Des Femmes newsletter - Issue #16

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Des Femmes newsletter
Des Femmes newsletter
Hello and welcome to the Des Femmes newsletter! 👋

Our first print magazine is officially on shelves at Barnes & Noble, Chapters, and Books-A-Million bookstores across North America!! Tell us what you would like to see in future issues by contacting us at partners@desfemmesmagazine.com or reach out on Twitter via @desfemmesmag
In honor of International Women’s Month, we’re providing digital subscribers with an article re-release that originally appeared in our inaugural print magazine. How to use fashion to be more powerful was written by our good friend and resident bad-ass, Meltem Demirors.
Style. It’s not just what you do that matters, but it’s how you do it and how you make people feel while you’re doing it. Style is how we create more space for fluidity of self-expression in a world that wants to categorize us and define us within a narrow set of confines. Style is how you claim your many identities for yourself.
Style is even more important in our digital world, where we’re often reduced to a single action shot or a quote, rather than represented as the complex and curious creatures that we are. Sensationalism lacks nuance. And in style, we create space for nuance. Style is about duality and polarity. The contradictions inherent in the crypto industry are also ever-present in my thoughts around style.
Women are constantly watched and critiqued, especially in industries where women aren’t that present in public. While the crypto ecosystem has plenty of women in it, there’s still a persistent gap in terms of representation at the top – the places where money and power reside. As a woman who is constantly doing bizarre and unconventional things in *very* public spaces, I choose to use style as a weapon, as a beacon, and as a shield. 
For example, how does one dress for a congressional hearing? When my time came to address lawmakers to explain cryptocurrency, I really had no idea what to wear. So I packed an overnight bag with a random assortment of stuff I don’t even remember throwing in my bag. I arrived in DC, excited to attend a crypto industry happy hour. There, one of my peers had pulled me aside and told me the only reason I had been invited to testify was because of my gender.
He said it was a disgrace that a “better” spokesperson (presumably, him) hadn’t been selected to testify at the hearing. Much of Crypto Twitter was abuzz with the same type of commentary. They said I didn’t deserve this opportunity. When I woke up at 6:00 am, after getting just three hours of sleep, the style I chose reflected my intentions. Bold and unflinching, with a healthy dose of fuck-you energy. I wore a white suit and red lipstick.
I knew that bold red lip was feminine but also a bit brazen, that it would stand out in a sea of pale and male faces. I knew my white blazer would be noticeable too, and that white is energetically associated with purity and integrity. I chose my words and my delivery carefully, staying professional while also challenging misperceptions and falsehoods. I was forceful – not only addressing members of Congress and other witnesses, but also members of the crypto community – a group of people who doubted, denigrated, and demeaned me both in public and in private. My style sent a clear message. I’m here and deserve to occupy this space; deal with it.
Early in my career, I received a lot of unwelcome attention for dressing in a feminine manner. Women are often blamed for this, as though we somehow choose to have tits or a great ass? I’ve learned to embrace the spotlight and the fact that I stand out. I love showing up to a meeting dressed in a very feminine style, then bust out chopping it up and dropping knowledge all over, leaving jaws on the floor. 
In 2019, right before New York’s week-long crypto conference orgy was about to kick off, I went to Lowe’s and purchased a toilet. I was speaking at the Magical Crypto Conference where Chris Yardley had brought a live bull to the conference. I knew I needed to up my game. 
When you bring a toilet filled with chocolate coins on stage at a crypto conference, you can’t really wear jeans and a hoodie. So I opted to dress like a human pinata, in a skirt with sparkly fringe – ridiculous, unnecessary, but also, very fun. I knew it would be a meme, and so I embraced the meme. If I’m going to be known for shitcoins, I might as well have some fun with it. Style is how we create some memorable moments that embrace the weirdness!
What we wear every day is a choice, just like the energy we do (or don’t) bring to our work and the language we use. I choose to use my style in a way that helps me articulate my perspective. This makes me more powerful in my work, while also bringing levity and joy to these meetings and interactions. After all, who doesn’t want to look really fucking fabulous while building a new financial system? I, for one, am all in. 
Photos by Keith, photographed in the writer’s home in New York
Highlights of the month:
🔥 Merch is live!! Check out the Des Femmes merch store here and be sure to tag us on Twitter of Instagram  if you rock any of these fantastic items online!
Community spotlight:
This week we’re spotlighting community member Meagan Loyst, founder of the Gen Z VCs community with thousands of aspiring venture capitalists. 
“The community was originally just 30 new friends that I had interviewed for my initial “Gen Z VCs” article, and it quickly spiraled from there — 30 people became 1,000 in 4 days, and now a year later, we have almost 14,000,” she said. “Start doing the job before you start — credentials don’t mean as much these days in my opinion. How you show your worth and value add carries more weight than a resume in my opinion. Start meeting founders, making introductions to VCs, writing and building a presence on Twitter, and finding what you’re interested in.”
By day she works as the Lerer Hippeau venture firm and by night, when she’s not running her own Gen Z community, she also works as an advisor to Girls Who Invest. We love the energy she brings to all that she’s doing and are thrilled to be learning from her as we explore community-building models through Des Femmes.
Des Femmes Classifieds:
Have you connected with our friends at Dirt? Dirt is a daily dispatch about entertainment and digital culture. It is a tasteful guide to the metaverse for people who love their witch NFTs and HBO logins. Sign up for the free newsletter and follow Dirt on Twitter
Interested in being spotlighted in our Classifieds? Reach out via email or Twitter!
If you have any questions about the Des Femmes community, have any news in need of a shoutout in our highlights, or know someone worthy of a community spotlight, reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram via @desfemmesmag. Not a member yet? Buy an official membership here.  
 
Until next time, stay curious!
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