I hope you enjoyed my first recap of the fantastic BlogHer conference. Read on for my next installment.
Listening to “The International Activist Blogger Scholarship Recipients” share their moving stories of their lives in lands where women do not have as much freedom as we have here in the U.S., put my mind on an emotional high. As BlogHer says, for some of these women, “this work is not without risk, yet still they continue. Because raising their voices is not a luxury or a whim or an option. It is a necessity.” I encourage you to check out the blogs of two of the women who spoke:
- Freshta Basij-Rasikh, from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, shared her beautiful poem, My Red Eyes, about life in Afghanistan. Read Freshta’s poem aloud and tell me how you feel afterwards.
- Dushiyanthini Pillai, a journalist from Sri Lanka, showed photos she took at a foot center in North Sri Lanka. “There is a foot center there because of all the landminds,” said Dushiyanthini. Take a look at the photos on her blog, “Humanity Ashore.” I think you will find the images impressive.
The closing keynote on Saturday, was equally engaging. Here, the focus was on “How to Use Your Voice, Your Platform and Your Power.” There were three very accomplished women on the panel, including two who were 70+ years old, Marie Wilson, Founder and President of The White House Project (and creator of Take Our Daughters to Work Day!) and author and activist Gloria Feldt from Heartfeldt Politics. Here’s some advice from these talented women on how they managed when times were really going lousy:
- Marie says “Clothes are a really important thing. Go out and buy clothes, look good, and act like you know what you are doing.” (I really like Marie and am going to take her advice seriously. Besides, I just received the 600 page September issue of InStyle magazine with all the Fall 2010 fashions and I’m sure I can find a few styles that will fit my fifty-plus frame.)
- Gloria told the following story about her car, “I put my foot on the brake and it wouldn’t stop the car. I tried to turn off the car, but I couldn’t find the key. I clenched my fist and then I realized that the key was in my hand. So I put the key in the ignition and stopped the car.” Her advice, “What you need is always there, if you can see it, but you have to have the courage to use it.” (Gloria’s right. Yes, she is. I do have what I need, but I haven’t always been able to see it and I haven’t had the courage to use it. Will I have the courage now that I’m older and wiser?Will I? Will I? I finally put my house on the market. The “For Sale” sign went on the lawn today. It took a whole bunch of courage to put that sign up there. I did it. I did it. Yeah!)
I was sad when I had to head home from the BlogHer conference. But, I was glad to have had the opportunity to meet and hear from so many, many wonderful women bloggers for two whole days. Maybe next year, I’ll be selected to be a speaker at the BlogHer conference. After all, I am now an award-winning boomer blogger… check out the citation on my blog. I was selected as one of the Top 50 Boomer Blogs of 2010. Wow oh wow! Think I need to go open a bottle of champagne. Congrats to me. Congrats to me. I love awards. Applause. Applause. Thank you. Thank you. Or as my dad would say, “woop dee doo and cocktails for two.”