There will never be a human resources department to govern the interactions between a founder and a potential funder. That’s why when I, or any female founder, shows up at your door, or at a restaurant or at a bar, you should assume I’m here to do business and nothing more. Even if — gasp! — I’m wearing my hair down.
TrekkieFeminist and The Valkyrie Directive on the Female Villains in Star Trek

TrekkieFeminist and I are back again with another collaboration - inspired by Halloween, we thought it’d be fun to discuss the female villains of Star Trek, breaking down who they were and what role they played in their respective series/movies, comparing them to the male villains and questioning the common perceptions people had about them. 

I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it, and feel free to join in by reblogging with comments!

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TrekkieFeminist:  I want to start by bringing in a quote from an article in the Mary Sue about Star Trek and women villains: 

"Having female characters in films shouldn’t be about getting in a few nice, positive moments for women and then calling it a day. It should be about naturally having an equal distribution of genders in film roles."

When we’re talking about women’s representation we don’t just want more women characters in stereotyped roles. We want women we can look up to as heroines (which Trek gives us) but that also show the range of possibilities for women, including the evil possibilities.

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thevalkyriedirective: I love the Mary Sue, and I think it’s a brilliant and very relevant comment. I think Star Trek actually has more female villains than I was expecting it to. But of course, just as with their main female characters/heroes, there aren’t nearly enough compared to the men!

And I love that phrase “range of possibilities” - because I think that’s a problem all female characters suffer from: hero, villain or somewhere in-between, so often the women are lumped into stereotypical roles and end up being two-dimensional and boring because of it.

TrekkieFeminist: There are more women villains in Trek than I thought of initially too, but not enough. For example, consider that in all the classic Trek movies, I think Valeris is the closest we get to a woman villain. And sort of Martia the shapeshifter. Whereas for guys we have Khan, Chang, Sybok…

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thevalkyriedirective: Oh yeah, the Trek movies are severely lacking in women villains! I think the only female villain in the Next Gen movies was the Borg Queen.

TrekkieFeminist: There’s also Lursa and B’Etor in Generations, but they were secondary villains, like the other women.

thevalkyriedirective: Oh of course, I’d forgotten about them. But they have the same problem that both Valeris and Martia have in Star Trek VI. In both movies the women are really just pawns in the schemes of men (General Chang in VI and Soren in Generations).

They’re still important, but out of all twelve movies the Borg Queen is the only main/primary villain that’s female.

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Oh, and the way I’m defining main/primary villain is that they’re the one coming up with the scheme (kill Kirk, re-enter the Nexus, assimilate Earth), whereas the secondary villains are the ones who are pawns/carrying out the scheme.

TrekkieFeminist: Good point. So maybe let’s start by talking about the representations of women villains on Star Trek where we think they fell short or relied too heavily on stereotypes.

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As a woman, I don't go out alone in San Francisco.

You’re almost definitely envisioning any number of personalities when you read this title.  I won’t condescend to write them all out, but rest assured, I’d wager a guess that you’d be surprised if you knew me.  

So here I am, a moderately put-together co-founder of a tech startup, someone who has given speeches to thousands of people, someone who has gone into board rooms, raised money, threw caution to the wind and all that lovely stuff. 

Well. It sucks. All of it. I’m a female founder, under 30, and I’m single. Those three facts will remain the same for the indefinite future.  

So realistically, let’s get back to the thesis of this dribble: I don’t go out alone in San Francisco.  Why is that?  

First, everyone talks about startups. All the time. Everywhere. Anywhere. Whenever. That’s fine, I love startups, but I’ll bring you back to a startup party I was at a few weeks ago. I was a social parasite, stuck to the sides of the two people I knew in the entire room, and I knew it was high time for me to give them a reprieve from my oppressive leech-like dependence. So I popped over to the artisanal  food table, and decided to strike up a conversation with a rather unthreatening guy who looked equally lost. 

After asking him about his life, he asked what I did. I mentioned I worked for a startup and it was going well. After some digging I had to dutifully admit I was the CEO, and of course, the look of shock and awe is never hidden.

