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What can I even write about election day?
Just like two years ago, it’s the big moment that will determine the future of women in our country’s politics. Unlike two years ago, it may determine even more about how women are treated generally in our country. We’ve already lost the Supreme Court. We already have a President who brags about sexual assault, and a party that believes men are the “real” victims when they assault someone. It’s hard to imagine women losing much more. But there also seems no floor in American politics right now.
Longtime Mama Bear readers know that I overthink everything about feminism in Disney movies.
It might surprise you that, despite seeing the tentacles of the patriarchy in everything, I’m a pretty big defender of the princess genre, especially as it’s evolved post-Princess and the Frog. In the older Disney movies—Snow White and Cinderella especially—the princes are so boring and nondescript their facial features aren’t even fully drawn in. The dwarves and the mice have more dimension. The stories are—in their way—at least female first, even if they do hew to a rescue narrative.
I am absolutely sick when I think about the upcoming election. I can’t focus on little else. I have my own conservative leanings here and there…Or I did before it became the party of hate. If the right stays in control of everything, then lawmakers have legitimately a mandate for hate. A mandate for caring more about men accused of sexual assault than those accusing them. A mandate to keep separating families at the border. A mandate to flood more guns into schools. A mandate that KKK marchers are some “very fine people.” A mandate to take away citizenship if you were born in this country. A mandate to require that your gender at birth is your gender for life. A mandate to roll back Roe v. Wade and gay rights.
Ok, I admit it. Two hours of face painting was a little bit of overkill for 5 and 7-year-olds trick-or-treating for about two hours on a nondescript San Francisco street. I really didn’t have the extra $300 to spend, on top of the rest of their costumes. Two sets of costumes, actually.
But I am so glad I overkilled it. First off, Halloween is Eli’s favorite holiday. Second, they look like they’re in a Broadway musical…
Yup, I also sprayed that Scar mane because it was too Tawny. No detail was overlooked.
We just hired a new team member at Chairman Mom, Jenny Sullivan. She’s going to be helping us out with sales, events and operations.
She came insanely highly recommended by an investor, and her references were like… “Whoa…are these actors you paid? Because no one is this beloved…”
But more than anything what I love about Jenny is her fire and passion for our cause. She was a high powered sales rep pre-kids…after kids, like a lot of women, she’s had a hard time finding the right cultural fit where she can absolutely crush it and then be there for her kids when she needs to.
Have you heard this one?
Wilford Brimley was five years younger when he shot Cocoon than Tom Cruise was when he shot the last Mission Impossible. Go check it. It’s true.
It’s weird facts like that that made me wonder if I’d ever suddenly look like I thought adults did when I was a kid. At what point would I suddenly look in the mirror and see someone like my mom. Not, resemble my mom. But actually look like a MOM, you know, in her 40s, chasing kids, weathered, no longer GAF about it all. Maybe we’re just all too well-preserved and endlessly cool to become that. What would that even look like?
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I’ve had a rough go of it in 2018 from a career perspective. I’ve spent almost half of my year sick—first with a pretty bad case of mono, and then a number of smaller colds and illnesses thanks to my totally shot-down immune system from said mono—which left me playing catch-up professionally, and in general I’ve just felt like I’m running with no direction. An entire year has gone by, and I feel like I’ve yet to develop a real semblance of a routine as I’ve taken on new work.
This past week, I went to talk to an Atherton High School class and I focused the talk on the power of words. How the world will try to talk young women out of using their words, disabuse them of the power of their words, try to get them to change their words if they want to be taken seriously.
I slammed the books I’d written down on the table and detailed how much my words had earned me in my 20-year career; why the difference between my amazing fulfilled life and one that might have been was never letting someone talk me out of the power of my words. Never letting anyone silence me.
Early in my career, I covered venture capital investments in biotech and medical devices for BusinessWeek. We were a few years past the fervor enthusiasm of decoding the human genome, and it was starting to dawn on folks that the industry may never see the creation of another massive powerhouse like AmGen or Genentech again.
Why? Bringing a drug all the way to market was just so damn expensive, timeconsuming, and risky with all that federal regulation, yunno, making sure new drugs didn’t kill people. Instead, drug discovery companies were finding something novel, proving it in the early phases, and then licensing it to big pharma to test and bring to market. Silicon Valley’s biotech industry was basically becoming an outsourced R&D lab.
As you likely know now, Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck gave a fiery talk at our September event about everything, including limitations of the #metoo movement, what white women need to do right now, and her own challenges fundraising—despite a pedigree most women don’t have.
She has told me the stories before about the Silicon Valley VC who mansplained to her how hard it would be to hire and manage analysts. But in the middle of fundraising once again (because at that stage of company with that much growth, you never really stop…) she said something I hadn’t heard her or anyone say before in the context of gender.