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  • Writer's pictureSJ Marcotte

Lissa Featured!

I tend to gravitate toward people who have struggled in some way and worked hard to overcome obstacles. Their struggles might not be my struggles, but that does not prevent me from being able to empathize with how far they've come.

Strong Beautiful Woman: Lissa

A woman who writes

What is your purpose?

I try not to define it but let it unfold however it's supposed to. That doesn't mean I let it pass me by, either. I actively pursue those things that wake me up and get me into a groove.

What is at the core of your being? Empathy.

What does society say about what it means to be feminine? My novel, "Woman Enough" covers this well. I tend to get pretty long-winded when talking about this subject. I think there is a significant societal shift happening to change the idea of femininity and I am SO ready for it. In one word, I'd say society says it means: passive. What I think it's changing to: assertive.

How have societal messages about femininity changed in your lifetime? I remember being a young teenager watching Anita Hill testify about Clarence Thomas' alleged sexual harassment. I believed her. Not only was it what I heard unfold on television that bothered me, but the reactions from people at my school. Specifically, the boys calling her a "liar" and "attention-whore". I grew up surrounded by males. This was the first time I realized what a big difference there was between me and them. Her voice didn't matter. My voice wouldn't either. Here we are, decades later and hearing Dr. Christine Ford speak out about her traumatic event with Brett Kavanaugh. I woke up in the middle of the night in New Zealand to watch, hoping this time it would be different. I believed her. Her story was even more relatable for me, now as an adult. Unfortunately, her voice didn't matter. My voice wouldn't either. How has it changed? We are in the fourth wave of feminism, starting in 2012 with the help of social media. Women are making more connections, reaching out to one another to compare notes, to stand together and say "me too" and "enough is enough". We don't have to be passive anymore. Even if we aren't believed.

How do you define femininity? I don't, really. I picture it as energy, specifically light. Within that light there is also anger, frustration, sorrow, grief. There's also kindness, peace, uncertainty, empowerment, loud at times and soft at others, courageous, sexual, resilient, intelligent, emotional...endless!

Upper left photo: Hing Kur, Vermont

Describe a time when you felt feminine and were not conforming to societal messages. Last January, I participated in Janu-hairy. I let the hair on my legs grow long, something I'd never done. Given that is summer down here, it was hard to do wearing shorts and skirts. I got a lot of looks and felt shamed. So weird! But I also felt really empowered not caring what others thought. It took me a while, but I got there. I felt deeply feminine when I gave birth with all the blood and mucous and whatnot. I also felt it when I had a miscarriage and openly spoke about it.

Talk about a way in which you choose to influence the world around you for the better. By not being passive. Speaking up, speaking out, writing about my experiences as a woman, and listening. A lot of people don't just listen. Hopefully I can help amplify marginalized voices.

Talk about the role writing plays in your life.

Writing has always been a form of coping for me while growing up. It’s been a way for me to process, a way to better understand myself and the experiences I’m having at the time. Creative writing has been an extension of that- a way for me to explore different worlds, different perspectives, and let those perspectives be heard. It’s humbling to be able to share those perspectives with others through a story.

Talk about a way that the "world" has influenced you for the better. There are too many influencers to list here. Nature always turns me on and I am truly fascinated by people.

Describe a time when you felt totally badass. When I stand at the ocean shore looking out where the ocean & the sky meet, I am humbled beyond belief to have this life. And that makes me feel badass.

When I gaze up at the stars & realize how very small I am, yet I was chosen to exist to see those stars shining, that makes me feel badass.

Who inspires you? I tend to gravitate toward people who have struggled in some way and worked hard to overcome obstacles. Their struggles might not be my struggles, but that does not prevent me from being able to empathize with how far they've come. I think that's why I love seeing artists get recognized for their hard work. Having grown up in the theatre, I appreciate every aspect of putting on a show. I also understand the self-doubt and fear that many artists struggle with. Yet they persevere...mostly not for the recognition but because something greater than them propels them to do so...and then they achieve something they never thought possible. {I think that's why I love award shows so much!} I also really cherish people who are authentic. I have no time for bullshit.

Superpower? Communication.

At the heart of a strong beautiful woman is: Resilience!


Lissa's Book "Woman Enough"

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