The Girl Gang Missives Vol. 3

GGMBy Nicole BelangerThe Girl Gang Missives is a weekly report on the badass things that women are making/creating/building/writing.

[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]T[/dropcap]his week, the women are manufacturing condoms, debunking HR practices, and predicting their divorces. [divider type="dashed" spacing="10"]

  1. Even Jesus wants you to believe women: ...and a few other things that Anne Thériault found out when she visited nuns in a convent.
  2. I don't think it's supposed to hurt that much: No one likes going to the gynecologist, or bending over to put in a tampon (ob all the way, though, if you do). But for people living with vaginismus, these everyday activities can be the source of unbearable pain. This week in Femsplain, writer and comedian Alise Morales shares her experiences in her essay, The Smallest Pussy In the World.
  3. File under "unexpected businesses to co-found with your dad": While joining a family business isn't anything out of the ordinary, partnering with your father to launch a condom line kind of is. But Meika Hollander is on a mission and isn't about to let any awkwardness get in her way. Along with her father, Meika recently raised $2.5 million in investment to fund a line of nontoxic, organic, sustainable sexual health products. The target consumer? Women who are tired of seeing a "family planning" aisle full of black boxes emblazoned with words like Trojan and MAGNUM.
  4. Just scraping by? Hop on the budget bus: I just love everything about this. When Marsha Barnes left her corporate training job in financial services to become a money coach, I'm willing to bet she didn't imagine working out of a bus -- but that's exactly what this inventive entrepreneur wound up doing. Armed with a passion for teaching people about money and a few thousand dollars of investment, Marsha transformed a tired old bus into a beautiful mobile financial education hub. Today, The Finance Bar, a 501c(3) non-profit, rolls around making home visits and office calls, providing information on everything from tax prep to financial intimacy. LOVE this.
  5. On (accurately) predicting your own divorce: This week in The Cut, Anna Holmes (of Jezebel fame) shares the story of successfully predicting her own divorce when she was a teenager -- and explains why she's now staying single.
  6. Stop looking for a "culture fit": After work drinks can be a fun way to unwind after a long week, but what happens when your inability -- financial or otherwise -- to participate in these group activities negatively impacts your ability to progress in your career? In a piece for Quartz, writer Mikki Kendall explains how mandatory socializing often puts workers from marginalized communities at a disadvantage.
  7. The babeliest of all Kickstarters needs your help! If you've been a long-time GGM subscriber, you've heard me sing the praises of the fabulous work produced by Kara Haupt's Babe Vibes. From their Beyonce Zine to their moving and inspirational visual essays to their pep talk generator, Babe Vibes is an important source of feminist storytelling and media-making. This week they are entering the final stretch of their Kickstarter campaign to raise money to pay contributors and they could really use your support! No cash to give? A tweet is a great way to boost the campaign.
  8. A GGM shoutout! Special thanks to Girl Gang member Grace for sharing this hot tip about a brilliant Youtuber/clothing creator/microbiologist/advocate for chronic illness awareness. Here's what Grace writes:

I follow this woman, Annika Victoria, on Instagram from Sydney, Australia who lives with a chronic illness (takayasu's arteritis) and she's trying to get the tag #babewithamobilityaid happening. She has thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube because she does great DIYs and sews her own clothes but she also speaks up about her self-described "invisible disability", and basically she's just a rad chick. Her Instagram is @littlepineneedle.

  1. Something giggle worthy for the road: It sounds like life would be pretty sweet if Misty Copeland was your girlfriend.

Until next time, and remember that there's always room for more girls in the gang.

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Now, over to you...

Want your work, or the work of a friend shouted out in next week's #GirlGangMissives? Email Nicole at belanger.nicole@gmail.com!

NicoleBelangerPhotoNicole Belanger is the founder of Fourth Hour, a collection of original content that celebrates and supports everyday women in their daily lives. She is the author of the ebook On Resilience, the creator of the Conversations With Her interview series and the send-er of the Girl Gang Missives every Friday morning.