It’s the last day of March and Women’s History month. LOL! I will still celebrate because I’m bringing some interesting interviews from women I admire over the next few months. I have been slow to do the interviews and get the questions because of all that I have going on. Please know that you will find them as intriguing and interesting as I do.
With that being said, you need to know this woman’s name. Her name is Lisa and she is phenomenal. She blogs at ZenandPi. I stumbled on her blog from another blogger’s website. Her writing is beautiful. She brings you into her world with her writing and once you are in there, trust me that you will never want to leave. Check out her interview below:
I want to know what you find to be the hardest challenges facing women today? Our gender, our color, our sexual orientation, the economy, our own internal struggles? Any, none or all of the above.
I think the hardest challenge we have yet to overcome is one of inclusion. We are struggling with differences between cultures, varying levels of economic class, and privilege. It is a problem of acceptance and a too narrow view of femininity. Transgendered and non-binary women are being excluded, women of color (WOC) are being pushed aside, poor women are being blamed, and women who suffer in other countries are being forgotten altogether.
Women in the west need to look past themselves and work on bringing all women up before we take further steps. Failure to do this is fracturing the feminist movement and causing a loss of credibility and trust.
I myself have heard many women who are not white, straight, or cisgender wonder aloud if feminism has done anything to help them at all. And if feminists don’t care about them, why should they join the movement?
How do you see this struggle being played out in our daily lives?
It plays out in all of our lives in both big and small ways, mainly through microaggression and misinformation. I think the most affected group would be transgendered, women. I mean, they are still fighting for bathroom privileges for God sakes, and all because other women refuse to fight alongside them in greater numbers. I saw a woman on Twitter just this morning arguing that Trans women should be forced to use a Men’s room. The kicker? She was arguing with a man! He got it and she didn’t. There are other examples and other groups being forced out, but the problem is the same, fear and privilege.
I know you said in your about page that you came from a broken home (me too) do you think this has impacted you in a positive way? I mean, you can’t change the circumstances of your past, but were you able to take that negative and turn it into a positive?
Oh, I definitely think so! My parents were not mature enough for marriage and I think they did us kids a favor by at least being able to admit that to themselves. My parents got along better in their divorce than they ever did in marriage and that taught us that family doesn’t have to look or be a certain way in order for everyone to be happy. A lot of people think traditional family values and roles are what is best for everyone. I know that if my parents had stayed together things would have turned out a lot worse. I think adults who come from broken homes have a special set of problems but they also have a special set of strengths. We are often better at seeing the world in a variety of viewpoints and we are better at acceptance and understanding. Not to mention we know the true value of family and forgiveness.
Do you believe in God or a higher God? Do you have any thoughts on religion and sexuality in the black church?
I was raised a Christian and went to church most Sundays during my childhood with my grandmother. I can’t say that I ever really believed in God, although there were times in my teenage years that I hoped he was real and prayed regularly, but I don’t think I was ever really religious. When I was 17 years old I started going to bible study again at the request of an Aunt. There were a lot of lesbian and gay teenagers in there and one day one of them asked if all gay people went to hell. The teacher said yes, with no hesitation or sympathy, and that was the last day I attended.
I didn’t believe in God much before that, but that answer is what drove me from the church. I have a feeling a lot of people might have gone through something similar and turned away the same as I did.
What are some of the things that you are doing or want to do to give back to the community?
I honestly don’t do as much as I want to for the community at all. I fear what little talent and passion I have lies in writing and art so for the foreseeable future those are the mediums I will use to help my community.
For now, besides sharing my own stories, I try to dedicate at least one post a week on my blog to raising awareness of women’s issues and LGBT rights. I’ll try to share and signal boost posts that give people a glimpse into the lives of people who do not fit into what has been considered “normal” or ideal once a week as well. I look for other queer voices, people suffering from mental health issues and addiction, and stories of poverty, or chronic illness and disability.
In the future I would like to have my own publication, maybe a zine, to showcase those voices. One day…
Has your life’s struggles influenced your writing? How so?
Of all the bad things I have been through the most common feelings were ones of loneliness and helplessness. I was on my own very early in life and I had no idea how to do things like find a job, pay my bills, build my credit, or save money. I didn’t know how to deal with the stress of it all either. I had no idea where to go when I felt depressed or who to call when I had made a mistake. I was forced to be a human island when no man or woman was ever meant to be. On top of all that I got the feeling that if you were struggling in this world it was because something was wrong with you. Your failure is entirely your own fault. No wonder so many of us buckle under the pressure.
My life struggles have shown me that this world has the potential to be a safer, more nurturing, and caring place, if only people would snap out of this mentality that life is every man for himself. We could all be helping one another and that is what my writing is about, ultimately. I want people to work toward being more empathetic and really see the people around them. When you think about it, we all deserve a better life than the one we have been giving one another.
If you could speak with a young woman who feels that all hope is lost and the only way out is death, what would you tell her (as your testimony) to encourage her to not make that decision?
I would tell her that I have been there. I have been hurting and alone and hopeless. I would tell her that life can be so unexpected and beautiful and that in moments like this that can be impossible to believe. I would tell her the light is there it is only that she cannot see it yet and that if she would only hold on a little longer something will change, it always does, and there can be love and happiness and security. We just have to keep walking toward it and it will find us. I am proof of it and I promise it can happen for everyone it just takes time, and hard work when you can, and rest when you can’t. Hold on girly.
Lisa Blair is a blogger and a bleeding heart who cares very much about this little planet and all the humans living on it. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her amazing wife, an old cat, a young dog, and two very shy snakes. She dreams of one day being able to quit her day job and live the fascinating and mysterious life of a full-time writer. She blogs at ZenandPi, but you can also find her posting notes and bits of inspiration on Twitter at ZenandPi and on Tumblr at ZenandPi.