Feminism has always been about more than a catch-phrase or — in contemporary terms — a hashtag. Women know that we have never been (and still aren't) treated as equals when it comes to business, social interactions and cultural hierarchy. But one thing we have realized is that when we join forces, we are more powerful than anyone could imagine. This was amazingly obvious at the Women's March, for example, and via the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, which reminded anyone with a social media account that harassment (sexual or otherwise) is part of the female reality, and that must change.
Beyond taking to the streets, many women are seeking support and connections with one another in smaller settings. The GirlBoss Rally downtown was an impressive example, and so are Badassery bashes — gatherings put on by the ladies who publish Badassery Magazine. Co-founders Samantha Parker and Kathy Rasmussen aim to inspire “supportive methodology for prosperous female entrepreneurship with the real-time value of global community building and networking,” according to the invite for their last event, held at Innerspace Gallery downtown last week. The event also touted their latest venture, a “workbook” (Badassery Style Community: A Step-fy-Step Guide to Party Planning Your Way to an Ultra-Engaged Community) designed to jump-start “self-mastery” as CEOs and entrepreneurs, permanently shifting the way the world views women in business.
Of course, the term “badass” is quite popular these days. Author Amy Sincero's You Are a Badass books are on the best-seller lists touting similar concepts. But the ladies of Badassery have been doing a podcast sharing their mindset since 2016, exploring self-help from a more group help–driven perspective and focusing on bonding together to network, inspire and have fun.
“We've never seen so many women connecting,” Parker says of the group's recent event, which included hair extensions, glittery tattoos, photo ops and speakers. “Truly connecting past the superficial, 'here's my business card' networking, they were moved, touched and so inspired. The [attendees] were grateful for the experience and to find other women, just like them, building businesses they love. We received so many messages of thanks and true gratitude for the event. These events mean everything to us. Around 100 women showed up and I feel as if I'm leaving with 100 new friends.”
Rasmussen says she and Parker cultivated a strong community, and many in their circle come from all over to attend their live events. “One even flies from all over the world to our retreats. … We wanted to share those community-building strategies with everyone else,” she says.
“We saw first-hand how a community is the fuel to the fire when it comes to having a strong, powerhouse brand,” Rasmussen continues. “What we learned and how we did it, we just had to share it. There is power when people connect, bond and inspire each other through an atmosphere that only an engaged community can cultivate. Connection is our passion. We’ve grown our community to over 15,000 strong.”
The ladies hadn't seen any books on community-building before theirs, so they sought to fill the void. “There are lots of how-to-grow-your-Facebook courses around, but turning the digital world into the real world? That isn't being done, especially with women at this level,” Parker says. “This isn't just a book. It's an action-packed workbook that explores the depths of your audience and gives you a full-circle understanding of why the community you are about to build matters. We also firmly believe that building a business and a community that loves it shouldn't be hard. That's why this book is set up to make you understand that cultivating this badass community of yours is just like throwing your favorite party. Full of dimensions, colors and of course total celebrations. It really is time to throw that confetti in the air and get your very own party started. ”
For Badassery babes and their followers, the motto is this: “Engaging in seemingly impossible activities and achieving success in a manner which renders all onlookers completely awestruck,” which they collectively emailed us after the event. “Badassery is a lifestyle. A way of growing and being in alignment with your true purpose. We live our Badassery daily by showing up and carving out our own versions of success and what that means to us. Your hopes and dreams are not impossible.”
Next up for Badassery, a one-day conference in Utah called “Love Your Damn Self.” The gals say they want to continue to cultivate transformational experiences for women all over the globe. “There's not one single reason to do this alone and we are out to prove it!” they add. “When we are not connecting with women in person, we are cultivating our digital community of thousands. So they too can feel supported, purpose-driven and prepared for anything that comes their way. ”
Learn more about Badassery here.