A well-known speaker tried to humiliate this woman in front of everyone. She didn't let him.

My friend Tiphani is a young single mom of two, a successful entrepreneur, a best-selling author, and an all-around inspiration.

All hustle and heart, she coaches thousands of women just like her — single moms who others may have doubted and written off — to be entrepreneurial, financially secure, authentic, and, most of all, bold.

Last week, she traveled to an out-of-town women's empowerment conference.

It was a conference for professional women seeking high-level insights on career advancement, wealth building, developing fulfilling relationships, and networking.


On the last day of the event, Tiphani walked up to the audience microphone during a Q&A session to pose a question to a very successful, very well-known man (who shall remain nameless at her request) known for his humorous, practical, and inspirational advice geared toward women.

Not the real Tiphani, but we'll pretend. Photo via iStock.

When it was her turn, she stood at the mic, smiled, and did what most people at big networking conferences do: She identified herself.

With a fun, endearing little nod to the unique spelling of her name that she always includes, she stated her name and career:

“Hi, my name is Tiphani — T-i-P-H-a-n-i — and I'm a best-selling author and entrepreneur..."

Before she could ask her question, the male speaker interrupted her from the stage and said, dramatically, No one cares what your name is!" The audience burst into laughter. Stunned, she stood there as he proceeded to mock her, tell her never to do that again ("that" being both spell her name and mention her accomplishments), and give her a lesson in what he had apparently deemed to be her self-importance and arrogance.

Stunned, she stood there as he proceeded to mock her.

My friend stood there for what felt like an eternity as the reprimand continued, the laughter rolled on, and she fought to keep angry tears from falling.

This confident woman was humiliated for being confident. By a male "motivational" speaker. At a women's empowerment conference.

What happened to Tiphani at that mic may sound like just an ironic and obnoxious anomaly. But it's what happens to so many women every day when they dare to "step up to the mic" in their lives and be their full selves.

Just ask movie producer Effie Brown, who had a public back-and-forth with Matt Damon about diversity on his show "Project Greenlight." On this week's episode, she was portrayed as difficult and annoying for registering similar concerns.

Just ask model and author Amber Rose, who blasted GQ magazine this week for writing an introduction to their profile of her that described her only in relation to her famous exes (even calling her a "baby mama" despite the fact that she was married at the time). She was called sensitive for her objection.

Just ask my colleague Wagatwe Wanjuki, who was ultimately expelled from Tufts University after speaking up about being repeatedly assaulted on campus and receiving no support from the school.

Just ask Ellen Pao, who spent months in a sordid, public gender-discrimination case against the prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.

Every day, women deal with the consequences of boldly speaking up and "leaning in."

Tiphani's story isn't just anecdotal, either. Research shows that women are penalized for speaking too much, speaking too little, speaking with emotion, speaking with too high of a pitch, speaking with certain phrases, speaking while appearing either too sexual or not attractive enough, or speaking while being black or Latino.

“Well, I care what my name is. And I'm going to ask my question."

In an article written earlier this year, Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, authors of the book “The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men — and Our Economy," described the problem pretty succinctly:

"Good things happen for men when they talk, but for women, silence is golden."

So what's a girl to do?

Well, Tiphani refused to be silenced. She stood there and said, voice shaky but determined: “Well, I care what my name is. And I'm going to ask my question."

Women came up to her afterward to show their support and shock for what had happened. She of course turned the experience into a lesson to teach her clients and social media followers a few days later. Because that's what we women do.

We push through and pass on our best practices to other women.

A quick Google search finds no shortage of articles written by women, teaching other women how to speak up — safely, strategically, and, of course, confidently, despite the bias that may occur as a result.

But my question after this ordeal is simple and nagging: Who is teaching the men? And when will they learn?

Until then, we'll keep standing up and being exactly who we are. And as much as I want to humiliate this guy now by putting him on blast, we'll keep him anonymous. Because no one cares what his name is.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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