Fierce Females: Crystal Lee

Crystal-Lee

What is it that empowers you most?
I am a grounded person because of my spirituality. It connects me in a meaningful way to people, events and myself. Through that connection I feel a call to action to live responsibly, speak my truth and follow my heart.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
Living with my heart open is what I love most about myself. It’s a challenge that I make consciously everyday. It takes a lot of strength to knowingly choose the higher road in situations that could easily turn into anger, fear or a number of other negative emotions. Staying open hearted always brings me through my life situations in a beautiful way and enhances my life.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Big comfortable blankets make me feel beautiful. When I am comfortable, warm and happy it is the best feeling in the world. When I am happy I feel like my smile is 10,000 miles long and it’s beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Gandhi had a huge influence over me as a young adult. I feel that his teachings and more so the way he lived his life promoted courage, an intense amount of resilience, and selflessness for the purpose of a cause. Seeing what he and others have accomplished with a minimal amount of resources shows the power of the human spirit.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Coco Chanel. I saw a film on her and she rocked my world. She created the pants look for women. She bent to no one. She took risks. I loved her for this.

 

“My biggest life goal is to impact individuals in a powerful way with my songs.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
If I could be a fictional female character for a day it would be Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I have always loved that story and would love to see what wonderland is like. It’s pure imagination. It would be impossibly fun to take on the Jabberwocky or to play croquet with the Red Queen.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to impact individuals in a powerful way with my songs. To be a voice that reaches someone at the right time, in the right way to give them a feeling or an inspiration that improves their moment. Eventually my goal is to work full time writing a recording my music and spending time working with other artists around the world with the craft of songwriting.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment with my career, is releasing my first EP “Drive” with Grey’s Fool. It was a songwriting project that I started with a friend that grew into an amazing year of studio work, travel and performing. The record features Grammy nominated musicians and sound engineering. I could not be prouder.

What is your favourite quote?
“You already have everything you need to succeed”. I heard this quote from a spiritual teacher and it haunts me. Every time I think that I need this or that to accomplish a goal, that quote is whispered in my ear then I find another way of accomplishing the goal.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12 year old self “You are okay and you are loved”.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means that as a species human beings are allowing the barriers to fall and the blocks that our minds put up based on physical identifiers are moving into a thing of the past. Men and Women are capable of so much greatness. Equal means equal. Equally capable of succeeding and equally capable of failing. I think it is amazing that we have a word to define the command for equality. I see everyone as equal.

Crystal Lee Morgan is a Singer/Songwriter from California and Hawaii.
Connect with Crystal Lee: Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Fierce Females: Crystal Lee

Quote: Common

Common

“The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to the people in Hong Kong, protesting for democracy. This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings.”

Quote

Fierce Females: Alyson

Alyson

What is it that empowers you most?
Knowing that my time here is finite. This might scare most people, but personally knowing that I only get one shot at this crazy thing that we call “life” – one shot to experience as much as possible, to push myself to do things that I’d never imagined, to love deeply and fully, and to try to leave a positive impact – motivates me like nothing else.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my sense of humour. I’ve been told I’m pretty quick-witted, which is a compliment that I hold in the highest esteem. I just adore making people laugh, and there’s nothing quite like sharing a really good belly-laugh with your friends – especially if it’s over a joke you’ve made!

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Working out, especially lifting weights. In the past year I’ve started to really focus on my health and well-being, and going to the gym has become an important part of that routine. I’m not a power lifter or anything, but there’s something incredibly rewarding about being able to pick up really heavy things and put them down again!

