A Space for Women’s Voices

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People used to look out on the playground and say that the boys were playing soccer and the girls were doing nothing…But the girls weren’t doing nothing—they were talking. They were talking about the world to one another. And they became very expert about that in a way the boys did not. Carol Gilligan, from In a Different Voice

After reading Tell Your Story, my friend Aaron asked me, “Is it your intention to always compose your blogs using females as examples?”

It is Aaron, and here’s why:

One of the best ways of finding our voice is to listen to those who have found theirs. Because so many women, even successful women, refuse to claim a central place in their lives and in their own stories, finding self-assured women within our circle of loved ones may be difficult.

It is equally, if not more, problematic to find strong women’s stories within the annals of literature and film as I noted in Do you need to Do-it-yourself? The Psyche myth and the biblical passage of Proverbs (highlighted by my friend Amanda) are notable exceptions. I find it ironic that these particular stories were written thousands of years ago when women were presumably more oppressed.

Finding a woman’s point of view in the press is no less vexing. According to the article Finding the Feminine Voice in the Media, since 1992 only one-third of all storytellers/journalists providing up-to-the-minute commentary on our world are women. Of these journalists’ news directors/producers (read: those who decide what gets published), in the newspaper industry, 35% are women, in television 24%, and in radio 13%. And, in the CEO’s office, only 13% are women. Furthermore, “when you look at those who tell the stories to the storytellers (the sources for the stories), they are by and large men.”

Why trot out all these facts and figures?

Because if we become aware of the stories and myths that we ingest, it becomes much easier to understand why we make comments like: “I don’t have a dream.” And why we falsely believe we can either “achieve the goal” or “get the guy” but we can’t have both. Not now, not ever.

And so, I may be only one storyteller, and this blog may not reach many, but for those it does reach, my hope is that Dare to Dream will be a place where women can come to hear empowering stories from and about other women, and are encouraged to start telling stories, our own stories, in which we claim a central place.

Who are the women you admire? What are their stories and how have they inspired you to dare to dream?”

Should you know any female journalists, whether seasoned or aspiring, encourage them, let them know you want to hear their voice in the media mix, their unique perspective on the news. I for one, am clamoring for Margaret B's political commentary, Jane J's continued musings on both domestic and foreign events, Rushmie’s K's gig as a news director/producer, Laura Ls next magazine that features women's voices, Michelle’s M's thoughtful approach to state and local news, and Anne-Marie W's take on health and social issues.

Should you want a more in-depth study of storytelling from a man’s point of view, I would refer you to The Hero Workshop. Matt Langdon has carefully diagrammed the hero’s journey, and invites readers to chronicle their story using this framework.

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