Some frequently asked questions I get are:
Why Wild Woman Fundraising? What about the Men?
I’ve been asked recently whether my meetings are just for women, or if men can come too. I say, “Of COURSE men can come too. Just because I have a mission to help women empower themselves doesn’t mean that men can’t attend these meetings and get something out of it.” And for that matter, Trans people can learn a lot as well!
And, I’m not a man, and I think there are plenty of blogs out there written by men that can give you the male voice you’re craving, from a male perspective, speaking directly to you, as a man. I’m not trans, but there are trans blogs out there too. If you’re interested in a woman’s perspective, then read what I have to say.
I write from my research and experience, and although I do write frequently about books I’ve read by male authors, my perspective will remain a wild woman’s. And I’m writing primarily to women who want to empower themselves, even if they don’t claim the label of wild.
Why exclude men in the title of my blog?
Let’s say there’s a group of American black entrepreneurs meeting because they want to discuss business ideas and issues facing black entrepreneurs specifically. White entrepreneurs might say, “Well, you’re excluding us, how dare you?” And this group might reply, “We’ve got issues that are particular to our group that we need to focus on.” and “This has to be between us.”
I’m not excluding men, but I am speaking to primary and secondary audiences. It’s important to have a goal for your blog, and my goal is to help women empower themselves, and help everyone understand fundraising, marketing, and nonprofit management. Why are women my primary audience? Because we have a lot of different issues than men face in the nonprofit workplace. Issues such as being attacked for our fashion, not being allowed to make mistakes, expectations to be “nurturing” and never have a bad day, inappropriate questions about your personal life, etc.
We have gender oppression/sexism, and we often have other oppressions such as ableism, ageism, regionalism, homophobia, racism, etc added on top. One could argue that if you’ve experienced, let’s say, ageism, you have a sense of sexism, but it’s not quite the same.
Oppression is something that needs to be addressed, and if people outside of your gender or group can’t understand, they may need some training in that area.
Why I’m addressing this now
I just want to get clear that if you’re a man, I love it when you read this blog. And if you’re a woman, I love it when you read here too. If you’re trans or any other gender, I also love it when you read this blog. This blog is for everyone.
I would like to categorically state that I am not here to wallow in pity or victim-hood. I’m not here to be someone who points the finger and says Bad Man. That’s not the goal. The goal is to start the dialogue about equality. I’m here to help people wake up to what’s going on and take action to become more successful in their lives. I’m also here to help educate people to how they can be less sexist, less oppressive to the people in their lives.
Women perpetuate sexism too, against other women as well as against men, and we need to name and claim this.
Gender Oppression 101
The first thing you need to know about whether or not you’re acting out gender oppression is that it’s not only about what you do, it’s about what you DON’T do.
Do you speak up when someone makes a sexist joke? Or do you keep silent? If you’re silent, why? Is it because you’re not a woman, or you don’t see anything wrong with the joke?
Do you listen less carefully to women? Do you give them less than your full attention? Do you find yourself judging their appearance more harshly? Even if you don’t say anything out loud, people can feel this.
How can you be more of an ally to women?
Start reading books about how to recognize and work on oppression. Start learning the language of how to talk about oppression, and start showing your support.
Go to meetings.
Stay home and comment on blogs and show your support.
Give to nonprofits that are working to end oppression for women, like domestic violence nonprofits focused on women, or sexual violence charities around the world.
Start paying closer attention to women, giving support and respect to the women in your life right now.
If you are a woman, join a group focused on women’s empowerment, like Sharp Skirts.. If you’re a man, or another gender, join a group like NOW, and keep asking what else you should be reading, or what else you can do to help.
Are there other things I’m leaving out? What other ways can people support women? Please leave a comment.