Fierce Females: Slut-Shaming on The Bachelorette

Kaitlyn Bristowe

“A slut is someone, usually a woman, who’s stepped outside of the very narrow lane that good girls are supposed to stay within. Sluts are loud. We’re messy. We don’t behave. In fact, the original definition of “slut” meant “untidy woman.” But since we live in a world that relies on women to be tidy in all ways, to be quiet and obedient and agreeable and available (but never aggressive), those of us who colour outside of the lines get called sluts. And that word is meant to keep us in line.”

― Jaclyn Friedman, feminist, writer and activist

So let’s talk about The Bachelorette, yes I watch The Bachelorette, The Bachelor and the Bachelor Pad. I keep my life low on drama so I need to get it somewhere!

The first episode The Bachelorette Season 11 aired on May 18. This season was met with mixed emotions as to how it was all going down. There were two favourites for this season Kaitlyn, a dance instructor from British Columbia and Britt a waitress from California.

In the end the show decided to have both of them, they would meet the 25 men and then they would pick who they wanted to remain for the duration of the season. This caused quite a stir on social media with fans and the Bachelor/Bachelorette Alum. Former bachelor Sean Lowe who found his wife on the show wrote a blog on why he thought this was a bad move for the new season.

“It’s downright degrading for the women – for the two chosen and the women watching at home. This move transfers the power back to the men on the show specifically designed for the women.  As one tweet said, ‘Once again, you’ll have women competing for the attention of men.'”

– Sean Lowe

Alas, this season was highly anticipated by fans. After 2 hours of drama on Monday and an additional hour on Tuesday, “Bachelor Nation” was getting vocal.

It was eventually revealed that the men decided on Kaitlyn. She was “the luckiest girl in the world” and now had some time to sit down and get to know the guys. She had to let a few of the men go at the end but it was a pretty tame show until the “bomb” dropped when they showed the season preview.

Now, I put bomb with quotations because it really shouldn’t have been a big a deal. In the preview it seems as though Kaitlyn has sex with one of the men, she is then seen talking to the men saying, “we had sex”. Now whether this is just a good editing job to make the season look more dramatic than it is or it actually happened it DOESN’T MATTER. The show did a good job of making Kaitlyn look like a villain for doing what many women do when they are dating, have sex.

So because show opened the slut-shaming door judgements shall follow. Now, people are entitled to their opinions but to slander someones name all over the internet is disgusting especially when you are passing judgement on someone you don’t know.

All you britt haters are going to wish it was her as the bachelorette instead of trashy kaitlyn by the end of the season when you find out what happens. Britt is so classy. I can’t stand kaitlyn and her potty mouth. She’s looking to be comedian, for a hook up and a good time. Not marriage material and someone you bring home to mama. I would much rather watch britt’s gorgeous face than constant licking teeth and trashy tattoos. Britt is classy and was actually looking for love. Big mistake abc! At least britt ends up the real winner!

– Ashley Hightower via Facebook

Comments like the above are juvenile they are setting us back instead of supporting and helping us grow stronger as a gender. Have a friendly debate or talk about it with your friends that agree with you. We live in a free country and you are allowed to disagree, have your own opinion and not support her actions but just because it’s on national television does not make it your business.

Everyone is jumping to conclusions and saying horrible things about someone they don’t know when we have no clue what the context is, or what happened. I’m ultimately disgusted with how people reacted but I am glad there was a significant number of people that not only called out the individuals for slut-shaming but also the show itself.


 
So she didn’t wait until the sanctioned “sex time” in the fantasy suite, who cares? We all have to remember that she is a human being and should get the same respect as any other human being regardless of what she does or doesn’t do in the bedroom. I commend her for being real, honest and owning it.

If anyone is still confused on how to not slut-shame please read “How Not To Slut-Shame A Woman” via Huffington Post.

