I will never forget watching the Tuscan Grand prix in 2020 and questioning “What does it say on Lewis’s Tee?”
One of the greatest racing drivers of all time, Lewis Hamilton wore a T shirt that clearly read “ARREST THE COPS WHO KILLED BREONNA TAYLOR” and on the back it showed her face and said, “Say her name”. Instantly millions like me, searched out who was Breonna Taylor?
Now her, like others have become a name synonymous with wanting justice in a developed country that still makes these awful mistakes that cost lives and leave millions in fear for their own safety.
Would a middle-class white woman like myself know about Breonna without Lewis speaking up for her?
I doubt it, and I aim to be worldly and get my knowledge from many sources, but I think this may have passed me by since it had already been 6 months and nothing had happened to the 3 police officers in question in this case.
Lewis Hamilton instantly received a back lash and the official body for Formula one racing said at the time that while they wouldn’t punish his behaviour (You know, wearing a t shirt), they would have stricter guidelines.
In the workplace wearing a tee that shows your views can be a great way of reminding people about our changing mindsets and attitudes – and ever increasing need to appreciate, honour and learn about other people, but it could just as easily get you into trouble if it is deemed offensive or not in keeping with the companies culture and brand.
But what if you want to speak up but aren’t sure how?
I am someone who will speak up for those that are fearful to do so. I wrote a book about the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and to this day the biggest is still our fear of what other people will think of us and how that will reflect on us and our results in life. (This then impacts on our actions and thus our results in our personal and professional life, thus deal with what you think, and you change the quality of your actions and thus your results – cool right?)
Ask yourself how you feel about wearing a tee like the awesome creations from The Spark Company?
If people are fearful of posting their own views on social media, it can take a lot of strength to speak up and say “Hey this is me” even if it’s just in a Tee.
Your view on the humble tee could tell you a lot about yourself and how you see yourself in the world.
I’ve helped lots of people over the years accept and fall in love with who they are. Coming out to family (if they want to) and honouring what matters to them. I asked some of these wonderful people how they felt about the slogan tee and heard “Now I’d wear that with bells on (not sure the bells come with the tee!) but ask me to speak up in my clothing choices before I came out and I’m not sure I’d have had the confidence.”
I love the idea that fashion can display our confidence levels. When you have internal confidence, it doesn’t matter what anyone says or think because you are strong and true to who you are and accept not everyone will like that.
I’ve spent over 18 years teaching people how to honour who they really are, boost their confidence and speak up for what matters to them.*
With over 7 billion people on this planet, to assume every social media user will agree with you is ridiculous, but it doesn’t stop people from curtailing their views.
This is not about disrespecting others’ views, but it is about learning to see and respect who others are. So, I say “Bring on the Tee!” because learning to love honour and respect yourself is one thing. Learning to see others the way they want to be seen even if it doesn’t match what you believe, is a truly beautiful thing.
Now that Tee really is something amazing!
And if you struggle to honour other people, get in touch and I can share some amazing ideas from psychology, philosophy and coaching that can mean people with very different opinions on anything can work together beautifully.
A difference of opinion is an opportunity to learn…. can I get that on a Tee?
Author: Mandie Holgate, Founder of The Business Womans Network is a global speaker, author and coach winning awards around the world supporting small business, women in business, resilience and happiness in the work place. Her books are highly acclaimed and featured as Top 10 Books for business and success. To learn more, connect and chat on social media (as Mandie likes to do with everyone she meets – yes she is that social!) click here.
A former X-Factor contestant was prevented by her (male) PR adviser from answering the question “Are you a feminisist?”
So The Gazette newspaper ran a feature and asked me to write a piece answering the question “What does feminism mean to you and can women really “have it all” with a career and a family?”
As the printed version cut out some of what I wrote, I though I’d give you both versions!
Feminism – it’s a loaded word! Somehow it’s gone from meaning an advocate of the rights and equality of women, to being short-hand for a stroppy woman moaning that life isn’t fair and that men are evil suppressors!
If you’d asked me when I was at university if I was a feminist, it would have been an unqualified yes. But now, it’s not so straightforward. I need to qualify my answer. I believe in egalitarianism
There are still so many inequalities – the glass ceiling is still there (we’re breaking through more often but it’s a tough slog), pay disparity has yet to be banished and women in the public eye are all too often reduced to the status of a “body.” I could go on…
But then men don’t have it all easy either. Stay at home dads are viewed with suspicion and body image issues are now more prevalent in men with a huge increase in the levels of male eating disorders.
The issue that women face is that we’ve been give the rights but not the full equality. Let’s face it, with the best will in world the responsibility of having a baby is a woman’s. Men just don’t have the correct tools for the job! And if we exclude those women who get back on their Blackberries before the placenta has been delivered, we do need to take some time off work. And that’s when we start to lose out. Out of sight and out of mind!
Having it all? No-one can. You might say men do, but do they really? Look at the parents at sports day or afternoon nativity. It’s predominately mothers. If men were having it all, they’d be there too.
If you want to have it all, you have to choose when you have it. Many women in The Business Womans Network have chosen to be self-employed so they can have a job that fits around their families in a way that “conventional” jobs don’t. When they are working, they work hard and they achieve great things. And when they are doing the family side of things, well they are pretty great at that too.
Feminist, yummy mummy, mumtrepreneur (one of my pet hates, but there’s not enough space to go into that here) call me what you want. At the end of the day, the label isn’t important.
Women are just as great as men and men are just as great as women. It’s just that we all have different skills, different talents and different roles. And until we accept, celebrate and nurture these amazing differences then we all lose out.