Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday, saturday, sat ur day!

....working on Saturday! I.T has been down for a few days. Took it as an opportunity to pound the pavement and find my way into a small biz program. No small task, in this age of cut backs and cut backs of those cut backs. So much to and fro. Today I attended a business lecture. A traditional business lecture. A yucky yucky business lecture. During the lecture I wrote a top 10 list of feminist business practises. Does this already exist? I couldn't find it anywhere.. If you know of any feminist biz stuff let me know!!! I can only find personal accounts. These come from practice, education/teachers/mentors/colleagues, my readings, my brilliant and talented friends, those who came before me and those feminist artists I admire and learn from. Here is my very rough not yet edited- free flow of thoughts from my notes today... Top 10 feminist business practices 1. Language/Lingo Barriers From the smallest thing I noticed today- baseball and basketball analogies to unexplained industry jargon when in mixed company- language can create cavernous barriers and when used are brutally elitist and uncomfortable. 2.Acknowledge Traditional Barriers Women’s life experience is respected and regarded as valuable and as a woman’s education, in feminism. Today letters after names, accreditation's and affiliations held more value than actual practice. 3.Awareness of Space How I take up space and how I bring others into the space. How to notice those who are included and those who are excluded and examination of how to encompass everyone. Creation of opportunity that isn’t based on poverty thinking- escaping from the confines of traditional competition and the lack of. 4.Awareness of my Social Location Seriously I still have to say it? Please nothing racist, sexist or attacking marginalized folks. This also includes our occupation of Turtle Island, and amongst many things our role in caring for this land and people. 5. Conduct Feminist Research- embrace transparency Survey, community driven, larger vision, facilitation rather than leading. Being sure people are connected to their stories and opinions. Ensure folks are connected throughout the process, that they drive it and own it. 6. Voice- inclusion and accessibility. A voice can't be heard if the person can't get in the door, access a washroom or be provided for appropriately. I also firsthand understand the economic, structural and geographic barriers around this issue in Toronto. Especially since accessible space is 2-4x the amount of space with a set of stairs or two (or four). 7.Acknowledge My Privilege 8.Acknowledge the Structure and Impact of capitalism on Marginalized People- Good versus bad, strong versus weak, us versus them- that's capitolism! 9.Acknowledge the Impact of Colonialism on People and Systems 10. Create Free and low cost mentoring, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for other women. Look into alternative structures such as generosity based businesses, scholarships, fully subsidized spaces, sliding scale and pay what you can. Don't leave anyone out. Be very aware of the restrcitions and barriers that technology- especially lack of access- can create. 11.Be sure to bring the boys and men along! Happy Saturday, Michelle

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