[personal profile] singerdiva01
Back with the answers to two more personal, non-fandom questions, both asked by the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] lanalucy.

Let's look at mentoring from a different perspective. How do you (or how do you plan to) pay it forward, so to speak, to mentor other girls/women/people in their lives and careers?

I’ve been doing work with girls’ organizations -- The Sadie Nash Leadership Project, the Girls Leadership Institute, SPARK Movement -- since I came to New York when I was twenty, mostly as a camp counselor and trainer. I find it incredibly rewarding to help young women navigate through what it means to be a young feminist and a young activist so I focus mainly on being a sounding board and adult ally when they have questions or face barriers. I remember how much it meant for adults to just take me seriously when I was a girl activist and so I always try to be that person for the girls in my life.

I also feel like it’s really important to extend the ladder for younger women so I stopped accepting most speaking invites for panels on young feminism a couple of years ago, choosing instead to ask them to invite younger women and specifically younger women of color. People did that for me and, while it might mean I get less work, I think it’s important to use what power I have to help others in the same way.

One of my failures in this area happened at my last job in which we had a women’s mentoring program. I feel like I was a pretty bad mentor in that it was my first and only “real” job and I mostly had no idea how to answer questions about navigating gender dynamics in offices or rising up the ranks as a woman. I had a very feminist team and boss, even though the team was mostly male and so was the boss, so I don’t have much personal experience with those issues. I wish I could have been more helpful in that context but it may also have something to do with the fact that we were all pretty much the same age at the company so you had a bunch of 20 and early 30 somethings trying to mentor each other.

My dream would be to one day be able to have the financial resources -- and space! -- to let young women stay in my house while they find their footing in the movement like my mentor did for me. I live in a shoebox and probably will for the foreseeable future so for now I stick with hosting networking events for young women on my patio during the warmer months.

What would you like to look back on when you're eighty and considering the impact you've had on others?

Such a good question!

I suppose I would like to have a reputation like my mentor does at 82: a strategic activist whose greatest contribution to the movement, if not the most well known, is helping other activists get their ideas off the ground by being a sounding board, connecting them with people who can help, and offering financial and other types of support when appropriate.

There’s a vain part of me, a part that I’m not sure if I like so much, that wants to be known as one of the first people who pioneered the Forth Wave and specifically shined a light on how millennial feminists think about and do their activism. I’ve felt for a long time that my generation differs from the Third Wave and I think others in my age cohort might feel validated in feeling the same way if I can ever manage to get all of that down into a book or, at least, into widely read articles.

October 2015

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