"You? Wait, you’re the CEO? You? You founded the company? You? So, you run the company? You’re in charge? You’re the Chief Executive Officer?" 

Do veil your shock next time. Correct, I don’t suck dick, I work with it. After we get past that hilarious revelation, next comes the grilling, which is inevitable.  What’s my business model? How’s my [Insert acronym to see if I know what it means here]? Do I actually know what I’m doing?

Blah blah blah blah blah. Standard. 

Well, then comes the next phase. The pick up and the puppy.  No longer is this a professional conversation, it’s an invitation to get a drink, or to go somewhere more private to talk.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, so when asked if I wanted to get another drink (which I needed) I agreed, and just like this poor chap, was a victim of the expectation management game.

This particularly fellow decided to follow me around the rest of the evening, until I finally left the party early because I was so uncomfortable. He then followed me into the elevator, and took it down with me, and I finally managed to ditch him when I brushed him off at the lobby and made a b-line for the door.

Let me get this straight - he was nothing but a gentleman. However, he completely ignored every single signal I was giving him that I was completely disinterested, and the fact that I never strayed from my professional persona never seemed to register with him.

To be perfectly honest, I can’t hate on him. The current social norms are so messed up that it’s a wonder if anyone really knows what’s standard or not. We were at a social event with men and women. I was not looking for a man, and I was there as a professional, but he was opportunistic.  Do I blame him? Can I?

If I had been a man, we could have talked about my business. We could have talked about how his analytics company had streamlined data that would be useful for our cash conversion cycle. But instead, I had boobs. That’s the problem.

I don’t go out in San Francisco by myself. At all. Ever. Because this is the same story. If I dumb myself down, I’m treated as such. If I come out about my professional, I’m treated like an imposter, ignored, or grilled.  If I pass whatever arbitrary mental test these guys come up with, I move into dateable territory, where because they feel they have deemed me worthy, they have a right to my attention. 

So what do I do? I wear a fake wedding ring at times but that is an arbitrary symbol. I’m single, and I’m not looking. So for now, I’m staying at home, focusing on work, and letting my BD guys go out and party. 

In the 80s she got run over, went into a coma, and woke up blind. Now she’€™s launching one of the most original tech companies in years

An inspirational story of a woman who has achieved great success in all aspects of her life despite huge obstacles. The reason? Because she would never give up and wanted to do more,  what we consider defining trait’s of many successful entrepreneurs.

Q&A with an Entrepreneur: Mai Vu of Bishop Collective

Q&A with an Entrepreneur: Mai Vu of Bishop Collective

A regular series at The Wang Post, where we sit down and talk with notable Asian entrepreneurs. This week, we speak with Mai Vu, one of the co-founders of Bishop Collective, an online fashion boutique redefining American Made. Bishop Collective is based in New York City.

Let’s start from the beginning: where were you born, and where did you grow up?

Though I’ve been living in New York for the…

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44 Female Founders Every Entrepreneur Should Know
  • Alexa von Tobel, CEO and Founder, LearnVest
  • Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder and Chairman, Joyus
  • Laura Fitton, Founder, oneforty
  • Olga Vidisheva, Founder, Shoptiques
  • Kass Lazerow, Co-Founder & COO, Buddy Media
  • Cheryl Yeoh, Co-Founder and CEO of Reclip.it
  • Aslaug Magnusdottir, Co-Founder and CEO, Moda Operandi
  • Katina Mountanos, Co-Founder and CEO at Manicube
  • Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and President, Eventbrite
  • Gina Bianchini, Founder, MightyBell
  • Tracy Sun, Co-Founder, Poshmark
  • Christina Wallace, CEO and Co-Founder, Quincy
  • Alex Tryon, CEO and Co-Founder, Artsicle
  • Brooke Moreland, Co-Founder and CEO, Fashism
  • Rashmi Sinha, CEO and Co-founder, SlideShare
  • Alexa Andrzejewski, Co-Founder, Foodspotting
  • Amy Jo Martin, Founder, Digital Royalty
  • Caroline Ghosn and Amanda Pouchot, Co-Founders, Levo League
  • Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO, If We Ran the World
  • Deborah Jackson, Founder, JumpThru and Plum Alley, Co-Founder, Women Innovate Mobile
  • Jen Bekman, CEO and Founder, 20x200
  • Jess Lee, Co-Founder, Polyvore
  • Rachel Sklar, Founder, Change The Ratio and TheLi.st
  • Jennifer Pahlka, Founder, Code for America
  • Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos and Melissa McCreery, Co-Founders, The Daily Muse
  • Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins and Elisa Camahort, Co-Founders, BlogHer
  • Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, Co-Founders, Birchbox
  • Kellee Khalil, CEO and Founder, Lover.ly
  • Leslie Bradshaw, President, COO and Co-Founder, JESS3
  • Lily Liu, Founder and CEO, PublicStuff
  • Jesse Draper, Founder and Host, The Valley Girl Show
  • Marci Harris, CEO, POPVOX
  • Anne Raimondi, Founder and CEO, One Jackson
  • Victoria Ransom, Co-Founder and CEO, Wildfire
  • Sandy Jen, Co-Founder and CTO, Meebo
  • Sara Holoubek, Founder and CEO, Luminary Labs

