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International Day of the Woman - Julie Kagansky

Updated: May 8, 2019

Name - Julie Kagansky

Location - Burlington, ON

Family Fun Notes - Single mom to 2 fantastic kiddos

Occupation/Businesses Water Process Engineer

Degrees in both Biology and Chemical Engineering.

Been teaching group fitness for 15 years now

1. Who is your biggest influence? (Barring family)

Lisa Osborne (Les Mills Internationa, Program Director) duh. She’s always a positive spirit and a hard working mum who always seems to make time for her boys.

2. What do you think is the single biggest issue currently facing women/ feminism?

Toxic masculinity which has created this rape culture that we live in. Once men are comfortable not adhering to these made up gender stereotypes then we can be free to all express ourselves authentically.

3. Since you’ve worked in different industries in different positions throughout the years, do you remember any personal incident where you were made to feel inferior/superior solely for being a woman?

Almost every day. I work in an heavily male dominated field. It started in University when I performed at the top of the class and continues to this day. Women are not taken as seriously in meetings etc. We are expected to be performative of femininity at all times.  I’ve been sexually harassed at and outside of work. As I get older I get tougher. Or just tired. Maybe both.

4. In your opinion, why are traits such as “innocent”, “sensitive”, “nurturing” etc. associated with women as compared to more aggressive, competitive terms for men. How can we best promote a more accepting, gender neutral society?

I think it’s important to understand that these are human qualities. Yes they have been associated with gender, but it’s important to understand that gender is a spectrum. We all have some female or male traits. Some of us are more sensitive, some of us are more aggressive. Having “male” characteristics such as being competitive doesn’t make me any less of a woman; just as a man being sensitive doesn’t make him any less of a man.

5. How do you feel about how women are represented in the media, film and pop culture? Can you see yourself in any of them?

We have a real problem with diversity in the media. Not just race, but body shape/type, ability/disabilities, neurodiversity. We need to do better rather than expect a woman to dress or act a certain way. It’s getting better. When I was little I could never imagine seeing someone who looks like me (biracial/black woman) in a leading role. It’s getting better for my daughter I hope.

6. How do you feel about campaigns like Nike declaring 2019 The Year of the Woman?

It’s obviously feeding into the social climate #MeToo movement right now. It’s all about the benjamins, but I’m here for it. We have to start somewhere.

7. What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation? Or even young boys (to understand about feminism) for that matter.

We need to teach children at a young age that we are all different. There are no girl toys or boy toys or sports etc. And we need to teach both boys and girls ( and other) about consent.

8. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Stop crying about your hair. One day you will learn to love yourself.

Want to be a guest on this blog as a feature or content contributor? Feel free to contact me and let's talk:).


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