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12 Months - 12 Inspirational Women - Jodie Ortega

12 Months - 12 Inspirational Women - Month Three

Jodie Ortega – Feminist - ARTivist

Photo Credit: My City Photos, Vancouver.

Photo Credit: My City Photos, Vancouver.

My first interaction with Jodie was over Twitter. After I had watched her Ted Talk I was blown away by her incredible message and luckily for me she was speaking at the Body Love Conference I was attending the next day. Watching her speaking live was just as inspiring as I had hoped and in person she was warm, funny and a total all round badass. I knew she needed to be featured in this blog series as the world needs to know this incredible woman and hear her story!

Why Jodie is inspirational:

 

1. She is a proud survivor

From the age of four Jodie began to be sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Not only that, when Jodie was 14 her grandfather would take her to a house in the next neighbourhood where she was raped by other men.  When her family found out about the abuse they didn’t disown her grandfather and her grandmother (who was complicit in the abuse) and they did very little to support Jodie.  Instead, Jodie’s family never brought up the subject again. Due to speaking her truth she has minimal contact with her family.

Jodie about 3 or 4 years old, around the time the abuse started. 

Jodie about 3 or 4 years old, around the time the abuse started. 

 

2. She is a total badass

One of Jodie’s biggest fears is public speaking and so what did she do? Only a blummin’ TEDx Talk called “Breaking my Silence - Healing Thrives in Conversation” where she incorporates rap with her incredible story for one of the most powerful talks you’ll experience. She speaks often and with passion at various events empowering survivors and educating others.

 

3. She supports others

Even though Jodie gets a continuous stream of hate mail from people who disagree with her speaking out against sexual violence, she still continues with her head held high. She is a volunteer of SNAP (Survivors Network of the Abused by Priests), even though that was not her personal experience. When the film Spotlight was screening in cinemas, she went into local churches and left movie ticket stubs inside bibles. She speaks out about domestic abuse and uses her voice to support women and men from all walks of life, most recently during WINGS Monarch Place’s Purple Lights Campaign, where her story surviving domestic abuse was featured in the New West Record.

Jodie is the front row with her head in hands.  She says "I look at this photo and it makes me smile, makes me realize that maybe I was born to always stand out.  This was taken in my dance class in Brunei."

Jodie is the front row with her head in hands.  She says "I look at this photo and it makes me smile, makes me realize that maybe I was born to always stand out.  This was taken in my dance class in Brunei."

Jodie’s Top 3 List:

 

Top 3 Favourite Books

  1. Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury
  2. Sex At Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan
  3. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon

 

Top 3 Influential People in your life

  1. My child
  2. Hip Hop Artist Brother Ali
  3. Former NHL hockey player, author Theo Fleury

 

Top 3 “Ah-ha” moments

  1. Enriching conversation with Brother Ali, the Hip Hop artist whose song, "Babygirl" changed my life
  2. Reading for the first time paragraph 4 in page 2 of Theo Fleury's book, Playing With Fire
  3. Public speaking engagement in California, where I have the earliest memories of my sexual abuse

 

Top 3 successes in life

  1. My child understanding consent, gender equality and feminism at a young age
  2. Learning love in the space of a healthy relationship
  3. Breaking my silence publicly and not giving a fuck what people think

 

Top 3 things people should try today

  1. Call out symptoms of rape culture immediately when you catch it
  2. Vulnerability
  3. Turn off the radio and discover hidden gems in the underground Hip Hop scene

 

CONNECT

You can follow Jodie on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Victoria is a Confidence and Body Love coach at BAM POW LIFE. Learn how you can be exceptional at whatever you turn your hand to with free advice by signing up hereRead more articlesand register for her sublimely entertaining online courses.

 

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