Sometimes, speaking up or putting yourself out there can be extremely difficult. It can take all the confidence and bravery you can muster to finally speak your mind, stand up for yourself or go out on a limb in pursuit of your dreams. But, when you have models of those who have gone before us — those who have busted down doors or pointed out double standards — it can make it a little bit easier for the rest of us who are trying to find our way.
This week, I’ve chosen two pieces that I think are very important to read, albeit for different reasons. One teaches us to speak up in the midst of the most difficult or trying circumstances, while the other offers insight on the roadblocks women may face when striving for success. Both, however, will leave you feeling stronger and inspired. Here are my two favorite online reads for this week:
Gretchen Carlson: What Speaking Up Against Sexual Harassment Did for Me—and Why I Encourage Other Women to Do the Same
(Trigger warning) The former Fox News host reveals details the sexual assaults she faced as a Miss America candidate and later sexual harassment she faced working her way up the media industry. Her experiences — and the countless others she heard from women with similar stories — then inspired her to write Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Back Your Power, due out on Oct. 17. Read her essay on InStyle here.
Jewel Eliese: How to Get Published: Be Male?
Writer Jewel Eliese breaks down the barriers to success in the world of publishing, which she concludes may be a function of gender, as males — and even females writing under male pseudonyms — have an easier time getting manuscript requests and even published. However, Eliese argues that we, as a society, can change things if we remove gender and its adjoining stereotypes from the equation and focus on the quality of the storytelling, not the name signed at the bottom of a query letter. Read her full article here.
While these pieces certainly point out the many trappings that can go along with gender, they should serve as a source of inspiration, letting us all know that change is possible if we have the courage to pursue it.