Chinese Zodiac traditions associate each year in a twelve year cycle with animal signs that supposedly affect the characters of people for that year. If Maxim Hygiene Products were to create a zodiac calendar of our own it would revolve around our Fierce Woman philosophy and 2013 would be characterized as the year of “Leaning In,” a term coined by one of 2013’s most celebrated female executives, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and author of Lean In, a book that encourages women to “lean in” to their ambitions by exploring the inequalities that still hold us back primarily in the workplace.
In addition to Sandberg’s call for gender equality in the workforce, some of 2013’s top stories featured women creating change on all sorts of levels, from Malala Yousafzai’s heroic of act of bravery and ongoing activism for women’s rights to be educated, to Beyonce’s triumphant comeback in to the music scene after giving birth to her first baby last year (p.s. Beyonce also outearned her famous hubby in 2013, making her inclusive of the according to Sandberg, “30 percent of U.S. working wives that outearn their husbands.”
We certainly think Sandberg would agree with us that these two ladies leaned in to their power, but while some compare Sandberg’s perspective to a modern day inspiring feminine manifesto, others are calling it “the latest salvo in the war on moms.” Whatever your perspective may be, as referenced in Lean In, “The blunt truth is that men still run the world. Of the 195 independent countries in the world, only 17 are led by women.”
Although men may “run the world,” our proclamation at Maxim Hygiene Products is quite the opposite (and so is Beyonce’s according to one of our favorite songs of hers – “Run the World (Girls)”. Through our blog’s Fierce Woman Series, we encourage, acknowledge and celebrate women who are making a positive change all year round. Once a month, we feature the story of an ordinary woman up to extraordinary things in hopes of inspiring our readership to do the same. All of our Fierce Women may not be world leaders like Sandberg encourages us to be, but they are change-making leaders who are making a difference in our communities for the same matters Maxim products look to take care of – Body, Earth and Health.
Below is a look back at all of Maxim Hygiene’s featured Fierce Women of 2013. Please take your time to read their stories and tell us who you think should be Maxim’s #FierceWomanOfTheYear by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following subject title: #FierceWomanOfTheYear. In your email, please make sure to include the name of your favorite Fierce Woman, your full name and ship to address (street address, city, state and zip).
All voters will receive a FREE Maxim Hygiene Cosmetic Accessory Travel Pack. Once we’ve tallied all the votes, the voters for the Fierce Woman with the most votes will also receive any ONE FREE full size Maxim product of their choice.* So, hurry and cast your vote by January 14th, 2014, 6pm EST. The #FierceWomanOfTheYear will be announced on our Facebook page on January 15th, 2014.
And the nominees are…..
January 2013 – Eve Ensler – Her Revolution of One Billion Rising
February 2013 – Jessica Ladd – A Social Entrepreneur and Advocate of Safe Sex
March 2013 – Ann Germanow – Founder of Scensible Bags
April 2013 – Tanya Tibbs – CEO of V-Bar Soap
May 2013 – Hillary Witt – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion
June 2013 – Dr. Ortalano (our only #FierceMan in honor of Father’s Day) – Founder of Arbor Healthcare
July 2013 – Genesis Be – Hip Hop Artist Changing the Industry’s #WarOnWomen
August 2013 – Harriet Shugarman – Environmental Activist, a.k.a. Climate Mama
September 2013 – Suzanne Scott – Pediatric Cancer Super Nurse
October 2013 – Heike Malakoff – Founder of Check Your Boobies
November 2013 – Louise Erdrich – An Author Making “Fierce” and “Native” Synonymous
December 2013 – Alisa Vitti – Author of Woman Code and Founder of FloLiving
And finally, to help us capture what we learned from all of 2013’s Fierce Women and to light the torch for the great year that lies ahead, we’re going to leave you with a well known quote by yet another #FierceWoman, Marianne Williamson.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of god. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make and manifest the glory of god that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Thank you for leaning in with your light throughout 2013. We encourage you to continue to lean in and create more light together in 2014 by keeping in touch with us here and emailing us with your recommendations for who should be our next Fierce Woman of the month.