If you (somehow) have not heard of Liz Plank, you’re in for quite a treat. She is a unicorn of sorts, achieving success as an award-winning journalist, on air personality for Facebook Watch’s Consider It, as well as the Executive Producer for Vox Media’s Divided States of Women. Did I mention she’s also an author and the voice our female-powered generation has been waiting for? Liz’s soon-to-be-released book, For the Love of Men, explores how the state of manhood has evolved and offers actionable steps to be a man in the modern world.
Naturally, we are beyond excited to have her grace our stage on September 18th and 19th in Brooklyn at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit, and we know you will love her too. Read more about Liz below and get excited to see her take the stage to discuss the importance of creating strong, diversified content with a mission.
How are you using media for good, and why is this important?
My intention was never really to use the media for good, my intention was always to use it to write the stories I didn’t see. My motto has always been go make thing that you wish existed, so that’s what I did. The most significant, and I would argue easiest impact we can make in the field of journalism is making sure that we diversify the perspective of who get to tell stories. When I entered the field, I was struck by how we defined “objectivity” in journalism. It was often the straight white male able-bodied documented perspective which is valid and important, but it’s not the only one!
What advice would you share with female content creators who want to make an impact today?
Go make the thing that you wish you could read, watch or hear. In the words of Hillel the Elder, “If not now, when? If not you, who?” And just because you get a bunch of people saying “no”, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. As women specifically, we tend to take things personally, and make ourselves responsible for other people’s feelings, but when it comes to work it can be an ambition-crusher. Just because you have to fight, it doesn’t mean your idea is not right.
You have worked in media at Vox for years. What are your tips for women navigating the workplace?
I’m lucky to work at a company that takes diversity and gender equality in the workplace seriously. It helps to feel like your company has your back. I also know that my advice as a white woman could be useless or even counter-productive for a woman of color or a woman with a disability or with any other intersecting identities, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind when we have this conversation. Being “more assertive” and “more confident” in the workplace is just not advice that’s available to all women and that’s why we need collective change!
What 3 tips can you provide for women wanting to work in media?
Hustle. Just because it’s not easy, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.
Find people who know more than you and offer to do things for them, share their work, go to their events, tell them you’re a fan and they will be far more likely to help.
Don’t be cocky. Don’t be entitled. Don’t burn bridges.
You have a new book coming out, can you tell us about it?
I’m a feminist. But I’m worried about feminism. Although the movement is enjoying a renaissance with its impactful conversations around #MeToo and #TimesUp, I’m also witnessing it miss a huge opportunity to convert men to join its ranks. Logically speaking, no man should be afraid of feminism. But they are. And after interviewing hundreds of them for my book, I don’t necessarily blame them.
Men aren’t on the agenda in feminist spaces — they’ve become a punchline. “I don’t care about men” is something I’ve heard more than once in feminist spaces. But isn’t treating someone differently because of their gender precisely what feminism stands so fiercely against? Our tunnel vision on bad men prevents us from appealing to the good men. To survive, feminism needs to be a movement of calling in, not calling-out. We can’t simply be interested in punishing men, we have to be interested in healing them. We need an end to password-protection feminism.
If feminists don’t lead the conversation about men and boys, malicious actors will fill that void, and the persistence of those groups put women at greatest danger. I want feminism to adapt, not because I don’t identify with its goals, but expressively because I’m committed to them. Feminists won’t win by dehumanizing men–we win by appealing to their humanity. The book is out September 10th and you can pre-order it here!
What does feminism mean to you in 2019?
To me, feminism should mean including and inviting people people of ALL genders into the conversation, not just one!
Join us in welcoming Liz to the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit lineup, and order your ticket today!