Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

Announcing G Day for Girls!

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by Madeleine

Telling you about G Day feels like a combination of my birthday, a weekend and every holiday I’ve ever anticipated. It’s a new creative project that I have had in my heart and mind since I was a little girl.

As a girl, I was awed by the idea of becoming an adult woman. Like Margaret in Judy Blume’s classic Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, I was obsessed with all the details, particularly menstruation, and on a semiconscious level I hoped that there would be some sort of fanfare when the momentous time came.

The obvious aside, nothing happened, and I was left with a sense of deep disappointment. Not that I could have told you what exactly I had imagined might happen – I just wanted other people to acknowledge in some way that what was happening to me was special, because I sure thought it was.

I was reminded of these feelings early last year, when I was invited to speak at Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver as part of a Special Edition created in partnership with Women Transforming Cities. At first I thought it was a bit weird to be thinking about my work in an urban context, and then I remembered my girlhood dream, and landed on the idea of creating modern Red Tents where we could bring our daughters to celebrate them when they entered adolescence.

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I Met My Hero: Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Magazine

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 by Guest

rookietavi I Met My Hero: Tavi Gevinson of Rookie MagazineGuest Post by Alysha Seriani

A few weekends ago, I met my personal hero: Tavi Gevinson. Blogger, actor, style icon, feminist, model, singer, and founding editor‐in‐chief of RookieMag.com — the ultimate media source aimed at teen girls that reaches much further than the target audience.

Alongside my introduction to feminism, I found Rookie in the fall of 2011. This was also the start of my last year of high school in a particularly benighted small town. Two years later, I remain an avid fan‐girl of what is surely the blueprint of a new era of feminism: one that chooses to be a drawing board rather than a rulebook.  In the past month alone, Rookie’s posts range from dealing with bullying to DIY pet photo shoots.

Whilst perusing its pages one day, I first stumbled upon Lunapads! First seen in this Just Wondering column in 2012,  I was convinced to try The DivaCup for the first time — I’ve been loving it ever since. This same article links fellow Rookie readers to Lunapads.com, and recommends Lunapanties to the inquiring girl who may fear tampons and overnight leakage.

Best of all: using a reusable cup like this is good for the environment, and keeps money out of the big, male-run corporations that sell women tampons—corporations that put bleach in tampons, and advertisers that tell us our natural vaginas are disgusting and need to be scented with “deodorizers.”  Read Just Wondering at RookieMag.com

With three posts every weekday and daily posts on weekends, I can hardly keep up with the endless amounts of amazing Rookie content constantly coming my way. This brings me to the manifestation of Rookie’s second annual accomplishment: Rookie Yearbook Two! Compiling the past ten months of incredible content — adding some loot such as cootie catchers, DIY shrines, and stickers galore — I was a sucker for this anthology, and pulled every string I could to get to the book launch in Seattle.

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Emerging Women: Sisterhood is Powerful

Monday, October 21st, 2013 by Madeleine

group1 Emerging Women: Sisterhood is Powerful I am still buzzing from my time in beautiful Boulder CO at last weekend’s stellar Emerging Women Live conference. There have already been a ton of great posts recapping talks and performances by the likes of Ani DiFrancoElizabeth GilbertAlanis Morissette and Brené Brown.

While I did glean incredible takeaways and inspiration from these well-known gals, I’d like to talk about some of the lesser-known women involved with the conference: some presenters I had never previously heard of, other attendees, and the event organizers.

I’ll start with someone close to home: one of my fantastic roommates, Emira Mears (left). You know the bliss of being with a longtime friend/colleague/co-conspirator who totally gets you, and yet you don’t get to see nearly often enough? That. To get to have numerous thoughtful conversations punctuated with spots of dancing and shopping over the period of a few days was pure pleasure, and epitomized for me the spirit of #EWLive13: Sisterhood.

Emira and I shared our room and camaraderie seamlessly with the brilliant and highly entertaining Melody Biringer (right), the serial entrepreneur, CRAVE and Urban Campfire founder and author of Craving Success. Our collective energy was an eclectic mix of entrepreneurial tips, connections and spicy anecdotes, with a side of powerful family & relationship sharing. This pic of us with our beloved shero Eve Ensler pretty much tells the story.