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Carl Sagan. I re-watched the original “Cosmos” series again a few years ago on a lark and what stuck with me was Carl’s wonder, not just at the vast, impossible beauty and mystery of space, but of what we’ve accomplished throughout our history as a species. He always conveyed such a hope for what we could accomplish if we all just worked together and focused on the bigger picture, and that hope and reflection is something that I’ve tried to internalize and bring to my daily life. I’m endlessly inspired by his wonder and amazement at everything. His reading of “Pale Blue Dot” makes me cry every time I listen to it.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt, hands-down. That woman was fierce as hell and took a stand on a lot of touchy subjects like racial issues and women’s rights, even going as far as to publicly disagree with her husband on a number of occasions. Can you imagine the balls that would have taken? He was the President of the United States! Her Wikipedia is just a giant list of huge accomplishments, one right after the other, peppered with badass quotes about not getting pushed around or taking flak from people.

 

“I remember laying in my bed in my apartment and being unable to even get out from under the covers because everything felt so hopeless”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Amy Pond, from the Doctor Who series. She’s one of my favourite companions because she’s a really clever, resourceful, and complex character who packs a ton of sass. I was rather “meh” on the Doctor’s sidekicks until they introduced Amy, and she’s still my favourite. I’m also completely swept up by the idea of being able to travel across all of space and time and see the universe.

What is your biggest life goal?
Professionally speaking I’d like to eventually move to freelancing full-time, but personally (and more importantly) I want to learn to not be so hard on myself. My relationship with my parents, my mother especially, is extremely messy and left me with a lot of negative feelings about my personality, my abilities, my future, my relationships… you name it. I also carry around a tremendous amount of guilt about pretty much everything, and judge myself constantly for “not being good enough” for anything that I’m doing. Which I realize is silly because I’m doing it, but I struggle to turn off that negative little voice in my head, you know?

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Going to university. When I was 19 I literally walked into a really safe, secure government job. I was making almost 40k annually, I had amazing benefits, vacation time, and of course coveted job security. But I was utterly miserable. I remember laying in my bed in my apartment and being unable to even get out from under the covers because everything felt so hopeless; this was my life now and there was nothing else to look forward to or accomplish.

I decided to apply to the Rhetoric and Communications program at the University of Winnipeg, and when I announced my decision to my family they freaked out and my dad actually stopped speaking to me for several months. I was living on my own at the time and my parents refused to let me move home, so I moved in with a roommate and put myself through school, graduating in 2013.

It was incredibly difficult at times, but I made a decision and proved to myself that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I’m so happy that I took a chance on myself.

What is your favourite quote?
I have a few, which are:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” – Carl Sagan, “Contact”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
“Don’t give up, you’re stronger than you think.” I actually have this pasted on my mood board in-between photos of Jimmy Carter and Tom from Parks and Rec saying “Treat Yo Self.”

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism is having the courage to initiate dialogues that challenge normative standards of beauty, class, sexuality, etc to effect positive change. It’s everyone working together, supporting each other towards a shared goal of equality, opportunity and respect.

Alyson is a Marketing Manager and freelance Content Marketer in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Fierce Females: Alyson

Fierce Females: Krista

Krista

What is it that empowers you most?
The unknown of tomorrow. No one knows. Life can change so quick. It’s daunting at times but I love looking back and learning lessons.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
That I am caring and loyal. I care immensely about my friends and family. I appreciate them for everything they are and do. The people in my life are the most treasured thing I have.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
When I am still on a high from just finishing some kind of fitness. Whether it be dance, weights, an awesome run or yoga. I feel like I can conquer the day after exercise

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Hmmm tough one. I think I’d say my grandparents. They are so selfless and caring. They have always been supportive of me and what makes me happy. They have taught me so much over the years and even now. I’ve been told I’m an old soul, and my grandparents are the reason behind it. They also spoil me with bacon and baking. Haha

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Does a Disney character count? I’d choose Mulan if so. She was courageous and selfless to protect her family. She is fearless, determined and gets to show up the boys. It’s my favourite Disney movie.

 

“I surprise myself sometimes at how scared I can be but still take a leap forward.”

