Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]

 
Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

gender power

Alison Armstrong Alison Armstrong clever collaborator. supportive woman. gender applauder.

Alison Armstrong is a nationally-known educator and expert on understanding men and the CEO and co-founder of PAX Programs Inc. She created the widely acclaimed Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women workshop. [www.understandmen.com]

alison_armstrong_feature

Men and women have the same keyboard, so we think we have the same operating system. A woman taps out something, but if she’s interacting with a man’s operating system and things completely blow up, she has no idea why. She hit the right keys, so it must not have worked because he’s a jerk or doesn’t love her enough, when it’s actually that she’s not communicating. What matters to me is ending this kind of disempowerment for men and women.

Until Ellen Hurst called me up to tell me the ways she’d seen me emasculate men, I’d assumed we women were supposed to do what I’d been doing. Men misbehaved, were of questionable moral strength, and had weird relationships to their bodily functions. If they weren’t managed, controlled, and constantly disempowered there’d be burping and farting and sperm everywhere. Ellen said, “You’re even doing it to your son.” My son was three at the time, but Ellen was right. I was trying to carve the man out of him. Ellen asked me to stop.

Every time I emasculated a man, I reinforced my own fear and weakness. I was never going to know my own power as a woman until I was willing to let men have their power as men and deal with them on a level playing field, instead of saying, basically, “Hand me your testicles and then we’ll talk.”

So I said to Ellen, “OK, I’ll stop.” In that moment, for the first time in my life, I experienced feminine power. It was beautiful and amazing. As soon as I stopped kicking their legs out from under men, my experiences with them changed. I couldn’t believe how amazing men were with me, even before I was nice to them, just because I wasn’t mean.

A woman who counts to thirty after asking a man a question, allowing him to pause and think about what else he wants to say, offers respect and honor. A man who says to his wife, “What do you need in order to be able to support me in this?” and takes her answer seriously, honors her. By doing little things like these, we end up with bigger, more generous, more loving people.

If men and women can stop disempowering themselves and each other, stop spending energy on the stupid war of misunderstanding between the genders, we can use that energy to solve all the other things that don’t work about our world.

Instead of taking each other out face-to-face, what if we stand back-to-back?

– Alison Armstrong

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