Moving on to a couple of the people who made it all possible in the first place, a deep bow to you, Chantal Pierrat. Emira and I have known Chantal since 2004 when we all attended SVI – Women at Hollyhock. We’ve all come a long way since then and were completely blown away by Chantal’s vision, presence and and flat-out fabulousness as she hosted us. A further deep bow is due to (I am making this title up) Operations Priestess Karna Liv Nau, whose meticulous attention to detail was matched only by the genuine love and care that she brought to attending to I can only imagine how many details and personalities.

Spending time with Tami Simon (founder of Sounds True, Chantal’s former employer, center) was another precious moment. She was also at the 2004 event with Chantal, and Emira and I had the benefit of receiving her deep, heartfelt and highly conscious thoughts on the upcoming 2014 Vancouver SVI – Women conference that we are planning.

group2 Emerging Women: Sisterhood is Powerful

Some other particularly meaningful connections for me included the searing soul searcher Sera Beak (check out her books The Red Book and Red, Hot & Holy: a Heretic’s Love Story), the perpetually radiant Amber Krzys (we are massive fans of her BodyHeart program), The Right Brain Business Plan author Jennifer Lee and the lovely Sara Avant Stover, whose extraordinary book the Way of the Happy Woman I am close to finishing reading and will share about at greater length very soon.

I myself was invited to lead a dinner conversation on the topic of “Scaling Your Business” with an incredible group of entrepreneurs. Our conversation rapidly evolved from sharing our respective goals to an extraordinarily powerful and deeply personal connection. I am talking BIG MAGIC.

My final virtual namaste goes to Melinda, a woman I met on the first afternoon at a “power circle”, where we connected with a small group prior to moving into the larger experience. Over dinner she shared with me and another member of the group that she had always had trouble embracing relationships with other women. As we ate, we learned her story, and in turn shared our own experiences in service of her quest to connect. It was another classic Sisterhood moment: women witnessing, supporting and lifting one another up: Emerging together.

Emerging Women Live!

Friday, September 6th, 2013 by Madeleine

ewlive Emerging Women Live!

It’s such a great buzz when a bunch of your favourite things converge. Here are 3 of mine: relationships, powerful women, and events.

Given this, it will come as no surprise that I kind of freaked out when I heard about Emerging Women Live (October 10-13, Boulder CO). Hearing the speaker lineup was kind of like a feminist version of celebrity fireworks: Ani DiFranco (boom!), Elizabeth Gilbert (boom!), Alanis Morissette (boom!), Sobonfu Some (boom!), Brené Brown (boom-boom!) and so on. Just hearing these names as a list made me wonder whether Hilary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg might just show up for some girlfriend time: stunning!!!

Then I learned that the creative force behind it was none other than Chantal Pierrat, a longtime colleague who I met for the first time at SVI-Women at Hollyhock in 2004. (As it happens, I recently co-produced SVI-Women in Vancouver.) At the time, Chantal was the Sales & Marketing Director for Sounds True, working with one of my all-time entrepreneur sheros, Tami Simon.

It turns out that Chantal’s entrepreneurial spirit was lit as she listened to the stories of the circle of women business owners who gathered together to learn from and empower one another in our journeys. After close to decade with Sounds True, Chantal felt called to create her own venture, marrying her interest in personal growth and progressive entrepreneurship to create an event dedicated to what she calls “feminine leadership”.

All of this is to say: I can’t wait!! Lunapads is a Marketing Partner and will be providing beautiful gifts to all of the participants. If you’re there, please be sure to say hello. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Chantal, and the ripples that the event itself will create. Hope to see you in Boulder!

Projecting Change & Girl Rising

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 by Madeleine

staycurious Projecting Change & Girl Rising

Here in Vancouver, Lunapads is part of a vast web of changemaking people and organizations. Having the opportunity to creatively collaborate with them is one of our greatest pleasures, and we are thrilled to announce what just might be the best one yet!

Pads4Girls, our commitment to supporting the education (and therefore liberation) of girls, dates back to 2000. Over the years we have been thrilled to see the emergence of studies, groups and media that share our passion for creating a better future for girls. We have particularly anticipated the release of Girl Rising, a powerful and innovative new feature film that spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. Girl Rising is the centerpiece of 10×10, a global campaign to educate and empower girls.

Given that some of the fabulous people and organizations who we spoke of earlier include Katie Schaeffers, ED of the Projecting Change Film Festival and Sharon Davis, Leader of the Vancouver Chapter of Room to Read, it seemed like a natural thing to do to get together to support the Vancouver premiere of Girl Rising as part of PCFF’s programming. We are beyond thrilled that the film will be the centerpiece of the festival’s closing night screening & gala.

