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I was curious about how my books read in 2015 broke down by the author’s gender, and I’m happy to report that it was almost entirely books by women.

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This is not bad! Most of the male writers I read were guests at NerdCon: Stories, so that feels like a legit reason for choosing them. I’m still going to continue trying to read more women than men in 2016. I notice multiple times per day that I am almost constantly surrounded by men’s voices (Turn on the radio? Mostly male announcers, mostly male singers. Put on a TV show? Mostly men. Walk around listening to whatever conversation is happening in a public place? The voices that come through are mostly men’s.), and I want to change that to have more balance, as much as I can. I’ve been curating a Pandora station that is nearly all women’s voices (a few bands with both female and male singers are included), so that’s a step in the right direction. Do you notice that you hear a majority of voices from one group or another? Do you have any strategies for changing what you hear?

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Be the Knope you want to see in the world

Have you read this terrific article about Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope, and the significance of their characters in the realm of TV and in the world in general? If you haven’t, go read it now.

I identify a lot with Leslie Knope, especially as I look at the earlier days of my professional career. I also identify with Liz Lemon in some respects, though Leslie’s loves-the-smaller-town, public-service-oriented, hyper-organized enthusiasm is definitely more like my own outlook on life.

One of the points that stood out to me in this article was this:

To be likeable as a woman, it seems, you have to ensure that you’re also non-threatening and slightly useless. You have to point loudly to your “flaws,” but not your, you know, actual flaws.

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I have run into this over and over and over! In the past few years I’ve been striving to get better at accepting a compliment sincerely and at recognizing my own talents (FYI: just because you were too lazy to do actual work in math class in high school does not mean that you are not good at math. You might discover that you are actually really good at it when you look around and notice that a ton of the work you do every day requires significant math skills.) but I still find myself making dumb self-deprecating remarks on occasion.

So, ladies, I’m asking you: What are you awesome at? How do you inspire yourself? How do you do feminism?

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