The Greatest Hits of the ChatterBlast Ladies: International Women’s Day Edition

Valerie Hoke
March 8, 2018

A while back, we introduced you to the Slack channel that us ChatterBlast ladies use to do everything from decide on lunch plans to vent about street harassment.

It should come as no surprise, then, that things like celebrating the empowerment of women and being treated equally are important to us.

(Sidenote: Let’s not forget that here at CBM HQ, us ladies currently outnumber the guys. Two-to-one, to be exact. Not that anybody is counting.)

When I decided that duh, we should publish a ChatterBlast blog on International Women’s Day, I also realized that I had very little interest in writing it all on my own. I work with an incredible group of women, and there’s no reason not to include all of our voices when talking about the significance of a day like today.

I asked the whole group to spend a little time reflecting on moments in our lives and careers when we’ve felt empowered and when we’ve been proud of the kickass women that we all are. Here’s what we had to say.

Anaïs Cooper-Hackman

Last winter, just a couple of months after the election, I visited the National Constitution Center to try and remind myself of what our country supposedly stands for. After wandering through the various exhibition halls, I found myself at the main draw of the NCC: the eternally-entertaining Singers’ Hall. At first, I had fun taking silly photos among the life-size statues of the Founding Fathers, cast in bronze. The novelty, however, was checked by an oh-so-familiar feeling that I couldn’t exactly place. The disenchantment persisted as I left Signers’ Hall and headed for the main lobby, and it wasn’t until I stopped at a president-themed photo op that I recognized what had gotten me down.

There, staring back at me, were presidents 16-23, otherwise known as seven long-deceased white men who at one point in time held the most important position in our dear democracy. And then there was me. I realized I was feeling so down because I didn’t see myself—a biracial woman in her early 20s—reflected in the people surrounding my fur coat-clad frame. And though Benjamin Harrison’s presidential run ended back in 1893, not much has changed in the century since.

The longer I looked at my photo, however, the quicker the dissonance dissipated and was replaced with optimism. I had just attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C. a few days before and witnessed the most powerful display of #GirlPower I’d ever encountered! Marching and chanting and dancing in the streets with millions of my sisters instilled a sunny feeling in me that couldn’t be discouraged by decades of oppression.Every day, more and more of us are waking up to a new world where women are valued for being women, not in spite of it. That day at the Constitution Center reminded me of how far we come. It also reassured me that we ain’t ever going back. The future is female, baby.

Gianna Leto

As a young woman who enjoys the Philadelphia nightlife and club scene, I am constantly exposed to intoxicated individuals every weekend. To be more specific, I am constantly exposed to intoxicated men every weekend. As a woman I feel that it is important to acknowledge that sometimes empowerment comes in different forms. And sometimes that form is standing up for yourself when someone crosses a line.

The sad truth is that on multiple occasions, I’ve had men grope me without my permission. Every time this has happened, though, I never shrugged it off or let it go. I have raised my voice and caused a scene plenty of times when someone touched me inappropriately, because if I don’t have my own back, than who does?

Guys, here’s a tip. We are women. We are human. We are not objects put on this earth for your enjoyment. You can’t just grab us like you do a TV remote or an Xbox controller. If we didn’t ask you to touch us, that means we don’t want you to touch us. So back off.

I’m crushing the stereotype that women are passive or scared. We have a lot to say, and if you’re making us feel uncomfortable, we will tell you. End of story. Ladies: hold your head up high and never give anyone the power to make you feel uncomfortable.

Grace Stasky

Almost 30 and no baby? How dare I.

Oh, how times have changed. I’m a woman with a college degree, I own a house and shockingly have a career that I love. Amazing! The women before us who paved the road would be over the moon, yet there are still people out there who ask the following questions:

You own a home, but you’re not married?

I’m engaged, calm down, but I wasn’t when we settled on the house. News flash: you don’t have to be married to own land. It’s 2018.

You’re turning 30 and don’t have a family? No baby?

One: you’re rude. I do have a family. Two: why do you care? I live a happy life with my fiancé and dog. That is what I want right now. I also have parents, siblings, a niece, a nephew…should I continue down my family tree? Who knows what the future will bring.

There are many moments in my career that make me proud—things I achieved for myself and no one else. This doesn’t make me selfish; it means I want to grow as a human. I am continuously pushing myself to the next level, whether it’s standing up for what is right or helping others grow in this industry. If you want to learn, I am here to teach you all that I know.

Two moments in my career that stick out to me are when my #1 gal pal Jackie and I spoke to more than 200 people at Visit Philadelphia’s Social Media Summit and being a part of Image Revolver’s Unscripted video series. Both experiences made me step outside my comfort zone. I love public speaking and educating others, but both were at a larger scale. One thing I always try to remember is it’s not about being a “girl boss” or “girl power is everything.” It’s about being a human and leading the way for others. I never want to just be a follower. I want to be me.

Jackie Kollar

It’s as simple as this: I challenge gender norms everyday by waking up (with a vagina) and kicking ass.

International Women’s Day is about coming together to support and celebrate one another and demanding human rights.