Girl Rising tells the story of girls like Sokha, an orphan who rises from a life in the garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to become a star student and an accomplished dancer; Suma, who writes songs that help her endure forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to free others; and Ruksana, an Indian “pavement-dweller” whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter’s dreams.

Each girl is paired with a renowned writer from her native country, and their stories are narrated by celebrated actresses including Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Salma Hayek (Peru) and Meryl Streep.

As an added super bonus (and yet more fabulous Vancouver colleagues!), the evening will also feature a screening of Global Sorority, a film created by Loretta Cella of the Passion Foundation, a longtime Pads4Girls supporter and changemaker who has touched the lives of thousands of girls here in the lower mainland, as well as overseas with her powerful teaching, coaching and programming.

Hurry – tickets are going fast. See you there!

We Heart BodyHeart!

Monday, March 18th, 2013 by Madeleine

bodyheart mads We Heart BodyHeart!

My temporary tattoo has now completely faded away, however it seems like just a few days ago that Amber Krzys was here in Vancouver brightening up our dreary, rain-soaked winter with her fantastic smile and contagious energy.

As can often be the case with beautiful visions, Amber’s BodyHeart movement was borne of a painful personal journey. As a girl, Amber’s heart’s desire was to be a dancer. The culture of dance, however, wanted Amber, specifically Amber’s body, to be different: namely taller and thinner. For years Amber tried endless diets in an effort to conform to an impossible standard. The toll of all this self-rejection finally came to a head when she embarked upon a year-long experiment to see whether she could learn to love herself exactly as she was.

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An International Women’s Day Gratitude List

Friday, March 8th, 2013 by Madeleine

543797 477570302289252 321940616 n An International Womens Day Gratitude List

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s an odd mix of “hooray, yay us!” (and a great excuse for a sale – woot!) and a weary taking stock of how far we still have to go. What I have to offer on this day is a gratitude list. Thank you for:

  1. Fighting back with love. We’re angry about violence against women too, and today is a great opportunity to talk about it. I am still in awe of the healing power of channeling rage through dance that we witnessed as organizers and participants in the recent Vancouver One Billion Rising event. Thank you Theresa, Navi, Lucky and Sheila for sharing your incredible gifts to make magic as part of a global movement on that day.
  2. Goddesses. Thank you Nikiah Seeds of Red Moon Designs for your support and leadership as we integrate spiritual practice into our business. Thank you Kate Muker of Conscious Divas for modelling the principles of inner truth, devotion and acceptance and inviting us into your community. Andrea St. Jules and her gorgeous Graceful Warriors workshop series for women is yet another example of the healing power of honouring the divine feminine.
  3. AFRIpads. Of all of the multitude of relationships that the Lunapads and Pads4Girls journeys have brought us, you are shining stars. Sonia and Paul, we are beyond proud to support (and be supported by!) you today and always.
  4. Girls. To you, we dedicate the future. Please stay as brave, fierce, unashamed and curious as you are now.
  5. Girlfriends. Thank you Suzanne, Signy, Hilary, Emira, Mary, Kate, Carrie and so many others. You hold dreams, gently witness failings, and reflect fabulousness.
  6. Lunagals. There are few greater honors than being granted the gift of someone’s labor. Thank you Lisa, Morgan, Christa, Kitty, Goni, Anika and Yvette, as well as all our our employees of the past. Your dedication, smarts, creativity, patience and love for our products, customers and message have made this company what it is today: a flourishing bastion of freedom, creativity, innovation and celebration.
  7. Men (and a few boys). Thank you Tim, Craig, Aiden, Garret, Cory, Henry, Paul, Warren, Bix, Darrell, Duncan, Joel, Bob, Evan, Jon, Jason, Mark, Mike, Marc, Rene and many more for everything from putting up shelves to love, support and great business advice.
  8. Community. The Lunagals enjoy the support of a vast network of peers, friends and colleagues who show up for us in a multitude of ways. We are truly blessed by the likes of Louise, Sarah, Denise & Marni, Beth & Jacqui, Maggie, Monica, Dana, Deena, Emily, Donovan, Mike, Toby, Wendy, Sharon, Christine, Felicia, Danielle, Judy, Jill, Tracy, Felice, Sapna, etc etc.
  9. Customers: what an amazing, diverse bunch of fabulous individuals. Thank you for your love, feedback, support and above all trusting us with your very personal needs and stories.
  10. Feminism. I actually can’t wait to be done with feminism, however as long as girls are still being shot for wanting to go to school, violence against girls and women remains epidemic and systemic, and political and economic differences leave so many of us oppressed and underrepresented, it’s a banner that I will continue to carry, proudly, and in the name of love, justice and equality for all. Thank you to our unabashedly feminist media partners BUST and Bitch magazines, for the incredible work that you do.

