Tag Archives: harassment

Everyone Wants To Win, Not Enough Want to Support

This is the 6th year of me producing International Women’s Day Tea Detroit. For 5 years I have planned, paid for and endured the entire process and all its stress with a tiny team of people (that equals no more than 4 usually) behind me. I have never made a profit from the annual event and for 3 years, I took a loss. But I did it anyway, because I believe in the purpose of International Women’s Day and the women’s movements that have grown through it and are recognized and supported by it. I use this time of year to support women owned businesses by providing an opportunity for them to get involved with my brand. There’s no geographical limitation. We’ve had women come from Canada, Ohio and Chicago in attendance.

Which is why it’s so frustrating to me when other women show me little or no support, target me, intentionally seek to dismantle my brand and act unreasonably when I say “no“.

Every year, without fail, some woman from somewhere wants to turn #iwdtdetroit into a vendor fair because they want to be a vendor, but have absolutely no interest or desire in attending the event, promoting the event, or sponsoring the event. They only want to be present if they can sell something of their own. For 5 years the event has only had 4 vendor spots available. Each year, there have been vendors contacting me wanting to be included, but not unless they can be vendors, even when I have explained to them that the event is not a vendor fair and tables have been sold out already.

This year I rented a larger venue. As a result, I was able to offer more than 4 vendor spots, but I never publicly stated exactly how many, because once again, #iwdtdetroit is not a vendor fair. I rented a larger venue in the hopes that there would be more attendees, because the previous location had a 40-50 person capacity and the new venue would allow us to have 150 attendees so that more women could celebrate International Women’s Day together in Detroit, Michigan. That was the intentions behind the larger venue. Yet, again, this year I’m being bombarded by messages from people who only want to be vendors and nothing more.

Apparently #iwdtdetroit is the best thing ever, the way people desire to become vendors at it.

I also changed how I selected vendors from previous years because I noticed that vendors wouldn’t tell anyone about the event, and if they did, often it was at the last minute and not as a show of support to encourage others to attend. It was just a “hey look at where I’m going to sell __” or “look at where I was” post on Facebook, usually with a picture of them and their product; no mention of the event, the purpose, the honorees, me or my company. That didn’t help me or the vendors, even if they thought it did. Their desire to keep #iwdtdetroit a secret from others was hurting me a lot more than it was helping me, because they had people in their circles that would probably attend, had they known.

I also received feedback through surveys I’ve sent out to attendees that some of them didn’t feel that vendors were even necessary or an added benefit to the event. Someone even said that some vendors “weren’t memorable” and that they didn’t make a “lasting impression that would make someone want to become their customer after” #iwdtdetroit.

So who is really doing whom a favor?

This year I completed the vendor selection process on February 2. I selected women owned businesses that we hope will be partners that we can do business with in the future and refer to others. I also asked them all to commit to sharing their involvement in #iwdtdetroit and information about the event at least once each week until March 12, so that people in their circles who may want to attend could receive the information to do so. This helps them also by increasing engagement and attracting potential customers to their businesses, even if they don’t attend #iwdtdetroit on March 12. In addition, each vendor received an eBook, “How To Get The Most Out of Your Vendor Partnership” that helps them develop a marketing strategy and improve their marketing skills, before, during and after #iwdtdetroit. After all, being a business owner doesn’t end at being a vendor at one event.

As usual, the emails and messages from women who want to be vendors are coming in. And again, some are laced with venom. One in particular was from a year 5 vendor, we’ll call her Woman A, who gave misinformation to an associate of hers, whom we’ll call Woman B, then demanded that I refund money to her associate, who bought a ticket to attend #iwdtdetroit assuming it included a vendor table, which it did not. Woman B, like too many other women, didn’t want anything to do with the event if she couldn’t be a vendor at it. Woman B failed to inquire before her purchase, ignored the visible “no refunds” policy and assumed she could get something from me based on what Woman A told her. Woman A then tried to hold me accountable for the misinformation she gave and threatened to blacklist my business and write negative reviews about me and my business.

🤔 Is anyone else feeling the lack of love and support I get from other women….or is that just me? #womensupportingwomen

I find it interesting how many women want their businesses included as a vendor yet never want to attend. Mathematically do they ever consider that if there’s just a room full of vendors, but little or no attendees, who is going to buy products and services from them? I’m just saying. If I have dozens of vendors and only 20 attendees, who will drink all the expensive tea and sushi being served? Who will take home all these gift bags at the end of the event? I’m already not making any profit from #iwdtdetroit as it is, so who exactly will win if I let everyone become a vendor and no one gives me any support? Did I mention that I think I’ve only gotten 1 thank you note from any vendor in the last 5 years?

This is just one of the many ways women have attacked my business and brand over the years. Yet, here I am “doing what’s right” for the sisterhood, once again, in spite of the abuse that comes with it from other women. Hopefully, when my life is over, someone will be grateful for the sacrifices I make today to help other women. I won’t know it. I’m just hoping.

If anyone truly and genuinely wants to be involved in #iwdtdetroit, what I need is sponsors and attendees. It would be nice to meet or exceed capacity at the new venue and feel like I make a difference in the sisterhood instead of feeling like a punching bag when I go to sleep the night of March 12, 2018.

