Urgent: Calling all queen makers
A few weeks ago, a meteor hit our lands. As big and as far and as wide as the eye can see, everything changed when women lost the constitutional right to abortion. Losing the choice over our reproductive freedom incurs a debt we don’t owe that somehow we’re still forced to pay back our entire lives. A ripple effect through time…through lifetimes. And generations.
I don’t have much to add to the public discourse on abortion that’s any more thoughtful, poignant or helpful than what activists who’ve been doing this for decades are saying…than legal scholars who specialize in how and where this happens…than medical professional who are seeing the impact of this decision in real time.
But I do know a little something about supporting women, which is why I’m here to tell you one thing: we’ve entered a time where queen makers will be key to our collective and individual success. It is paramount that we re-think what influence looks like and get really comfortable working in the background where the likes may not pour in, where the press might not come, but where there’s work to be done.
Over the last five years, I’ve seen something that is both interesting, sometimes inspiring, and quite often nauseating – which is the constant and relentless pressure to be the star of the show, even when our energy isn’t there. Every tool can become a weapon, and we’ve seen that in full force on social media. What’s supposed to give us a voice, build a business, and create movements sometimes does for a small group. For everyone else it’s an expectation and burden that whispers: you’re not sharing enough. get out there. do more. share more of yourself with everyone.
But using your voice, standing tall, and making your mark doesn’t have to come in the form of everyone online knowing your name.
A misunderstanding of influence has produced a specific kind of neurosis, for which I absolutely don’t blame us for. I don’t blame the “influencer”. I don’t blame myself. I don’t blame anyone other than system that incentivizes and profits from all of us broadcasting to the world at all hours of the day and creating a waterfall of guilt when we’re not. Shoot, I have a website which is stocked exclusively with images of my face and even my own signature!? I’m part of this. But in recent years I’ve been slowly pulling myself back in order to pull up. So I can see it all clearly. To see myself clearly. To know, and believe that there is in fact a valuable ‘I” …even (and perhaps especially) without “eyes” on me.
I’m not saying to take up less space. I’m not saying to quiet your voice. Or to give your power over to other people. Or to change yourself. Or to disappear into the background. What I’m saying is that we all need to spend more of our time and energy as queen makers, too. A queen maker is exactly what is sounds like. It means using what you have – your resources, your time, your connections, your influence – to vault up a woman, a leader, instead. To find complimentary voices with whom you can pool efforts. And to choose that wisely.
I’d recommend that you put your full force behind someone working to protect and to reclaim women’s reproductive freedoms, because when we do not have rights over whether or not we reproduce, we have no foundation to build any other choices upon. It affects everything. Everything. And it cannot be overstated that anything else we want – prosperous careers, happy families, financial freedom, blissful independence, utter meaning and fulfillment, equality – begins with the right to decide if, how and when we reproduce.
So, ladies, gentleman, I urge you to consider releasing the pressure, the burden, the hustle of sending your singular voice as far as it can get, and instead realize that you’ll be even louder with voices chanting the same thing that you are. Get with those women. Support their fight. Join forces. Worry less about yourself and more about contributing to them. And take the pressure off, for gosh-sakes. It’s OK to do these things without everyone in the world knowing. Without creating content 24/7. Without oscillating between doing the most, feeling obsessive and down because you’re online looking at other people lives all the time, then retreating back into a cave to regain your wellbeing. Instead, get comfortable with exactly what you’re doing in the background, and put only as much as you want on stage for others to see.
Now is a time that requires we become queen makers. So that all of our energy is pooled together rather than fractured. Choose your queens. Go all in. And see what happens for the tide of progress when we worry less about the brightness of our own spotlight and focus more on being shoulder to shoulder with women we exist to support.
Go On, Join the Conversation!