Get Empowered: A Practical Guide to Thrive, Heal, and Embrace Your Confidence in a Sexist World (Paperback)

Get Empowered: A Practical Guide to Thrive, Heal, and Embrace Your Confidence in a Sexist World By Nadia Telsey, Lauren R. Taylor Cover Image
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A practical guide for women, nonbinary, and LGBTQIA+ people to claim our right to be safe, to take up space, and to speak up for ourselves.

Don’t walk alone at night. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
    Most women and nonbinary people are taught these rules, intended to keep us safe from harassment, abuse, and assault, from a young age. While the #MeToo movement has swept the globe and shined a light on the pervasiveness of gender-based violence that led to these “rules,” the fears persist—and for good reason.
    While men—who commit almost all gender-based violence—are the ones who should be responsible for changing, those of us who are targeted shouldn’t have to wait for the world to transform and become a better place in order to live safer, fuller, more authentic lives.
Through real-life stories, meaningful questions, and interactive exercises, Get Empowered will teach readers to:

  • understand why gendered violence exists and how it shows up
  • take up space
  • say what they want
  • let go of self-blame
  • heal from past traumas

    Whether you’re looking for ways to stand up for yourself, you’re a survivor focused on healing, or you’re committed to being an ally, this book will give you the tools you need to thrive.

About the Author

Nadia Telsey pioneered the field of verbal and emotional (as opposed to solely physical) self-defense, beginning with the cofounding of the feminist Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn in 1970. She has taught self-defense to thousands of students in the U.S. and abroad, including for seventeen years at the University of Oregon, where her class has been the subject of research on the efficacy of the approach. Her work against gender-based violence included many years serving on the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force and has influenced a generation of self-defense instructors both in the U.S. and around the world.

Lauren R. Taylor has been working to end gender-based violence since 1978, when she cofounded Washington, D.C.’s first shelter for abused women and their children. As an empowerment self-defense teacher, she’s facilitated close to 2,000 classes and workshops to more than 35,000 people. Taylor writes extensively on violence prevention and interpersonal violence. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Self, and The Huffington Post, and on National Public Radio, Upworthy, Quartz, Mic, and more.

Praise For…

Get Empowered is a resource every person needs to walk through the world with their head held high and their dignity intact. We have all been impacted by sexual violence—whether it is our living experience or it happened to someone we love. But that means we all need the knowledge and skills to face these experiences so we have self-agency and can affirm our own dignity for ourselves and in all of our relationships. Get Empowered gives you all of these tools with compassion, strength, and courage.”
—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queenbees + Wannabes and Courageous Discomfort
“Read Get Empowered, and you will feel safer and less lonely. This book speaks the truths we all need to hear. And most importantly, Nadia and Lauren will help you feel thoroughly supported in your journey to survive our disempowering world. Challenge the shame and blame that gender-based hate thrives on, and find powerful tools to transcend all the lies you’ve been told about yourself.”
—Jeffrey Marsh, LGBTQIA+ activist and author of How to Be You and Take Your Own Advice

“This book is a gift. I hate living in a world where this book is necessary, but I love this book. Compassionate, thorough, and encouraging — it’ll inspire you and make you feel less alone.
—Alexandra Petri, Washington Post columnist and author of US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up)
 “Get Empowered is like having a wise, empathetic friend in your corner as you navigate the world. By teaching readers how to identify the many complex ways gender-based violence shows up—and the trauma that exists from surviving it—this book gives readers a plethora of smart, actionable tools to not just stay safe in today’s world but actively pursue the rich, full lives they deserve.”
—Lisa Bonos, technology editor and dating and relationships reporter at The Washington Post
Get Empowered is an inspiring, grounding, practical guide to securing our own freedom, and that of our communities. No one can empower another—hard as it may be, we all have to find and activate our own best power sources. This book will help you name the life you want to live and deal, step by step, with the inner obstacles so that you can also resist the outer obstacles. So many forms of gender-based disrespect and violence shape our lives. I wish I'd had this book to grow up with, but reading it makes me think it's never too late to own my power.”
—Rinku Sen, racial justice strategist and writer
“An empowerment guide that should be on the shelves of every survivor—filled with messages to return to over and over again and share with loved ones. As a Black Queer Woman, Get Empowered is an affirming tool for resistance and resilience. With holistic strategies that honor grace and compassion for the healing journey of all survivors, reading this was a balanced praxis of trusting my intuition as a superpower and a gentle reminder that I am worthy of defending.”
—Jewel Cadet, Queer Black Activist, Entertainer, Speaker
"Get Empowered is a must-read for anyone who wants to overcome their fears, become empowered, and heal. A particularly powerful aspect of the book is its emphasis on caring for one's mind, body, heart, and spirit while doing the work of healing and growing. As I reflect on my life as a young woman, I wish that I would have had access to such a wonderful tool.”
—Carmen Gelman, award-willing activist
Get Empowered is critical reading for every gender-oppressed person. I grew up feminist and highly aware of sexism and gender roles intellectually, but it was the exercises in this book that helped me learn—and begin to unlearn—exactly how much I had internalized those roles. This book puts theory into practice in a transformative way.”
—Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, author of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women's Lives  

Get Empowered is a book that’s long overdue. This unique guide teaches us to repair ourselves and our culture. With compelling information and essential tools to confront it, readers can effectively challenge sexism in ways that work for them.”
—Pearl Wolfe and Evelyn Anderton, domestic violence activists and co-authors of Walk Out the Door
“This book will change your life – and help you change the world at the same time. Bolstered with a deep understanding of inequality and social justice, this is a wise, compassionate, and deeply empowering book that will help you live a safer, freer, and happier life. I have a hard time thinking of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading it.”
—Jocelyn Hollander PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon
Get Empowered isn’t just another self-defense book. This is a comprehensive guide to overall empowerment. Telsey and Taylor not only examine the larger structural context of gender-based violence but they give us the tools that we need to begin to dismantle those structures. They provide a framework for how we can heal individually and collectively from the effects of violence and empower us to move forward, together.”
—Wendy Rouse, author of Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement

“Everyone needs to read this book! Get Empowered is a transformative guide on how to reclaim our power in the face of gender-based violence, offering personal stories, compassionate self-reflection exercises, and a brilliant exploration of how structural oppressions of racism and heteropatriarchy enable gender-based violence. With wisdom and empathy, this book invites readers to embrace their inner strength and intuition, heal from violations and violence, and become catalysts for change in creating a more just, safe and fulfilling society for all of us.”
—Kaira Jewel Lingo, author of We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons on Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption

"I’ve always wanted to take a self-defense class, and reading this brilliant, profound, and useful book makes me feel like I have. But it’s so much more, too. It’s about boundaries and relationships; about living safely and also fully; about taking care of our precious selves. I cried some. I loved it."
—Catherine Newman, author of How to Be a Person and We All Want Impossible Things

“Nadia Tesley and Lauren Taylor offer us the necessary joining of healing practices and an intersectional analysis of gender-based violence. They invite us to uproot the self-blame and self-questioning of internalized oppression, and to develop a foundation of self-love, connection. and confidence. Combining inner and outer work. they celebrate our lives as well as our participation in large-scale social change.”
—Staci K. Haines, author of The Politics of Trauma: Somatics, Healing and Social Justice
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593539200
ISBN-10: 0593539206
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English