In My Shoes Monday: What Fempower Means to Me

It starts with you.
I think for most people, this idea of Fempower is an external thing where you march on the streets and you make bold moves or do something that people can see on the outside as a feminist action or an empowering action. But for me, the most important part of it is the internal piece that no one sees. To me, it means looking at everything that is happening in your life that has socialized you to this point and asking the question: Does that serve me a life I deserve? And that in itself is really the transformative aspect. It doesn’t always have to be on a group level. It really has to be on an individual level. But once that happens, what happens collectively is that the individual transformation becomes the group transformation. 

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There have been a lot of moments in my life where I’ve had thought, “Wow I’ve been playing that smaller than I needed to play it.”

Looking back, my parents treated me and my siblings equally, with four girls and one boy in the family. It was always that my older sister was inheriting the first family business, not my brother. And they never ever put it into my head that because I was female there was going to be a difference. I studied science and math, and everything that was deemed unconventional at a time. My father started the first soccer program for girls because there was only one for boys. So I kind of lived around those conversations and those actions by my parents, who really wanted to make sure the world was carved out in front of us in a very equal way. I really did have a huge advantage when compared to most girls my age, because most girls were socialized differently. 

Madison Mallardi (left) and Michele Gay, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of LimeLife by Alcone

My dad made me change my tire 25 times before I went to college. When I was 14 we would spend time taking a go-kart apart and putting it back together to make it faster. He did those things with me which never made me question if I wanted to do it because I was a girl. My childhood was tinkering with a Go-kart with my father, soccer with my sisters, and being part of the family business. I was lucky in that sense. 

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I can still see that there are points in my life where I’m being held back, but the interesting thing I’ve noticed is that it’s the women who make me feel small. The concept of only women supporting women when they’re suffering is something I see everywhere. If I really rise up and own my power, it’ll be the women who come at me and pull me back and put me into a place of feeling small, speaking in terms of just general society and on social media.

To me, the idea of Fempower is first, being aware of who you are and then second, getting to a place where we are all supporting each other, from a place of struggle and a place of strength. We have to stop judging each other. 

So a lot of what I’ve realized is that for me to make this vision bigger and bigger, I have to expose myself more and more. And, I have to be comfortable with that.
Who is one woman that has inspired you and supported you through times of triumph and also hardship? Comment below!

2 thoughts on “In My Shoes Monday: What Fempower Means to Me

  1. My friend Kim
    She has always been there to celebrate the wins. Support through the stuggles, the first to say Jess ya messed up but you got this, do better next time dont let one bad Moment define your life we are stronger than our moments and kick todays ass.

  2. Officer Laurie Reyes is a woman who leaves me consistently inspired. She is a police officer in Montgomery County, MD who has created the first law enforcement unit to train officers how to manage our community with autism and developmental disabilities. Additionally she works with students of all abilities at various schools to reduce fear and increase comfort level with law enforcement. She is a fierce advocate for justice and kindness and is also smart as hell, caring, innovative and absolutely stunning. Yesterday she spent all morning searching for an adult with downs syndrome who was lost. She comforted the fearful Mom and consoled the adult once he was found. Then she spent the afternoon at my school, The Diener School, sharing her experiences with our students who have many challenges. She is a transformer and a life changer and continues to inspire me daily.

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