150+ Terrific Feminist Slogans for Your #WomensMarch Protest Sign

150+ Terrific Feminist Slogans for Your #WomensMarch Protest Sign

Thinking about the Trump presidency and the regressive politics coming with it can torpedo any sensible person’s sense of humor.

But who wants to spend a whole day at the #WomensMarchOnWashington, or anywhere else, waving a sign saying “Oppression is Depressing“?

We need some clever, catchy, expressive slogans for our signs if we want to “make protest signs great again“.

Luckily, groups around the US are rising to that challenge. Our friend Rhea
Beddoe and her co-activists at Executive Women For Hillary got together over the weekend to make signs. They pooled their google skills and their creative resources, and put together the list, below, of over 150 great slogans. I added a few of my own– and we’d love to see yours!

As Rhea reminded me,

“The Best Messages (1) Can be seen from far away, (2) Are succinct and pithy, and (3) Draw impact & power by tapping into emotions.”

WMW Slogans & Sign ideas — in a handy, downloadable pdf
“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives” – audre lorde
“We are better than we think and not yet what we want to be” – nikki giovvani
“There are things you stand up to because it’s right”. — nikki giovvani

“I am stronger than fear.” – Malala Yousafzai

“As for my girls. I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.” Jessica Kincaid

“Justice is what love looks like in public.”- Dr. Cornell West

50% of America. 100% nasty.

A woman’s place is in the house and in the senate

If you’re tired of reading stories about violence against women, imagine having to live them

Defender of human rights

Dignity, respect, and justice for all

DISCRIMINATION

The Future is Feminist

Diversity. Equality. Unity.

Equality for all

Feminist AF

Feminists aren’t anti-men. We’re pro-human.

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people

Girls just want to have FUNdamental human rights

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis

I’ll give you Miss America

I’m a feminist. What’s your superpower?

If you can’t trust me with choice, how can you trust me with a child?

If you cut off my reproductive choice can I cut off yours?

Just try dismissing half the planet

Let’s take up more space

Love is love is love is love is love is love

Love trumps hate

Love = power

March like a girl

Men of quality do not fear equality

My body is not your business

My body my right

My humanity should not be up for debate

“The most violent element in society is ignorance.” – Emma Goldman

Nasty women unite

No human being is illegal

No mothers, no founding fathers

No one is free when others are oppressed

Normalize equality

Not afraid

Nothing trumps justice

Only weak men fear strong women

Our voice is l he future

Ovaries before brovaries

Pussies in formation

Pussy power – it’ll grab ya’

Recognize us? This is your country calling

Open arms. Open minds. Open yours.

Resist fear. Assist love.

Respect everyone. Period.

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance

Rise of the woman = rise of the nation

Sexism is not a side issue

Silence is not an option

Stop saying l’m someone’s sister, mother, daughter: I am someone. That should be enough.

The future is female

The heart has no borders

The power of the people is stronger than the people in power

The rights of the minority should never be subject to the whim of the minority

There’s nothing illegal about being human

This is what an American looks like

Thou shalt not mess with women’s reproductive rights. – Fallopians 4:28

To the Supremes: stop in the name of love

Vaginas brought you into the world. Vaginas will vote you out.

Walls won’t divide us

Wanted: a womb of my own

We are the storm and we will leave light in our wake

We’re all God’s children. SHE told me so.

With liberty and justice for all

Women’s rights are human rights

Women hold up half the sky

Women united are stronger than a country divided

Virtue can only flourish among equals

Hear our voice

Our voice is our future

America’s Promise=EQUALITY for ALL

Lead U.S. to PEACE

YOU CAN’T UNIFY WITH HATE

Hope not Hate

Dreamers WELCOME

A MACHINE stole your job!

She got more VOTES!!!

OLD +OUTRAGED: SAVE MEDICARE

Spread tolerance: it’s the American WAY!

No PERSON is illegal

I’ve been to the 50’s and it SUCKED

Not Your Enemy: Not Your Victim – Maya Angelou

Protect our Dreamers

Hope not HATE

Not how I expected to lose the Cold War

UNFIT FOR PRESIDENT

Resist + Protect: Medicare, Social Security, EPA, USA

Love America? Save the EPA

Love clean air? Save the EPA

Love clean water? Save the EPA

Our democracy was hacked

ICE has no agenda, it just melts

This is not a good sign

The FOXES are guarding the henhouse

Stop Tillerson

HE’S A CON ARTIST

Big Oil=Big Pollution

Trump won=America lost

American Horror Story

INDIVISIBLE

In diversity is strength

All madness, no method

We are mourning for America

We are grieving for our democracy

The whole world is watching

Un-president him!

He’s an incompetent TYRANT

SASSY SLOGAN & SIGN IDEAS FROM BUST MAGAZINE

1. Can’t back down, won’t back down

2. Hear me roar!

3. Not going back

4. My body, my choice

5. Not the boss of me

6. My pussy bites

7. Free Ivanka!

8. Free Melania!

9. Shut up, Trump and make me a sandwich

10. Small hands, big loser

11. The biggest loser

12. Utereses before duderuses

13. Ovaries before brovaries

14. Bossy women rule

15. Trump: Delete your account

16. Fight like a girl

17. Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers!

