Backstory #1: The Experiment

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One afternoon in 2012, I did an experiment:

I sat just inside an East Austin bar and looked up at every woman who came through the door. I offered an open but neutral expression, just wanting to see how we’d share those first moments of eye contact.

I’d expected a lot of different reactions, from sneering to dismissing to smiling, but I got a surprise:

Every single woman who came through the door smiled at me when our eyes met.

Across a range of ages, ethnicities and stylistic identifiers, each woman smiled at the first female face they saw upon walking through the door. And mostly these were not polite, office-corridor half-smiles, but full-faced, unguarded smiles of regard for another human being.

Like everything else, smiles have become a topic of contention for the sociopolitical battleground: Don’t tell me I need to smile. I don’t owe  anyone  that. You don’t  know me. I’m not responsible for your comfort, your pleasure, your happiness. But the organic ease with which these woman-to-woman smiles were exchanged signaled something different.

It said a number of things in that moment: We’re confident. We feel secure in our surroundings. We see each other, and we ‘re cool with what we see. We’re not afraid of each other.

It said, we’re open to connecting with each other. And wherever women connect, there are possibilities waiting to be realized.

I raised a glass to those ladies and thought, “Someday I’m going to write about this.”

Never Been a Better Time

We all know why 2018 is the perfect time to shine a light on women in solidarity; you don’t need me to tell you that. Abysmal times are famous for bringing light out of darkness, and there’s no more time to lose.

I live in a town where women do solidarity beautifully, in many respects. Women in Austin treat each other exceedingly well (ask around). They work to make the world better, and they do it in thousands of unique ways.

So this blog is a love letter to and about the women of Weird City, focusing on how and why they are badass.

With immense hope, I introduce to you AUSTIN.WOMEN.LOVE.

 

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I’m here to interview the big lovers and hard workers in my community about what they’ve been wrestling with and what they hope to accomplish.

The criteria for a woman to be interviewed are as follows:

1) She’s my friend. (It’s my blog, so I can make whatever rules I want.)

2) She’s accomplished in her field. Usually it’s more than one. Or two.

3) She does her life’s work motivated by a desire to increase and enhance the greater good.

I send each woman a set of questions that she can answer to her liking, and then we have lunch and talk. And talk. And talk. Then I take some of that conversation, cobble it together with her answers and a summary of the things I know about her, and post the results in brilliant form.

If you want to suggest an Austin woman for me to interview, hit me up. And stay tuned for Austin Lover Woman #1, coming soon!