What’s your name, Goddess?

by Katina Hubbard

In a Venice, CA juice bar, a girl peeked over the counter to ask me a question:

“Wha sh ss gwen-ed?”
To which I replied, “Excuse me?”
“What’s your name, Nosshneis?”
Confused and frustrated by the whizzing blenders, I looked at her carefully for a moment. Did I know her from somewhere? After a pause I realized I’d never before seen her lovely face, and asked again, “What?”

Wonder Woman: “An amazon princess comes to the world of man to become one of the greatest superheroes of all time,” losing 90% of her clothes in the process.

To which she replied, clearly and loudly, “What’s your name, Goddess?”

Shocked by what she’d said and how rudely I’d ruined her delivery I said simply, “uh, Katina, what’s yours?” She told me and made another smoothie. I didn’t amend our awkward interaction, but what she said stuck with me for days.

We’re all trying to be better people. For me, specifically, a better woman, and a better Katina. There’s our little goals to be more healthy, get a better job, have a healthier relationship, but what if there’s a current running through all of us, that can make us become the better selves we want to be? What if there’s a secret?

Depending on the situation, a woman can become either a “goddess,” or a “bitch,” says Naomi Wolf in her latest novel, Vagina: A New Biography. Though there have been mixed reviews of this book, I find this tidbit anecdotally and personally kind-of-true.

If I’m happy, confident, well nourished, and un-stressed, I act loving, kind, generous, and healing to those I’m around me.

But if I’m tired, stressed, disrespected, insecure, resentful, or overwhelmed, I can become snappy, judgmental, pushy, impatient, and borderline rude. Dare I say it, bitchy.

We’re all dynamic, unique souls, and I don’t mean to generalize. But what I do want for myself and for all the women in my life, is to be more of a “Goddess,” more of the time. Continue reading

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Successful Careers for Women: Do We Sabotage Ourselves?

There have been many articles over the years and of late dealing with the issue of women wanting to “have it all” – a career and a family life.  So I was extremely excited to find Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook’s commencement speech to Barnard College graduates on May 8, 2011, which shed incredible new light on the issue.

Sheryl is 42 years-young and happily married with two kids. In the meantime she’s been Chief of Staff of the U.S. Treasury, Vice President at Google, and now COO at Facebook, where she’s credited with turning the social network from “just another MySpace” into a $104 billion dollar company. (Regardless of your feelings about Facebook,) Sheryl has some extraordinarily insightful things to say to women about sticking with their careers and “having it all.”

Many of us would be happy raising five wonderful kids and spending a lifetime devoted to home, family, and friends. But almost every person I know has a yearning not only to have a family but to give their unique gift, whatever that is, to the world. We’re not all meant to be the CEO of a multinational company, but Sheryl points out that many women, myself included, sabotage their own careers, knowingly, and unknowingly, giving into the outdated idea that men are meant to have careers, and women aren’t. Check out her amazing speech, challenging us all to value and feed our inner voice that says “I’m special, I have something to give to the world, and I must give it.”

Commencement Speech to Barnard College Graduates*

by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook

…Pulitzer Prize winners Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof visited this campus last year and they spoke about their critically important book, Half the Sky.  In that book, they assert that the fundamental moral challenge of the 19th century was slavery; of the 20th century, it was totalitarianism; and for our century, it is oppression of girls and women around the world.  Their book is a call to arms, to give women all over the world, women who are exactly like us except for the circumstances into which they were born, basic human rights.

Compared to these women, we are lucky.  In America, as in the entire developed world, we are equals under the law.  But the promise of equality is not equality.  As we sit here looking at this magnificent blue-robed class, we have to admit something that’s sad but true:  men run the world.  Of 190 heads of 2 state, nine are women.  Of all the parliaments around the world, 13% of those seats are held by women. Corporate America top jobs, 15% are women; numbers which have not moved at all in the past nine years.  Nine years.  Of full professors around the United States, only 24% are women. 

I recognize that this is a vast improvement from generations in the past.  Continue reading

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Independence Day: Here’s to Your Freedom

Happy Independence Day. Here’s to freedom from fear, bad habits, unconscious self-sabotage, and hypocrisy! Freedom from ignorance, poor self esteem, and depression!

Here are some quotes about independence, to help us celebrate:

“Associate with noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone.
Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people.”
― Thomas Davidson

“She might be without country, without nation, but inside her there was still a being that could exist and be free, that could simply say I amwithout adding a this, or a that, without saying I am Indian, Guyanese, English, or anything else in the world.”
― Sharon Maas, Of Marriageable Age

“Where we choose to be, where we choose to be–we have the power to determine that in our lives. We cannot reel time backward or forward, but we can take ourselves to the place that defines our being.”
― Sena Jeter Naslund, Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer

“I love your independence, I love that you don’t swoon, I love that you’ll fight me with your last breath if you think I’m wrong, and if I ever have to catch you, I swear I’ll make sure you’re standing on your feet as quickly as you can manage it.”
― Dianna Hardy, The Sands Of Time

“I am anchored on a resolve you cannot shake. My heart, my conscience shall dispose of my hand — they only. Know this at last.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Shirley

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NOT SO ‘MAGIC MIKE': ARE WOMEN BECOMING THE MEN WE DESPISE?

by Katina Hubbard

Last night, I accidentally saw ‘Magic Mike.’ I don’t know how I missed the trailer for this little film that has sent American women into some sort of sexual frenzy, but I thought I was seeing a romantic comedy where someone has amnesia. If you’re like me and you had no idea this movie existed, you probably do now, since it was front page of the New York Times’ Art Section and at the top of the box office charts this weekend.

Are images of male models as harmful for men’s self-esteem as images of women are for us?

It’s the classic tale of the poor girl with nowhere to turn except to shake her naked ass for money. She enjoys it, and so does the audience, but in the end gets saved from a life of meaningless sex and drug overdoses by a normal Joe-turned Prince Charming. Except in ‘Magic Mike,’ the poor girl who needs saving isn’t a girl, it’s America’s male heartthrob, Channing Tatum. Continue reading

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