18. Girls just want to have fun-damental human rights

19. Girls just want to have fun-ding for Planned Parenthood

20. Females are strong as hell

21. Bitches get stuff done

22. Revolution grrrl style now!

23. STFU Trump

24. Small hands, small mind

25. Just try grabbing this

26. Girls to the front

27. Women – you can’t beat ’em!

28. Ready to #slay!

29. Women are here to #slay.

30. We’re here to slay!

31. Don’t obey — slay!

32. Women won’t obey — we slay

33. Okay ladies, let’s get INFORMATION

34. I can’t fucking believe I’m still protesting this shit

35. Stop the war on women

36. No war on women

37. Real men don’t grab pussies

38. Real men get consent

39. You can’t handle the truth

40. Today we smash the patriarchy

41. Here to smash the patriarchy

42. Ask me about my feminist agenda

43. Smashing the patriarchy is my bae

44. Trump is not my bae

45. Smashing trumpkins

46. Trumplethinskin

47. No uterus, no opinion

48. Raise your voice — support choice

49. Our future, our choice, our fight

50. Against abortion? Don’t have one

51. Choice is my bae

52. Women’s rights is my bae

53. TRUMP: Take a seat

54. Everything he knows about women can fit in palms of his tiny hands

55. Trump is maybe a 6 — tops!

56. Loud-mouthed women against small-handed men!

57. Sexism has no place in the White House

58. Sexism is for pussies

59. Trump is a big pussy

60. I’d Rather Be Screaming Into the Void

61. Listen to Leo: Climate Change Is Real

62. My body, my choice, my insatiable thirst for revenge

63. I Want Substantive Change But Will Settle for You Not Killing Us

64. Rude of You to Have Made Me Come Out Here on the Weekend

65. Tiffany, Blink Twice If You Need Help

66. Can U Not?

67. Snowflakes Are Actually Very Beautiful and Complex

68. Why Are You So Obsessed With My Uterus?

69. None of Us Were Rooting for You

70. Mike Pence Has Never Satisfied a Woman in His Life

71. If You Won’t Release Your Tax Returns, Release the Piss Play Video

72. I Could Be Sleeping But You’ve Forced Me to Protest

73. I’m Too Worried to Be Funny

Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

(some I shortened to fit a sign)

1. “We shall overcome.”

2. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can.”

3. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

4. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

5. “True peace is …the presence of justice.”

6. “It is not enough to say ‘We must not wage war’. It is necessary to love peace and to sacrifice for it.”

7. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

8. “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can.”

9. “”Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Please share your own ideas in the comments– and tweet these all over the place with the #WomensMarch hashtag!

WMW Slogans & Sign ideas — in a handy, downloadable pdf, thanks to Rhea!

Subscribe to our mailing list and get a fancy PDF of 21 Opportunities for Feminism at Work that you can use right now.




 

Photo credits:  Rhea Beddoe, Barbara McA.

How to Make the Most of the #WomensMarch on Washington: Tips from Feminist Activists

On January 21, tens of thousands of us will be trekking to the #WomensMarch on Washington and to local marches across the USA.  We’re gathering together to make a public statement of support for issues that matter to women and to America.

Our collective presence will make a statement. But what else can we do, beyond “showing up”? How can we maximize our impact?

How can we make the most of our participation in the #WomensMarch?

I posed these questions to the Continuum Collective, a diverse group of feminists who’ve marched on Washington, picketed PTA meetings, lent their bodies to die-ins, danced in Pride parades, and held the peace at candlelight vigils. 

Here are our suggestions for increasing our impact at the March.

1. Wear Your Message on the Outside

Don’t hide your Sisterhood Is Powerful t-shirt underneath your overcoat! Instead, find a t-shirt large enough to fit over your puffer, so it can be read by anyone. Proclaim a more specific message with your physical presence.  Extra impact if you buy your shirt from a non-profit, a fair trade shop or a minority entrepreneur. 

2. Raise your voice high, with a sturdy, legible sign.

Make a sturdy, legible sign that’s easy for you to carry. Glue two sheets of thick cardboard together so you have a rigid sign, then write on both sides of it. Consider gluing a cardboard tube from an old roll of wrapping paper in between the cardboard sheets, so you have a sturdy handle to hold the sign above your head. Get out your thick markers, and go ahead, add some glitter. Write on some helium balloons, and let these messages float above our voices.

3. Make Your Message Memorable.

“Make protest signs great again!”  Craft a clever slogan, a pithy sentiment, or a bold graphic. The Ferguson Response Network has some great ideas for what to say. Check out Haironfire.org for slogans, free images, free text, and inspiration.   

Lizzie Scott’s image free at haironfire.org/free-images-1/

Write on both sides of your sign, maybe with English on one side and a different language on the other. Consider partnering with another sign holder, to make a fuller message. Alternatively, wear your sign rather than holding by making a sandwich board.

4. Support Allies’ Voices. 

Show the diversity of support behind initiatives you care about by reinforcing a full range of voices with your signs, shirts, and chants.  

See if you can use your visual presence to contradict some stereotypes. For example, as a white, professional woman, it’s important to me to ‘decenter’ my Whiteness. While folks might expect to see a professional white woman protesting the wage gap, I’ll be wearing a #BlackLivesMatter t-shirt. I want to remind myself and others that ending violence against Black Americans is everyone’s responsibility. 

5. Amplify Smaller Voices. 

Wear t-shirts, carry signs, and tweet about organizations and initiatives that are doing great work but are not (yet) well-known. For example, many pro-choice voters support Planned Parenthood and NARAL. There will be many marchers carrying signs for these organizations.  Why not amplify smaller voices, by carrying signs that support the fabulous and effective work of Lady Parts Justice and SisterSong.net?  

Both #4 and #5 remind us to spread our energy across many initiatives, because they are all important. Let’s show the world the full range of causes that women and progressive people support.

6. Be a Role Model and March With A Newbie.

As the saying goes, “Each one can teach one.” If you’ve been to things like this before, bring someone with you who’s new to marching. Demonstrate how to be an active, positive, and engaged protester. Bring a young person who wants to participate, and be their guardian grown-up. We can all encourage each other to participate wholeheartedly.

7. Support Other Marchers.

Look for a group or a few specific people to support during the March. Walk with them, chant along with them, help them pass out materials, offer them some of your granola bars. Keep that human connection going after the March, by following each other on Facebook, swapping email addresses, and signing up for each others’ actions.  

