Category Archives: Guests

All Men Are Capable of Self-Control and I Shouldn’t Have to Thank Them For It

Yes, you read that headline right. A friend and one of my favorite people on the Internet,  Valorie Clark, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Bloggers in Sin City a few years ago posted an article on her Facebook about a new social media campaign out of India that is giving praise to men for not raping women. This is no Onion article, people. Take it away Valorie!

In case you haven’t heard about the new social media trend attempting to come out of India, let me sum it up for you: Men are asking women to post photos of themselves online holding signs that thank other men for not raping them. They’ve come up with things like “I go out for late night parties with my colleagues, and I always get home safely. #BlameOneNotAll”


Don’t get me wrong, I am all for showing gratitude where gratitude is due, but this is not where gratitude is due. No, not all men rape, but all women (and men) suffer from rape culture. And rape culture is asking me to thank the men who haven’t raped me for not raping me.

I (you, us, all women) shouldn’t have to publicly thank men for not committing a crime. We shouldn’t have to publicly thank men for “allowing” us to feel safe. We shouldn’t have to publicly say thanks when other members of our society treat us with basic respect.

Choosing not to rape someone is not worth a pat on the back. Just like choosing not to murder someone is not worth a pat on the back. It’s just expected. Pretending that not raping someone makes a man worthy of commendation doesn’t help end rape, it contributes to the continuance of rape culture. Telling men that they should be applauded for choosing not to rape people perpetuates the (wildly false) idea that some men are not capable of choosing not to rape people.

B00424-1024x680All men are capable of self-control. They are not animals. When they rape, they’re choosing to do so. Don’t let this campaign, and other campaigns like it, let you forget that. Don’t let it fool you into expressing gratitude to someone not because they did something for you, but just because they didn’t hurt you. The absence of injury or pain is not the same thing as improvement. You should get home safely when you go out with your colleagues, and you shouldn’t have to write them a thank you note after for not raping you.

B0067No, not all men rape. And I am thankful for that. But it is the responsibility of all men and all women to hold every member of our shared society to a higher standard. That standard is eliminating this idea that rape is normal, and that some men just can’t control themselves. So sure, thank you for not raping me. Go hold your buddies to the same standard.

Mad at Marissa? [a guest post]

Today’s guest post is by Megan Cassidy of! She is one of the many lovely bloggers I met while attending the ultimate unconference that was  (*tear*) Bloggers in Sin City. Her post covers Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, who recently was photographed for an article in Vogue. Thanks Megan for sharing your thoughts aiming to inspire women to eliminate negativity and instead spin it, dip it and flip it to the positive side! It’s time as women, we support each other! 

When I was growing up, I had a thing for Tom Brady and magazines (the thing for Tom Brady still very much exists). If he was on a magazine cover – whether it was GQ, Interview, Esquire, ESPN – me, the 15- or 16-year old, bought it and devoured it, strange looks from store cashiers be damned. I loved reading about my hero, but even more, I appreciated the photos. And not just because he looks like he does. He is impeccably styled to fit the setting he’s in…chilling in overalls with goats, in a t-shirt eating cereal, being a boss in a suit. He is a “man of style,” and he’s almost universally celebrated for it.

Then we have Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, who is profiled and photographed in the latest issue of Vogue. The profile chronicles Mayer’s transition of being a new mother, while navigating being a first-time CEO. If you’ve read about Mayer before, none of it is really surprising. She’s a well-educated, whip smart, driven woman who has earned her success over 14 years of work. She’s also been controversial, taking only two weeks off after the birth of her son, and disallowing Yahoo’s work-from-home policy.

Once again, some are up in arms over the profile and the photo. My initial reaction was frustration, at how some women continue to judge other women for one reason or another. Here is one of the most successful people in the world, looking her best, and people are angry about it? Did I miss something?

I did, actually. It might simple be for men (Tom Brady, for example), but for women it is so, so different. After getting some really thoughtful tweets and reactions from friends of mine, I started to see the bigger issues.

The idea that being beautiful and being smart are mutually exclusive is infuriating. The concept of “having it all” is not only infuriating, but running women ragged in pursuit of “it all.” The headline of this CNN story makes me want to kick myself in the face.

