22 Mar 5 Friyays: March 22
Helloooo good friends! I’ve got Friyays this week after Dr. Hinson’s fabulous Paddy’s Day dictums. My stuff focuses on women, as we wrap up Women’s History Month. It’s a little heavy, because the world felt particularly that way this week, but I end with joy, I promise!
Trolls Gotta Troll, But We Should Never Feed Them
I saw this article in The Guardian this week about a recent fracas in the Australian Football League Women’s. The channel responsible for coverage tweeted a photo of player Tayla Harris that drew the ire of cretins on the internet who don’t believe women should play professional sports. The comments were sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and every other kind of phobic that Twitter tends to breed. As another woman on the internet, this didn’t surprise me.
What did surprise me and trouble me (and others) is that the channel deleted the tweet in some sort of effort to “silence the trolls”. This was, as the linked article articulates, the wrong call. It didn’t silence the idiots, it silenced the athlete. It silenced her professionalism, her athleticism, and her presence. She retweeted the photo herself, which is why I’ve included it in this piece, to stand in solidarity with her right to be present.
The world is hostile to difference and the internet breeds spaces for hate to fester and gain power. By giving in to that hate, it protects no one and emboldens the hateful. You can’t feed these trolls. You block them, report them to the police if necessary, and move on. Speaking from personal experience, this is the only way to keep your narrative and your sanity.
Props to Tayla Harris! I wish we got AFLW games so I could cheer her on.
On the Power of Names
I have been watching the coverage from New Zealand with great interest. Not only as a human being concerned by the loss of life, but as someone who advocates for religious liberty and freedom, as well as someone who advocates for the dismantling of white supremacy movements. The terrorist who slaughtered those people was looking for fame and had been emboldened by the corners of the internet where he lived. He will not receive fame or applause here.
I have not learned his name, and it will not be spoken on any Abbey Research platforms. We do this following PM Ardern’s pledge to never do so either. Names have power, and he has proven he is irresponsible with power. He has shown us who he is and we will believe him.
Someone else who has shown us who she is is NZ PM Ardern. What a lady, what a leader. We, as the kids say, stan for her hard over here at AR HQ. Not only because of her firm control of the situation – her swift reaction by reforming gun laws in the country – but also because she practiced incarnational leadership. She donned a hijab to pay respect to the community which was terrorized, and wept with families as they began the mourning process. She then took action today to ensure that this tragedy would not be repeated by banning all military-grade weapons for private use. While we are the same age, I want to be her when I grow up.
“Girl, Get Some Footnotes”
You may have heard of Rachel Hollis, the guru-esque “business coach” who took the ladypreneur world by storm last year with the publication of Girl, Wash Your Face. We were not fans of her platitude-heavy work, which contained lots of problematic content. Well, she has published her follow-up, Girl, Stop Apologizing, and the problems have not been amended.
We’ll be recording our own review of the book, since we were gifted with copies, but I want to highlight some of the criticisms. Katelyn Beatty penned the best summary here – explaining that most of Hollis’ mantras are stolen from other sources. Buzzfeed went one step further, and so did the anti-plagarism watchdog Digital Content Police, finding direct examples of where she directly lifted from other sources without attribution.
As I said, we’ll be expanding on our concerns with this in the coming days, but what I wanted to say today is a cautious reminder that just because something is popular does not mean it’s wise, and that women are not a monolith. We have to critically engage “experts” – both actual and self-identified (and we hope you critically engage with us!) – and we have serious concerns about the anti-intellectual bias that is gaining strength in some leadership education corners.
Fixing the Holes in the Narrative
One of the greatest gifts of being friends with Dr. Hinson is how it has opened up the world of art to me. I thought it “wasn’t for me” and I wasn’t smart enough to know what the art was “really” saying. On our very first trip together, we went to Amsterdam and to the famous Rijksmuseum. As we stood in front of some of Rembrandt’s famous works and said “I can tell you the symbolism, but all that matters is if you like it.” Y’all, it was so freeing.
ALL OF THAT TO SAY, I now am always on the lookout for ways to interact with art. So when I saw this article in the New York Times, about four new statues to be erected in New York of women artists who have been denied recognition previously. Currently, there are only five statues of historical female figures in New York which is LUNACY. If you have been to any of the boroughs, you know they are lousy with statues. So I’m glad that the next time Dr. Hinson and I head to Manhattan, there will be a few more ladies to pay homage to.
Hot Sauce Homage
Ending on a lighter note, the three current female Supreme Court Justices have had hot sauces created in their honor! Supremely Hot Sauces, as they’re called, feature Roastin’ RBG, Kickin’ Kagain, and Scathing Sotomayor. I’m not a big hot sauce fan, myself, but I’ll be picking these up as gifts for some of my favorites for sure!
That’s all here from me this week. Dr. Hinson will be back next week as we wrap up March and sail on into April.