8. Support the Leadership of the March’s Organizing Team.  

While they’ve been creating and coordinating this event, co-chairs Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour have been doing their best to practice the allyship and engagement they hope the March will help demonstrate.

Follow their social media accounts and ask your Team to retweet them too. Use the resources the organizers are sharing on http://resources.womensmarch.com/. Respond to their requests, especially about keeping marchers safe and coordinated.

9. Recruit A Social Media Team to Help Spread The Word. 

Not everyone who wants to support progressive action can participate in a March. But your friends and family back home can play a meaningful role by sharing everything you post on Saturday on their own Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

Make it easy for your Social Media Team to share. Take lots of photos! Document the entire day from your own perspective. Show things behind the scenes. Use Facebook Live to share your own report from the front lines. Post everything on your own social media accounts.  Use the hashtags #WomensMarch and #WMW.

10. Share your own “Take Action” materials.  

If you have brochures, signup sheets, stickers, buttons, action cards or other materials about initiatives that you support, have plenty to hand out to other participants. The March will be full of people who are looking for additional ways to make a difference, so help connect interested people into your initiatives back home and online.

Try this right now — share this post with your network. Sign up for our action newsletter at FeministsAtWork.com (See? So easy.)

11. Take Insights and Action Ideas Back Home.

When you get back home, take some friends out for coffee and tell them about your experience at the March. Talk about what you learned, what you’ve decided to do. Offer them materials and insights that you gathered. Invite them to join you as you  take your next action.

Go public, by writing up your reflections and sharing them on Facebook, making sure to tag that cousin you didn’t speak to at Thanksgiving.  Write an article for your town newspaper or a local blog. Be sure to add photos and calls to action.

Women Everywhere @WhyWeMarch sent me this tip:

 “If taking a bus, create an activist team from it! Ask for volunteers and take down contact information.”   Great idea! Organize in real time.

12. Offer your own tips.

Use the comments below, and on twitter with the #WomensMarch hashtag.

The Women’s March on Washington as well as the local marches across the USA are bringing us together in body, in spirit, and on the interwebs to demonstrate our support for a progressive political agenda. 

Let’s make the biggest splash we can.

Check out FeministsAtWork.com for more advocacy ideas.

Subscribe to our mailing list and get a fancy PDF of 21 Opportunities for Feminism at Work that you can use right now.




How We Benefit from Women-Led Systems of Influence

Image via The Berkana Institute

There’s a difference between women stepping up into leadership and women stepping up into leadership together. I’m infinitely more interested in the latter because it means finding ways to work together while allowing for deep points of difference. It also means creating new knowledge together, which is energizing for everyone.

My first real foray into this kind of collective leadership was in the fall of 2010. I sat on the floor at Sky Lake Lodge in Rosendale, New York and watched Walk Out Walk Onco-author Deborah Frieze teach a model for systems change called The Two Loops. Just a couple of years after the 2008 economic crash, I was grateful for mentors and teachers like Deborah who could see a way out of the mess. The moment felt similar to the moment we’re in now. Everything was a disaster, major systems had just appeared to be broken, and so it also became true that everything was possible.

Twenty or thirty of us had gathered together for an international Berkana Institute event called “Weaving the Web.” Our job at the time was to find connections across our buckets of work and create new connections to push our collective work forward. I liked The Two Loops because it felt like a shiny new tool for good, old fashioned community organizing. Here was a way to talk about what it means to act as an emergent, collective body rather than a group of individuals. I knew in my gut that that the world needed more “weavers” of knowledge, not just new ideas. And I liked the idea of weaving because it meant working with what we already had. (Again, we had only recently found out that something that we thought was solid about our economy was actually built on air). This wasn’t my first introduction to living systems thinking — in short, how to learn from nature about how to be more resilient — but it was the first time I saw it taught so simply and effectively.

You can watch the Two Loops video here, but the basic premise is that there are systems that no longer work anymore (can you think of a few now?) and new, more effective systems inevitably emerging. Trailblazing individuals and organizations who are creating what’s next make their greatest impact when they connect with each other to create new systems of influence. When trailblazers connect meaningfully around their shared work (while honoring each other’s unique contributions), they refine and improve each other’s strategies. The Two Loops model is valuable because it quickly gets you out of your own head and makes the larger systems you work within — sometimes blindly — visible. With larger systems in view, you can make different, wiser choices about where to put your energy. For activists who feel alone, it also connects you to your larger community. In so many ways, it expands your field of vision.

Six years later, I’m just as interested in living systems and resilience. Except now I’m committed to helping build not just new systems of influence, but women-led systems of influence. Instead of forever seeking to “empower” women, for example, some of the most important work ahead of us, I believe, is to follow the leadership of women who are already out there leading, creating new systems. For women leaders, once our basic needs are met, it is to fully embrace our power to create the kind of world we want to live in and to do so with an explicit focus on coalition building. We must work together and learn from each other if we want to genuinely co-create new systems of influence.

In truth, gender equity activists collaborate all the time. Collaboration is a shared value among so many people I know and have had the privilege to work with. But true co-creative, collaboration isn’t easy. Just like every other marginalized and oppressed group of people on the planet, women have been set up to compete for attention and resources because our work has been historically undervalued, de-valued, or not valued at all. There’s only so much to go around, we think, not realizing that this way of thinking and building and organizing is a trap. So we work alone too often. We pretend to have the answers instead of listening to others and putting our heads together with other players in the field. Or we do the opposite and look to others for what we should do instead of trusting our own knowing.

What we can do instead is choose not to play the game as we’ve learned it. We can choose to bring an ecosystem/living systems view to our leadership and organizing, which opens up new possibilities for everyone.

