Monday night we hosted our last San Francisco Preach of the year and our guest was Liz O’Donnell, the author of Working Daughter. As I’ve written before, this book meant so much to me. If you know anyone going through the squeeze of older parents and young kids while trying to build a career, you must give them this book. In fact, I have several signed extra copies I’m just keeping on hand for when friends inevitably go through it. (I have a pile of signed copies actually if anyone wants one!)
Author: Lily Herman (page 2 of 26)
I’ve long been a fan of karaoke. No alcohol required. What I lack in an ability to sing, I like to think I make up for in showmanship.
But the last night of the Chairman Mom Flee was a different kind of karaoke. Our band had to cancel last minute and so Betsy Ann—the town’s owner—hacked together a way for us to do karaoke instead, despite Pulga having no cell service and very limited WiFi. It was, at times, a disaster. And a lot of people wisely peeled off and went to bed. But about 15 of us were committed.
Tonight we are hosting our last San Francisco Chairman Mom Preach of the year, featuring Liz O’Donnell, the author of Working Daughter. (Get your ticket here!) Liz flew out from the East Coast just for this event, so if you are in that sandwich generation or anticipate falling into it in the future, come on out for wine and snacks and a real road map of surviving this time. We’ll be in the Assembly’s gorgeous backyard!
One of the absolute highlights from the Chairman Mom Flee was a keynote by Dr. Amie Breeze Harper on how companies can get beyond “cosmetic diversity” and how white people—white women in particular—can be anti-racist. It was absolutely one of the top highlights for almost everyone I spoke with, and several of the attendees have reached out to Breeze about bringing her into their companies to do more (paid!) work on this topic.
We’re anxious to get the video up for those of you who didn’t attend, but in the meantime, I asked Breeze to share some of the resources she listed in her talk for white women who want to become better educated on race and want tools for educating their kids.
You guys know I love Disney. I can watch Moana or Princess and the Frog on repeat. I even like the live action remakes. (Come at me!)
But lately, my kids have been in a major Mulan phase, and it’s been a struggle. Mulan is so deeply problematic on gender and ethnic lines for a movie that introduced one of the few princesses of color into the cannon and should have been a badass feminist power film. There’s a reason the Mulan live action remake is the first one to be a dramatic break from the cartoon, not even reusing the music.
Editor’s note: Before we jump into today’s newsletter, a reminder that our FREE San Francisco Preach event is coming up next Monday (October 7th) at 6:30pm. (Make a note of the time!) Snag your tickets here.
This year’s Chairman Mom Flee was held in the same place, organized by the same team, with roughly the same agenda, several returning speakers and experts, and roughly one-third of the attendees from last year. And, yet, the Event was completely different. It was not only different for me, every single returning guest told me it was different for them.
I have so much to say in this space about the transformation and learnings from the Chairman Mom Flee this past week, but I’m still emotionally unpacking it. Meantime, our October San Francisco PREACH is coming up NEXT MONDAY!
Go here to get your ticket. If you live locally and were at the Chairman Mom Flee, consider this your chance for a mini-reunion. If you have FOMO from not coming, consider this your free and local shot at getting a dose of badass female power.
We have a really exciting guest this month: Liz O’Donnell the author of Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living. Like a lot of you, I’m in that generation that has young kids and parents who are well into their 80s. I hate the term sandwich generation because that sounds almost like a cutesy or delicious problem to have.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
There’s an incident from last weekend that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind for the past six days. I was speaking on a panel at a small women empowerment conference here in New York, and it was billed as a “real talk” panel about careers in media. Attendees were encouraged to raise their hands and ask about whatever they wanted. Unsurprisingly, many questions were about dealing with sexism in our line of work and finding worth and value in your work as a woman.
Newsletter editor Lily here while Sarah and the rest of the CM team are at Flee.
In addition to my work with Chairman Mom, I do a lot of other writing, including serving as a contributing editor for Refinery29, where I write a lot of their politics and news op-eds in addition to other reporting. One of the big projects I’m working on over the next year is rethinking how we cover the women in Congress. After all, we’ve got a record number of women on the Hill, yet we only hear about a small percentage of them. What if we were to expand whom we talk to and provide more nuance as to what these women are up to and the issues they face? That’s what I’m working on.
I am writing this from downtown Pulga. It’s the calm before the storm of 80 badass women descending on this town—80 badass women undeterred by the fact that this area suffered unimaginable loss from the Camp fire last year, 80 badass women who made the decision to invest in themselves for four days, 80 badass women who found the space to be selfish.
Yesterday, we were sitting on the porch assembling the gift bags and got into a discussion about things you are good at that you hate doing. Folding laundry, chopping vegetables rapidly…these were some of the things people said.