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Weekender | ‘Pink Power!’ author shares life story, political experiences

Jamie Lober empowers women to change their lives

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012 13:11

At 21 years old, Jamie Lober, then an ambitious senior at Indiana University, did the unthinkable: she ran for mayor of her college town of Bloomington, Ind. During her campaign, Lober emphasized her experience working with the city government, businesses and schools, as well has her role as a student and community organizer for non−profits. Despite her impressive resume of civil service, Lober lost the election to the incumbent. Yet, a loss at the polls could not and did not stop Jamie Lober because she had something on her side driving her onward: pink power.

Jamie Lober is the embodiment of “pink power,” which is essentially girl power reimagined. As she says on her website, “Pink power is what you have achieved when you realize it does not really matter who you know or how important you are, when you do not let someone betray you twice, when you stop caring what others think about you and when you look out for yourself and stop trying to please everybody.”

After losing the election, Lober graduated from college with a double major in Spanish and political science and wrote a book about female empowerment and the collective strength of women titled “Pink Power: We Girls Can Do Anything!”

Lober was motivated to write the book after realizing that, through her experience running for mayor, she had inspired and touched many people along the way. Her book is simultaneously a biography and a rulebook for women about how to become more assertive in pursuing what they want. In her book, Lober views her own experiences as instructional and aims to share what she’s learned with the world.

“The more people I met and shared stories with, the more people said to me, ‘You could write an amazing book having all of these experiences at such a young age,’” Lober said. Indeed, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, who is one of Lober’s mentors, taught her to reflect on one’s own experiences — positive and negative — after she lost the election.

“It is important to put a defeat into perspective when you think of those who have suffered real loss like jobs, healthcare coverage, retirement security or investments,” he told her.

And that she did. By turning her political losses and civic service experiences into teachable moments, Lober was able to share her life lessons with the public, with the hope that other women would be empowered by her story. Writing a book proved to be another challenge, like running for mayor, for her to take on and devote her energy to.

Lober reflected that she was initially interested in running for mayor because she had a growing desire to help better the city where she attended school and felt she had the potential to make a difference.

“I had chaired innumerable student and community organizations,” Lober said. “I was ready to chair city council.”

Lober believes that volunteering and working for grassroots politics empowered her run for mayor. She added that a crucial aspect

of self−empowerment “is the notion of the power of the individual and the ability to have choices and make them, rather than being forced into a system.” At 21, Lober felt very qualified to tackle any challenges.

After the election, she earned a master’s degree in psychology from Walden University. She now dedicates her time to talking about women’s health and sexual health issues across the country.

“It’s really my passion to teach women how to take control of their bodies and know their rights to be free from harassment, coercion and violence, which are unfortunately common on college campuses,” she said.

In light of Angie Epifano’s “An Account of Sexual Assault at Amherst College” published in The Amherst Student on Oct. 17, as well the follow−up response, “It happens here,” published by an anonymous Tufts student on “In the ’Cac” on Oct. 19, Lober’s notion of pink power is incredibly relevant to women on college campuses. Her book aims to tell girls that they are in the driver’s seat of their own lives, and they alone control their destination. Knowing your rights, she explained, is a large theme of the book, though it plays into the hand of the “knowledge is power” cliche. Lober stresses this point in her “Girls’ Bill of Rights” — 10 rights that offer wisdom to young girls and women through the scope of Lober’s experiences.

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