A Mother’s Prayer and a Daughter’s Dream: The God Box just made the New York Times bestsellers list!

I am so excited to share this incredible news. The New York Times just named “The God Box” to their bestseller list. This is a huge thrill for me and I can only think of Mom who was the reason for the story and more than that, the reason I believed I could write. Even though I can hear her now saying, “I knew this would happen,” I have to admit, I am over the moon with joy, gratitude and that feeling that comes with doing what you love. Thanks so much to all my friends and family who were behind me every step of the way. This is your story, your success too.

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Back Atcha


This week’s New York Times piece “Backlash:Women Bullying Women at Work” raises an issue I get ticked off about. (Not enough to shove someone, like the “FemBullies” in the article supposedly do, but pretty darn mad.)  Because although there are bullies of both genders, I think women get the worse rap. 

Whenever I’ve spoken about workplace stress, someone asks, “Don’t you think it’s harder to work for a woman than a man?” inevitably followed by “My last boss was such a B___, (rhymes with “Witch).” Women conveniently file bullying male bosses under “whatever”. But women can’t get over being badly treated by another woman. 

Why are we harder on women? Because we expect more. We expect a woman to be fairer, more understanding, more ‘like me’. Sometimes she is. Sometimes, she’s just a jerk. But she’s neither forgiven nor forgotten and her memory lingers like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tempers.  

Why does this tick me off? Because every time a woman piles on this myth, she’s hurting the chances for other women to advance. In fact, she’s hurting herself, too. If the powers that be buy into the watercooler line that ‘a woman will never fly around here,’ she won’t. Men and women are equally capable of being terrific colleagues. Mean-ness doesn’t discriminate by gender. (And one wonders, who inadvertently taught women bullying tactics in the first place?) 

C’mon! We are bigger than these petty schoolyard antics. (Even if sometimes we’d like to slug someone.) 

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BFFs make you healthier!

I was thrilled to see today’s New York Times and Tara Parker Pope’s  column (I heart her writing SO much)that confirmed that friendships among women actually correlate with better health.  It makes perfect sense.  More than once I have been inspired by a friend who starts a new regime.  My online group of moms made sure that I didn’t ignore my lingering flu and I never knew what sassy water was until I ran into my friend Jen at a shoe store.  (She has lost more than 100 lbs and is worth listening to!) My mammogram was easier to handle because my friend told me what to expect. 

“In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn’t terribly well appreciated,” said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. The experts have spoken and I say Hell Yeah!

While much of the evidence is anecdotal (women with more friends have less stress and therefore get fewer colds) there are some long term studies to back up the theory.  So hooray for women’s friendships.  Plus I will live to be 200 years old since I’m still friends with my mates from pre-K (and pre-Facebook).

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Now We Know Why it Works!

We’re big fans of Tim Manners’ Reveries.com because it gives us our daily dose of marketing inspiration. But this piece really hit home. Tim writes about a new book by Dacher Keltner called “Born to be Good,” which reveals the power of touching and of sharing emotions. Manners quotes a review by Janet Maslin of The New York Times, “that laughing, blushing, touching, teasing, loving, empathizing and other not-very-scientific-seeming subjects can be methodically analyzed in terms of their importance to our survival.”  She continues that “A professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Dacher’s methods include elements of social science, neuroscience and clinical psychology.” Dacher explains, for example, “that touching … is a physiological way of encouraging cooperative behavior (and) that embarrassment is a way to deflect combat.”

At Just Ask a Woman, we all breathed a collective “ahh”. For the past ten years, we’ve been the kind of touchers and the empathizers that add up to a marketing research traditionalist’s worst nightmare. Not a session with women goes by without a LOL from Jen, a sympathetic nod from Tracy or a hug from me. While it might seem more Oprah than Einstein, we’ve intuitively found that women open up to those who open up to them. It’s only natural. I’ll tell you about losing my dog when I realize it happened to you, too. I’ll admit that I took a bite out of a coffee cart donut, (a freebie from my favorite purveyor Nazir) and then you’ll tell me you ate an extra roll at dinner. Leading the witness? I don’t think so. Feeling her pain, regarding her dreams, reaching for what she’s hidden from someone else? That’s the way women work. Glad to know that science is catching up!

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July 24, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Go There

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