The Tribe of Badassery

Perhaps you’ve noticed the world is falling apart.

No, I mean really. Shit. Is. Bad. We’re talking steaming heap of hottest year on record – white supremacist revival – disdain for the rule of law – misogynistapalooza, with a cold slimy side of inept egomaniacal blowhard with his gauche little fingers on the button kind of bad.

And perhaps you’re feeling the weight of it.

The call to resist. The urgency to act. The certainty that if you do not read just one more article, that if you miss one tweet or meme or post, fail to sign that petition or send that postcard, you will not have done your part.

Who could survive under such weight? No one. And that’s the point.

So while we’re resisting, here’s how we win: we thrive.

That idea you’ve been kicking around? Say it out loud to somebody else. Right now. Bring it to life.

That passion project you’ve been dabbling with? The one you’ve been tending to on the margins because it makes you happy? Make it your thing. Own it. Do it. Put it front and center.

The little enterprise you’ve been running? The one that deep down you know could be so much more? Make it so. Take that shit up a quantum notch.

Now is the time to surround yourself with creators. With believers and doers. With the get up – dress up – show up, pavement pounding, ass kicking name takers.

The tribe of badassery is growing stronger every day, and it’s calling your name. You won’t regret answering.

How do I know? I found my tribe, buzzing and electric, early on a cold Friday morning. What I hoped would be more than me sitting alone in the dark eating donuts and scribbling on my white board became the 250-member strong F Bomb Breakfast Club. This merry band of cussing collaborators has compelled me not just to endure the world as we currently know it, but to joyfully and obsessively reimagine it.

The business plan I once thought was too grand? The one I’ve barely mentioned, and apologized for or minimized when I did? It. Is. On. And in the immortal words of Eminem, “Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not.” I am all in, thanks to my tribe.

So, have you found yours?

5 Women to Watch

Looking for inspiration? Need a little somethin’ somethin’ to nudge you in the direction of your dreams? Check out these local purpose-driven entrepreneur lady bosses putting their passion into action.

Ariel Bangs, the badass, community-building, love-spreading chef behind Healthy Creations. Chef Ariel takes all of the pretenses out of healthy eating and dishes up fun, flavorful, life changing food empowerment and donuts. Really good donuts.

Chef Ariel Pic
Watch her this year: Open Flavorgasms Donut Shop and expand her youth culinary anthropology program, Taste International, to five schools while working to create healthy food connections between local farmers, local entrepreneurs and underserved communities through community partnerships.

Kristina Larry, doyenne of the courtroom, the Sassy Litigator, the Pre-nup Princess, the multi-talented, game changing attorney turning traditional law practice on its head to connect with every day clients as the unique humans that they are. A la carte services. Affordable rates. Free classes to empower clients. All with panache. Kristina is not your grandfather’s lawyer.

Kristina Larry pic
Watch her this year: “Because I’m going to take no prisoners.”

Michele Gomes and Jenny Ting, the dynamic duo of filmmakers behind InterChange Media. Creative and conscientious, their art house produces videos, commercials, PSAs, and documentaries that educate and inspire people to action.

Ting and Gomes pic
Watch them this year: Release a feature-length documentary about the ongoing collaborative partnerships between New Englanders, Southerners and Mexicans who are working together to prevent the extinction of an ancient sea turtle species.

Tara Morgan Mulvenon, the adaptive rowing and fitness coach behind Seize The Oar, which cultivates and celebrates the athlete within people of all abilities. Tara is a firecracker inside a sparkler, a visionary of boundless energy who will make you believe anything is possible, on or off the water.

Tara Morgan Mulvenon pic
Watch her this year: Turn a part-time passion into a full-time thriving business of inclusive fitness and wellness.

Now it’s your turn. What passion will you put into action this year?







You Can Do Anything

The last few weeks have provided a deep well of material for one who loves badass women. And yet, I haven’t been able to find the words.

An historic presidential election in which a woman is a major party candidate has devolved so far from the issues, one might be forgiven for forgetting what the issues actually were. Instead, we’ve been witness to the vile gasps of a dying patriarchy taking every shameful last swipe possible at the prospect of a female future. No going out with dignity. It has peeled off its human façade to unleash its sick and sinister soul.

“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

I have been surrounded by so much good lately. Personally. Professionally. In my community. There has been so much good.

But still, there is this:

“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

And I can’t get it out of my head. The casual bravado with which a wealthy white man brags about sexually assaulting women. Its dismissal as locker room talk, as boy talk, as something we should shrug off because, really, we just weren’t meant to hear it.

Grab them by the pussy.

In this vulgar and honest moment, one man validates our worst fears: that we are valued as mere objects available for the amusement and satisfaction of men like him, as vessels into which they can plunge their deep need to dominate. And while the horror of this particular shit show tells us much about the character of one particular ass hat, unworthy to be named here, it also reveals something frightening about us as a society, that we raised, enriched, elevated, celebrated, and ultimately put him within a hair’s breadth of our nation’s highest office.

I can say confidently that had I been there, in this particular perverse proverbial locker room testosterone fest, I would have shut it down.  What worries me are the countless times my own action or inaction helped to build a culture of people that nominates a man for president who grabs them by the pussy.

In the board room, when I’ve worried whether I looked too dowdy.

In a business meeting, when I’ve worried if I was dressed too provocatively.

When I’ve paused in front a mirror to worry that I looked too fat, or too old, for whatever business day I was about to slay.

When I’ve allowed my perceived, relative attractiveness to men determine my level of confidence for the moment ahead of me.

No more.

My response to the foul sexism that is playing out for us in daily headlines is to vow to be a better role model to my nieces and nephews. To show up. To own up. To succeed. To shine. To fight the impulse to doubt myself. To silence the voice inside me that says I’m not good enough. To be bold, and also to be good. To be a person in the world whose character behind closed doors matches the persona I curate on social media. To trust my instincts. To love my double chin and gray roots. To embrace my bushy eyebrows and laughable shoe game. To listen. To learn.

To stomp out the patriarchy and dance on its ruins.

And by all means, to vote.