Here are three benefits of this approach:

An living systems view of the women’s leadership movement…

1) Encourages individual actors to share information, helping everyone learn faster

From a living systems perspective, almost every individual and organization has something unique to contribute to women’s leadership field. It’s unwise to hide what you’re doing (because you think someone will to steal your idea) since transparency is what helps collaborators to find each other. In short, when you find someone else doing something similar to what you do, consider this extremely good news. You either have new partners in your work or at the very least, your work is going to get clearer and better.

2) Honors the perspectives and centers the contributions of historically marginalized groups

When it is clear that everyone has something to contribute to the women’s leadership field (or any field, for that matter), historically marginalized groups aren’t just “included” in existing, dominant systems and previous ways of doing things; their knowledge is understood to be essential to the health of the whole. Young people’s contributions are also more valued. The contributions of people who work 10 or 25 hours per week are valued as much as people who work 80 hours per week. Why? Information and knowledge are what count. There will always be a certain amount of politics involved in organizing, but politics takes at least more of a back seat because just it isn’t as important as what is emerging by way of new information and new learning across the field.

3) Uses the full strength of the field

Good leadership in any field means knowing when to step forward, when to step back, and when to throw your weight behind another person or group’s good leadership. Along these lines, every movement will always need trailblazing individuals. Still, strong relationships and meaningful collaborations among trailblazers are what will tip the scale from one system (reality) to the next, giving the new emerging system of influence its weight.

As Gloria Steinem shared recently, the (women-led) future is happening whether people like it or not. I believe a shift toward gender equity and gender parity in leadership at all levels (see Take The Lead) is indeed happening. The future will and won’t be “coordinated.” Nevertheless, in our everyday organizing, we need all the new tools and language we can get to help us create the future we want for ourselves and our communities. This where living systems can help the movement for gender equity and gender parity in leadership.

21 Opportunities to Practice Feminism at Work

Download and print a PDF version of this list.

  1. Use your work role to practice feminism. Every job and every project holds opportunities for you to put your values into practice. Look for opportunities in your everyday work. (Check out FAW’s Feminist Project Canvas and Feminist Job Design exercise.)
  2. Follow the leadership of other women, especially women of color, at work and in the world. You don’t always have to have your hand on the tiller. Pull the laboring oar, too. See our100.org.
  3. Buy products from companies that support women, girls, and social change. BuyUp Index is a great guide. Buy and use explicitly feminist products (e.g., Thinx, Luna Pads, Bumble). (Look to FAW’s Feminist Product Design Canvas for ideas for your business.)
  4. Get a subscription to LiisBeth: FieldNotes for Feminist Entrepreneurs. Share their articles with colleagues.
  5. Use respectful, inclusive language. See Everyday Feminism for specific vocabulary and A Progressive’s Style Guide for usage guidelines.
  6. Affirm, Acknowledge and Amplify: Use examples from members of underrepresented groups when you speak with colleagues about business processes and outcomes that you admire.
  7. Use social media to amplify new feminist voices. (Follow us on Twitter.)
  8. Know how to reply to other people’s basic “Feminist 101” questions – and also offer them weblinks when they need to learn something. Send them to Crunk Feminist Collective, BlackFeminism 101, Julie Pagano, Geek Feminism wiki, AboutFeminism, OneBlackGirlManyWords, as a start.
  9. Read feminist economists and feminist management theorists. (See FAW’s Influences page for recommendations.)
  10. Dress how you want to feel, not how someone tells you to look. Dress queer, dress femme, dress formal, dress casual. Confront gendered norms of dress.
  11. Watch your own ‘invisible work’ and ‘emotional / relational labor’. Publicly acknowledge this work by others.
  12. Use and share with others some pro-feminist, pro-justice imagery. (e.g. screensavers, icons, avatars, passwords like “EqualityForAllPeople#!” and “It was never a dress”.)
  13. Rethink and publicly question what your organization’s management processes value. Are you a masculinist, ‘objective’ “Get-To-Done” culture, or would you be more effective if you were motivated also by feminist values of process, collaboration, and care?
  14. Address wage issues of non-managers. Think about the gender wage gap, yes, and beyond it. Consider how all employees should be paid a living wage for their valuable contributions.
  15. Set feminist guiding principles for culture and team interaction (check out DoubleUnion’s model.)
  16. Insist on Codes of Conduct for all conferences, panels, and workshops that you attend. (See examples of “how to” from Ada Initiative, Geek Feminism blog)
  17. Invite ideas for making your office furnishings and space less masculine, more inclusive of all genders and social groups in your organization. Sapna Cheryan demonstrated that adding more feminine decor to computer science classrooms increased women’s sense of professional belonging.
  18. Follow great examples of companies and managers practicing Feminism. CEO Danielle Applestone of OtherMachine “screens potential employees for a quality she calls “technical empathy” — a capacity to think about product design beyond technical merits and emphasize a “connection” with the needs and capabilities of consumers and co-workers. OtherMachine demonstrates its mission to democratize technology in its own internal systems, by democratizing and de-gendering creative processes. It sees its products as educational tool s that not only generate profit but also change lives. (See FAW’s Feminist Product Canvas for ideas on how to develop products.)
  19. Track progress using conventional gender and diversity metrics, because specific metrics are useful even when they don’t capture all the changes we seek. Track pipeline metrics (e.g., # employees, hiring comparisons) as well as outcome metrics (e.g., performance evaluations, wage comparisons). Follow the example of Tracy Chou at Pinterest.
  20. Empower mentors and allies for under-represented groups. Give employee interest groups time to meet and opportunities to contribute as a group. (See Jennifer Brown’s work on Employee Resource Groups.)
  21. Enact activist crowdfunding. In “Leaning In or Leaning On? Gender, Homopily, and Activism in Crowdfunding,” Jason Greenberg and Ethan Mollick studied Kickstarter data. They found that all female technology campaigns received total funding at twice the rate of all male and mixed gender teams, because of the work of small groups of activist women. (via PlumAlley)

Download and print a PDF version of this listShare it with your friends and team members.

