A FEMINIST VOICE

Photography & Concept By: Rie Rasmussen
@rierasmussen

Photographer, mother, artist, feminist, and occasional agent provocateur Rie Rasmussen photographs seven remarkable women and discusses what being feminist means to each of them.

Aura Friedman /Hair Colorist
@auracolorist 

Imagista: Why do you think society raises ‘good girls’ instead of powerful women?
I think this depends on your parents, my mom was a single parent, I really got to experience the struggle that not only women have in this country but also how tough it is if you are not American.  My mom always told me to earn my own money and never depend on men to take care of me.

Imagista: And what do you think the consequences of raising obedient girls are? 
I think the extreme case of a girl that’s been raised obediently would be the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping.

Imagista: What defines a feminist for you? 
I realize that no matter how difficult a task and no matter who tries to tell me it cannot happen I create my own path and become a pioneer. Surprisingly the beauty industry has very little woman at the top, which is strange since it’s an industry that caters to women. I’m working towards changing that… And won’t take no for an answer. Woman should always empower each other!

Imagista: What outrages you most about today’s society? 
The fact that men/ corporations can decide whether birth control should be covered by insurance, birth control should just be given out for free!

Imagista: What’s your biggest fear & subsequently your biggest love?
The unknown!  

Hannah Vandermolen /Artist
@hannah_Vandermolen

Imagista: Why do you think society raises ‘good girls’ instead of powerful women? And what do you think the consequences of raising obedient girls are?
I think women have long been taught to be polite and held back.  Even though times have really progressed I think perhaps this upbringing is just historically ingrained in our society.  Tough women are often seen as unattractive or bitchy.  It’s a social flaw that I think is being amended but it’s taking a long ass time for us to get to where we need to be on the power scale.  This makes women feel lesser, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of or intimidated by asking and demanding just as much out of life as men.

Imagista: What defines a feminist for you?
A feminist is any person who believes all humans should be treated equal regardless of sex, gender or sexual preference.

Imagista: What outrages you most about today’s society?
I think there is still a lot of mistrust and even hatred for the pioneers of a more open-minded, liberal and equal society.  Hate-mongerers really upset me, and I’m ashamed they have had such a strong voice in America for so long .

Imagista: What’s your biggest fear & subsequently your biggest love?
My biggest fear is losing my drive and inspiration.  My biggest love is being a creative force and exploring, sharing and learning as much as I can in my short time on this earth. 

Klaire Odumody Taylor / Journalist
@klairemarie

Imagista: Why do you think society raises ‘good girls’ instead of powerful women? And what do you think the consequences of raising obedient girls are?
I think society puts more of an emphasis on women being so-called ‘good’ as opposed to ‘powerful’ because powerful women upset the status quo, or what has been perceived as the natural order of things. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing.

Obedient girls are not necessary a bad thing, so long as they are not subservient or taken advantage of. The key is to raise common-sense and wise girls.

Imagista: What defines a feminist for you?
Well, my definition of feminism is outdated and negative. I am not sure we still need ‘feminists’, but if pressed I do believe a feminist should be about respect and acceptance, regardless of a woman’s choice. Women should celebrate women and not focus on competing with men.

Imagista: What outrages you most about today’s society?
Celebrating mediocrity.

Imagista: What’s your biggest fear & subsequently your biggest love?
I am fearless. And my biggest love are my kids and the Universe, because it conspires to give me what I want. ;o) 

Martha Kring Lilja / Medical student, Denmark
@marthalilja


Imagista: Why do you think society raises ‘good girls’ instead of powerful women? And what do you think the consequences of raising obedient girls are?
I think it’s a hard question. I am a twin and I grew up in Denmark & I have never felt that I was raised differently than my brother, or have had better or worse opportunities than him. Though I am aware that in society there is a stereo typical perception of Men and Women – roughly summarized by declaring Men strong and scrupulous while Women are sensitive and easier to undermine. One of the consequences I see with this is that it becomes harder for young girls to see themselves in Top positions since they don’t have as many role models to look up to.  

 Imagista: What defines a feminist for you?
My mom always says that here will not be Equality before there are equally as many men as women in business class. To a certain degree I do agree with her but she is perhaps a bit stronger in her convictions than I am – but hun also had to fight much harder for her equal rights than I.  She was born in the 50’s. 

Imagista: What outrages you most about today’s society?
To be completely honest – the horrible treatment of immigrants and those who don’t take care of the environment. I think that far too many people are extremely closed minded when they aught to open up their arms to people with lesser resources than them. As well as the people who close their eyes to the fact that we are polluting both the atmosphere and all of our food sources – those are the two things that awakens my anger and shocks me the most.  

 Imagista: What’s your biggest fear & subsequently your biggest love?
I will soon commence my first year of medical studies in Copenhagen and without a doubt my biggest fear is that I will not be able to treat my patients’ illnesses correctly, or sufficiently – both physically and mentally. At the same time that which will give me most joy will be to help people who have the most urgent need for medical care – to be a member of doctors without borders is one of my biggest ambitions.

 

Mei Ofusa

Imagista: Why do you think society raises “good girls” instead of powerful women? And what do you think the consequence of raising obedient girls are?
I think it comes from fear. Being different and acting outside of the gender norm scares people. If a girl acts like a bossy pants or if a boy acts like a little sissy, people make fun of them or they worry about these kids being different rather than supporting them for being unique. Raising “good girls” is the laziest way to bring up a child in the world because she won’t cause troubles, she would obey rules and she’ll listen, but is it worth it to kill her personality? She’ll grow up without an ability to find her own voice, and she’ll be scared to express her opinions. Why are so many of us scared to speak up in public? Why can’t we be more free without the fear of judgement from others?

Imagista: What defines a feminist for you?
My classmate from mid school said, “the perfect marriage is when two people are completely capable of living without the spouse’s resources and be able to divorce at any second but they choose not to.”  It’s cliche but it’s a financial independency.  Growing up seeing my mother not being able to divorce just because she didn’t have a job made a strong impact in my mind that I need to have a job.. forever, till I die, no matter what. Money should be used to create freedom not restriction.

Imagista: What outrages you most about today’s society?
Young women supporting Trump. I couldn’t believe my own eyes.

Imagista: What’s your biggest fear and subsequently your biggest love?
Moving backwards. I felt like we just stepped backwards in spite of all the hard work of previous generations. But I have a bigger belief in our generation. We have the power to put things back on track, correct our mistakes, change the gear and move forward. If we are encouraging and empowering ourselves without any fear, we will see the truth and speak up with our own point of view. We should never stop putting our voice out there.

Stephanie Moore /Dancer / Model / Drummer
@stephaniemoore007

Imagista: Why do you think society raises ‘good girls’ instead of powerful women? And what do you think the consequences of raising obedient girls are?
I think it’s a power issue for society. I think the consequences would just be intimidation…and a power conflict of who wants to run the show.

Imagista: What defines a feminist for you?
Someone who doesn’t take a mans shit.

Imagista: What outrages you most about today’s society?
Being told I’m crazy because I don’t have a set routine and not knowing what I’m going to do next. I just want to create and inspire the world by also finding myself along the way. Each experience I encounter will eventually piece together and create its own routine and foundation when it’s ready.

Imagista: What’s your biggest fear & subsequently your biggest love?
Biggest fear is not being able to say no and putting myself in predicaments that I don’t want to be in and/or not standing up for myself in times of need. Taking to much shit from people.