A Woman's Guide to Claiming Space: Stand Tall. Raise Your Voice. Be Heard.

  • 4h 11m
  • Eliza VanCort
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2021

For too long, women have been told to confine themselves—physically, socially, and emotionally. Eliza VanCort says now is the time for women to stand tall, raise their voices, and claim their space.

Women fight the pressure to make themselves small in private, professional, and public spaces. Eliza VanCort, a teacher, consultant, and speaker, provides the necessary tools for women to rewrite the rules and create the stories of their choosing safely and without apology.

VanCort identifies the five key behaviors of all “Space Claiming Queens”: use your voice and posture to project confidence and power, end self-sabotage, forge connections, neutralize unsafe spaces, and unite across differences. Through personal narrative, research, and actionable strategies, VanCort provides how-tos on combatting challenges like antimentors and microaggressions and gives advice for building up your “old girls” club, asking for what you're worth, and owning your space without apology.

Bold, fun, and enlightening, this book is birthed from VanCort's incredible story. Having a mother with schizophrenia forced VanCort to learn to be small and invisible at an early age, and suffering a traumatic brain injury as an adult required her to rethink communication from the ground up. Drawing on these experiences, and those of real women everywhere, VanCort empowers women to claim space for themselves and for their sisters with courage, empathy, and conviction because “when we rise together, we rise so much higher.”

About the Author

Eliza VanCort is a Cook House Fellow at Cornell University, an advisory board member of the Performing Arts for Social Change, and the creator of a highly regarded talk commissioned by MIT that focused on mentorship and institutionalized racism. She is the founder of the Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca and has dedicated herself to empowering women of all experiences and backgrounds to claim space. VanCort gave a 2018 TED Talk called “Women, Power and Revolutionizing Speech,” in which she shared her personal story and offered concrete yet transformative tools for real change.

In this Book

  • Foreword
  • Introduction—Unapologetic Bravery—How to Fly without a Cape—Be Your Own Hero, and Claim Space without Apology
  • Posture
  • Voice
  • Body Language
  • Know Your Worth
  • Disconnect from People Who Would Make You Small
  • Forge Connection
  • Why Not to Lie like a Sociopath
  • Crazy Feminist Bitch
  • Boundaries Keep You Safe
  • Find Your Compass
  • Anger, Bullying, Sexual Harassment
  • Microaggressions
  • Interruptions
  • Mansplaining
  • The Need to Be Right Will Cause You to Do Wrong
  • There is a World White People Can Never Fully See
  • Understand What You Were Given
  • How Not to Be a Foke White Person
  • Creating Safe Spaces for All
  • Conclusion—Conversations in the Sunlight
  • Notes