These ideas were first shared by @CVHarquail at a panel discussion on Everyday Leadership at In Good Company, a women’s co-working space and entrepreneurship community, in June of 2015. This list was updated by CV Harquail and Lex Schroeder in December 2016.

©FeministsAtWork

 

Introducing the Feminist Lean Project Canvas: Where Lean Startup Meets Feminist Practice

Here’s a quick introduction to the basic elements of the PowerWITH Feminist Lean Project Canvas. The full description of the Canvas, each element in the Canvas, the questions to guide your ideas’ development, and the steps for using the Canvas, are available in the FLPC Workbook.

The Feminist Lean Project Canvas (FLPM) is a tool to help any leader craft and develop the scope of a work project so that:

(1) You can develop collaborative #PowerWITH other stakeholders, so that the project is co-created, supported, and executed by an aligned team of interested parties, and

(2) The work project itself incorporates an explicitly feminist point of view and considers how justice, equity, and system change can be added into the design of your everyday work.

What is the Feminist Lean Project Canvas?

The FLPC is a one-page template that help users clarify, organize, and getting down onto paper their idea for defining problems, solutions, key metrics, and competitive advantages that their product is designed to address. Canvases like Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas (and now this one) help users get a higher level, ‘big picture’ of most of the elements that need to be considered in order to make a project work.

The Canvas is comprehensive, high level, portable, visual, and easy to revise. It becomes a tool you can use to explain your project to others, to show how all the pieces interact, and to cover the bases as you plan. It’s also a tool you can use for conversations with stakeholders to share project updates and ideas with them, get their contributions, and play around with ideas together.

Who should use the Feminist Lean Project Canvas?

  • Leaders interested in developing truly collaborative, co-creative processes for driving a work project forward
  • Feminists who want to incorporate social change into their everyday work projects and invite a richer conversation in their business about values and goals
  • Team members with ambitious plans who seek to learn about all the basic elements needed to make the project a success. And,
  • Intrapreneurs, and organizational change agents who are already familiar with Lean Startup approaches who want to engage a broader set of stakeholders and still create a project plan that works

The FLPC is designed to be used within organizations that are up and running. It can be used to sketch out a larger organizational change (e.g., a new process, a new department) or a smaller transformation of something already underway.

How does the Feminist Lean Project Canvas work?

The FLPC guides users through an iterative, interactive, collaborative process for developing a project idea by working through a series of questions in conversation with stakeholders.

Each box of the canvas comes with questions that help you unpack the different elements (boxes) of your Canvas while imbuing your project with feminist values. The process of filling out your Canvas helps to create community, align stakeholders, and build commitment. The process gets allies involved in making the project happen. It generates not just better ideas, but a sense of shared ownership, shared power, and shared responsibility.

Why did we create a Feminist Lean Project Canvas?

As feminist entrepreneurs, our (@cvharquail & @lexschroeder’s) guiding purpose is to create and build businesses that reflect feminist values. While we found conventional Lean Startup approaches to be really effective at scoping out product ideas, we knew that these did not explicitly invite users to think about the values they wanted their products to demonstrate. And, users were seldom invited to consider what values they wanted their businesses to support and reflect.

Feminism is a complex political perspective on how and why we should create a more just world. It is most useful when it is actively practiced. Feminist ideas can be hard to translate into practice, especially in conventional workplace. The FLPC is our first effort to activate feminist principles in work design and put feminist values into practice so that a business runs well, gets good work done, and makes a positive difference in the world.

What We’re Learning About Building Healthier Nonprofits

Last week, 8-10 of us met at Idealist’s offices in NYC for our second FeministsAtWork salon on “Building Healthier Nonprofits”! (Read the original invitation here). It was a lively conversation with many threads, some notes of which are included below.

As hosts, Allison Jones, CV Harquail, and I offered a few questions to the group and then as a group we decided what we’d talk about the rest of the evening. Read on for ideas and questions generated from this evening as well as clear, community-sourced feminist practices folks are using and would offer in the spirit of building healthier nonprofits. We seemed to barely scratch the surface of all that we wanted to discuss and still talked about a ton of interesting things!

Questions we brought to the group:

  1. How can we shift our organizational dynamics so that we have structures and relationships that reflect our diverse and inclusive values?
  2. How can we shift from a “culture of sacrifice” to a culture of caring… caring that includes not only our constituents, but also our colleagues and ourselves?
  3. How can we use a nonprofit’s higher purpose to authorize ourselves and our colleagues to change the world of work itself?

Questions we’re thinking about individually:

  1. How do I ensure that everyone in my organization is getting their needs met?
  2. What is my role as an HR person?
  3. How do I help foster a community in my organization of self-advocates who also advocate for others?
  4. Compassion fatigue. How to address this?
  5. How to avoid burnout?
  6. How do we embolden ourselves while taking care of relationships?
  7. In a position of cheerleading, how do I make sure everyone is getting their needs met?
  8. How to advocate for one’s self? (Remember that people will respect you when you advocate for yourself)?
  9. How do I, when I think about individual needs, also think about how to build better systems/practices in the organization to ensure these needs get met routinely (for myself and others)?
  10. How to manage feelings of resentment because so much of what I/we do is 1) invisible and 2) not compensated, yet critical to success of the organization?
  11. How can I ask for more power in my role within my organization?
  12. How to create communities of care?
  13. How to balance valuing career ambitions with feeling guilty about leaving a job that’s been good to me but is now holding me back?

