LIISBETH DISPATCH #58

The magic circle, identity economics, revisiting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists…

Wishing you peace, safety, a warm meal, hugs and joy this holiday season.
Photo by Enrique Macias on Unsplash

WHAT WE’RE THINKING ABOUT 

It’s that time of year to reflect and set intentions for the year ahead. What served you in the past? Where can you let go? What strengthens you, reliably? Check out PK’s Viewpoint below for more provocative questioning.   

The U.S. election and all things impeachment will likely dominate mainstream media in 2020 and it’s important that feminist narratives and media continue to see the light of day, now more than ever. We have nowhere to go but forward. Because nourishing experimentation and strengthening the grassroots, courageous innovators while still operating inside the old is our only hope for a breakthrough in our lifetime.

STORY POLL & READER SURVEY: And as we enter the last month of 2019 and reflect on a year’s worth of newsletters and magazine refreshes, let us know how we can improve. What story themes are you most interested in seeing in 2020? We’re listening. Survey takes just 4 minutes, tops!

NEW FEATURES ON LIISBETH

Photo by Jeff Fielitz on Unsplash

THE MAGIC CIRCLE
In gaming, we get to live in an alternate reality—a magic circle—with its own rules that are accepted without question. We get to turn off, escape, play. No wonder it’s so popular with so many.

In the real world, we get to live in business’s magic circle…a place with its own rules that are accepted without question. But this circle is broken, and in need of feminist intervention.

Enter CV Harquail, the first Feminist in Residence (FIR) of the Feminist Enterprise Commons (FEC), who challenges the stewards of the status quo. We invite you to join us, and her, in reimagining what business could be. You can also download a complimentary excerpt, “Challenging Business’s Magic Circle” from our FIR’s new book, Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society.

She will be posting and responding to queries and offering a ZOOM session on the Feminist Enterprise Commons from January 5 to 31, 2020.

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WE CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOU! THIS SEASON, PLEASE CONSIDER A ONE TIME DONATION OF $25, $50 or $100! To get started, click here 

Truth is, we would love to do more for you. Publish more profiles. Follow up all the story leads you send our way. Advocate on your behalf to government. March for you on cold days. Send feminist thought leadership and inspiration straight to your inbox. Curate articles and publish briefs on research that might just make your day. Plus provide more fair income opportunities to young and second career feminist writers and editors–you can’t have feminist media without feminist creators.

If cash is tight this year (we get that!), you can also help us out by a) Telling five friends about us and encouraging them to sign up to our newsletter; b) Following us on social media and sharing or liking our posts; or c) Commenting on our feature articles from time to time! Every bit helps!

Thank you in advance for your generosity! xoxo

THE END OF FEMINIST MEDIA? 

Surviving and flourishing as an indie media enterprise takes more than cool content, clicks and coin–it requires a different approach to building an enterprise–more Ani DiFranco, less Warner Bros. Check out our thoughts on some recent closures, acquisitions, and “disappearing” feminist media.

PK’S VIEWPOINT 

Amazon Prime Video is partnering with JuVee Productions to develop a series based on feminist futurist Octavia E. Bulter’s sci-fi book ‘Wild Seed’, from her ‘Patternist’ series.

HOW TO BUILD A FLOURISHING ENTERPRISE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Last year, I went through Susannah Conway’s process of choosing a word to serve as a personal compass for the year ahead. My word for 2019 was “alignment” and having that word taped to my bookshelf above my computer really helped me to stay on track. So I thought if a single, carefully chosen word can make such a difference in how I show up in the world, what might a single, equally carefully considered question of the year do in terms of advancing my why in the world?

With a new year on the horizon, predictions about what the world will be like in 2020 hit us in the face like crusty snowflakes in a blizzard. The The worsening impact of climate change. U.S. election. Growing inequality and economic security. Right wing politics. Millions of refugees. Advancements in mind reading tech for enhanced security purposes. The list is endless.

My review of predictions by pundits on the web and in mainstream media says this: In the next three to seven years, most of us will likely find ourselves living longer, on less income and with less (not a bad thing in my view), in crowded work/life quarters (could be fun), with surveilled freedom (big concern), in a radically changing biosphere (read: insects and hot mealworms for breakfast) governed by a hyper-adaptive, resilient and pissed-off patriarchy (oy!).

