A TEDx Intern lunch break playlist: Happy Galentine’s Day! 5 talks to help you celebrate the ladies in your life
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, the day we all love to love (or) hate, where we get to smother our loved ones with praise, adoration, and heart-shaped chocolates. But today, today is Galentine’s Day, the daycreated by the fictitious councilwoman Leslie Knope from the television show Parks and Recreation for women to honor the women in their life — and while, officially, this has nothing to do with TEDx — it is a favorite holiday of our editorial intern, who put together this playlist in its honor.
“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrate ladies.” —Leslie Knope
Here at TEDx we’re no strangers to the myriad of inventions, discoveries, and innovations women are contributing to the modern world, the challenges they face, and the ways they are facing them. Through the TEDxWomen program and thousands of standard TEDx events around the world, we know there are still Marie Curies, still Valentina Tereshkovs, and still Georgia O’Keeffes — the talks are proof.
So, in honor of Galentine’s Day, and hard-working, butt-kicking ladies everywhere, 5 TEDx Talks that Leslie Knope would be proud of:
Shabana Basij-Rasikh: Dare to educate Afghan girls In this talk at TEDxWomen 2012, Shabana Basij-Rasikh discusses how she and her sister risked their lives by going to a secret school after the Taliban outlawed school for girls in Afghanistan. Hers is a talk that will make you feel privileged to even have a chance to watch classmates throw spitballs in geometry class. A must-watch for anyone — male or female — who’s ever not wanted to get up and go to school.
Soap saves: Renée Botta at TEDxDUChange Renée Botta works in improving sanitation measures in slums in Nairobi. When she learned of a woman in a neighboring slum making homemade soap, she thought the process would be a good way for community members to get involved in improving local sanitation — until she met Helen — a single mother who decided to not only make this special soap herself, but also to sell it, as a way to become financially independent and take her health, her family’s, and her community’s into her own hands.
A teen still just figuring it out: Tavi Gevinson at TEDxTeen In this talk, 15-year-old Tavi Gevinson, the editor of Rookie magazine, discusses modern media’s portrayal of women, and her struggle to find portrayals of women that actually resemble real women she knows. When she looked at media representations of teen girls, she ran into the same dead ends, she says, so she decided to take matters into her own hands, and create a space where the content was not just aimed at teenage girls, but made by teenage girls as well.
I’m an astronaut … and a woman: Nicole Stott at TEDxSugarLand In this inspiring talk from TEDxSugarLand, astronaut Nicole Stott tells her story of becoming an aeronautical engineer and going into space, drawing inspiration from the women who came before her. “I was usually the only girl in my [classes],” she says in her talk, “but I never really noticed it. I never noticed it unless somebody else pointed it out to me. And I think that’s because I was studying something I loved to do, and all the people around me were studying something they love to do as well.”
Why you fear math: Laura Overdeck at TEDxWestVillageWomen In this talk, mathematician Laura Overdeck explains how adults reinforce the stereotype that boys are naturally better at math and science than girls. “If you give men and women a quiz with math,” she says, “and for some of them, at the beginning they’re asked to check off their gender … the women who have on their test [the question] asking them to check off their gender, do worse than the women who didn’t have that question. Just being reminded that you’re female makes you do worse on a math test.” She has ideas to change this — just watch.
Bonus: TEDWomen talks from Ms. Knope’s heroes, Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton:
With TEDxWomen less than a month away, we decided to revisit one of our favorite TEDWomen talks: Madeleine Albright — former UN ambassador, US Secretary of State, and resident feminist hero — in conversation with the Paley Center for Media director and host of TEDxWomen, Pat Mitchell.
We love this talk for Albright’s frankness, wisdom, and pin collection, which includes a snake she started wearing after Saddam Hussein called her “an unparalleled serpent.”
In the talk, she says that it’s paramount for the progress of the world that women help women:
“I believe that societies are better off when women are politically and economically empowered, that values are passed down, the health situation is better, education is better, there is greater economic prosperity. So I think that it behooves us — those of us that live in various countries where we do have economic and political voice — that we need to help other women. And I really dedicated myself to that, both at the UN and then as Secretary of State.”
With this in mind, we asked TEDxWomen organizers how they plan to continue this conversation that Madeleine started. Says organizer Nathalie Molina Nino of TEDxBarnardCollegeWomen, held at the historic women’s liberal arts college in New York City:
“One of our core beliefs is that when more women are powerful, visionary and strategic leaders, then communities and organizations are more innovative, productive and successful. Not to mention that when more women are leaders, we raise the aspirations of women and girls around the world.
The bottom line really is that, just as Madeline did for many people (not just women), shining a light on women leaders of all walks of life and industries means that we become catalysts for the education, development, and advancement of courageous leaders everywhere. Via [our] TEDxWomen satellite event and through our work [at Barnard’s Athena Center] year-round, we hope to contribute the stories of women who lead, with the goal of changing our shared understanding of leadership.”