F*ck the Feel Good: Lets Get Real About Womens Empowerment
"What happens when the 'feel good' wears off?" - Dana Chanel, CEO, Sprinkle of Jesus'
Women Empowerment. Female Empowerment. Is it just me or was empowering women the theme of 2017? I mean, let’s be honest, everywhere you scrolled, Facebook, Instagram, hell even CNN promoting marches, conferences, and brunches all for empowering women. But let me ask, how many of us are really empowered? Now don’t get me wrong, I am allllll for empowering and uplifting women. I mean HeyBLKGirl‘s motto is to Embrace.EMPOWER.Encourage young African American women. But what happens when an actual mission of empowerment is used for monetary gain for one and leaves the rest right where we started?
Recently, I came across a video circulating on Instagram from Sprinkle of Jesus CEO, Dana Chanel. In the first 5 seconds of the clip Chanel states, “I hate women empowerment because I'm not impressed...What happens when that ‘feel good’ wears off?” Not going to lie, at first I had that ‘Ugh why is this girl bashing women empowerment?’ thought and I just kept scrolling. But then I saw the video posted again..and again..and by the 13th post I'm like, ok let me see what shes talking about.
To my surprise, once I watched the video in full, I understood exactly where she was coming from. When you attend a women's empowerment brunch or conference or whatever, what is the biggest thing you take away from the event? You pay your entry fee and you get a good meal (bottomless mimosas if its a good brunch), you exchange business cards and never follow up with the contact on them, and you hear a bunch of people who have already made it, tell you how they made it to where they are now. But they don't tell you HOW they made it, they just tell you the things you already know it takes to make it: faith, hard work, determination, you already know those things. But do you leave knowing where to find a manufacturer for your clothing line? Do you leave knowing how to open a business account at a bank or register your business with your state? Were you recommended to an advisor who will assist you in building your business plan, managing finances, or developing your marketing strategies? Speaking as someone whose attended a couple of these "women's empowerment" events over the last year, I can tell you my answer... NO! And this is why I ask, "Are we really empowered?"
"Hustlers make money for themselves. Entrepreneurs, they build companies for other people." - Dana Chanel
We live in a society where women are pinned against each other, especially black women. We don't share our knowledge with the next woman trying to make it because we see her as competition. And that's where we have to get better. I've been guilty of this in the past, as I'm sure each one of you reading this has been as well. Even simple things like where you got those cute pair of heels from to where you get your eyebrows done. Who designed your website? Who photographs/styles your blog shoots? We as women HAVE to do better. How else are we going to empower one another? How can you truly call yourself an entrepreneur when you only do for self? And no I don't mean just donating to charities, feeding the homeless on holidays.. While both things we should all be doing to give back, I feel like one hasn't truly won until everyone around them is winning also. Watching Dana Chanel speak ignited something in my heart to do more than provide motivational quotes and examples of girlboss-ness in effect, but what piece of info are these women willing to share with someone looking to do the same thing she's doing for free? Let's build a network of women who have launched or want to launch their own brands and businesses and lets stop thinking we're each others' enemies and start seeing each other as allies.
If one of us wins, we all win because empowered women empower women. So who's down?! If you are hit the contact link, share your info, and lets build a network of truly empowered women! Also, take a view at the video that inspired this post by pressing play below.