How to Be a Powerful Woman: A little story about my mom (and save the date: June 18 or 20)

Let me tell you a little story about my mom.

Back in the 1980s, I was a wee tot going to elementary school in Tehran, Iran. The Revolution had just happened, turning what was a constitutional monarchy into an Islamic republic overnight.

If you’ve never experienced a fundamentalist revolution, it can be a pretty oppressive thing, permeating down to every level of private life. Including schools. Morning rallies with slogans (“Death to America!”), political brainwashing, and fundamentalist Muslim indoctrination were all part of the daily routine.

My smart, secular and highly educated parents put up with most of this, trusting that as a family we could help me & my sister sift the truth from the lies and maintain sanity.

Until one day, the headmaster of the school went too far. He decreed that all the boys would have to get military-style buzz cuts. No reason. Just because.

Now at the time, I had hair. A lot of it. And I liked it on my head. Reasons of aesthetics and vanity aside, being bald was also supremely impractical in chilly Tehran winters. And my mom was not down with the program at all. She liked her son’s curly locks the way they were.

So one day, she came down to my school. Now remember that this is the Islamic Republic, where women’s rights were being systematically stripped, and they were forced to cover their heads with scarves and gradually driven out of public life. But my mom, a doctor of veterinary medicine, former director of the National Dairy Labs, stylish, young and very good-looking, didn’t care about any of that.

She gave hell to the headmaster and every other administrator at my school. “You do not have the right to tell my kid how to wear his hair,” she told him, “or to any other kid, for that matter!”

I never did shave my head, and from then on, the administrators knew better than to mess with me. Apparently it just wasn’t worth awakening the lioness. A few years later, we escaped to Los Angeles, and here we are.

That was many moons ago, so my memory of the day is not exact. But this much I know: when my mom came to raise hell at my school that day, she did not commit any of the 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking that would have diminished her power. When you are surrounded by forces bent on bringing you down, you need to show up in full force and have your voice heard. (How is the weather in Alabama these days?)

That’s why, by popular request, next week I’m doing two more dates of the webinar Charisma Killers: The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking and How to Avoid Them. Although the webinar’s open to all, it’s geared particularly towards smart, educated, badass women like yourself. Use the skills to be more charismatic, get better dates, do even better at work, win cases, defend a thesis, run for office, whatever. So long as you use the skills.

Pick one of the dates below. Exactly 100 spots in each, and they fill up fast, so sign up now. No charge to attend. Tell a friend. And show up!

Tuesday 18 June 2019 @ 3pm PDT/6pm EDT/11pm London/8am Sydney


Thursday 20 June 2019 @ 10am PDT/1pm EDT/6pm London/no time to be awake in Sydney what were you thinking

See you then & there!

Go forth and conquer, 
Dr Ali

Categories: Dating for Women

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