Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.
To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.
It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.
The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.
Today’s interview is with another one of my musical female friends like Lauren and Claire, but I met her in Nashville on my first trip to Tennessee a few years ago. Meet one of the best vocalists I know, Therese…
My weight should not mentally effect me as much as it does… but I was born into a society where women were supposed to look and dress and act a certain way.
Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).
I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…
Current location: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Born in: just outside of Detroit, Michigan, USA
Hiya Therese, what makes you a woman?
Well, the fact that I have 2 X chromosomes!
But seriously, what makes a woman special for instance is her tenacity, her strength to endure, her selflessness when taking care of others, her sweet and nurturing nature, her ferocity to protect her loved ones at all costs, her intuitive ability to multitask. I believe I have these qualities in my own way.
Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?
Naturally, I would have to say one of the women I respect most would be my mother. She raised five kids all on her own making minimum wage.
If something broke at home, she’d figure out how to fix it herself. Electrical, tiling, grouting, painting, light carpentry… she’d fix it. She would fix it because she didn’t have anyone else who could help and definitely didn’t have the money to hire someone.
Instead of buying new dresses for my sisters and I when we were little, she would get some fabric and sew them herself.
This is the image of women I grew up with; strong, independent, and self-sufficient.
If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?
I believe the types of jobs I do are pretty genre-neutral.
I sing, teach music, work at a music union and DJ. Those are all jobs that nobody has an issue seeing a strong, assertive woman performing. I know that is not always the case with all jobs or in all places, and I empathize with the women that have to deal with unequal pay, job discrimination and even harassment in the workplace.
Unfortunately, I don’t know one woman who has never been harassed at some point in her life, either publicly or privately. For others, it happens everyday.
Society has been patriarchal for a long time… but it wasn’t always like that. It is not natural for humans. I believe it may stem from insecurities of males trying to compare themselves to the women that made them. Women create life. Then they raise, nurture, love and take care of these lives forever. That’s a tough act to follow for some men who maybe aren’t as emotionally-invested.
So, I don’t really know what it would be like as a man since I’ve always had to deal with the consequences of being a woman in today’s society. I used to dress down and wear an over-sized camouflaged coat, just to go to a store in Detroit hoping that would draw less attention and less catcalling.
I think that’s partly why I still wear a hat and glasses almost everyday; to be somewhat incognito. I can tell you that I would not make women feel like some men have made me feel. I would hope to have the consciousness to treat everyone as equals and not fall into the status quo of societal male behavior.
However, I am very glad to see that people are finally waking up to this injustice and doing something about it now.
What do you struggle with the most in life?
I will be very honest and say what I struggle most with in my life is my weight and size. As an outsider, it seems silly to worry and get depressed over something like this. I have all my limbs, and I am generally a healthy human being. My weight should not mentally effect me as much as it does… but I was born into a society where women were supposed to look, dress and act a certain way.
It is so ingrained in my brain, that even after it became normal to see a plus-sized model, I still cannot fully see myself in the same beautiful light.
My mom, as strong and independent as she was, even kept a magnet on the fridge my entire childhood that read, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I don’t think she was aware of the lasting effects that can have on a young girl. I’m learning to love myself now, after almost 40 years on this planet, but it is a difficult task, seeing as these ideals have been set in my subconscious from such a young age and on.
I can look at another full figured woman and see her beauty. I’ve even had thousands of people in my life tell me that I’m beautiful… but until I can let go of these ingrained concepts of what a perfect woman should look like, I will continue to struggle with this and will not be completely happy and in love with every part of myself.
What do you enjoy the most in life?
I enjoy singing and teaching above all else. If I am not doing these two things, I feel a part of me is missing. I love singing because it is my emotional outlet. I get to unload all of my emotions and feelings into my song and rejuvenate my spirit. I’m also glad that this is something I can do to not only help myself feel better but can also enrich other lives as well.
I love teaching because I love spending time with children. I love being around their pure and unadulterated spirits. I love seeing the spark in their eyes every time they discover new talents and skills. I love helping children achieve their dreams while building strong life values and lasting confidence. This is what fuels me.
What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?
Love yourself! Love all your “imperfections”. Love the good and the bad. And don’t let anyone ever make you feel less than. You are all beautiful with your own charms and have the ability to do anything you want on this earth. Be nice to yourself and others, and be a support and role model for other women in your community.
What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?
Love yourself, too! Love yourself enough to not fall into the misogynistic and sexist actions that too many men still do out there. Treat everyone as equals and with the same respect you would give your own mother, grandmother or child.
Try to imagine things from a women’s point of view and be sympathetic to our needs and emotions. And if you do find yourself thinking a particularly sexist or demeaning thing, correct your perspective immediately and try not to make the same mistake again. We can all grow and change. Let’s change for the better.
What is your dream?
On a superficial level, my dream is to make enough money doing what I love that I can afford everything I need and still have some left over in the bank. If I ever had an abundance of money, I’m sure I would donate to others in need, for I truly believe we are all equal and deserve the same opportunities.
On a deeper level, I dream for happiness. I dream of getting back to a clean and healthy planet the way that Mother Nature intended. I dream that someday, we will all live in harmony again with each other and our earth.
I dream to end jealousy, insecurity, greed, waste, superiority, sexism, racism, and anything else that doesn’t align with a pure and happy soul.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to add that men can be pretty amazing, too, just like my dear friend producing these articles. Ryan is a bright and beautiful soul, and I often find myself seeking his advice and unconditional support. I believe we can truly change this world for the better because of people like Ryan. I love you, buddy, and thank you for this opportunity and acknowledgement!
Follow Therese on facebook here
Thanks Therese xo
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