Associate editor Charley Locke and executive editor Katy Vine talk about how the project, highlighting the voices of two dozen Texas women, came together.
In a series of as-told-to conversations, two dozen Texas women talk about gender, work, and what needs to change for women in their home state.
"I’m serving my community by telling our stories. That’s the role of every writer: to serve their community, whatever it is. If you don’t write it down, it’s like it never happened. We’re not in history as women if we don’t write it down."
"I think women want to be seen on the same world stage as any male artist, any white artist—any artist at all. There’s no push to take identity away in art as a means to address bias, but every artist wants their work to be taken out of a demographic."
"Film and TV shows and theater tell our stories and shape our culture, and as fifty percent of the population, women need to produce more art that portrays women’s stories."
"Women who are interested in politics need mentors so they can realize their potential if they choose to run for office. There’s a value to relatability, or being able to not only see women already in leadership roles but have access to them."
"Any woman in a higher-profile position—women in administrative and supervisory roles, or faculty role models—has a responsibility to pay close attention to these issues, and to take time to listen when students, faculty or staff seek to talk about them."
"When you have companies where women are CEOs, where they really have a hold at the top, it does make a difference. It has changed the culture. Now, you don’t assume that your boss will be playing golf, like the senior vice president that you had 25 or 30 years ago. The traditional vice president that we have now is a woman that has teenage children, and has a very different life."
"When you have credibility and a mic from which to speak, that comes with a responsibility. Having a woman onstage allows a girl in the audience to say, oh, I can do that. A platform is an opportunity, and so is an audience."
"Educated women, professional women—we need you up there, changing the world for the benefit of all of us down here. You can love your family and be there for them all you want, but hire a domestic worker. Don’t give up your career."
"Women need to know what to look for and how to respond. It should really be taught like a life skill: this is how you do a resume, this is how you manage credit cards, this is how you understand sexual harassment and what to do if you’re in that position."
"Sometimes a festival rep will say they don’t want acts that are too similar. Could you imagine telling a man, 'Sorry, we can only have one indie rock band, you're all wearing Levi's and that's pretty overdone so we can't have that'?"
"We need more women to tackle the energy transition and tackle the biggest challenges we face: climate change, energy poverty, and good infrastructure."
"I think there is a true opportunity right now for women—even more significant than when I was in state government. We’ve got so many running for public office now. Once they win and their numbers grow, we’re bound to move beyond 'me too' to something better."
"In the military, there’s a sense of camaraderie that can sometimes make people bystanders. Once people see that this kind of treatment is damaging to the group, that’s when they’ll speak up. We have to change it so that people are more embarrassed to stand by and let it happen than they are to stand up and say something."
"As a female editor or journalist, you have to pick your moment about whether you want to complain and have everybody roll their eyes at you, or you want to deal with it and power through it."
"As a woman, you can’t put yourself in a bad position. One day, a foreman asked me to ride down with him to where they were drilling a deep gas well, about 45 miles away. I didn’t any more want to go than a man in the moon, and I should have said it, but I was thirty years old, and I didn’t know how to say that. I felt like I would be hurting my work opportunities."
"I think a lot of nurses—ICU, emergency room, operating room nurses in particular—have to emotionally shut down to do their jobs. It’s like we learn to develop an aperture in our lens, of what you can let in and what you can’t. If you let yourself feel everything that happens there, you’re not gonna make it. And I think sometimes we let things pass that we shouldn’t."
"After I argued Roe vs. Wade the first time on December 13, 1971, I didn’t know if I was going to win or lose. I thought I’d better run for office to be in a position to prevent the passage of bills that would make abortion illegal or very difficult."
"Unions still have male-dominated leadership, so the women’s committees give women an actual chance to get strength or power in leadership. If we don’t have a voice, then leadership makes decisions about us without us."
"The issue isn’t going away, because for once, women feel like they can speak up and that they are finally being heard. And I think as a body, the Texas Legislature needs to demonstrate that we’ve heard these women, and that we’re going to clean our own house."
"It’s so important to have a place where people can feel free to bring their issues to someone to investigate, and in a smaller setting, victims really worry about losing their jobs. They worry that nobody will believe them, so they’ll lose their jobs for complaining. They worry that if it does become public, they’ll have to relive the whole experience. They worry about stigma."
"From time to time, you see unfortunate situations where the policy says report to the director of HR, and they have no credibility within the organization, or they are the actual harasser. You need a policy with multiple ways to come forward."
"I disagree with those who say the #MeToo movement could go too far. That sentiment exhibits itself anytime there is an effective and active push for change, that somehow you're going to cause the unintended impact of actually hurting the cause."
"The procedures to protect women have to be institutionalized and standardized. If your model for authority and leadership is that whatever the pastor in charge says goes, then you don’t have accountability."
"In a mentor, you need somebody who understands the challenges of having this position and moving up through the ranks. For a long time in newsrooms, you didn’t have that. You didn’t have women in those positions."
Here's where to start.