A topic of discussion was brought up yesterday within the comments section of my post and it’s something I have long wanted to write about, so I wanted to take some time today to address it and open a dialog about it as it weighs heavily on me and is an important topic to confront not only as a business person but also as a woman.
One of the most disheartening things to come out of my infrequent but passionate posts about human rights issues or topics that could be considered “politically charged” is the call from fellow women to “stay in my lane” and not post about anything political and stick to only sharing “beautiful things”. They tell me they only follow me to provide them with pretty images and advice on how to make their homes attractive and not to hear my opinion on anything outside of that. Perhaps old business advice was to not partake in political discussion, and it may stand true for some more corporate entities, but I feel in this day and age, that advice is dusty and dated. Some of the largest companies in the world have leaders that are sharing opinions and taking a stand on political issues, so I’m not sure why my tiny brand causes women (and it’s 99% of the time women who make these comments) to feel such vitriol that I do the same.
Women have long been told to “look pretty and be quiet” and these kinds of comments and requests not only are a call for censorship but thinly veiled sexism. Yes, I am a business and now a brand name. And yes, what I do day in and day out IS create beautiful homes, products and share images that reflect that. But I am also a person. A mother. A woman. I am a human being who cares deeply and feels intensely. While I make money from the decorative arts and my blog about those interests, my number one job is to be Henry’s mother and fight for what I believe in to create a safer, smarter, better world for him. If taking a stand against something I feel is morally hideous (our obsession with guns and the separation of families at our border, for example)upsets some people so much that they no longer want to follow me, fine. Staying silent and ignoring the issue is just not an option for me, I’d rather lose a few followers and make a few less dollars than not be able to tell my child that I tried to contribute in some small way (using my platform) to help make his world better. I also do not want to raise a son who thinks that women should just shut up and be pretty or be an example to young girls that we are only good for one thing. Quite the opposite.
When I come across a blog post or article I don’t agree with, I simply don’t read it or I read it in an attempt to understand their opinion, but I would never tell them they “couldn’t or shouldn’t” write about something that they feel strongly about. That is everyone’s right as a free American. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m NEVER going to read something by them ever again or support their business if they are producing things I like. I know and am friends with people who voted for Trump, I have friends who own and like guns– that doesn’t mean I draw a hard and fast line and say “that’s it, you’re dead to me”. People are such complicated and multi-layered creatures- to reduce someone to their opinion on one topic, or their job, is short-sighted and naive and in doing that we lose out on so much we all have to offer the world.
It’s hard to put yourself out in the public eye. It’s hard to be a business and a woman. It’s hard to consume the divisive messages and news constantly streaming before our eyes and ears every day and stay sane. Bottom line, this time in history is freaking HARD. Let’s not make it harder. Let’s try to find a middle ground, that is where we are all most successful. Lets share information. Let’s execute our right to have an opinion AND also our right to disagree without hurting each other. Let’s let people run businesses but also be human. Let’s have a little more empathy for the world, for others and for ourselves.
Love & Respect,
P.S. Tomorrow I’m back to fashion, so if you have any requests let me know! :)