Conversations

Published on July 16th, 2019 | by Landon Buford

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Gina Cloud on Empowering Women to Break Through Societal Stereotypes 

Photo Credit – Nate Taylor

Gina Cloud is a deeply devoted teacher, author, speaker, and advocate of all things women. Using the extensive body of work she has developed over the last 25 years, Gina – who considers herself a rebel and a revolutionary – is determined to free women from the societal, biological, and personal prisons that they have endured for millennia. She is passionately committed to spearheading the evolution and revolution of the ideologies that “define” and confine women, while at the same time further empowering men. GinaCology, the overarching concept behind all her work, teaches Gina’s self-created and self-lived principles for women to live authentic and empowered lives. And her book “W.O.M.A.N., A New Definition,” imparts a new and liberating perspective to them, free of media stereotypes, myths, and the oppression brought to bear by the “definition” of who they should be. We caught up with Gina to discuss empowering women, her book, what inspired her to write it, and more.   

In today’s climate how important it is for women to showcase authenticity as role models for the next generation?

It’s more important than ever because if we don’t stop this runaway train that teaches girls from an early age to value their external appearances over their true, authentic selves, there will be more violence against women, more depression, and self-loathing that sets in as girls become women. And that patriarchal system will stay in place, wreaking havoc on not just women’s lives, but men’s as well. Women modeling power from within, strength, beauty as we age, using strong, clear voices for expression, saying no — both hell no and hell yes — will allow this next generation to stay connected to their internal power and their voices and to stop apologizing, playing small, or being silenced via biological manipulation. When girls see women being powerful from within and not using their bodies as power, they will want to emulate that, to become that themselves. Can you feel how passionate I am about this? [laughs]

You authored the book “W.O.M.A.N., A New Definition,” a book about free of media stereotypes, myths, and the “definition” of who women should be. How do you think society feels about strong and independent women?

I think our society talks a big game about wanting women to be strong and independent, but in reality, I think it’s a lot of BS. When women really do stand in their strength and independence, there seems to be a consistent backlash. Often they’re called b*****, when the same behaviors from a man would be respected. I think that we aren’t there yet in really valuing strong, independent women. And I think, too, that a lot of women are uncomfortable embodying that strength for fear of being judged too much, or “she’s so difficult.” Most women still want to follow the “nice” code of wanting to be accepted; so rather than saying what’s so, clearly and directly, many back down so they’ll be liked. So both men and women I think struggle with the idea of strong and independent women. We have to be willing to be that, unapologetically, in order to promote the greater acceptance of our power.

What inspired you to write your book? 

From an early age, I just didn’t believe that how I looked was my value and my worth. Even though I was receiving that programming everywhere I went, including from my family. As I got older, I realized that there was a different definition of womanhood that I had been living by, one that allowed me to be authentic from the inside out, and to openly reject society’s “suggestions” on how I needed to be/do womanhood. In essence, I was listening to my own inner voice. I had rejected what I was taught everywhere about what a woman is and how we are supposed to show up in life. I decided I was going to do what I damn well pleased, and not to apologize for it. A big part focused around how I felt my biology was a gift, a strength, not a weakness (as women are taught), that I had access to wisdom through my menstrual cycle (and the cyclical wisdom that came through me every month), that my sexuality was a force within me, and not something to treat casually, that being a biological female was such a gift. I knew that if I had access to this wisdom and these gifts, that other women could, too, and so I wrote the book to help women everywhere remember who we really are and what we can be, if we drop the biological, sociological and personal imprints about being female. That we could define ourselves any way we want to. I also wanted men to listen in on the conversation, and they did!

 

Photo credit: Nate Taylor

What helped to shape your views on women’s empowerment?

Honestly, it was a message that lived inside me. Through the years I’ve had people call me a pioneer, a revolutionary, a rebel, about how I view life as a woman. I seem to have a gift that allows me to listen from within, instead of becoming part of society’s programming, and to give voice to help others find their own authentic empowerment. I’ve always been drawn to women who are in their power first, and don’t focus on their external beauty as their power, but simply one aspect of it. I also consistently observed that society has a big problem with women who are both powerful and beautiful. Like, it’s okay to be powerful, but those women I observed in the mainstream were very masculine, having adopted behaviors associated with men being successful, or you could be beautiful, like models and actresses. But if a woman was both, it seemed to be much more difficult to be accepted.

Thankfully so many women are changing that now, and so many men are really letting go of the patriarchal model that used to make them see women in that very sexist light. Men along the way in my life also helped to shape my views because I found that there was so much respect directed towards me for being strong, independent and outspoken — for my love of being a woman, for being willing to say what I needed, what wasn’t working for me, to communicate with integrity, to be open and soft, and to own the power of my biology. It was incredible for me to see how interested men are in women’s cycles and the mad respect they have for women’s power via our biology in that way, as well as givers of life. So all of these things, and so many more, really shaped my views. 

What is your educational background? 

Out of high school, I went to UCLA, but found after a year+ there that I wasn’t a fan of “mental institutions.” I needed to be outside of the box, that I’m more auto-didactic. But I did end up going to court reporting school and having a long career learning everything there is to know about damned near everything. I can talk to an elevator repairman or a rocket scientist. It’s an obscure profession. I have been a student of dance (and performer) in many, many forms, and dance remains my first love. I’m also a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, and picked up all kinds of healing modalities, as well as being a life coach. 

What are your thoughts about the crowd spontaneously yelling for equal pay after the USA Woman’s Soccer team captured the trophy at the World Cup, as well as, in New York during the Ticker Tape celebration? 

What’s to say? Other than, “Duh!” Why does that even have to be discussed? It’s insane to me that this is still a topic for discussion in 2019. We deserve equality in all ways.

What advice do you have for women who are in mid-level management seeking departmental or executive positions with their current company? 

Stop trying to people, please. Speak up, speak out. Be clear and strong and true to yourselves. I really feel that women do business differently than men, that we are more collaborative, rather than competitive. Our corporate model isn’t good for men or women, in my opinion. It’s brutal and dehumanizing in many ways. But for women that I’ve worked with that come from corporate models, it is even more debilitating. If you’re shut down for speaking up, find another job. You might say, “Right, Gina, I’ve got bills to pay.” But how much soul-sucking do you want to experience in your life? Is it worth the paycheck? And this is true for men, too. Many of my ideas cross over to all genders. In work, it’s about respect as much as achievement. If you’re not being respected, if you’re being used, overworked, underpaid, get out! How are you not valuing you? You can only be abused by anyone else to the degree you are abusing yourself. So work on your own self-worth. Breakthrough your family of origin issues. Almost all of us have worthiness issues, so we put up with less than what we deserve and devalue ourselves because of deep-seated and longstanding childhood issues. Work through them. Face them. And once you start to see your worth – to love yourself and to develop and use your voice as a power portal – your entire life will change.

For more information on Gina, please visit: ginacloud.com


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About the Author

Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.


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