Questions we’re thinking about in our organizations: 

  1. Risk! What do we risk when we push our organizations to be more just, feminists, caring?
  2. How to speak in the language of our audience/constituents?
  3. Maintaining/building on relationships with the population that we serve.
  4. Finding meaningful (yet simple!) ways to partner with other organizations.
  5. How to deal with issues of ego (when collaborating and or competing with other nonprofit organizations)?
  6. Utilizing/including male allies in our feminist work.
  7. “I’m afraid of the “not invented here/reinventing the wheel” syndrome”
  8. Money
  9. Nonprofit expectations regarding salaries, reinforcing cycles of poverty, unhealthy lifestyles, un-sustainability, lack of valuing the work
  10. How do I make sure I am “doing good” while doing well enough individually?
  11. How to manage and be responsive to employees who aggressively squeak the wheel as well as those who are silent with their nose to the grindstone?
  12. How do we change an organization’s culture to one of support for all of us, versus reinforcing existing social power relationships (where we imagine that one party is better than others or one person is not as important as others)?
  13. How to retain people and maintain diversity?
  14. What are ways to spread the work of sharing best practices?

Practices (Putting ideas into action!)

Individual 

  1. Be not afraid of the unfamiliar. If you find yourself rejecting someone who’s name is unusual to you, do a double take. Might help you catch an unconscious bias.
  2. Believe in yourself and your mission. Show this by advocating for yourself and your mission.
  3. Step outside of your zone of comfort (and into your zone of safety)
  4. Ask for help, people actually do find it flattering to be asked. They don’t think you’re a loser if you ask
  5. As a burnout fix: Limit email
  6. As a burnout fix:- Schedule to end your work project 15 minutes early with an intentional wrap up of tying up loose ends, deciding next steps.
  7. Put what you want for your job/career/project in writing before you meet with a person to talk about it, and keep these goals explicit in your own awareness
  8. Develop a partnership with a colleague with whom you can collaborate on managing stress, etc. Check in and be honest with each other about your mental state. Listen to each other’s advice about addressing it.
  9. Meet up with coworkers and don’t talk about work per se, and instead aim to create a community of caring for each other (as colleagues and fellow activists).
  10. Set clear expectations about what you can do, what you need from others, what you are asking of your organizations.
  11. Advocate for changes that help you and your organization at the same time. Use your advocacy for yourself to create space for positive organizational change, for new org’l routines and policies, etc.
  12. Advocate for others (other women, feminists, movers & shakers, inside and outside your organization).
  13. Admit fear with sense of humor. Honesty.
  14. Proactively align yourself with your organization’s priorities.
  15. You can always use your direct service work or your role as a way to make change.

Organizational 

  1. Ask organizations what they do well.
  2. Ask organizations what they would do differently looking back.
  3. Look for organizational wisdom about making a nonprofit healthier.
  4. Share knowledge rather than hoarding it or forgetting to even think that it might be useful to others.
  5. Practice sharing knowledge about specifically feminist issues: diversity, flexibility, fairness, gender balance.
  6. Look for organizations that encourage self-advocacy, self-care, other positive/inclusive actions. Learn and share some of their practices.
  7. Be transparent. Share what your organization does. Share what you do that works.
  8. “You can always use your direct service, what you do, to create feminist change, as well as healthier practices.”

Questions for continuing the conversation in 2015 (a bit repetition here):

  1. How do we embolden ourselves as individuals while taking care of relationship with others?
  2. How to know when we need to “be a cheerleader” for ourselves versus trust that “the work will speak for itself?”
  3. “People will never give you more than you asked for.”
  4. Be your own self-advocate (and put what you want/need in writing to hold yourself accountable)
  5. Connect yourself and self-advocacy to change in the organization. “Here are x, y, z ways that BLANK is good for the organization, ways it is good for the community, ways it is good for me”
  6. What work do we value? Does  our organization value? What work do we value as a culture? All of these need to work together when we’re changing nonprofit culture.
  7. “I have a fear of pushing too hard. It’s risky because my place in system is tenuous, especially as a person from an underrepresented/ marginalized group. I don’t have financial resources to fall back on if I lose my job.”
  8. We do have a lot of knowledge and when we share it this sharing makes the difference!
  9. What are our standards in our organizations (policies, pay/living wage, etc.)
  10. For-profit versus nonprofit approaches to salaries
As always, it’s surprising to see just how many questions and issues we can generate in two hours. And, it’s encouraging to see just how many practices we are using — and can try using– to make a difference right where we work. The long list can be daunting, but take heart and take action: Consider just one question. Talk about even one issue with a colleague. Experiment with one new practice of your own. It all matters. We all do and we have the power to create new systems (working in or outside the ones we’ve got).
-Lex and CV

The Conversation Continues With “Building Healthier Nonprofits”

On October 21st, 25 or 30 folks gathered at Idealist’s offices in NYC to talk “feminism in practice.” During this first Feminists at Work salon, several of us spoke about the unique challenges women face in the nonprofit sector. In addition to the challenge of setting boundaries as women, we also have to contend with the cultural expectation of sacrifice in the name of a cause that is dominant among nonprofits. (Read more about what came out of the larger conversation).

To explore all of this more and follow up on one of the conversations that began October 21st, we’re convening again at Idealist on December 3rd to talk about how we can bring (and have brought) feminist practices to work that take on the culture of sacrifice in nonprofit work. Please join us and please bring along a friend/colleague! Register here.

Allison Jones, CV Harquail, and Lex Schroeder will serve as your hosts for the evening, but this will be a community conversation. Please let us know via email if you have any accessibility or food-related concerns that we can help with.

 

Everyday, Practical, Bold, Supremely Usable Feminism

Lex writing here, eager to share what emerged from our first #FeministsAtWork salon! Last night, 25 of us met up at Idealist (thank you Idealist for hosting us!) and ended up having a wide ranging conversation on everything from the roots of the concept of intersectionality (thank you Stacy-Marie Ishmael for naming and weaving this in!) to some really bad/blatantly sexist experiences at work to feminist practices we’re already using to support ourselves and support others at work and in the world.