Fierce Females: Slut-Shaming on The Bachelorette

Fierce Females: Charlotte

Charlotte

What is it that empowers you most?
I think what empowers me most is that feeling I get when I force myself to do something I’m afraid to do. It doesn’t have to be anything major, it could be something silly like jumping off a diving board! but it makes me think “oh wow I can actually do that” and that builds momentum and allows me to do other things. Pushing through that fear is an extremely empowering feeling.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I think what I love most about myself is my tenacity and work ethic. When I decide I’m going to do something I give it 100%.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
What makes me feel most beautiful is physical activity. I’m a very physical person and exercise makes me feel great. Nothing makes me feel more confident than hitting a perfect spike in a volleyball game or lifting a heavy weight at the gym. I love feeling aware of what my body can do.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I would have to say my dad. He and I are different in a lot of ways but I really admire the way he balances work and family and he always keeps everything together through the tough times. No matter what he always put his kids first. He’s also smart and funny and extremely patient.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Definitely Amelia Earhart. I think people forget how hard it was at the time for women to do what she did. Plus I’m afraid of flying so I’m impressed on that level as well. Also Sylvia Earle. She’s an amazing marine biologist and I’m blown away by her dedication to marine life and the health of our seas.
 

I want to seize every opportunity that comes my way and have a happy and fulfilling life before it’s over.

 
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Ok I’m going to out myself as a huge nerd but I’m going to say Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. First off, I want to go to space in a time where it’s totally safe and normal. Second, she’s an amazing authority figure and commands respect like no one else. It can be hard to identify with female characters on TV and in movies because they are so often one-dimensional sex objects. Janeway however, incredibly interesting and I’d love to spend a day in her Star Trek onsie.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is probably to die knowing that I made the most of my life. I’ve had enough ups and downs over the years to know not to get too hung up on specific goals so I think short-term and extremely long-term. I want to seize every opportunity that comes my way and have a happy and fulfilling life before it’s over.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Even though I’m not practicing at the moment, I think graduation law school and getting called to the bar was probably my greatest accomplishment. It felt good to finally finish something I had worked so hard for. It made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.

What is your favourite quote?
“This too shall pass” It’s use is twofold. I repeat this to myself when I’m experiencing pain but also joy. It’s a nice reminder that all things, good or bad, are temporary. You need to either breath and get through it or breath and enjoy it.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12-year-old self that it’s ok to try things that other people think are stupid. Don’t get too hung up on what others think of you and don’t let yourself be pigeonholed.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means that men and women are equally welcome in the world.  That means that women and men should feel equally welcome in all jobs, geographical locations and social settings and that they should each enjoy equal benefits thereof.

Charlotte is the owner of Hogwash Bath & Body in Winnipeg, Canada
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fierce Females: Charlotte

Fierce Females: Nicole

Nicole

What is it that empowers you most?
I love feeling like a capable, independent woman. Sure, I still live at home (I’ve been in university for 5.5 years, and I have 3.5 to go!), but I was raised to take care of myself. It was never my goal to meet a rich man who can also lift heavy things for me! I am instead empowered by my education and future career which will allow me to be independent; I am empowered by my physical strength and endurance; I am empowered by my integrity.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
As someone who has spent most of her life on self-improvement, this is a tough question! However, I guess I can say that is exactly what I do love about myself–I work hard to do well at the things that I love, because I love them.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
This is a tricky question for me, as it is for most women. As someone who struggled for too many years with disordered eating and self-image, I am all too aware of my love-hate relationship with my body. But it is honest of me to say that I feel most beautiful when I am dirty and makeup-less–after a hard run, ideally in a bit of mud too! It is then that I feel physically capable, and valued for it, rather than valued for my body and makeup.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I always struggle with “role model” questions. Not that there aren’t great female role models out there, but I suppose I would simply rather not completely identify myself with someone else. We’re all unique, and we’re also all flawed. Perhaps it would be fairer to say I find role models for individual aspects of my life; for example, when I ran track, my role models were my teammates. Some of them had such a hardworking drive to excel, but also knew when to listen to their bodies and take a break (this is extremely challenging for distance runners!). They had the right perspective about competing amongst school and friends, which was refreshing to be around.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Cleopatra! Margaret George, one of my favourite authors, wrote an amazing autobiography finally depicting Cleopatra as someone more than Rome’s mistress. She is instead described as a woman of fierce integrity and sophistication, a hallmark female in an age of patriarchy.

“You were valued by others long before grades, times or appearances mattered.”

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
This is a toughie! But I think I have to say that if not Cleopatra, Pocahontas (the fictional, Disney version). Who wouldn’t want to run around in the woods singing great songs all day with your pals, with some John Smith action to boot?