 

What is your biggest life goal?
To be happy and healthy. I don’t need a million dollars, a big house, to be the president of a business. I just want my health and happiness and my other goals will follow.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Probably what I am today. I surprise myself sometimes at how scared I can be but still take a leap forward. Like moving overseas to a new country. It was a terrifying/exciting change. But I follow my heart and what feels right. I’m determined. It’s not easy being away from home and family, never mind thousands of kilometres away.

What is your favourite quote?
Rise and rise again, until the lamb becomes the lion.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Stop being so serious and just have fun and enjoy being a kid. Bump your head, scrape your knees and let yourself fall. Just get back up again.

What does feminism mean to you?
Equality. To me everyone should be capable to do whatever they want to do and everything they admire to be. Everyone deserves a choice. Whether you are male or female, white, black, brown or blue.

Krista is a Market Development Executive and Co-Owner of a cafe in Gold Coast, Australia.

Fierce Females: Krista

Fierce Females: Adrienne

Adrienne

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me most is believing in myself; I try to have faith that I will have the awareness and strength to meet every situation with an open mind.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I’m not sure if I can point out one bit that I love more than the rest. I really try to love it all, and to accept it all equally, even the stuff that stereotypically might be considered “ugly” or “bad.” I think all the parts of us serve a purpose, and so it is all worth loving.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
When I’ve just taken a shower and I’m clean! On a physical level, I feel most beautiful when I’m well rested and have something to smile about. Most importantly, I feel beautiful when I feel clear in my mind and open in my heart.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I don’t really have one. I think it can become troublesome when we put other people on pedestals, because they are bound to fall. I think everyone is just trying to figure it out, and that is completely fine and human. There are people who demonstrate qualities that I admire, but I focus on embodying the quality, not the person. For instance, one of my friends who is in her 50s and has three daughters, a husband, two cats and a dog: I am so inspired by how she takes care of those around her and is willing to give her time and energy to support those she loves.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
When I was little, I really admired Athena, the Greek Goddess – I was inspired by her strength and fearlessness, which I felt I needed more of in myself.

 

“Don’t let people tell you that you are too young”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
It’s tempting to live in fantasy, but I think I’d rather be myself.

What is your biggest life goal?
To cultivate a state of being that is pure awareness, free of judgement or analysis. And eat lots of good food.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I’m pretty pleased with myself when I am able to get out of bed every morning! I don’t know if I can choose that…I’d like to think that my biggest accomplishment is the next thing I do.

What is your favourite quote?
“Maitri karuna muditopeksanam sukha duhkha punyapunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam” – which is line 1.33 from the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. It translates to, “By cultivating an attitude of friendship towards those who are happy, compassion towards those in distress, joy toward those who are virtuous, and equanimity toward those who are non-virtuous, lucidity arises in the mind.” It clarifies for me that the yoga practice isn’t just about the physical, but about relationships and life.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
Trust your intuition. Don’t let people tell you that you are too young, too this or too that. Trust yourself.

What does feminism mean to you?
Equality for all.

Adrienne is a Yoga Instructor, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counsellor, Kirtan Wallah in Winnipeg, Canada.
Connect with Adrienne: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Blog

Fierce Females: Adrienne

Fierce Females: Steph

Steph

What empowers you the most?
Knowing I have a support system behind me that is filled with unconditional love, humility and no judgement. This small group of incredible people, empower me in my brightest and darkest times.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
When I eat healthy and take care of myself, I feel most beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Without a doubt, my parents. My mom has this ability to listen wholeheartedly and give incredible advice without passing on any judgement. I know she inherited that from her mom and I hope to do the same with my child one day. She’s so generous and empathetic to all who surround her. My dad is a brilliant business man who has taught me so many things about succeeding and growing. He too, has a heart of gold. I can honestly say I’m a 50/50 mix of the both of them. I’m so blessed to have them as my parents.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I have a lot of people I admire.

