You talked about how after your first book, women of all races and ages came up to you. With this new book The Woman Code, what do you think millennial women can get out of the book? Is it appropriate for them as well?
Absolutely! If you look at the Publisher’s Weekly endorsement that we got they talked about how they never really seen a book where it really is for women of all ages. So it’s age appropriate if you’re a millennial, but it’s also age appropriate if you’re a baby boomer. Starting with code number one, which is know your value, no generation needs that more than millennials because I don’t think they do in the same way that me as a Gen X’er, or my mom as a baby boomer does. What I’m saying is when I was coming up in my 20s there was no internet or cell phones. We were engaged with people in a different way where we had to have conversations and talk. If your boyfriend broke up with you, even if he passed you a note on paper, he still had to hand it to you. Now what do these young women do? They get broken up by text, they get men asking them out by text, there is no courting anymore and so what happens is that your value becomes cheapened or lessened because it’s not a commodity anymore.
Everything is shifting in the sense that young women are very empowered in their finances and careers, but they’re disempowered greatly in their personal lives with their value and worth in relationships. I don’t want us to lose ground professionally and in our careers, but I want us to pick up ground and regain value in being able to say to a man “If you can’t court me, or treat me well or honor and respect me, I am out of here because I do know my worth.â€
So to your question about is it age appropriate, absolutely, and millennial women need this more than anybody because they’re not being mentored and sponsored in ways that I was as a young woman.
After reading The Woman Code, what is one key lesson that you want women to take away from the book?
That everything they need in this life to succeed, to love, to live and to thrive is inside of them. They don’t have to look any further to unlock, unleash or unloose. That’s the lesson that it’s all inside of you. Everything that you need you’re already equipped with it. What happens is, and I talk about this particularly in code number two, which is make peace with your past, before you can know your value and know your worth you’ve got to understand where you come from. From the time we are little kids, our parents are the first ones to define us. Our families define us. Our communities define us. And then we go to school and our teachers define us. When I was a kid it was always she’s the cute one, she’s the smart one, that’s my lawyer. So whatever you were told as a child plays a critical role in your life, particularly girls. Whatever it is, we tend to live up to that. It’s like a computer. If the code is messed up you have to get a whole new drive and that’s the same thing with us. If your code gets damaged, there is something about you that doesn’t feel valued. These codes are all about how to deal with the baggage that we all have. The things that we’ve been told about ourselves that aren’t positive. The things that we allow people to do to us that we know aren’t right, but we don’t have the courage or the bravery to say “Hey, I deserve better than that.â€ So my hope is that when women read these codes, some are going to go “Oh yes, I knew thatâ€ and others are going to say “Oh no, I never knew that.â€
Join Sophia Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) and Black Enterprise (@BlackEnterprise) for a Twitter chat about female empowerment, careers, and Black Enterprise’s Women of Power Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 12th from 1-2pm EST.
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