We had two goals for the conversation:

a) to set a foundation for an ongoing conversation through #feministsatwork 

b) leave with something we can use and share

So, a reminder of the original prompt and then some notes on what emerged below. (Scroll to the end for information on next steps!)

The invitation: We’re asking that you bring an example of an action you’ve tried, a situation you’ve have faced, or an opportunity that you’ve have identified, to put feminist ideas into practice at work.

And here’s what we came up with below. A reminder: these practices below are not intended to be prescriptive! They are a community sourced list of things we are already doing that we are offering up. They are ready for experimenting/running with.

Practices:

  1. consider whether it’s necessary to apologize for your behavior in work situations (some of us tend to over-apologize for no reason)
  2. name sexism when/where it happens, name it for/mention it to a colleague if they don’t recognize it for what it is and are automatically questioning themselves instead
  3. use good meeting practices to make sure all voices get heard/people have a chance of speaking up
  4. use data to argue your case for change
  5. take what you can from a less than great/bad work situation (milk it for what it’s worth)
  6. resist the temptation to internalize work too much
  7. ask for more money
  8. celebrate fatherhood (re work/life balance, flex work schedules, gender)
  9. tell someone something they don’t know about sexism, feminism, change
  10. leave what doesn’t serve you
  11. don’t “over-give”
  12. don’t make it about “you vs. [someone else/blank]”, make it about “us vs. bad behaviors that don’t help”
  13. be the boss
  14. create a kind of glass wall protective barrier to protect yourself mentally/emotionally in sexist workplaces
  15. insert yourself into clusters of men and participate and/or purposefully shift the dynamic
  16. promote items in the org mythology that promote feminism
  17. find comfort and ideas in allies
  18. have friends and colleagues who can acknowledge when something sexist/unjust happens and tell you it is so
  19. “when someone else doesn’t recognize your work, you need to be responsible for making it recognizable”
  20. fund the changes you want to see

Situations:

  1. power imbalance due to age difference
  2. class difference, boss asserts position of class superiority, makes for unpleasant work situation
  3. most newspapers/mags still have ad-based funding models, and we know advertising is sexist, gender imbalanced, unjust – so where do we go from here?
  4. nonprofit organizational/biz model makes for un-feminist, really challenging workplaces – how do we tackle this?

Questions/Opportunities/Observations:

  1. “how do we teach each other about feminism, knowing we are all growing and imperfect?”
  2. “let’s fantasize about what a feminist workplace would be, what we WOULD do”
  3. what does it mean to be a man?
  4. how do we take care of ourselves in a sexist work environment?
  5. “sexism is not just about personalities, it’s about organizational norms and systems”
  6. “I think of respect as a kind of human right”
  7. men and women think differently sometimes
  8. talking about this stuff requires willingness to experience discomfort
  9. would be good to have conversation specifically focusing on challenges/opportunities in nonprofit context
  10. “don’t have the vocabulary around this”
  11. how do we take feminism beyond “the individual”, beyond a conversation about individual advancement in the workplace?

What’s next? It’s up to all of us to decide. CV wrote up a list of 12 ways to keep the conversation moving, that’s a great place to start. Please check it out and share your thoughts!

One thing we especially want to invite is for folks to take a look at the list above, pick a topic, and write a piece… Or you can always make a short video. If you don’t publish it elsewhere, we’ll get it up here on the blog. Email me if you need editing support lex@feministsatwork.com.

12 Ways to Join In!

Look! A listicle! CV here, unfolding a conversation between me and Lex as we planned the first Feminism In Practice Salon…  

Lex and I would love for FeministsAtWork to be an open platform for anyone who’d like to participate in a conversation that takes feminism into the workplace and directs it at the systems that get in the way of justice and equality within organizations. This salon event is only one of a zillion ways we can work together. Just tweeting about the event and bringing a friend (oh, that’s #12) are great ways to join in. But what if you want to do more?

There are (at least) 11 12 different ways you can join in with FeministsAtWork: 

  1. Convene an event
  2. Host at an event
  3. Writing and cross-posting on the FeministsAtWork blog
  4. Make and sell things that inspire activism and help pay for events
  5. Welcome and connect personally with other feminists who join in
  6. Bring resources to the group and to each other
  7. “Network weaving”– help people meet each other to expand the network
  8. Bring a topic up for discussion (online, at an event, between us)
  9. Bring an example or issue to the group for problem-solving and support
  10. Listening bravely to what others have to share
  11. Organize a sip & share (shout out to Wonder Women of Boston for this idea, check out their model)

1. Convene an event

Anyone is welcome to convene an event under the name “FeministsAtWork” and connect with the folks in our network. We have a few principles that anything called “FeministsAtWork” must follow (e.g., be intersectional, be inclusive, be welcoming, be emotionally safe), but beyond that it’s up to you and whoever attends to set the agenda. If you want to create an event, email us and we’ll do our best to help you.

2. Host at an event

“Convening” is the organizing and planning of an event, and “hosting” is the in-person, in-real-time shepherding/stewarding of the interaction. Sometimes it’s easier to separate these roles. We’ll be looking for people to host additional events, so if you want to host something but need help with convening, let us know.

3. Writing and cross-posting on the FeministsAtWork blog

lolcatWe’re so lucky that there are great feminist blogs out there (e.g., EverydayFeminism, CrunkFeminists, GeekFeminism, and so many more), so we don’t feel like we need to create a big, comprehensive feminist blog. We do want to use this blog and site to share, showcase, recommend, and offer an outlet for others who are writing about feminism and feminist practice. And of course we’ll use this blog to keep folks up to date on what we all are up to.  If you’d like to write something for this blog or cross-post something you’ve placed elsewhere, email Lex at lex@feministsatwork.com.