Crystal Pite is a female cultural heroine that is someone who inspires me in my career. She’s the Artistic Director and founder of the dance company Kidd Pivot. The best part, she’s from Canada! She’s a brilliant choreographer who speaks about her work so passionately and intelligently. Seeing her shows blow my mind! I also love Amy Poehler. If I wasn’t working as a choreographer I would definitely be doing another passion of mine, improv. Amy Poehler is the epitome of cool and someone I definitely look up to.

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Cat Woman. I love how she’s been both superhero and super-villain. It would be interesting to be inside the mindset of both sides.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I think one of my biggest accomplishments in my career is going to happen in a few months. (But I’m not allowed to say right now…!)

To date, I feel the biggest accomplishment was making the move to Toronto. I’ve done lots of amazing things in my career and am so grateful for the awards, shows, videos and other projects I’ve worked on. None of this would of been possible if I didn’t make the move. So, good job 21-year-old Steph! Way to take the plunge!

What is your favourite quote?
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich

What is your biggest life goal?
To be happy, heathy, confident, kind and always be on time for the rest of my life!! I have big career and family goals/ dreams, of course. If I can manage to be all of those things listed, I think I will have a steady and strong base that will allow me to attain my future life goals.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
Girl, those braces will be so worth it!

What does feminism mean to you?
For women and men to have equal rights and mutual respect for one another.

Steph is the founder of Rutherford Movement Exchange in Toronto, Canada.
Connect with Steph: Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Fierce Females: Steph

Fierce Females: Dani

Dani

What is it that empowers you most?
Knowing that I am a strong, independent woman who can take care of myself and survive some pretty tough situations. I was raised (mostly) by a single mom and it taught me that independence is one of the greatest tools a woman can have in her toolbox!

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my ability to strike up a conversation with anyone. I guess that comes from my natural curiosity – I was born curious and I love to hear peoples’ stories. I take pride in the fact that people feel like they can open up to me.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
No makeup. Comfortable clothes. Bare feet…. I love being natural.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My mom. Truly. Being raised by a single mom and going through some pretty hard times – and most importantly – getting through these hard times on top has really made me realize how strong my mom is, and it didn’t really hit me until I became an adult. She has taught me so much about being strong, and graceful, and a good, kind, generous person even when life doesn’t necessarily deal you the best hand. I am so proud to be her daughter.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Michelle Jean. I admire that woman as much as one can admire someone they’ve only met once. She is, first off, a strong woman in politics – but she is also a talented journalist and generous humanitarian. She also is just genuinely kind (I had the pleasure of meeting her once, in a star struck daze). I have always aspired to be like her.

 

“I feel like my biggest accomplishments are still to come – and I’m looking forward to that. I feel like I’m just getting started.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day, who would it be and why?
So, this is lame, but probably Katniss from The Hunger Games (the books). She totally embodies a strong female and kicks some major ass…. but she’s got a sensitive side, too.

What is your biggest life goal?
To go to bed each day feeling fulfilled and proud of even one small thing I accomplished that day. I want to live a full life and feel like, even in some small way, I’ve given back to this world!

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I don’t think I’m there yet. While I’ve accomplished a lot in 25 years, I feel like my biggest accomplishments are still to come – and I’m looking forward to that. I feel like I’m just getting started.

What is your favourite quote?
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Learn how to let things go. Holding on to things and people who hurt you is a bad habit to form.

What does feminism mean to you?
Living equally. Being a strong, independent woman, who doesn’t rely on anyone to get through this life.

Dani is the Communications Specialist at Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Winnipeg, Canada.
Connect with Dani: Twitter

Fierce Females: Dani

Fierce Females: Adele

Adele

What is it that empowers you most?
Team work. Working with others towards a common goal. Supporting, encouraging and challenging each other and achieving results.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
My positivity. There isn’t much that can get me down.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Dancing naked around the house.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
At the moment, I’m a big fan of Amy Poehler. She is so eloquent about feminist issues, and she’s also funny as hell.

