2015 Honoree

Hope Solo

US Soccer Team, Olympic & World Cup Gold Medalist

“Women’s equality is my passion because this is America and we live in the 21st century. I was made to believe that anything is possible, but many times I have seen sexism hold women back from creating new standards and new expectations in their fields of expertise.”

Who inspires you the most?

Malala Yousafzai because she stands up for the rights of women and because many men are threatened by her empowerment. She continues to break barriers.

What do you now know about yourself that you wish you knew ten/fifteen/twenty years ago?

That we all can endure so much more than we ever thought possible, and we can use what we have endured to live a beautiful and fulfilling life.

Fill in the blank: You can never have enough _____.

Experiences.

What city best describes your personality?

Seattle: coffee, mountains, water and a big sweater.

What gets you through even the toughest days and what are you most grateful for?

I get through the toughest of days knowing that it’s only a wave, and in time, it will pass. I have resolved that nobody can steal my happiness, and it’s not something that I will ever choose to just give up.

What socio-political women’s issue do you care about the most? Do you feel that women are typically presented fairly in the media? Why or why not?

I believe it’s our duty to continue to fight for equality and level the playing field, both in sports and in the workplace between men and women. Women’s equality is my passion because this is America and we live in the 21st century. I was made to believe that anything is possible, but many times I have seen sexism hold women back from creating new standards and new expectations in their fields of expertise.

Although there is supposed to be a separation between Church & State, religion still seems to govern many political decisions regarding women–abortions, birth control, etc.–usually from men. What is the best approach to shift power over women’s bodies to women?

We need everybody on board to put pressure on different organizations. During the Women’s anti-suffrage movement when well funded groups led by men argued that women really didn’t want to vote and that they were probably not qualified to exercise it anyway, women used humor as a tactic to get people to listen. We need celebrities, actors and actresses, comedians, as well as different organizations and politicians on board to get the message across in many different ways, and to as many different people, young and old, males and females, as possible.

What is your best read? Favorite character you would most like to be?

Rand-Atlas Shrugged.

My favorite character is, of course, John Galt. He is the physical and intellectual representation of man’s ideal. However, I would probably be most like Dagny because her greatest love is also her worst enemy. She mistakenly believes that the looters are capable of reason, but they are really agents of death and, in time, she joins the strike. I always believe in the best of people, and often times I am the one who is let down for believing in humanity. However, I refuse to ever be hardened by the world. I have accepted that I am naive to the selfish ways of human beings.

What will it take for women to be viewed as equal to men? Are sexist jokes problematic, and how do you feel about people’s view that women should just “lighten up” about them?

I sense fear in the changing of times. There are now women analysts in the MLB and two candidates for a female president. I sense that there are a number of men who live in fear that women will soon be joining them at the most prestigious of seats in all occupations. Their perception of power will be shared, and they might think it’s being diminished. When people fear something, it often comes out as hate and anger. We are on the right path, and change is coming, albeit, this is the 21st century. It’s hard to think that we aren’t at a place of equality already. If woman are told to lighten up, then let’s use humor towards the perception of men’s inabilities and see how well that is received.

What was your best decision to date? Worst decision?

Best decision: choosing Jerramy to share my life with.
Worst: I don’t believe in “worst” decisions. Those not so great decisions have shown me different paths, and have brought about a strong sense of myself and the woman I want to be.

Within the past few years, social media has exploded. How can women use it to market themselves without seeming narcissistic?

With the presence of social media, we do find ourselves surrounded in a “look at me” narcissistic world. One has to find a balance of using it to promote good, and staying away from it for one’s own self worth. I say, go get lost in a book instead of looking at instagram photos.

Write a fortune you’d like for all women to receive in a fortune cookie.

Be yourself.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

I want the ability to fly–to go anywhere, anytime.