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Today’s intro comes from CM contributor Adimika Arthur, a public health expert, hospital executive, and founder of Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M). She fiercely advocates for vulnerable populations and loves to help people better understand health equity, healthcare, and health technology through storytelling, connection, and sisterhood.
Brace yourselves: We are on a wild ride of 2021. In fact, we’re only a week and a half into the new year and we’re already getting our first set of shocking lessons about the pace, tenor, and tone of our pandemic-stricken and deeply sickly country. Wednesday was a long and painful day for our nation. While we are facing serious struggles as a country, womxn cannot lose focus. If we open our eyes and start to lean into the work of supporting each other (whether we ideologically agree or not), we can effect systemic changes for our children and grandchildren and make this world more tolerable.
Earlier this week, I wrote about small moments of luxury. What I don’t mean by that is material luxury.
This past year, I let go of a lot of the empty promises of consumerism. I bought about four pieces of clothing for myself in 12 months. No shoes. No jewelry. And I’m good with that. I got one haircut. I didn’t get my lashes done from March on. We did outdoor dining once or twice when San Francisco went into yellow. But mostly, I didn’t dine out for 10 months. I didn’t travel for a longer stretch than I’ve ever imagined before.
I’ve been struggling here and on social media and even in private text chats to come up with something to say after watching yesterday’s terrifying—and yet predictable—violence.
It was about toxic masculinity.
It was the natural culmination of the lies and division and hatred that social media stokes for profit. (Note: The stock market was undisturbed by yesterday’s actions, another damning indictment of U.S. capitalism in these times.)
Most of all it was about white supremacy. Not just in the staggering free reign rioters were allowed to take in the nation’s capital. But in the fact that it took powerful white people getting physically threatened for so many enablers to break with Trump and for social media platforms to finally ban him. It was a staggeringly vivid and clear depiction of what white privilege is on both sides of the violence.
Y’all know from past years that I take New Year’s Resolutions seriously.
In January, we always have interesting threads and accountability groups that pop up, aimed at helping women be their best selves in 2021. (Here’s one for this year!)
But this year we have a new tool to get your New Year’s resolution on track: NeedHop, our marketplace that allows you to compensate people for their time instead of “picking their brain” for free over coffee. It allows people to get paid fairly for their life experience and also gives you access to phenomenal talent and brains without having to know someone who knows them or make a cold ask.
This is an exercise we are doing in the Sisterhood Course this week. Mine is actually two words and it came to me a few days ago: “Be held.”
I have been hurt so much in my life by people who said they would protect me or have my back. I have misplaced trust and misplaced trust and misplaced trust so much that I really don’t trust anyone.
My kids and I were talking about trust falls in the pool the other day. I was explaining them and Evie was like, “Let’s go!” And Eli looked at me in shock at the very idea. “Have you ACTUALLY DONE THAT?” And as I thought about it, I realized I never have. Every time I’ve been part of a trust fall exercise, I have physically never been able to do it.
Happy January and happy 2021 everyone!
Did y’all see that eerily beautiful December full moon? I spotted it on my birthday.
I spent almost the entire day editing videos. In fact, I spent the week editing videos. I edited 34 in all. Everything from social justice nuns to professional athletes for our Sisterhood Course, and the first couple weeks of content for our next course on EVERYTHING you need to know to tell your own story and master the media.
All of that had me in an inspired and reflective place, as I finally took a break at night and went on a long desert walk with Paul.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Alas, we’ve reached the final Chairman Mom newsletter of 2020! Sarah has talked at length over the past few weeks about what an incredible year it was for Chairman Mom—busting out virtual Zooms, growing NeedHop, launching courses, the works—so a huge thank you to all of you who are part of this community. What an incredible group.
And on a personal note, thank you to everyone who continues to read this newsletter every day! I’ve written somewhere in the ballpark of maybe 800ish of these emails since fall 2017, and it continues to be a highlight of my weekdays. As a reminder, you can always send tidbits, news stories, and anything else for newsletter inclusion to me at lily(at)chairmanmom(dot)com.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I belong to exactly one group text. My family doesn’t have one (#childofdivorcelife), and in general I’m definitely someone who likes to have strong one-on-one bonds with people as opposed to only getting to know them in group settings. Interestingly, I care very much about curation of group dynamics IRL, but I care about them a lot less on the internet.
Anyway, last night, my three group texters and I (Cait, Kate, and Maura) were discussing New Year’s resolutions. They’re all simultaneously very inspired by and poking fun at my wide variety of goals for next year (in particular, all of the ones that need to be done before my birthday in April). But one thing led to another, and we got on the topic of personal style—or rather, the fact that all four of us feel like we have none and want to work on it in 2021. It’s now an official resolution of the group text.
Earlier this month, my friend and fellow female founder Esther Crawford announced that her company Squad had sold to Twitter for an undisclosed amount.
“Undisclosed amount” can be a code for a lot of things in the startup world. It can mean a face-saving acquihire that does little more than give people jobs. But undisclosed amount can also simply mean the amount wasn’t high enough that a large public company had to disclose it, so why would they? It can still be substantial.
Crawford was clear what kind of deal it was when she wrote this in her post: “I hope that our exit will tip the scale a bit more toward convincing investors to put money into diverse teams because each success is another proof point that we, the historically under-capitalized and underestimated founders, are a good bet. Invest in women and people of color because we will make you money. In turn, this is a good moment to remind founders that you should choose your investors wisely because when you win you’ll be making them richer and more powerful.”
Something occurred to me the other day, which I just shared with my Sisterhood cohort this week: For the first time in my memory, I will not have any resolutions on my list that have to do with health, fitness, or weight.
I told Paul this and he was like, “Right, because you are in great shape and you’ve accomplished that.”
That may seem logical to a dude. But many women know the headf*ck we get into with body image has nothing to do with getting in shape. It has to do with relentless self-criticism and an unhealthy standard women are held to in our culture. I am in good shape, and I am proud of how hard I worked to get in good shape. But I’m not the thinnest I’ve been in recent years. I weigh nearly 30 pounds more than I did five years ago or so, in fact. And back then, I still wanted to lose “another five pounds.”