When we started Mod, it wasn’t just about helping women.
Our name, Mod, comes from three roots that are huge pillars: modern, modulation and modification. If you review an old journal of mine, you’ll find a lot of words and in the midst of them is Modification, with Mod circled. That was our beginning. That last word was our first word.
Mod is different and successful because we are an undercurrent, a modulation, to women’s lives. We want you to be Mod whether or not you’re attending a meeting. And we have Modern views on women’s rights. Feminism, for us, isn’t about making it in a man’s world. Feminism is about creating our own world. We believe, deeply, in impacting our communities and the people around us. Through modification.
During our last ModSocial, I was astounded by our stories. We heard tales of sexism and they weren’t all what you’d expect. They were personal stories, professional stories, definite cases of sexism and ones you couldn’t be sure of. They were stories of women against women, men against women, groups against women and more.
After our break-out sessions, we got back together as a group and spoke about these stories. We provided recommendations to each other and we gave our feedback on whether these recommendations worked. What we came back to was the root of the beginning of Mod. What we came back to was sharing the truth of telling our own stories as a way to help others in theirs. Everything was focused on empowering. It floored me.
What we came back to, again and again, is that the most impactful thing we can do is take care of ourselves. We can affect our immediate worlds and our immediate workplaces by altering our behavior; by making sure we are happy first and by pointing out sexism in ways that fit us as individuals. For some of us, that’s humorous. For others, it’s what some would consider aggressive.
But there is an essential truth if what we came back to: when we live our own lives with courage and authenticity, we inspire others to do the same. And as each woman fulfills herself, she creates her environment and, by extension, creates the world we live in.
So now what?
I could tell you stories. I could tell you my own stories of sexism in the workplace, in my childhood and in my relationships. I could tell you stories I heard. In all of these stories you’ll see yourself. That’s what is so striking about our experiences: we are more similar than we might like to think.
But what I really want to do is to inspire you to act.
To be Mod is to be bigger than our shared events, which often alter the course of our actions because we believe in modification. As you affect yourself, you inevitably will affect others. There is power in our numbers and if we each consider how we can promote equality in our immediate lives, then together, we will impact equality in our city and in our world.
And so that, today, is my challenge to you: ladies, let’s affect some change.
Kirsty Hughan is the founder of Seamless Marketing, which provides marketing services and consulting to small businesses, startups and agencies, ensuring they align with brand and stay in budget. She is also the co-founder of Mod Nashville, a women's networking group in Nashville, TN.