What is your biggest life goal?
My life goal is to find ways to incorporate all the loves of my life: music, sports, medicine and, of course, my friends and family. I find that as I am slowly forced out of the pseudo-adulthood I call university, I am being pushed to concentrate my life in one area–my career. But physician burnout is all too real, and I strongly believe I’ll be a better doctor (and better person) if I am able to continue doing other things I love. How can I preach health, yet not be healthy myself?

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Some would say my biggest accomplishment so far is getting into medical school, but I would have to disagree. I think my biggest accomplishments are to be found in running. As a slightly chubby kid, I loved reading, singing and acting–I was the least bit an athlete, especially compared to my superstar siblings. However, in junior high I discovered I loved running and cross country skiing. Although hardly a natural, I worked terribly hard (to the point of several stress fractures, which are not recommended!) to achieve my goals. No, I never won CIS nationals, but I won my own personal championship by pushing myself to reach my potential.

What is your favourite quote?
I guess this isn’t necessarily a real quotation, but I always liked the phrase “don’t limit yourself”. When I was in high school and a competitive cross country skier, my coaches asked us to all find a mantra or phrase to use when we were really bagged mid-race. I chose: “don’t limit yourself”. I find it still applies to my life, as it’s always tempting to self-limit and give up, but I’ve always been amazed by what I have achieved every time I kept going. This also requires getting over the fear of failure, a difficult task for most of us! Who knew I would run that time? Who knew I would be in medical school? Who knew I would still find ways to sing regularly? If I had limited myself back then, I certainly wouldn’t know it either.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
You were valued by others long before grades, times or appearances mattered. You are still valuable now, to the core, and now it is up to you to value yourself, always, as the dressings of grades, times and appearances will fade away.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means forging your own path towards your ideal destination. Other people can come along for the ride and help you along the way, but they are not to steer you away from your own path.

Fierce Females: Nicole

Fierce Females: Pamela

Pamela

What is it that empowers you most?
Confidence. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t claim to have a lot of it by any means but I have learned after a lot of years of not feeling confident, that you truly can fake it till you make it. If I’m feeling negative about myself of my abilities, I make a conscious effort to tell myself that I can, I am good enough and I will.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love that I can make people feel good. I pride myself on being a good friend and a good hostess. There’s nothing better than having a friend over when she’s having a bad day and being able to make her feel better with a glass of wine and a few snacks. I love making people laugh and smile and I love that I can do that, even if it might just be because I’m a goof and people seem to like it.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I feel healthy. Exercising and eating healthy and just taking care of myself overall just makes me feel good and in turn, makes me feel beautiful!

Who is your biggest role model and why?
Definitely my mom. I am watching my mom go through the hardest time in her life right now and every day I am amazed by her. Her positivity, and her ability to be joyful continue to inspire me every day. She’s an amazingly strong woman and always has been. Aside from the fact that she has had a successful career working for IBM, MLCC and now HP, she has always put her kids first. I only hope to be the kind of mother and person she is some day.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I think Mindy Kaling is pretty damn heroic. She has broken so many barriers and done it all with humour and by staying true to herself. Not only is she a part of an underrepresented minority in entertainment but she’s a real, live woman and she owns it. I encourage everyone to read her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). It’s funny and so wonderfully Mindy.

I also really, really love Taylor Swift more than I like to admit. As someone who works in social media especially, I’m fascinated by her use of the social platforms to interact with her fans. Social media truly allows us to communicate in a way we never have; before social media, celebrities could have NEVER communicated directly with their fans like she does. She’s so nice, humble and truly appreciative of her fans – the people who got her to where she is now. Check out what Taylor Swift did for a few of her fans for Christmas or as it was called, “Swiftmas”.

 

“My biggest life goal is to look back on my life and know that I did all the things I wanted to do”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Does Kim Kardashian count as a fictional female character? I’d just like to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be famous for being famous. Plus, I want access to her wardrobe and I want to see what it’s like to be part of that crazy family, Bruce Jenner aside.