My mother. I want to be exactly like her when I grow up. She’s selfless, tough, full of energy and no one would ever mess with her.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Joss Whedon. Not a heroine, but a champion of feminist sentiment. He writes the most badass and complex female characters. And when asked why he does this, he answers “Because you keep on asking that question.”

 

“Just keep on doing what you want to do, you will be happiest when you are just being you.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Lesley Knope from the TV show “Parks and Recreation”. She is passionate about what she does, and just keeps on slogging through all the bureaucratic BS of local government to achieve her goals, which are always about making life better for others. And she eats a lot of waffles.

What is your biggest life goal?
To take my future children around the world. To teach them about and also experience other cultures and histories.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Making people laugh.

What is your favourite quote?
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Just keep on doing what you want to do, you will be happiest when you are just being you. People who don’t appreciate your individuality aren’t worthy of being part of your life.

What does feminism mean to you?
Freedom.
The beginning.
Striving for equality not just between the genders, but for absolutely every single human being on this planet.

Adele is an independent performing artist and producer in Melbourne, Australia

Fierce Females: Adele

Fierce Females: Natalie

Natalie

What is it that empowers you most?
Those countless evenings, over countless bottles of wine or pitchers of beer, spent with friends, telling our stories. Sharing myself, my thoughts and my struggles with those I make my life with, and receiving the same from them. Nothing empowers me like knowing I’m not in it alone.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
My tenacity. I don’t shy away from a challenge. Inside, I may very well be completely terrified and insecure but I always seem to manage to pull it off. I love that I am prepared to fight for what I believe in and what I know I deserve. Whether it’s been in my professional or personal life, I look back at what I’ve accomplished in 24 years and I even impress myself!

Physically, probably my hair. It’s taken me years to accept my crazy, incredibly thick, already graying hair. I cut all of it off – and I mean all of it – last spring. It took me getting rid of it to really learn to love it! Sometimes I joke that last spring I broke up with my hair and I’ve spent the last year trying to get it back.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Swimming alone. Long swims, shorts swims, whatever. There’s nothing like feeling what you’re body can do to truly appreciate it.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
As you can probably tell by my answers, I have trouble narrowing it down to one answer. I am incredibly lucky to have so many role models in my life, it does a disservice to everyone I admire by picking one.

So here’s to my family who pushes me to be the person they know I can be, but still loves me no matter what kind of naïve life choices I make. Here’s to my partner who doesn’t cease to amaze me with his kindness, silliness and love. Here’s to my intern partners-in-crime who stayed up late, drinking wine and talking shop. Here’s to my roller-derby loving, fucking cool coworker who takes me to emerg and talks gender and identity politics with me. Here’s to my book club, talking literature and feminism over so many bottles of red. Here’s to my friends here, across the country, and across oceans, whether it’s in a pub in Hackney, a run-down flat in Arras, a classroom at Carleton, or in front of a game of Catan, you make me who I am.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Leslie Fucking Knope: Leslie on Parks and Recreation is this tornado of a woman: hyper-competent, strong, and loving. Oh and hilarious. Leslie has already left us with so many legacies! Galentine’s Day anyone?

Liz Fucking Lemon. It doesn’t help that I have hair like Lemon and dance like her too, so I feel a weird sort of kinship with Lemon. I remember watching 30 Rock for the first time and just being floored at how human, how weird, how funny she was. So many jokes about eating night cheese, self-esteem and periods!

And, of course, Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. I love how strange, funny, and tender she is all at once. She’s not afraid to be herself, with all her zombie loving, horse-girl weirdness.

 

“To look back on my life without too many regrets; to know I lived.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Amy Pond from Doctor Who. She’s so fucking kick-ass and so whole a character. She gets to go on crazy adventures, kick seriously alien ass, love two guys at once, hang out with the Doctor and live in the Tardis. Plus, it also doesn’t hurt she has the best hair.

What is your biggest life goal?
To look back on my life without too many regrets; to know I lived. Oh, and to maybe write a book of poetry.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
In the abstract, having that feeling that I’m becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.