Which then leads to the single question as a way of charting the course of my work in the coming year: What is the purpose of entrepreneurship given the world unfolding before us?

I have not yet figured out my word for the year. But my question is clearly in sight.

Helena Verdier is seen here selling handmade items from her booth at the recent Feminist Fair. [Photo © Jennifer Prescott]

If you’re still looking to express gratitude via a thoughtful small gift for the womxn in your world, we thought it was worth reposting Champagne Thomson’s story from last month, Stuff Your Stockings with Feminist Joy.

The piece features feminist makers and changemakers have to offer from the Feminist Market at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel, Ottawa’s Feminist Fair, and Indigenous and Ingenious in Toronto.

And from Refinery29 and Berlin Cameron here is the LLShe Women2women holiday gift guide.

LIISBETH FIELD NOTES

LIISBETH HAS A PARTY!

LiisBeth advisory board member, Geraldine Cahill, holding the holiday pickle like the champ she is! Photo by Greg English

LiisBeth’s Hopes, Dreams and Resistance Reception Highlight Video! 2.30 Minutes!

What happens when you put 60+ entrepreneurial feminist creators, writers, policy makers, and business owners in a room together? This year, LiisBeth held its inaugural Hopes, Dreams and Resistance reception in Toronto, Ontario. We brought together our contributors, editors, the people they wrote about, policy makers, academics and supporters for this pre-holiday season event. The agenda? Just to spend time together. But we did arrange for a pickle tasting and a mystery guest speaker. We know a lot of you live outside Toronto and can’t make event’s like these.  So we created this little highlight video just for you in hopes that you will feel at least in some way, part of it.

IDENTITY ECONOMICS IS A MASTERFUL ACT OF ALCHEMY 

What does it mean when art gallery programming is determined by callout culture? Elisha Lim based an article on this question, for C Magazine. Lim is a queer and transgender story-teller and graphic novelist, whose book 100 Crushes was published by Koyama Press and nominated for a Lambda. They are currently writing a PhD at U of T on race and social media so we’ll follow up later in 2020 with more on the complex topic of identity economics.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS

We teach girls that they can have ambition, but not too much … to be successful, but not too successful, or they’ll threaten men, says author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In this classic talk that started a worldwide conversation about feminism, Adichie asks that we begin to dream about and plan for a different, fairer world — of happier men and women who are truer to themselves.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: FOLLOW THE LUNAR CYCLE WITH SOME SELF-CARE

Celebrate the winter solstice with a restorative yoga sequence to slow down and unwind. Video by Yoga with Kassandra.

susannahconway.com

FIND YOUR WORD 2020–ONLINE OR IN PERSON! 

We love this idea and more importantly, the process behind it, and are promoting it here!

To find your word online, check out https://www.susannahconway.com/word/. It’s a free and wonderfully illuminating process. But be prepared. It takes some thought and time to work through it.

Dimple Mukerjee, one of LiisBeth’s first entrepreneurs profiled, says her word for this year is COMMAND.  Mukerjee says it comes from her sense of a need to develop more of a commanding presence and showing up in her business in a bigger and bolder way.

If doing this sort of thing in community with others is your thing, and if you live in Toronto, you might want to check out Dimple Mukerjee’s
Call in Your Word 2020 seminar being held on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 at We Work, 240 Richmond Street West ($75 but includes beer, wine and food!). Note: It’s also a co-ed session. So male friends and partners are welcome!

FEMINIST FREEBIE ALERT!  Dimple has kindly offered a free ticket to the seminar to the first LiisBeth reader to comment on the profile we wrote about Dimple way back in 2016!  To get started and receive your free ticket, click here.

Photo of Amanda Palmer from Brain Pickings

FEMINIST POETRY 

Click on the starry image of Amanda Palmer above to hear her read The Mushroom Hunters: Neil Gaiman’s Feminist Poem About Science.

The poem is an ode to humanity’s unheralded originators of the scientific method, and was featured in The Universe in Verse event earlier this year, hosted by Maria Popova. The gathering is an annual celebration of science through poetry held at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY.

