Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Motherscribe Interview Series: the 3rd interview...

My 3rd interview is with a 46 year old woman living in Florida. She is single, and works in commercial real estate. She has chosen to remain Anonymous for this interview.

What does the word feminist mean to you? Has the meaning changed over time? Unfortunately, the image that pops into my mind when I hear the term ‘feminist’ is that of a small group of angry women attempting to force their views and values on other women who may or may not share those views. This is unfortunate, because I believe that promoting women’s issues is important.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? No, I would consider myself a humanist, meaning I believe all humans are created equal regardless of gender.

Would others consider you a feminist? No.

What are some images that come to mind when you think of the women’s movement? Angry womyn wearing Birkenstock sandals and mis-spelling words like womyn and herstory. (And I say this as a woman who actually owns and wears Birkenstock shoes, while managing not to be angry.)

What was the greatest gift of the women’s movement? The right to vote.

What was the greatest failure of the women’s movement? Making women feel guilty for wanting to stay home and care for their children.

Did your mother work outside the home? Yes.

How did that affect you growing up? I missed her while I was growing up, but as an adult I am very proud of what she accomplished.

What impression did that leave with you about women working outside the home? Only that women choose to work outside the home for economic and personal reasons.

Was your mother a homemaker? No.

Did your father respect your mother? Absolutely, he actually pushed her to get graduate degrees and pursue her career.

Did your mother respect your father? Not so much unfortunately.

Who were your earliest female role models other than your mother?Actually the stay-at-home mom of my friends on the swim team.

What did you dream of being when you were a child? A stay-at-home mom, a writer, a neurosurgeon.

Was getting married/partnered a conscious goal or focus early on in your adulthood? Absolutely, although the desperation dropped off considerably after I turned 40. Now I only want to be married if it’s to the right man..

Is there an event(s) that affected you in childhood/adolescence that impacted your identity in a positive or negative way? My parents two year separation when I was 11. My mother left home and then came back, unhappily.

Have you ever dieted? Constantly.

Are you happy and/or comfortable with your weight?
No. I’ve gained thirty pounds in the three years that I’ve been home from overseas and have not been able to lose it. On the other hand, I work out two – three times a week and recently completed a 5K, so I’m in good shape, just overweight.

Would you describe yourself as someone with “body issues?” If so, when do you remember this starting? What do you attribute it to? No. Even with my weight issues, I’ve always liked my body.

What do you wish your mother had told you about marriage, life, anything…that you didn’t hear from her? My mother has been more than open on the subjects of marriage, life, etc. Sometimes too open for my comfort! ( I tend to be viewed as the conservative prude of the family). I think the most valuable thing she taught me, by example, was the value of education and the importance of pursuing your dreams....but also the costs of doing so.

What role did your father play in your childhood? He took me to swim practice, went to all my swim meets, drove me to college.

What was your relationship like with your father? I was his ‘pumpkin’, which I guess says it all.

How do you feel about aging? My mother is a wonderful role model for aging well, she’s 81 and has more energy than I do. I look forward to growing old….my greatest fear would be to lose my mind along the way, on the other hand, I suppose if I lost it I wouldn’t know enough to mind!

How do you feel about plastic surgery? It’s a personal choice. At the moment I wouldn’t do it myself, however, that may change in 10 years…I just don’t want one of those perpetually surprised looks.

How do you feel about the sexualizing of young women in our society? It’s horrible, most of all for the young women who feel they have to live up to impossible standards.

Did your mother or another caretaker talk to you about sex and what to expect? She bought me a copy of The Joy of Sex when I was a senior in high school, but told me she wanted me to remain a virgin until marriage!

How was your first sexual experience? Fantastic, I was very lucky.

What makes you feel sexy? Being in the company of a really smart man.

Do you have the energy/desire for sex at the end of the day? Any time of day is good for me.

What turns you on? Really smart / successful men.

What would make your sex life better? See above.

What do you do for a living? I am in commercial real estate.

Do you enjoy being single? I enjoy it more now in my 40s than in my 30s. I’m more at peace with myself.

Would you like to get married at some point? Absolutely, though at the same time I’ll be okay if I don’t.

What are you looking for in a mate? A kind successful entrepreneur, who likes my dogs and shares my beliefs and likes to travel.

Would you like children? Why? I will be happy either way.

Are you afraid of having children and that changing you/your life? No. I think children are a net plus, however, I seem not to be on that path.

How do you combat stress? I go to the beach and read.

Do you get out regularly with friends? Not as much as I’d like.

Do you feel that if you were married your life would be complete? No, I feel if I owned my own home my life would be complete.

Are you happy and/or fulfilled with your life? Why? I’m getting there….if I can pull off the BIG MOVE this year, that will take me a long way on the happiness trail.

What do you yearn for? Marriage and a white picket fence with a view of Lake Tahoe.

Thank you, Anonymous.


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