writer + thinker + daughter + upender of the ‘should’
Ella writes stuff. Lots of stuff. Some of it makes it to How Dare She? much is hidden away. She is a beast on the netball court, the vintage typewriter, with her head in a book, and on the Roller Derby circuit. She has a heart of gold and a core of steel and very good taste in friends. Sometime last year she got sick of saying “sorry” for things she didn’t need to apologise for. She prefers the photo of her as a Viking (and the one eating pie) to the one here. She is also possibly not a Muggle.
writer + mama + newly dedicated to telling the nay-sayers to f*ck off gently
Jay also writes stuff. Lots of stuff. Much of it for other people so they make lots of money and have nice things and successful businesses. She is a beast with the wordsmithing, cannot count, and would have liked to be a rollerskating waitress. Or a lawyer. Or a Musical Theatre star. (One of these was almost a reality.) She wishes she figured out as early as Ella has about the apologising thing. Although it’s patootie-about, Ella is a little bit her role model. Jay can tap dance like a demon, is an invisible illness warrior, and believes in the restorative powers of good lippy. She is sick and tired of being ruled by fear and watering down her truth. Hence – How Dare She?
Why are we doing this thing?
Because there’s enough noise in the world telling women what we ‘should’ be doing.
We should parent more consciously, but not be helicopter parents.
We should take care of our bodies, but not be vain.
We should make boys pay, but demand equal rights.
We should dress appropriately, but also be confident in our skin, wear what we want, but not be provocative, oh and please feel comfortable in the world’s skimpiest school bathers but then wear your jeans to the formal because last year the boys looked up the girls’ skirts and so you’ll have to be the ones to modify your behaviour.
What about if there was a platform where women were encouraged to do things they shouldn’t? Where you could be inspired by other girls in the world kicking goals in areas that aren’t traditional (or, that are), smashing glass ceilings, taking aim and taking names, choosing a life that’s outside what’s expected of them?
How Dare She? is just one medium where stories of women daring to do the things they ‘shouldn’t’ are celebrated. Loud. And with marching bands and (biodegradable) streamers. The daring stories can be as small as shaving your head and as large as aiming for Presidency.
If you are daring, we will be your witnesses. And loudly cheer your name.
Why ‘How Dare She?’
A Jay Dares Story
When I started my business I had a friend. We started a writing group of two – bound together by the love of the craft. My enterprise changed the very fabric of our relationship when, three months after I launched my copywriting company, she launched hers – and it was scarily similar. She’d never mentioned it in all those hours we’d spent writing together, poring over website design, making up funny taglines.
When I booked two clients, then five, she went after them. She called my clients, offered to do the same job but for cheaper, or for nothing. She badmouthed my work to a large, potential white-label agency. She spoke to our mutual friends and expressed her concern around my abilities: I didn’t have a journalism degree, I hadn’t finished my Bachelor’s in writing, I wasn’t qualified. She was. On the phone to our friend she cried:
How dare I?
And those words sat on my heart, sizzling like acid, for the first year of my business. With every decision I made, every time I knocked back a client because I felt under-qualified, all the hours I woke at night questioning myself. How dare I?
How dare I quit my job and replace, then double, then quadruple my income? How dare I start paying myself superannuation for the first time in my life? How dare I go from copywriter to magazine editor to speaker and presenter to teaching other copywriters how to do it? How dare I be invited to speak to women around WA and then the world about how to build a sustainable business with no capital, how to brand with authority, and how to charge what you’re worth?
Eventually, her voice in my heart asking
found an answer:
“Just watch me.”
I turned that question into a goalpost. If I wasn’t hearing her voice in my head asking “How DARE she?” then I wasn’t aiming high enough. And when my teenage daughter started to question, well, everything, I realised she would be the perfect partner to explore this concept with.
I asked Ella to be my business partner. She outlined her requirements. I expected nothing less.
So, thank you, former friend. You asked the very question I needed to dare to do all the things.
Ella introduces How Dare She? at a girls’ empowerment event
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