Feminism is a hot topic right now. Popstars from girl-kissing Katy Perry to twerking Miley Cyrus are jumping on the feminist bandwagon. Bootylicious Beyoncé protests “gender equality is a myth”, while pro-woman Lily Allen sings she has a “baggy p***y”.
The f-word has been enjoying a welcome resurgence, but shouting (or singing) about it alone will not change the world.
When it comes to feminism, the discussion seems to focus on girl power (circa 1990’s), inequality in the workplace, and the underrepresentation of women in the media. While these matter, the way to change behaviour goes beyond exposing the problem (or your body – I’m looking at you, Miley). We need people with feminine sensibilities to create more balance in the world.
That’s why TedX Brooklyn set a challenge to reimagine an existing product or service from a feminine perspective that everyone can benefit from (not ‘by women for women’). A challenge I could not resist. Not because the stuff invented by men is bad, but because we don’t have the balance of another angle.
My idea started with an anti-trend – owning stuff, it’s so passé. Instead we’re borrowing our music from Spotify, our TV shows from Netflix, our holiday homes from Air BNB. I believe that through female sensibility we can leverage this anti-trend to solve not one, but two problems.
1: The physical and emotional baggage of owning stuff you never, or rarely use.
2: The desire to own stuff you don’t have the resources to buy.
My reinvention is to create a sister website to eBay – eBorrow – to facilitate the borrowing and lending of consumer goods, for the mutual benefit of both borrower and lender. Consider the student who’s going traveling and wants to borrow travelling essentials and lend out goods they won’t be using while gone, the vintage fashion collector who wants to lend out items in order to fund new ones, or the musician wannabe who wants to strum a guitar before making a permanent investment.
While men typically place importance on individuality and competition, I believe the desire for interdependence and cooperation is born out of inherently female values. This new heightened level of collaboration will save us money, de-clutter our lives, and ultimately connect us with others like never before.
View my wining entry and all the great ideas here on Shout (SheSays crowdsourcing platform).