What is your biggest life goal?
I want to live a completely and totally fulfilled life. I want to travel, become accomplished in my career and become a mother someday. My biggest life goal is to look back on my life and know that I did all the things I wanted to do, know that I took chances and pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I would have to say finishing CreComm (Creative Communications program at Red River College), working really hard for a few years and then landing my dream job at Great-West Life. Anyone who’s been through the program knows that before you start CreComm, former students and instructors tell you about all the things you’ll be doing. Things like, completing a project that is so huge, it takes almost a year to complete, performing stand-up comedy and doing a live-hit on camera. These are things that I said, no way, there’s no WAY I’m doing any of that. And yet, here I am. I did them and they helped me get to where I am today.

What is your favourite quote?
I love Dr. Suess quotes and it’s hard to pick just one but if I had to, I’d pick this one:

“Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” – Dr. Suess

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell myself the same thing I tell myself every day now. I would tell myself, you are good. You can do anything and you don’t ever have to compare yourself to others. I struggled a lot with confidence and self-worth growing up and I think it held me back from realizing my full potential, especially in school.

What does feminism mean to you?
The understanding that gender inequality is deeply rooted in our society – recognizing this inequality and fighting against it is what feminism means to me. Almost every stigma, societal norm and media message we consume are deeply rooted in gender inequality or marginalizing of women and minorities. I’m a feminist because I believe it’s NECESSARY to recognize, acknowledge and then teach our children that that’s all it is, that these messages and understandings aren’t TRUTHS, but simply constructs created by the oppressors.

Pamela is a Senior Communications Specialist in Winnipeg, Canada
Connect with Pamela: Twitter

Fierce Females: Pamela

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: Greta, Stella & Sunniva Bondesson

Baskery

 

What is it that empowers you most?
We’ve been around the world making no distance too long, no stage too big, and no crowd too small. Experience in itself is empowering, and watching the results of what you or other independent artists have accomplished without much compromising gives a lot of positive energy and the urge to move forward. And to be honest, a too smooth of a ride could hold you back, so some obstacles in different forms and shapes are things that push and strengthen you. Provocation can sometimes be a trigger too, just like encouragement, so it’s all a matter of the right measurements really. (Greta)

What is it that you love most about yourself?
As cliché as it may sound, but to be able to follow your heart and instincts, not compromising and letting money and too much sense rule you. It’s not something everyone manages to do, so it’s something to be proud of. We also love our talent, but even though we had it from birth, we had to nurse it to develop the skills playing your instruments. Just recently we became aware of the fact that we’re actually professional musicians, all due to our hard work and relentless touring. (Greta)

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Unconditional love from lovers, family and friends is what makes you shine, from the inside out. (Greta)

Who is your biggest role model and why?
There’s no real role model present, but in general, people who’ve chosen their own way instead of following the crowd are always inspiring. Be your own role model if you can, that will make you connect directly with your own actions and deeds. (Greta)

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
There are heroines everywhere, people who burn for something and dedicate their whole beings to that specific thing no matter the costs. We admire Joni Mitchell for what she has done musically and for her independence as a woman in a business that for a long time has been, and still is, male dominated. She’s always done her thing and that’s admirable. (Stella)

 

“to remain true to ourselves, be playful and always break new ground.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Catwoman, because we love cats and always wanted to be able to move like one. Three times Catwoman though, that’d be one busy day for Gotham City! (Stella)

What is your biggest life goal?
To keep from screwing up completely haha. Nah I guess to remain true to ourselves, be playful and always break new ground. You wanna develop as a person and in your profession without pulling away from your own believes. Keep your independence, but don’t say no to a good helping hand just because you’re scared of losing control. It’s a fine line and we’re facing tricky decisions everyday. But the most important thing of all is to be healthy and do what you can to keep your loved ones happy. (Stella)

What is your biggest accomplishment?
To keep this band going, to be self-sufficient. It takes a lot of discipline to manage your career, make crucial decisions and to keep the motivation up. To wake up every day and say “go get them” isn’t that easy. Over time though, you learn what you need to prioritize and what signs to look for out there. It’s an amazing feeling to see the fruits of your labor, knowing that you made it all happen. (Sunniva)

What is your favourite quote?
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” – Aristotle (Sunniva)

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Stay true to your nature and follow your impulses, but don’t ignore advice from others. Be aware of which choices you make, they will influence your whole life. (Sunniva)

