svend Brinkmann argues that a healthier approach might be to reject the self-help craze and learn to say 'no.'" It really resonates with quotes like, "...you're forced to develop and improve with this whole positive attitude" and "Now we think we're suppose to be happy and positive all the time, and maybe, paradoxically it makes us feel miserable."

I love self-help - but there are times I leave it feeling more like shit than motivated. I think I need to do more navigating around what voices resonate and don't.

Rating: 4/5

Recommendation:

For people who are wanting to start something new or kick a bad habit, the "choices" and "habits" chapters are great.

Next month I'm featuring We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie! Read it with me!

Have a book suggestion? Let us know in the comments below!

#FEMINESTCHATS VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH DOMINI MARSHALL OF HER WORDS

Here's the fifth interview in the #feminestchats video series with the lovely Domini Marshall of Her Words, which is a space for women to share their stories. You should take some time and browse the amazing interviews she's done, they're powerful and raw (like talking about having your first orgasm).

0:15 - Scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest - how are you feeling right now?

0:28 - I had the best time at your Her Words dinner. What’s the best advice on how to host an intimate dinner party with as large of a group as you had?

1:12 - You mentioned one of the best things you’ve had to eat recently was a croissant and coffee from your favorite spot - All Are Welcome Bakery…. What’s your “desert island food”? Would it be that or something else?

1:26 - You told me you wanted to live in Paris, why?

2:06 - So with Her Words you focus on representation and storytelling to raise empathy and educate through stories… what feminist topic do you think has the least amount of representation and storytelling around it that needs more attention and empathy?

3:02 - As a writer and filmmaker who works with brands and businesses to create content, what’s your #1 piece of advice on good content creation?

3:44 - Why do you think storytelling is so powerful? - Paul J. Zak

4:53 - Who is one of your favorite story tellers? Mariam Issa

5:25 - What's one of the harder aspects of your work?

5:53 - You created her words and hosted your launch party on International Women's Day 2017. How did that feel?

6:03 - I asked you what businesses inspire you and you told me 3! Which ones were they? Of Kin, The Equality Institute and Grace Papers.

6:43 - You said you’re an avid reader and can’t choose a favorite book. What’s the book you recommend the most? The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna

6:58 - So you said that one book that has made a lasting impression was Just Kids by Patti Smith and that it was so inspiring, dreamy and romantic. Would you say you’re a romantic?

7:09 - Well good. Because you also mentioned falling in love with poetry when you did your creative writing honors. Do you write poetry?

7:46 - What was it about A Little Life: A Novel by Hanya Yanagihara that made you cry so much?

8:31 - How do you feel about money?

8:37 - Favorite podcast? Guilty Feminist, Pretty for an Aboriginal (mine), Starving Artist

9:15 - One of your favorite things to do is go to the movies and watch a film by yourself. Where do you sit in the theater?

9:28 - Do you get snacks? Or bring your own???

10:15 - Best piece of advice for a new business owner?

10:49 - I asked you what you wanted written on your gravestone and you mentioned not wanting a gravestone, and that you’d like to be cremated and thrown into the ocean. Do you care which ocean?

10:57 - Who do you think I should interview next? Of Kin and Elle Steele

How do you feel about this new format? I'm changing things up and aiming for a Vogue 73 questions vibe that's a bit faster paced.

Missed the first one with futures trader, Jamie Nugent, all about money mindset?? Check it out! Or the second with graphic designer Lidia Varesco Racoma? Here it is! Or maybe the last one with Andrea Klunder? Go watch! Or brand therapist Leisse Wilcox - have a watch.

Know of anyone that I should interview? Looking for strong feminist business owners that have a story to share!