LADYGUNN X HRDWRKER PRESENT “AS A WOMAN” – HOLLIS WONG-WEAR

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Women have been earning more bachelor’s degrees than men since 1982, as well as more master’s degrees than men since 1987. However, the fact remains that the gender wage gap maintains a strong presence in America. Women account for over 50 percent of the workforce in this country, yet they are making 26 percent less than their male peers. There are more than a handful of women that want the opportunity to talk about their personal experiences in searching for equality in male-dominated industries.  In “As A Woman” HRDWRKER X LADYGUNN in association with THINX present five outstanding professionals unique perspectives on the gender-motivated inequity they face on a regular basis.

Through their stories, we will not just touch on issues of unequal pay- but we will navigate through of treatment in the workplace. The subjects will also have the opportunity to offer viewers knowledge as to how being a woman has given them a special edge and allowed them to succeed in their business of choice. While women make up the majority of professional employees, the female population as a whole is still struggling to find security in male-dominated industries. We are now seeing more young girls and women make strides in entering areas of STEM, law, film, music, medicine etc. This series will offer support to those who are working to break tradition and go against the grain by providing them with access to advice from women who have paved the way.

There is no doubt about the unbalanced weight we put on gender and sex in today’s world. Despite the many adversities we face in many industries often dominated with patriarchal interest, women are a force of nature in the world that will shatter any concept of glass ceilings that are placed in front of us.

HOLLIS WONG-WEAR

Occupation: Singer/Songwriter/Community Advocate

What are your passions?

I am passionate about the power of stories to transform our world; passionate about finding motivation and momentum in the face of ennui and despair. I am passionate about radical empathy, equal parts resistance and reimagination, and tearing myself away from my screen and being fully present. I love novels, songwriting that tears you open, dancing and deep-belly-laughing with my folks, and the magical properties of noodles.

What do you think is your biggest obstacle as a woman in today’s world?

The biggest obstacle for women is the systematic and deep seated ignorance of our agency. Why are the issues that women face “women’s issues”? It’s because the gendering of our experiences allows men and those in power to continue to deny the urgency of true equity. When we see a room full of suited men with no women in attendance signing an executive order that directly impacts our bodies, we see a denial of our agency in plain sight. Patriarchy gaslights us, tells us we are too much and too needy and too impatient, yet hands us far less than men in power would ever accept.

When is a time you were proud of yourself?

It’s hard for me to think of a time I was proud of myself for some reason; I think I’m proudest when I can be the bridge between a person and an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise had. And my proudest moments are when I completely boss up on a day’s schedule in a dozen ways that nobody else will ever know but myself. I guess I’m proud that I’ve worked for myself for almost seven years without ever having a corporate job, and am endeavoring to live a full life between two cities.  I’m proud of myself when I’m a good friend.

Who is a woman that inspires you?

I am inspired by Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American freedom fighter from Detroit whose vision for community organizing centered creativity, love and imagination. She wrote so many beautiful things in her century of life, and one of my favorite quotes of hers, which has never rung more true, is this: “The time has come for us to reimagine everything. We have to reimagine work and go away from labor. We have to reimagine revolution and get beyond protest. We have to think not only about change in our institutions, but changes in ourselves. We are at the stage where the people in charge of the government and industry are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. It’s up to us to reimagine the alternatives and not just protest against them and expect them to do better.”

  

photos / Graham Walzer    

interviews / Koko Ntuen

Bay Area native Hollis Wong-Wear is a poet, performer, songwriter, and community advocate. She is currently the lead vocalist of the Seattle-based electronic R&B trio The Flavr Blue, and was GRAMMY nominated for Album of the Year for her vocal performance of “White Walls” on The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Hollis has been a featured speaker at conferences, conventions and panel discussions, offering her insight and sharing her experiences as an independent artist and activist. In November 2015, Hollis had the honor of sharing the stage with Gloria Steinem and Cheryl Strayed at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall; she also recently appeared as a keynote speaker for the Planned Parenthood Teen Council, LA Music Creators, and 2015 TedX U of Washington. Having first found her voice through the medium of spoken word, Hollis makes time to give back to the community by facilitating youth creative writing workshops and mentoring young teens in their slam poetry endeavors.
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