In a more concrete way, personally, pushing myself through my Masters degree – which I hated. It forced me to learn about my limits, and undergo some very real, very personal discoveries. If anything it was an education in myself as much as an education in Comparative Politics. It still surprises me that I actually finished it. How many people can say they have a Masters’ Degree by 22?

What is your favourite quote?
I tried to narrow it down to one, but I always seem to come back to this excerpt from Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions about our shared existence:

“… without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

There’s also nothing like a good one-liner: Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. – Churchill

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Everything you experience is building you into the person you need to be. So be proud of yourself, be proud of that person, because you are the sum of your lived experiences, and you’re only going to get better, stronger, and fantastic.

What does feminism mean to you?
The beauty of feminism is in its variability. It can mean so many things to so many people. So I’ll tell my story, my feminism. I’ve self-identified as a feminist for years, but since leaving school, leaving my safe bubble of equality and like-minded friends is when I finally had to face what it truly meant to experience that drag of the patriarchy.

This past winter, as part of my internship, we traveled to Ottawa to meet with the usual suspects: politicians, lobbyists, journalists, and the like. So much of that week involved sitting in rooms, filled with privileged (white) men, being talked down to, being told how difficult it is for women in government, being told how nice it was to see women interested in politics – as if interest in politics was some hobby I had.

It’s not as if we hadn’t met with any women during that week – we met with several strong, very successful women. But for the most part, it was the same over again. They didn’t want to talk about being a woman – fair enough – but no one was willing to talk about the elephant in the room: that extra pressure, that insecurity that comes creeping in the back of your mind when you’re sitting at a table surrounded by men. That insidious voice that tells you you don’t know what you’re talking about, that your opinion doesn’t matter, that you don’t belong.

Then we met with Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East.

I will say, no matter how silly it sounds, she fucking got it. She laid it all out. She gave me words for what I was feeling. That feeling of powerlessness, of self-doubt, of insecurity. She spoke at length of how so many women self-select out of jobs of power. We feel unqualified. Women tend to resist applying for high-powered jobs unless they feel completely qualified. We self-select out. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough to make change. This is when it shifted. In those moments when I feel insecure, unsure of my voice, I think back to that idea, that I am limiting myself, limiting my voice. This is feminism. It is the ability to think, to feel, and to be equal.

I need feminism because at the end of the day, no matter how empowered I feel, no matter how accepted I feel, and no matter how equal I feel, there are moments when I catch myself second-guessing my place in the world, my place at the table, my voice, my power, my presence. Feminism gives me hope, it gives me a place, it is what gives me the power to tell myself “yes you do belong”.

Fierce Females: Natalie

Fierce Females: Ashley


Ashley

What is it that empowers you most?
I feel highly empowered when watching the fruits of your labour come into fruition

What is it that you love most about yourself?
The thing I really love about myself, would have to be my sense of humor…I think I’m really fucking funny.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I’m dancing.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I don’t really like this question. I mean there are people I admire, and would like to emulate, and learn from. But I don’t have one single person that is my “go to” for a role model. It would be a mixture of Oprah for her insight, Marilyn Monroe for her captivating and intoxicating beauty, Maya Angelou for her wisdom and Kate Moss for the fashion flair muse.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Refer to previous.

 

“Being a dreamer is one of the best thing god has instilled in you.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
If I could be a fictional character it would be Samantha from Bewitched. I love a good witch and plus with a wiggle of the nose, I could have anything I wanted.

What is your biggest life goal?
Biggest life goal. Traveling

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Opening hush hush closet, and getting my driver’s license for the 2nd time

What is your favourite quote?
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch . You have to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
Being a dreamer is one of the best thing god has instilled in you. Keep dreaming and keep believing. And that boys are dumb and they always come back :)

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means being a badass bitch getting things done for herself, by herself.

Ashley is the owner of Hush Hush Closet in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Connect with Ashley: Website, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram

Fierce Females: Ashley