WAM! was everywhere at TED Women in Monterey, California last week. Our Executive Director Jamia Wilson hosted a session entitled “Seduce,” where she chatted with speakers from an array of disciplines — from acclaimed banjo players Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn to bioengineer Kakani Katija– and so many in between! The whole session was fascinating, but one highlight was Jamia’s talk with actress Maria Bello about slut-shaming in our public schools.
Meanwhile, WAM!mer Courtney Martin led an ultra-interactive session with some of TEDWomen’s most famous past speakers about how they prepare to give a compelling 18-minute speech — and what happens in that 19th minute directly afterward. Courtney’s enthusiasm was (as it always is!) infectious! Courtney gave tips on how to give a memorable speech and how to nominate for the $1 million TED prize — which to us, was just perfect.
And, as you probably already have heard, Roxane Gay (the author of the great Bad Feminist) delivered a talk about today’s feminism, which is made up of “small, thoughtful decisions.” Gay’s talk started with the bubbly declarations we know and love — it’s okay to wear pink! and love rap music! and be afraid of bugs! — before recounting the darker times in her life where, as she says, her voice was “stolen” by violence. “Feminism helped me get my voice back,” she declared. And we made our tiny feminist victory fists and tears gathered in the corners of our eyes as we — and everybody else in the room — rose to give Roxane the standing ovation she rightly deserves.