WHAT WE’RE READING

An anthology of African-Canadian writing, Black Writers Matter offers a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with beautiful, sometimes raw, prose. As editor Whitney French says in her introduction, Black Writers Matter “injects new meaning into the word diversity [and] harbours a sacredness and an everydayness that offers Black people dignity. ” An “invitation to read, share, and tell stories of Black narratives that are close to the bone,” this collection feels particular to the Black Canadian experience.

“Black Writers Matter is an extraordinary achievement, a bold and loving gathering of Black writing in its sublimity; its stylistic and thematic complexity; its regional, cultural, generational, and experiential differences; its fiercely constellated energy. Whitney French and the talented contributors to this book offer us vital new writings within a two-hundred-year legacy of yearning and truth-telling. Please read this book. ” —David Chariandy, author of Soucouyant and Brother

“Reading these stories gave me both joy and grief. ” —Afua Cooper

“Black Writers? African, Bluesy, Classical, Disrespectful,  Erudite, Fiery, Groovy, Haunting, Inspiring, Jazzy, Knowing, Liberating, Militant, Nervy, Optimistic, Pugnacious, Quixotic, Rambunctious, Seductive, Truculent, Urgent, Vivacious, Wicked, X-ray sharp, Yearning, Zesty. And so, they matter!” —George Elliott Clarke (Source: University of Regina Press)

New feminist essays for the #MeToo era from the international best-selling author of Men Explain Things to Me and the forthcoming memoir Recollections of My Nonexistence.

Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of color, non-straight people are telling other versions, and white people and men and particularly white men are trying to hang onto the old versions and their own centrality. In Whose Story Is This? Rebecca Solnit appraises what’s emerging and why it matters and what the obstacles are.

“Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.”
The New Republic

“Rebecca Solnit is the voice of the resistance.”
New York Times Magazine

“In these times of political turbulence and an increasingly rabid and scrofulous commentariat, the sanity, wisdom and clarity of Rebecca Solnit’s writing is a forceful corrective. Whose Story Is This? is a scorchingly intelligent collection about the struggle to control narratives in the internet age.”
—Alex Preston, The Guardian

“Solnit’s passionate, shrewd, and hopeful critiques are a road map for positive change.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Solnit’s exquisite essays move between the political and the personal, the intellectual and the earthy.”
ELLE
(Source: Haymarket Books)

AND FINALLY . . . IN CASE YOU MISSED IT! 

  • CFC Media Lab is pleased to introduce the Fifth Wave Initiative, a new suite of programs and services designed to accelerate and sustain the growth of women-owned/led enterprises in southern Ontario’s digital media sector. Innovative Fifth Wave Initiative programming will bring intersectional feminist business practices to the forefront of Canada’s startup ecosystem in an effort to support a broader range of enterprise philosophies. It will weave feminist ideals of equity and fairness into business sustainability and scalable growth. Click here to learn more and register!
  • The Baltimore museum is taking a bold step to rectify centuries of imbalance in the fine arts space by commiting to acquiring art produced only by women starting 2020. BAM’s director Christopher Bedford, said “something radical must be done….”
  • Do you have a climate change policy articulated for your company? What are your suppliers doing about climate change? Don’t know? On Dec 11, 500+ B Corps Commit to Net Zero by 2030, 20 Years Ahead of Paris Agreement! Check out the announcement here. FYI, LiisBeth Media is a B Corp!
  • Ecofeminist revival?  Ecofeminism was born a few decades ago from the observation that there is an analogy between the exploitation of women and the exploitation of nature. Given the centrality of climate change as a key global issues, this part of the feminist movement’s ideas and theories are more relevant than ever. Its thought leaders include people like Vandana Shiva. To learn more about it, click here. Here is also a list of terrific ecofeminist primers!

That’s a wrap for Dispatch #58! 

This is our last newsletter of 2019!  The LiisBeth team will be taking time off to recharge until January 6th. Our next newsletter will be out January 21st, just after the Women’s March event! MARK THE DATE! We have amazing features already in the pipeline including a great piece by Carmelle Wolfson on decolonizing yourself–and your business, plus a reflection piece by Golnaz Golnaraghi, founder of Accelerate Her Future. Plus much more!

In the meantime, have a wonderful, safe, regenerating time over the holiday season no matter what you do to celebrate the coming of a new year. And stay in touch with us daily on Twitter @LiisBethHQ.

With gratitude and heartfelt thanks for your continued readership, engagement and support.

XOXO

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