Composing a complete woman’s life

This past weekend, I was invited to Delaware State University as a speaker for their annual Women’s Week Conference. I was proud to be among scholars and business leaders to discuss topics such as sexual health, women’s employment, and transitioning from college to career. The ultimate high for me was when a commenter referenced the title of Courtney’s Do it Anyway as a call to inspire women to apply for jobs beyond their home environments, taking a risk to pursue a career in a new place for the greater good.

After the formalities, a powerful sister circle ensued where sisters engaged with one another about what motivates women to have unprotected sex despite the wealth of information available to them, how goal setting interacts with sexual decision making, and strategies to establish healthy partnerships. I left the conversation feeling renewed from the mutual mentorship that was underway.

But there were was one major takeaway that I want to unpack: It is possible to be a successful woman in your career while maintaining an active social life? My response to the woman who asked whether this was possible was that the trusty to-do list, time-management skills, and good ol’ preparation are key to accomplishing this balance. But it is also important that partnered women talk to their amours about the fact that their career and social life are a priority for them. I was sure to discuss Arlie Hochschild’s groundbreaking study in The Second Shift which revealed that women spend an additional month each year doing house work. This estimated 30 additional days of unpaid work usually resulted in women cutting back on paid work and making self-care sacrifices. Thus, the two are possible but feminists must be vigilant in maintaining this as a priority, especially if they go the partnership route. I left the space feeling rejuvenated and proud to be among sisters who were sharing their time-management tips.

Another space where powerful dialogues between women will be occurring is in the Bay Area for ReVulvalution:

ReVulvalution, a 2011 works-in-progress, explores the concept of a revolution that recognizes that womyn’s bodies are used as a battle ground, sheds oppressive perspectives and practices that currently exist, and creates a space where womyn define themselves, claim their sexuality and exist freely.

With a one-night showing on Thursday March 10, 2011 at San Francisco State University’s Knuth Hall, ReVulvalution will feature works from Rhodessa Jones’s The Medea Project – Theater For Incarcerated Women, Nicole Klaymoon’s Embodiment Project (Dance Theater), Loco Bloco’s all-female percussion group Las Locas and other dance, theater, music and visual artists.

It’s not lost on me that, from a legislative standpoint, there are many uphill battles women are currently fighting. But when you are not fighting, remember to take an opportunity to be encouraged by a fellow sister at a local event. Feel free to use the comments section to promote upcoming events that are facilitating safe, encouraging spaces for women.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I think that time management and trying to “do it all” is something that everyone battles with. Recall that while women do more housework, if you add up work from a paying job with work in the home for both men and women, men and women work pretty exactly the same number of hours (men slightly more actually).

    So it’s EVERYONE that is overworked and has a lack of time. I know both me and my spouse both struggle with this greatly. Sometimes it feels like all we do is work and never do anything fun besides watching some TV shows late at night. I see no end in sight for this until my children get older as there is just too much to do!

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