Girl Crush: Lauren Dubinsky & Her Good Women Project
I have a total Girl-Crush on Lauren Dubinsky and her Good Women Project, where hundreds of women gather online to talk about the awkward transition that occurs as women leave girlhood and become women. Good Women Project works to help girls navigate this transition well. In God and Boobs the book, I devoted an entire chapter to the idea of “Girl Crush” – which I think has to do with the ways that we celebrate other women, and learn from them. I recently asked Lauren some pretty intimate questions about her faith and sexuality; fortunately, she obliged…
Lauren, tell us about the Good Women Project. What inspired you to launch it? I’d just turned 23 and realized I didn’t have a more experienced person to openly talk to about growing-up-things, like marriage and sex and accomplishing cool stuff. It seemed like there was this big gap between being a girl and being a woman, and that I was ‘falling behind’ because I didn’t know how to transition or what that even looked like. For girls who go to church, most of us know some really amazing older women, but it’s still awkward to say things like, “Soooooo tell me about masturbation,” and, “I can’t picture EVER getting married, did you ever feel like that?” out of the blue. So I created GWP to be a space for those conversations.
How do you hope to most inspire other women? I hope to inspire other girls to chill out. Chilling out is the root of all life. But seriously, the importance of just chilling out is probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learned doing this project. Everyone is making mistakes, and no one has any idea what they’re doing. I used to think there was this unspoken “how to be a woman” rulebook, and it turns out, there isn’t. If you’re born a woman, you’re a walking version of that rulebook yourself. You’re not failing at being a woman, or a girl, or whatever you feel like you are! I also hope to inspire girls to not be afraid to be themselves. It sounds really cliche, but rejecting the fear in your heart that swells when you imagine doing something you REALLY REALLY wish you could do, if you were a different kind of girl? That’s not cliche. That’s important. I live to see girls dare to do those things. You’ve only got one life to be that girl.
God and Boobs is about balancing faith and sexuality. Any practical tips for how you’re doing this in your life? I’m going to sound ultra hippie for a second and say that faith and sexuality are basically your whole life, and your whole self. They don’t stay in their own compartments. They should never oppose one another, and if they do, that usually means you’re trying to organize yourself instead of letting your heart operate naturally. For example, this year I’ve learned that “having sex” is about 15% of sexuality, and the rest of it is learning to think, feel, and behave in the way that you were created to. I feel like my sexuality has been massively stunted by believing that “sexuality = sex” for my whole life, so my practical tips would be 1) realizing that’s not true and 2) finding ways to get to know yourself better. I’ll be doing that the rest of my life.
How has your faith and femininity been most challenged by launching The Good Women Project? Oh man, how hasn’t it. Haha. We’re blessed to have literally hundreds upon hundreds of girls sending in their stories, but that also means I read entire books worth of information on relationships and other girl stuff in an average month. That’s simultaneously amazing and draining. Like therapy, you know? It’s hard to notice that you’re being challenged or growing in the moment, but looking back, I think I’m a completely different type of girl than when I started it 2 years ago. Maybe not different, just More. I listen better, I have more respect for people who are different than I am, and it’s the first time in my life I feel a sister-ness towards girls instead of instant competition. I’ve realized we are humans first, gender second. I’ve also had to learn to trust other people’s counsel and advice to me in a way I’ve never needed to before.
What do you like best about being a woman? Ahhh look at me, I’m such a feminist now. (I actually have been since 17, I just was given really wack definitions of feminism in the past so I didn’t know it.) I have no idea what I like best about being a woman. But I know what I like best about being Lauren, and I think that’s all that matters. I like being the girl that God created who is always growing, always curious, and who wants to create things and love people. I like being a person who experiments with new things all the time, and that God put that desire in me and put people in my life to help me have courage to do them. And I like best that I’m loved unconditionally, created equally, and blessed with the ability to act upon the desires of my heart.