http://on.mash.to/1gm4OZb

Y Combinator held its first ever Female Founders Conference Saturday afternoon at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. In opening..

Had a great time at this today. Apparently 1500+ actually applied to attend. Happy to have heard about this in time to apply and gotten a spot.

As an early stage founder, this was one of the best tech events I’ve been to, ever, for two main reasons:

  1. Caliber and relevance of speakers. Every person on stage was an impressive tech entrepreneur or tech leader, who happened to be female. Though I sometimes get tired of the female-only events and females-in-tech conversation, if you are going to put on an event focused on empowering women in technology, commit: just bring powerful women on the stage. There’s no need to pepper in the male VCs or male entrepreneurs, as that almost reinforces the issue you’re trying to combat with a females-in-tech conference, in the first place. Obviously, there is a higher volume of excellent male VCs and male entrepreneurs to learn from, regardless of your gender, but this is just not the place for it. And, perhaps most importantly, there were a lot of high quality, early stage female founders sharing their lessons learned along the way. Although it was incredible to hear from industry veterans, like Diane Greene, it was even more relevant to me to hear from people like Adora Cheung, Danielle Morill, and Jamie Wong (just to name a few) and there were more top-notch entrepreneurs at this stage than any other conference I’d been to.

  2. Accessibility to speakers and fostering a real networking opportunity. At other tech conferences I’ve been to, it seemed like the speakers would come off the stage, give a private hug to the conference organizer(s), and then run out the door before any of those icky conference attendees wanted to try and meet them (and I’d paid hundreds of dollars to be there, whereas YC’s Female Founders conference was free). Today, however, it seemed like every speaker actually stuck around and made sure to meet everyone who wanted to speak with them. I would’ve loved to meet every single one of the speakers and event organizers today, but I prioritized the handful that were most relevant to me and my business and was able to find them, have a quick conversation, and, unlike other conferences, the promise to have coffee with me seemed less of a flippant yeah-that’s-never-gonna-happen brush off and more of a yes-I-want-to-help. This might be because the audience was smaller in volume (a few hundred, rather than many many hundreds), the attendees were higher in quality (you had to be apply to get an invitation), and possibly because there was an inherent extension of the Y Combinator alumni spirit, even though many attendees were not alumnae. 

The event was also the right length, from 2 to 6:30pm (no one wants to hear speakers on stage alllllll daaay looong), and Jessica Livingston and team did a great job making sure to close with some super high energy speakers.

I admit, I was skeptical about the event, especially given the events that led up to it, but I was really and totally impressed. Please do this again next year, YC!

Join Us For a Live Chat With 3 Top Female Founders

Today at 2:00 p.m. EST we’ll be hosting a live chat moderated by Allison Silver, VP Brand, Advertising and Advocacy at American Express OPEN with these accomplished women:

We’ll be hosting this chat using Spreecast - head over here to join us! You can also Tweet your questions, but be sure to include the hashtags #FemaleFounders and #PoweringTomorrow.

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