While I can understand some frustration and anger directed towards Mayer, from where I work and how I live, she is something to aspire to. I work at a place where the majority of employees are men. Fortunately, there’s an atmosphere of respect and professionalism with almost everyone I work with. The women I work with, especially the well-dressed ones, naturally stand out. That doesn’t change the fact that most successful women are smart, don’t take shit from anyone, command respect and have earned everything that’s come to them. They each have their own sense of style and self.

I think what has me baffled by the whole thing, and the larger issue, is that it’s a story at all. Why must it continue to be a big deal when a successful woman is celebrated with beautiful photos? It’s easy to blame the media for portraying women as it does, and that’s a problem. Media has a huge influence on how we view the world and its constructs. But instead of blaming the media, what if more women viewed Mayer’s success and style in a positive light, and someone who inspires them?

However you choose to view this, in a positive or negative light, remember it’s a choice and it’s yours alone. I guess it comes back to my original thought when I saw the photo and read the piece…maybe it’s because I can relate to working in a male-dominated field, maybe it’s just because I think Mayer is gorgeous, accomplished and I choose to admire her for it. That’s my choice.
What did you think about the profile and photo? If you’re not a fan, how would you rather have seen her look?
BISC Done-Headshots-0092 smallMegan Cassidy works at ESPN, loves having adventures in Connecticut, watches obscene amounts of football and Giada de Laurentis, and runs mostly on iced coffee and blueberries. She blogs about sports and other fabulous things at She tweets about sports and other fabulous things here.

It’s So Cliche [a guest post]

Today’s guest post [very first one ya’ll!!!!] is from Janna Hall of My Beautiful Catharsis and serves as reminder to all girls and women: stop being someone you’re not despite what the media is handing you daily and start being you! Because there’s no one else in this world that is better at being well…You! I couldn’t agree more! Around here at SGS we are constantly dissecting and beating those too present stereotypes to a pulp! Thanks to Janna for sharing her thoughts, inspiration and honesty! 

It’s So Cliché…but “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” is a mantra that we need to carry on throughout our life. As kids, we grow up wanting to be like the girls on TV. My best friend and I couldn’t sit through a show or a movie without shouting, “I’M HER!” every time the prettiest girl came on the screen. For us, it was Clueless.  From the moment Stacey Dash hops into Cher’s Jeep, we thought of every reason to ditch who we were and immediately wanted to look like, sound like, and be Dionne. Or the pink Power Ranger. Or Beyonce. Or in my best friend’s case, Britney. From a young age, we’re almost programmed to want to be everyone else, whether it’s a Disney princess, a pop icon, or the popular girl in school. It’s so wonderful to pretend, but what happens when we’re adults and realize that we’re actually not those women, nor will we ever be them? In the midst of our fantasies, we’ve grown to hate ourselves, not because of who we are, but because of who we aren’t. We aren’t those princesses. We aren’t those girls who, with one quick, flirty glance fall in love and live happily ever after with our Prince Charming. We aren’t those celebrities who have picture perfect bodies. We aren’t them. We are who we are. I am Janna. You are you. Somewhere down the path of pretending, we’ve placed more focus on the body we don’t have than our own reality. Somewhere down that path, we’ve snapped from fantasy land and traveled down the path of self-loathing. We’re obsessed with someone else’s beauty so much so that everything we see when we look in the mirror is repulsive. We’re so obsessed with someone else’s life that our own reality, no matter how fabulous it may be, seems worthless. We wander through life wanting to be someone else, while letting the person we were created to be wither away.

It saddens me to see people hate who they are. What’s the point? You will never be anyone but who you are, and to want anything but that is setting yourself up for disappointment. Society, nor a man, nor a celebrity, can or should make you feel like the person you are isn’t effing amazing. Because you are. And there’s no one quite like you.“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.”

Janna Hall

Janna Hall

Graduating in 2010 from James Madison University with a degree in English, Janna left her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and headed to New York City in search of something greater than herself. That “something,” she discovered, was the position of Editor for EvolutionaryPress Publishing, helping young writers fulfill their dreams of becoming a published author. A now 7-time published editor, Janna enjoys the thrill of making dreams come true, and continually seeks ways to reach others and make a lasting impact on lives—both young and old. After spending a summer volunteering with New York Cares helping young girls prepare for the upcoming school year, Janna realized how passionate she was about seeing young girls gain confidence in their ability to succeed in the classroom and decided to use her passion to help girls succeed in all aspects of their lives. Now, she works for Girl Scouts of the USA, running the social media channels and pushing the message of building girls of courage, confidence, and character.