Jeanie Davey

I recently realized I was 23 years old and had never been to Washington, D.C. (SAD, I know.) However, I think visiting our nation’s capital during this current state of our country couldn’t have come at better timing.

Alongside my two girlfriends from college, we visited museums, stood on the steps leading up to the Supreme Court, and witnessed groups learning about and utilizing their rights (or lack thereof) in front of historic locations. As a huge Scandal binge-watcher, I couldn’t help but get emotional to think about the impact women have had not only for our country, but also in politics.

Olivia Pope may be a fictional character, but she certainly represents the fueling fire we women still face everyday in this country. Long story short, my first trip to D.C. was insightful, adventurous and empowering. Who run the world? Gir—you know the answer.

Johanna Doble

When I think about what makes me proud as a woman, my mind immediately goes to that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mother explains to the daughter that the man is the head of the household, but a woman is the neck.

So… my responsibility as a woman is to be a step ahead, think of how to present information to a man to make him think he is making the most logical decision, but really, it is all part of my master plan? What?! That sounds exhausting. No thank you.

My grandmother (born in the 20s) was unable to travel or get educated past the 8th grade until her husband passed away when she was in her 60s. After he passed away, she got an associates degree in psychology and toured Europe and China as a single woman in the 90s.

We live in a different time, now. I am 34, single, and without kids because I can be. I am able-bodied, with a decent budget and a sleep schedule for the gods. So, I travel alone. I take road trips without a destination, sing at the top of my lungs, and quite literally focus on nothing else but allowing time for the unexpected.

In 2017, I visited The Poconos; Cherry Springs National Park, Mt. Carmel and Jim Thorpe (Central/Eastern PA); DC, Northern VA and Baltimore; Nashville and Roanoke; Montreal, Toronto, and Niagara Falls; Boston, Salem and Hartford; The Finger Lakes (Upstate New York); Atlanta, Austin, Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I saw other galaxies in telescopes on ladders, the inside of a coal mine, the birthplace of bluegrass music, and the solar eclipse in totality. I made angels in white sand, had dinner in pitch black, lived in a converted ambulance for three days, and got lost for eight hours in a 22,000 square-foot interactive artists’ paradise.

I put as much of my energy and resources to traveling as I can, because I can, and as a woman that makes me proud.

Shivani Desai

It was the summer of 2013. I had been working as a Social Media Executive for small-to-medium sized businesses at Deluxe Corporation, located in Kansas. It was a great job, don’t get me wrong, but I was bored. I was tired of doing the same thing everyday with very little possibility of growth and further education.

I’d been contemplating quitting and moving out of Kansas for awhile, but for the longest time, it was just a thought. Finally, during a regular weekly one-on-one meeting with my manager, something came over me and with no warning to even myself, I said, “I’m giving you my two weeks.”

I didn’t have a job lined up. I hadn’t updated my resume so that I could start looking. Shoot, my parents didn’t even know I was doing this! But I did it as a single, strong, independent woman who was, and still is, capable of making her own decisions. It was the first time that I’d taken full and complete control of my career, my life and my future. Let me tell you—it was about damn time.

(Update: it was the best spur-of-the-moment decision of my life!)

Valerie Hoke

Several things come to mind when I think about proud moments in my professional life: moving to Philly without a job lined up just because I wanted to, advancing from intern to part-time to full-time here at ChatterBlast, and the first time a client offered out-of-the-blue praise for work I did.

That’s all great, but I want to wrap up this blog with a story about the best “sir… I need you to sit down” talk I’ve ever given in the workplace.

At my previous job, an IT guy was called in to fix a problem one of my coworkers was having on his computer. After fiddling with the computer a bit to no avail, the IT guy said, “Your computer is being such a girl!” in a fit of frustration.

I turned toward him. “It’s being a what?” I asked.

“A girl,” he said, unphased by the question and still staring at the screen.

“A what?” I repeated.

“A girl,” he said again, except this time, he turned to me. A-ha, finally, recognition. His eyes widened as he registered the glare I was giving him.

“Yeah, I know, I heard you the first time,” I said.

He knew he was caught. He was panicking, and I was loving every second of it. But as we all know, taking time to educate someone is better than launching into attack mode.

“Why are you using the word ‘girl’ as an insult?” I asked (more like demanded).

He stammered out a few words to try and defend himself before I saw a look of resignation pass over his face—one that said, Okay, yeah, I have no out. He apologized and shuffled out. I smirked.

We’re worth a lot more than an insult for faulty computers, ladies.

And now, a word from the ChatterBlast guys, also known as the ChatterBros.

Evan: The ChatterBlast ladies make this company go ‘round. Where would we be without them?

Matt: They are beautiful cinnamon rolls who brighten every day.

Kyle: They are also very smart.

Matt: Yes. They are beautiful, smart cinnamon rolls.

Justin: Do you think they talk about us on their Slack channel?

Jeremiah: I think they have better things to discuss.

Justin: True. Should we have our own Slack channel?


Thanks, boys!

Do you have any favorite #preciousmemz with any of the ChatterBlast ladies? (Looking at you, Snitzer.) Share ‘em in the comments!