4. Make and sell things that inspire activism and help pay for events

I wish that someone would make a t-shirt that says ‘On Wednesdays We Smash the Kyriarchy’. Or make stickers that read “iFeminism is Cool”. I’d also like a small pot of petty cash from which we can purchase coffee, chocolate, and feminist supplies. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

5. Welcome and connect personally with other feminists that join in

Personally, I kind of freak out when I walk into a meetup alone. (Probably one too many tech events where I’m one of the only ladypersons and certainly the only one over 40.) Thus, I personally love it when people take up the challenge of welcoming and weaving into the conversation people who are new to the group.

6. Bring resources to the group and to each other

All activists and change agents have resources they draw upon to stay centered, get engaged, and make progress. If you have texts, tools, links, events, kitten gifs, or anything else that inspires you that you’d like to share, we welcome it. Tell us what it is and how we can help you share it.

7.  “Network weaving”: help people meet each other to expand the network

Another area where we are blessed/lucky/making progress is in creating communities, clusters, and loose networks of people who are working alongside us for similar kinds of goals. If you know of a community we should connect with – yay. (We’ve already had two groups reach out to suggest co-convening events). Also – and here’s an especially powerful way to participate – if you know a few folks who should know each other, please introduce them. There is a special place in heaven, as well as in this world, for people who connect people.

8. Bring a topic up for discussion (online, at an event, between us)

What would you like us to address next? What’s important to you and on your agenda?

9. Bring an example or issue to the group for problem-solving and support

At our first FeminismInPractice Salon, we’ve asked everyone to bring an example of when they’ve demonstrated/employed/advocated for feminism at work. (We know you’ve all done it.) Concrete examples help us translate the seemingly abstract ideas of “intersectionality” and “kyriarchy” into actions like “advocating for better pay for hourly workers even though we’re managers” and “challenging racial as well as gender gaps in pay.” Plus, what are feminist friends for if not to give you help with real world problems?

tumblr_m1bc0mtukp1r9fbgko1_40010. Listen bravely to what others have to share

Keeping it real here: Sometimes I don’t want to hear about how white women have historically excluded women of color, or how my managerial and leadership-oriented advice doesn’t work for a parent at home with kids, or how my academic language is too snooty to be intelligible or useful. But I take a deep breath and focus, and listen, because listening is a way we learn and a way we love. Being listened to and really being heard is a gift we’d all like to receive, and we are all able to give.

11. Organize a sip & share

Of course this idea comes from Boston, where Jeanne Dasaro and the Wonder Women of Boston team have been agitating and advocating around glasses of wine. A sip & share is a lightweight gathering to talk, conspire, get to know each other, etc. Anyone can toss out a date, time, place, and topic where they will be and were others can meet up, and if 2 other people rsvp ‘yes’, it’s an event. Kind of like a minyan for feminists, having 3 people makes it a “group” and not just you and a pal sloshing down the Pellegrino.

12. Bring a friend

How. Did. I. Miss. This. One. I only found it when I went back to edit the draft! Bring a friend. Bring two friends. Bring someone you’d like to become better friends with. You might ask, how did Lex and I meet in person, and become friends? We met at a women-in-tech event, that friends invited us to. How did you find this page? Probably… wait for it… a friend invited you.

We invite you to invite others. Bring a friend, connect your friend to the group, ask your friend to join in.  

And of course, the bonus way to participate – add a comment, below.

Join Us October 21 in NYC!

Join Us for Feminism in Practice: A Salon!

Several of us are gathering October 21, 6:30 to 9pm, to discuss what a feminist workplace could look like and how we can use our everyday work to move closer to this vision.

Our conversation will focus on how we can help each other bring more feminism into what we do at work. It’s free, but please register here so we can get an accurate count!

We hope to “community source” examples of everyday, concrete practices that people of all genders are using now to create feminist, anti-racist, just spaces at work and in their communities.

We are inviting community leaders and builders, artists and scholars, entrepreneurs and executives, students, activists, change agents, and makers – truly any person interested in advancing the cause of a more just, inclusive, and practical feminism – to join us for honest and open, meaningful conversation over nibbles and drinks.

We’re asking that you bring an example of an action you’ve tried, a situation you’ve have faced, or an opportunity that you’ve have identified, to put feminist ideas into practice at work.

We will share these ideas with each other, and work to develop them into examples or templates that other people might use in their own workplaces.

We’ll help you capture the ideas in short videos, quick blog posts, or any other medium, so that these ideas can be shared on the FeministsAtWork site for anyone to use.

We have a few requests of everyone who joins:

  • We ask that folks who join us feel confident that feminism is a worthy movement that they can and want to participate in.
  • We ask that folks who join us will approach the conversation with kindness and a sense of community spirit, so that we can challenge ourselves as we work with each other, and
  • We ask that folks come ready to create some shared group expectations so that all of us feel welcome, safe, and affirmed throughout the event.

Location & Details:

We’ll gather on Tuesday evening, October 21, from 6:30 to 9pm, in the community space at Idealist. Idealist is located at 302 5th Ave in Manhattan. Celia Harquail and Lex Schroeder will host, but this will be a community conversation.

Please register for the gathering on our Eventbrite page, so that we know who to welcome. Also, please bring a friend or two and help us expand the conversation.

Please let us know via email if you have any accessibility or food-related concerns that we can help with.

Idealist-logo-09Special thanks to Allison Jones and the folks at Idealist for making their space available to our group! We especially appreciate the material support of organizations whose mission and values resonate with ours. We hope that you’ll help us thank Idealist by checking out their inspiring Careers blog, following @Idealist on Twitter, and perhaps by sharing some of their posts with your colleagues.