Lately, I’ve been a little, um, emotional. Tapped out. Closer to fight or flight than I want to be.
I kicked a foot-shaped dent into the side of some asshole’s Mini Cooper who tried to get me to get into his car. (I’m pro sex work/ers, but I’m real anti old white guys thinking everyone is there to serve their needs.)
Someone at a bar got in my friend’s space and made her uncomfortable, and I was ready to make sure he was just as uncomfortable. (Bruh, touch my friend, and I will END you.)
Then I saw this post about women destroying shit, and it suddenly made more sense why I felt so aggressive lately. Because from the top of this country down, things aren’t great for women right now.
For the most part, I feel very lucky because I work in an industry with a lot of women who do a phenomenal job of supporting each other. They look out for each other. They choose the right thing, even when it’s hard.
But sometimes, that’s not what happens.
Sometimes, things happen that are horribly disappointing. And you end up losing a lot of faith.
What did happen was I noticed similarities between the name of my course and service offering and someone else’s, and I started a conversation asking how other people in my industry had dealt with it.
I named no names. I didn’t even write about what the similarities were. I didn’t accuse anyone of anything.
What happened is a conversation opened up about how many people had previously had their work copied, stolen, and otherwise taken and used without their permission. It’s been rampant in the self-help industry for a long time, but lately, there has been a massive uptick in the offenses.
Randi Buckley’s work has been blatantly stolen and heavily advertised by big names.
Andrea Owen recently discussed the action she had to take when someone lifted her site copy.
The number of brilliant women I know who have to regularly deal with their work, work they’ve painstakingly built up over so many years, being used and marketed as someone else’s without being compensated is disgusting.
What I didn’t expect though was to be contacted by people who had noticed the similarities in my work and the other individual’s, too.
Other people had noticed, too.
Then people started talking about their work had been taken, too, publicly and privately. I had so many people confront me about their work being stolen over the years that I froze. I cried.
I decided to sit with what I was personally struggling with – whether or not a conversation around the similarities was appropriate with the individual in question.
I didn’t want drama. I felt like this person was a mentor, and the idea that it was even a possibility hurt. A lot. I let it go for a few days, trying to settle on what to do about it.
When I didn’t do that fast enough, I found myself being accused of libel.
This person felt so threatened by the conversations they saw happening, that she was not even a part of or not mentioned in, she felt it important to attempt to bully me into submission.
And even though it’s an unfounded accusation, it almost worked. I was terrified. Here was this person with a significant platform who I was afraid could crush my tiny one.
In comparison to what other people have had happen to them, my story is nothing.
I didn’t want this. I didn’t ask for this.
So here we go.
I’ve been pulled into a shitstorm that I never wanted to be a part of and tried to stay out of. I have done nothing, said nothing, and clearly, that’s an option I no longer have.
This is what happened, and this is what I want to leave you with.
Do you honestly think these are are the only stories like this out there?
You want to know how many more people have been trampled under the feet of a white woman on a mission to do anything for success, up to and including trampling over her students, WOC, and more of the very people she’s claiming to work for and help?
No. No, you don’t. Because it will make you physically ill.
These stories are going to keep coming out. And they have to. This is how we protect each other. This is how we protect our work.
I encourage you to talk with each other. Protect yourselves and your work.
Don’t gossip. Don’t shame. And don’t let her get away with it.
Demand better, because we all deserve better.