Happy International Women’s Day, y’all!

 

Lunapads Rocks Pecha Kucha

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 by Madeleine

I have been an avid attendee of the Vancouver chapter of Pecha Kucha for the past couple of years, and was thrilled to be asked to speak as part of Volume 26, presented jointly with Women Transforming Cities, a local group dedicated to examining how urban spaces can be more girl- and woman-friendly.

For those of you new to “PK Night”, it’s a highly engaging speaking format where each presenter chooses 20 slides that typically represent why they do the work they do, which are then set on a timer to allow 20 seconds of speaking time per slide: kind of an ADD version of a TED talk.

I was nervous, and had never spoken in front of anywhere close to the evening’s sold-out 1200 seats. Inspired by the preceding 10 incredible speakers whose topics ranged from women’s roller derby teams, to violence and safety, urban planning, alternative transportation, historical preservation and more, I stepped up to the stage and gave it my all. I am frankly still buzzing from the positive reception and feedback (they laughed, they cried!) for my personal story that illustrates what makes Lunapads tick, even almost 20 years after I first started developing the products.

You will not regret spending the next 7 minutes of your life watching this, especially if you have ever been an adolescent girl excited about the prospect of becoming a woman. If it lands for you, please share widely – it’s a sweet, funny and highly personal way to tell your friends what Lunapads is all about: enjoy!

OBR YVR: Dancing in our Power

Friday, February 15th, 2013 by Madeleine

obrphotogrid OBR YVR: Dancing in our PowerVIEW MORE PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK

As most of you in the Lunaverse are aware, yesterday was V-Day (ok ok, and Valentine’s Day too) and that the Lunagals were conspiring with a team of local activists to co-create the Vancouver One Billion Rising event. A big part of our inspiration was drawn from our friends at AFRIpads in Uganda, who had suggested that Lunapads and AFRIpads rise “together” as a symbol of our global partnership and shared values.

So how was it? Electric, radiant, powerful, emotional and 100% flat-out amazing: fury has never felt this fantastic. When I first learned about it, I didn’t totally get the dancing part – I mean, it’s a protest, right? But when I read Eve Ensler‘s take on it, I began to get it: “I think dancing breaks the walls of the cage, it expands the boundaries, it says: I’m here, I’m free, I’m me, I’m authentic, I’m in my body, I’m calling up my life force, I’m calling up all of me“.

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One Billion Rising in Vancouver!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 by Madeleine

billionrising One Billion Rising in Vancouver!

When the last time that you danced as part of a protest? As enraged as I am about the issues that Eve Ensler’s art and campaigns (The Vagina Monologues, V-Day and now One Billion Rising) confront, I find the idea of gathering with a group of women and others who love them to oppose violence against women by dancing together uniquely brilliant and liberating.

If you have not already seen the One Billion Rising video below (trigger alert – this is about violence against women, after all), please watch and find a local group that is organizing a “Rising”. The movement is already global – you can check out One Billion Rising on Facebook or the One Billion Rising Website to find an event near you.

Break the Chain” is the choreography for the flashmob-style dances that are set to happen around the world at 12 noon on February 14th, Valentine’s day. Can’t make it? You can follow @eveensler and @Vday and tweet your support with the hashtags #1billionrising and #reasontorise.

We are thrilled to be working with some amazing local women in the effort to create Vancouver’s Rising: dance guru Theresa Tree of MyTreehouseVision, Navi, Roma and Lucky of Global Girl Power and Sheila from Dancing4aChange. Check out our Facebook Group for deets (quickie info: 12 noon at the Vancouver Art Gallery) and we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

The Vancouver event is held in solidarity with other local and global events and organizations. Our Ugandan partners AFRIpads will also be Rising (video coming soon!), and we honour that the annual Women’s Memorial March will also be occurring at the same time as the Rising. Had the V-Day/Rising date not been slated for February 14th, we would definitely have held the event on another day so as to be able to attend the march, however are trusting that more voices in more places will add to the overall impact. We honour and support the Missing Women’s March. There will also be performances of The Vagina Monologues held at the University of British Columbia on the evenings of February 12th, 14th and 16th.

Until the violence stops.