A few days ago I was chatting with my friend Ellen Snortland on the phone. Ellen is a speaker, author, actress, on the Board for Impact Safety in California and one of the first women to write a book about women’s self-defense. She and I were discussing many things, but one thing that struck me was a story she shared about women suffragists. Ellen is quite the women’s history buff, and she told me that public speaking was one of the most effective tools the suffragists used to lobby for a woman’s right to vote. Specifically these speakers went on speaking tours, focusing on less populated cities in the Midwest to spread the message of their campaign. I’ve always found public speaking to be very effective in communicating with women across the U.S. and it reaffirmed my belief that more of us need to get out there, grab a mic and share our stories and knowledge with one another. After researching this, I found that Susan B. Anthony specifically was an incredible speaker and was the movement’s unofficial spokeswoman.
But back to Ellen – Since I became involved in women’s self-defense back in 2001 I’ve had a few permanent books on my desk. As Girls Fight Back evolves, I turn to these old faithfuls to ground me in what ideals this company was built upon. The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker is always a great reminder that each of us can (and should) trust our intuition when it comes to safety, relationships, life and business. The other book I always seem to turn to is Ellen’s book, Beauty Bites Beast. She recently returned from Brazil, where her book was just released in Portuguese! (See the YouTube video above, which is a film project based on Ellen’s book.)
People like Ellen, Eve Ensler and Lee Sinclair are so inspiring to me, because they are the leading the charge to make women’s safety education and self-defense a global issue. Yes, we have overwhelming problems with violence right here in our own back yards. But in countries where goats are more valuable than women, you can only imagine how much work we have ahead of us globally. Cheers for girl power everywhere!