the kennedy women

It does not hurt you to show heart. It is not difficult to give someone a little bit of happiness, a little bit of kindness or even the simplicity of human decency. And yet, some act like it is gold dust, gold dust that would pain them to have to share, gold dust that is not worth sharing at all. When you are unkind, when you are cruel or unnecessary, you do not look like greatness, you look like a coward.

kindness is not linked to weakness, it is greatness by Amy Kennedy

Lucasfilm's Force: Kathleen Kennedy Reveals an Executive Team More Than 50 Percent Female
"When you have a balance of men and women, there are all sorts of things that enter into the discussion," says the president of the company behind the female-led 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and upcoming 'Rogue One.'

“How did Hollywood’s most storied franchise also become its most prominent champion of female empowerment? For the second year in a row, Lucasfilm is releasing a Star Wars movie with a woman as the lead -Felicity Jones’ reformed thief Jyn Erso in Rogue One, following 2015’s Rey (Daisy Ridley) in The Force Awakens.

Consider it a natural outgrowth of a company whose executive team, led by Kathleen Kennedy as president, is more than 50 percent female. “When you have a balance of men and women, there are all sorts of things that enter into the discussion,” she says, calling the Rey-Jyn doubleheader a “coincidence” that the studio (and parent Disney) embraced. “Because women are always in story meetings, [no one has] to go, ‘Hey, what would a woman think?’ ” says creative executive Rayne Roberts. “The reason Rey is strong and technically capable and compassionate and driven is that the women who were in that room, including Kathy, reflect those qualities.” Adds Jones, “Kathy has given women the kind of roles they’ve always dreamed of.”

“You have to cast a broader net when you’re interviewing and looking at possible prospects,” says Kennedy of the trick to achieving gender balance. “In the creative community, there’s no excuse for not making a more equitable environment. It literally comes down to companies that just aren’t trying hard enough.”

Read the full piece here

Note to readers: recently Kennedy justified Hollywood not hiring women directors for the Star Wars series by implying that a director needs experience with big budget franchises or else they’re not “set up for success.”

That’s simply not true with male directors. Gareth Edwards directed Monsters, an indie sci-fi film with about 3-5 minutes of effects. Hollywood gave him GODZILLA. And what’s he doing now? STAR WARS ROGUE ONE. 

So what do women directors need? The same shot that male directors are given on their way up.

Female Directors Don’t Need 'Experience’ – They Just Need To Get Hired

The Cool Girl trap is real. I fell into it in a strip club when I was 25.

I was one of only a few women in the office and the only woman on this business trip. There were six of us: four very senior men, my friend and fellow trainee Bobby, and then me. The trip was a big opportunity and I was excited to get some serious “face time” with these senior co-workers. Meanwhile, they were somewhat resentful of my presence which I gleaned after a few jokes about me “ruining their fun.” I did my best to assuage their fears and ingratiate myself to them by Cool Girl-ing it to the max.

I’d been working on my Cool Girl persona for a few months, which was kinda like being “one of the guys” but with some flirtiness in order to make my presence desirable. This meant going out for drinks and trying to keep up. It meant not flinching — or even better — looking coy or faux-shocked after someone told a raunchy joke. I swore like a sailor, and tried “taking it” as well as “dishing it out” (“ribbing”, “busting balls”, “giving a hard time”). My goal was to be seen as a co-conspirator instead of a wet blanket, and the only way I could think to do that was to act like a cross between one of them and a fun chick they’d meet in a bar. And definitely not reminiscent in any way of their daughters or wives.

We were in an unfamiliar city in pre-Uber times and went to dinner as a group. (I’d like to remind everyone of how much harder it was to extricate yourself from undesirable situations pre-Uber/Lyft). Then drinks. Then… someone had the bright idea to go to see “the local sights”, which at 1AM with this group meant visiting a strip club. I had never been to a strip club (because in reality I am not a Cool Girl), and the idea terrified me. But the Cool Girl had to go along.

Once in the strip club, we sat at a booth that held the 6 of us and drank an overpriced pitcher of beer. I sat nervously, acutely aware the entire time that all of the men in the club were clothed and all of the women, except for me, were naked. Then, like out of a nightmare and in a complete act of betrayal, my friend Bobby asked loudly, “Hey Cara, when are you going to get up there and give us a dance?”