What does feminism mean to you?
The word feminism is to me mainly the name of the movement that started in the 60’s. It served its purpose for decades, but I don’t think feminism is a word we need in Sweden today. I would even be radical and say that it creates pity and somewhat undermines the development of gender equality since it is suggesting that women are different from men. Nobody should feel the need to hide behind that word to make themselves heard and stand for an opinion. Women in Sweden today don’t necessary need to regroup to stand up for their rights. There are new groups of the society that suffer from injustices that need to be highlighted but gender equality, which I use instead of feminism, is already a priority in Sweden’s political structures. (Sunniva)

Greta, Stella & Sunniva Bondesson make up the folk rock band Baskery from Stockholm, Sweden
Connect with Baskery: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fierce Females: Greta, Stella & Sunniva Bondesson

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: Teri

Teri

What is it that empowers you most?
I have some great friends, the kind who remind me who I really am when I’m having trouble remembering.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
My creativity, my intuitive nature and my warped sense of humour.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Feeling comfortable in my own skin.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
One quality that tends to be embodied by the people I consider role models: they’re willing to make themselves completely vulnerable by speaking their own truth, even in the face of great opposition.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I’m a big fan of music, and especially music by female artists. Some of my favourite cultural heroines are women who push boundaries in both music and art: Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos. I see Tori Amos’s influence in a lot of the music I adore. When she first broke onto the scene, there wasn’t anyone doing what she was doing, or saying what she was saying. That can be said of Patti & Ani as well. They’re  total bad-asses.

 

“there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from being completely cool with who you are”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because who wouldn’t want to slay their demons… literally.

What is your biggest life goal?
To get to a point where I truly love and accept myself, flaws and all. I think there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from being completely cool with who you are, and being at peace with yourself is the ultimate rebellion in a society that consistently profits by telling you you’re not good enough.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
These days, I’m trying to celebrate all accomplishments big or small, extraordinary or mundane. Today, I’m celebrating the fact that I never take the easy road. I try to stay true to myself, which has sometimes meant going against the grain or speaking up when others would prefer I stay silent. It has meant being brave and taking risks, especially when my first instinct is to run away. It’s not a recipe for a stress-free existence, but I take pride in the fact that I’m willing to push myself outside my comfort zone.

What is your favourite quote?
“Labels are for cans, not people” – Anthony Rapp

“Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” – Brene Brown

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
The best thing about high school is that it ends.

What does feminism mean to you?
My feminism has many parts: Having the freedom to choose the life I want. Pointing out that clinging to traditional gender roles holds us all back.  Celebrating the strength and power of women. Demanding equality in every aspect of society.

Teri is an Community Outreach Coordinator in Winnipeg, Canada

Fierce Females: Teri

Fierce Females: Carolyn

Carolyn

What is it that empowers you most?
It’s the inspiration of beautiful images, music and views.  It’s people doing beautiful, giving things all over the world and the companionship of people across nations and cultures.  We are all human, there are more similarities than differences and I find that quite inspirational.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
That’s a tough question. I find it easier to talk about what I don’t like (my toenails) and what I would like to improve (my memory and spoken language skills). I think maybe it’s that I like most people and generally find interesting and positive things in most people.

What makes you feel most beautiful? 
I like the feeling of being strong and energetic and healthy which I get when I stick to a regular exercise routine.  I was never a sporty child or teen and it was only in my mid 20’s that I really started to exercise.  It took me a long time to realize that while I didn’t like doing the exercise, that I liked how it made me feel afterwards and on a day-to-day basis.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I don’t know that I have a role model.  I don’t think I know anyone or have seen anyone who is doing and living the way I want to live (not that I’ve achieved nirvana yet, but I’m working towards it).

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why? 
All those women all over the world who live quiet lives, with no hope of escaping the drudgery and menial tasks that they need to do every day in order to support their families and in the hope of building a better future for their children.

“Just go for it.  Don’t be scared.”

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?  

One of those Bond girls, but not the ones that die and not Moneypenny.  One of those ones who gets the Bond – don’t care which one – they’re all worthy.

What is your biggest life goal? 
To establish and develop my own brand as a profitable and growing business.  I would like to effectively marry the creative side of my personality and the need for business discipline and success, to be able to independently look after myself, those I care about and those who deserve a break.

What is your biggest accomplishment? 
Completing my MBA.