Here I go fighting with Facebook…again

Over the last few years, I developed a small following of individuals on Facebook and on some other social networking sites.  A lot of it is solely for the purpose of networking for The Brand, some of it is entertaining and some of it is actually social. Of my current 1,800 Facebook friends, I probably know 10% of them personally and another 10% I’ve met casually or are acquainted with outside of Facebook. Over the past several months, Facebook has implemented their own form of “Community Standards” that allow people to anonymously complain about people’s pictures and wall posts that they find “offensive or inappropriate”. It covers things such as harassment and (Facebook) identity theft also. What I’ve found is a) it’s just another tool for haters to hate, and b) it’s not protecting anyone from actual harm. Young adults are still being bullied via Facebook and there are still hate mongers, racists and plenty of inappropriate and offensive things slipping through the cracks because the haters only care about reporting what they think needs to be reported, not what protects society as a whole.

Recently, for the second time, someone reported one of my photos as “sexually explicit” and “inappropriate”. The photo they were referring to is actually the back cover of “The Goodie Bag”. In the photo I’m wearing a bra and panties, with black stilettos while laying across and bed with a gorgeous male model holding one of my legs. My breasts, my behind and my vagina are not visible at all. There’s no kissing, touching or hugging taking place in the photo. My body is barely touching the male model’s. It’s a beautiful picture of me. The photo is sexy without being overtly sexual and it speaks to the tone of “The Goodie Bag”, while it leaves something to the imagination. If someone thinks the photo is more than that, it’s their opinion and they are entitled to it. Just like I’m entitled to look fabulous in the photo. The truth is, the pictures inside of “The Goodie Bag” are a lot sexier and the language is completely sexually explicit. It’s erotic fiction; it’s supposed to be. I know that it was likely a hater who reported the photo because they don’t have anything better to do. I can’t wait to see how they will react when the pictures forThe Goodie Bag II” come out.

***yes, there are haters everywhere…including on Facebook***

Once again I find it completely hilarious, and hypocritical, that someone thinks that one of the best pictures of me on Facebook is “inappropriate” with all the near naked women in thong-kinis all over that very same social network. Some of these other women go so far to gain attention that they actually “tag”  people in their photos forcing innocent people to have someone else’s nakedness displayed all over their wall for all of their friends and relatives to see without prior knowledge or consent. You have to be a “friend” to see my pictures, unless you “like” my fan page. If you “like” my fan page, you know what the purpose of it is and there’s no need to report anything because you’ve made a conscious choice to be included in the content by willingly clicking the button. No one forced you into it. No one “tagged” you into it without your knowledge of consent. You made a choice. If you don’t like it, don’t look. Pun intended.

We have the freedom of choice. Or so I thought. But Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook developers seem to think that they have more freedom of choice than the users of Facebook. Now that Zuckerberg is a gazillionaire, you can’t add him as a Facebook friend. You can’t send him a message to his inbox, you can’t tag him in a post or picture, you can’t write on his wall or ask him to join a group. He has been stalked into hiding from the rest of us. But he hasn’t done much to protect users like us from being stalked. He has made himself completely untouchable via the social network that he created (or stole, depending on which version of the story you decide to believe). However, he’s constantly making decisions for Facebook users that compromise our right to choose for ourselves. What’s with people being able to add you to a group without you knowing what the group is about? According to Facebook, only your friends can add you to a group. But it’s hell to remove yourself from these groups. The option isn’t even available for mobile Facebook users. It must be done from a computer. That’s not fun.

I’m am constantly and randomly being added to groups by my “friends”. Usually it is the “friends” that I don’t actually know personally or am not acquainted with outside of Facebook or they’d know I don’t want to be a member of a group I know absolutely nothing about. There’s nothing wrong with creating a group to market your product of service, supporting your beliefs or charity, but the beautiful thing about consumerism is that people get to select where they go for their products and services. The beautiful thing about America is that we can all have our own beliefs and support our own charities without being forced to participate in someone else’s.  As a consumer you get to opt out of unwanted emails or be placed on “do not send” lists. Facebook groups are not like that. The creator or any member of a group can “add” any of their Facebook friends to that group without any forewarning.  You find out you’re a member by notification. It’s like walking into a game of Russian Roulette that you didn’t know was taking place, and someone puts the gun to your head, pulls the trigger and *bang!* you’re a member of their group. Every time I get an email notification from Facebook I feel like I got jumped into an online gang. I get bombarded with other people’s opinions, thoughts and ideas through my personal assistant at all times of day and night. Some stuff is interesting, but for the most part it’s an overload of information that I don’t have the time or patience to read or understand. I don’t get to turn it off  immediately. No, that would be too convenient. I have to go to my computer and click “Leave Group”. Then I get threatened again with a message that says if I leave the group I’ll have to be invited in order to return to it. Doesn’t that sound a lot like a gang? Or even the mafia?

I don’t know which is worse, how Facebook allows haters to harass people using their “Community Standards” as a tool of suppression, or how they allow groups to target people at random for mandatory participation. All I know is that if I created a group and forced people to participate, someone, somewhere would complain and I’d be threatened by Facebook – again. Well, while Mark Zuckerberg sits in his Ivory Tower away from us peasants, passing his Facebook laws, I will continue to do whatever I like and post my pictures on my Facebook page, regardless of who does or doesn’t like it. You do not have to be my Facebook friend. It is your choice. I, unlike others, won’t force anyone to participate by adding them to a picture or group that they aren’t actually in or want to be a part of. I respect everyone’s right to choose for themselves, whether I agree with their choices or not. 

I’ve also decided that regardless of how many haters complain, I’ll remove my incredibly beautiful photos from“The Goodie Bag” when Facebook bans all of the haters, pedophiles, porn stars, naked wanna-be-models, racists and bullies from Facebook. So take your time and enjoy the photos. And if you want to know what all the fuss is about, purchase a copy of “The Goodie Bag” here.