Women as “Permission Givers”

Lately the theme of “Permission Giving” has come up over and over in my life.

Many of the women I admire talk about permission giving in their lives and in their work (Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah, Maya Angelou, and Cheryl Strayed, to name a few).

The concept of permission giving resonated with me for several reasons.

I think women do need permission; especially from other women, to go after the life they want.

I remember reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and considering, for the first time, that maybe I did not want children and tucking that permission slip away. I remember the exact moment I pulled that it out and used it.

I remember having strong political opinions and my Grandmother validating and encouraging that part of me.

I had a professor at Ferris, Krishnakali Majumdar, she not only gave me permission to express my thoughts and opinions but she shamed me with I chose not to. I am so grateful for that.

Recently, a woman I know said that Elaine from Seinfeld gave her permission to be silly and weird.

Most importantly, Brene Brown gave me permission to write this blog. In her research she explores shame, vulnerability, and courage. She talks about women fearing putting themselves out there because “they’re not good enough” or “who do they think they are.” After years of reading her work, I took what she said to Heart.

She uses this quote and I’m going to borrow it for this post.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt


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