What is your favourite quote?  
If you will forgive me – it’s not a quick quote.  I can’t think of a quick snappy quote – most of them sound like they are off the back of a bathroom calendar.  So….it’s poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley called “Ozymandius”.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

I love it, because it puts everything in perspective.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be? 
Just go for it.  Don’t be scared.  Or if you are scared, just do it anyway.  Get out of school, but know that you will need to continue your education and learning for your whole life, dump the small-minded careers advice you (kind of) got and go for it doing what you are good at and what you love.  It is possible to make a living doing all sorts of fabulous jobs that don’t exist in your hometown.  There is a huge world out there full of wonderful people who can help.  Find your community by being positive and happy and let yourself enjoy thriving within it.

What does feminism mean to you?
It doesn’t mean man-hating.  It means freedom and not being blocked in your ambitions, achievements and sucking the marrow out of life.  Sometimes I even find it hard to realise when I am being blocked by others, because cultural and societal limitations that are placed on and around woman are so long-standing and can be quite insidious and sometimes they can seem quite well-meaning.  It’s good to hear the opinions of others, the comedy of Caitlin Moran (British comedian) and nothing replaces the wise council of close girlfriends!

Carolyn is a music blogger in Winnipeg, Canada
Connect with Carolyn: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fierce Females: Carolyn

Fierce Females: Kristy

Kristy

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me the most is knowing that I am truly capable of doing and accomplishing anything I set my mind to. And also that I have the power to choose what that is.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I don’t know if you ever need to love just one thing about yourself. Not just as a woman but as a human being I have many pros and cons, positive traits and flaws, ups and downs. What is important is that through my life I’ve learned to love myself, as is, in this moment and every moment. We have to learn to love what we are throughout any situation or journey.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
What makes me feel most beautiful is just being myself. In society we’ve succumbed to trying to always be something else or change what is.

I feel beautiful when I am embracing all that I am and doing things that I love. In those moments I flourish the most and I think that’s when I radiate the most beauty.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My biggest role model is the world around me and everyone in it. Everyone I surround myself with whether it is intentional or not inspires me in a different way. My mother inspires me to be a good partner to the love of my life and mother to my future children. My father inspires me to strive for excellence and to never be afraid to fight for what I want and believe in. My sister inspires me to love myself wholeheartedly and follow my dreams. My friends inspire me to be who I am and cherish my individuality. My boyfriend inspires me to go after anything I set my mind to and inspires me to feel beautiful inside and out. I am inspired daily and constantly from everyone and everything, sometimes without even realizing it.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
One of my favourite cultural heroines is Taylor Swift. She proves that a woman in today’s world can be wildly successful and still remain humbled. She not only has creative strengths, but business strengths as well and still knows how to give back and show love to others around her.

 

“My biggest accomplishment is just becoming the person that I am today.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
My love of music brought me to starting a music blog and my love of dance has left me missing performing and being on a stage. I think for one day, living the life of a female musician performing a concert on stage would be a dream. A lot of young girls grow up wanting to be a “ballerina” and a “rock star”; I think it would be amazing to fulfill this dream side of my life for one day.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to have found the path that I was meant to go down. I am still struggling and deciding what I want to do with my life, but I know it involves owning my own company and something creative. I want to wake up happy every single day, loving what I do and sharing my life with the people I love. Happy and healthy; I don’t need much more than that.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is just becoming the person that I am today. There are many things I am grateful for and proud of that have happened in my life but I am most proud of becoming a young woman in today’s society and being proud of who I am. I have learnt to be comfortable in my own skin and to fight for things that matter to me all while also being responsible and thinking about my future. If I can keep all of those things on track then I feel accomplished.

What is your favourite quote?
One of my favourite quotes is by E.E. Cummings:

“Let it go. Let them go. Let all go. So comes love.”

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?I would tell my 12 year old self to stop trying to grow up so fast. My whole adolescent life I wanted to be older and gravitated to people older than myself. I would love to go back and truly enjoy every single day in that moment rather than always trying to get to what was next.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means that there are no differences, no hindrances, no limitations between man and woman. We are all worthy and all equal of receiving the same opportunities and experiences.

Kristy is a music blogger in Winnipeg, Canada.
Connect with Kristy: Blog / Facebook

Fierce Females: Kristy