What would a real Cool Girl do in this situation? Jump on stage and do a goofy yet sexy dance? Yell something like, “Why don’t you get up there with me? I’m sure you’d love dancing for all those men!” (or something equally homophobic I would never say). The situation came into focus. In that room, after that comment, they were not my peers. Bobby, who was also uncomfortable and trying to impress the older guys, chose to sacrifice me to get a laugh and move up in the ranks. Some of the guys, recognizing that this comment was over the line, saw their wives and daughters in me at that moment. In both gender, age, and financial situation I had more in common with the women dancing for money than I did with my co-workers. I was an anomaly and a disruption to how they normally lived their lives. I think my presence even made the strippers uncomfortable.

As it was, I told Bobby, “Go fuck yourself” and the evening was pretty much over. We headed back in our rental cars. We worked through the week and while people did go out for drinks and probably continued going out to strip clubs, I was no longer invited. I’d sit in my hotel room instead — embarrassed, deflated, and defeated — eating food from the vending machine. I had wanted to get some face time, but instead I was the unstable young woman who probably should not be taken on any more business trips.

Another young woman falls victim to the Cool Girl trap.

Nowadays, I stay very far away from the Cool Girl trap and have added nuance to my retorts. If you make raunchy comments, my reprimanding look will tell you that is not OK around me. If you do or say something sexist I’ll say, “Mmmm… how about NO.” Over time this has gotten easier both from the standpoint that I’m more senior in my field (currently tech and startup land) and that I don’t look like a cheerleader anymore. Personally, I avoid saying anything even vaguely risqué since I’ve found some men will take that as an invitation to go to inappropriate places.

The result of this is that I have cut myself out of many of the moments through which men bond and make long-term work relationships. The behavior that is natural and enjoyable for men used to working with other men comes to a halt when I’m around. I miss out on inside jokes and the late night misadventures that bond some people for their entire careers. While I have seen some women find a sweet spot somewhere in between “Cool Girl” and “prude”, that’s an impressive skill that I don’t have.

Either way, the puzzle of “how to be” at work as a woman in a traditionally male space is still not solved. I’ve found this to be an unavoidable disadvantage.

I’m hoping that over time the game continues to change because we make it change. We make it change by getting more women, progressive men, and people of different sexual orientations and races on to every team and thereby ending traditions of exclusive boys-club behavior.

In the mean time, being a wet blanket isn’t so bad! You get used to sitting alone in your hotel room, and eventually you can afford room service. And then one day there is another woman on the team and you can get drunk together.

—  Cara Meverden of Medium, originally posted here as a comment on this article (Oct. 2015) by Kennedy C Garza
You are more than everything they ever called you, or everything they did not. You will never be limited by the boundaries they set for you, you are more than just another sheep following down the same tired path. You are limitless. You are as free as you so wish and your dreams are valid no matter how big or small. They try to define you and keep you down because they are afraid. Afraid to see you do better, afraid to see you live a way they do not understand. Afraid to let you be you, but that is all you will ever be.

You are more than they tell you by Amy Kennedy


Don’t be that kind of girl.
You know the sort:
rough and tumble,
all bite and no tender.
The talkers, the protestors,
the fighters, the lovers.
Don’t be so aggressive,
such a doormat,
a bitch, a slut, a prudish virgin.
The kind of girl who’s ungracious,
always so full of herself,
perfectly coiffed in vanity.
But also that don’t be the kind
who doesn’t believe in dressing
for window gazing.
Maybe it’s just better
if you don’t speak,
better if you don’t take
up so much space,
better if you just
learn early on
that you
shouldn’t be–
—  am kennedy, “that kind of girl”

NDAs have passed and I am VERY excited to finally share with you some of the work I did for Pathfinder’s most recent player companion! World building a gnome village, and getting to paint a goblin about to get mangled by a big kitty. This is the life.

I love working in game art.

Sidenote: for those have you that have ever wondered what would happen if your whole computer crashed right before a big client deadline, I know how it feels. This one right here. BUT, with a few sleepless nights and a lot of help from my friends, I survived. And it turned out great. It will be ok, guys.