Stong mom, strong daugther
There are so many strong women and great role models, women to whom we can look up to, find support and be inspired from. These women are important as they show us that we have power to shape our lives or the course of history and that we can make a difference. Sometimes, the one we look up to does not have to be a famous person; it can be someone close to us, like our own mother. This interview is a tribute to one great mom, who shaped and was instrumental in the raising of a strong, opinionated woman who we will meet this week.
Name: Chris Peterson
Occupation: On line female preneur
Lives in: The USA
When answering the question about which female role model we have or which women we look up to, it is easy to mention someone famous person, but you said "my mom" and described her as a strong woman. Can you tell more about her and why she is who she is to you?
Why I chose my mom as a strong woman I look up to? My mom had five children. She was raised in a small town in Italy, with very little education although she was from an upper class family. Her father was deployed for war and while he was gone, her mom got very ill. My mom had to take care of her mother and younger sibling and couldn't go to school. After the war ended, her father came back, but she was shy and did not want to go back to school because she knew she would be held back and would be with younger kids. Yet, even with little education, her mind was sharper than most educated woman of her times and place.
She married a man beneath her because of love. My grandfather from my dad's side was working for my maternal grandfather who owned lots of land. Against all opposition, my mother ended up marrying the love of her life. However, later, she had to put up with discrimination against her from my dad's family. It was from both her sister in law and mother in law because of her views on education and other views she held strong.
My mom, no matter the opposition, she held her head up and raised us as upper middle class children with high regards for education. She also instilled in us love and respect for anyone no matter what their social status was. She raised us as independent thinker, encouraging us to think outside the box. She encouraged us to be activist in political issues, regardless of what the political party was presenting to the mass.
My mom never made us feel less loved or less valuable as individuals no matter our flaws. She never stressed the negative in any of our body' flaws. She countered our self- criticism with encouragement. As teenagers criticizing our body parts, she would find always the positive to compliment us on. For example: If I would complain that I was too short, she would tell me that my legs were straight and beautiful.
She was also a feminist, and she believed that women needed to exercise their right to vote, to be educated and to have their own money. I can go on with so many other values she instilled in us, things that now, after she is gone to heaven, I remember and cherish about her even more.
We all need a good role model in life and as a girl and later a woman, our mother is very important. If you had not had the mother you do, would you have been a different person you think?
Yes, if I had had a different mom, I know I would be a different person. I am a very intuitive person, yet, very feminist and very passionate in social issues. I think the women of this generation have done a disservice to the feminist movement: right now, many women conform to a "one for all look alike" model of beauty and style, one that does not allow women to gain respect in society and does not show individuality.
Women like Coco Channel, Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn epitomized elegance, class, poise... Right now, young women don't have such role models anymore.
Today, women advocate equal pay and equal rights in the work force; yet they don't do enough to earn this respect. They dress with too much cleavage showing, regardless of the environment they are in. There should be a time and a place for such attire, yet, it is exhibited on regular everyday life: at the workplace, on the streets, at the news channels.
They use profanity, they praise movies that degrade women such as "50 shade of gray" (where the master whips his sex slave) and they use derogatory terms to describes themselves such as "bitches, hot chicks" and other derogatory words. They form a "me too" movement, yet, they do nothing to become good role models to young people and to stop being objectified in movie roles they accept.
I'm not saying that everyone fits this mold, however, the majority right now is not doing anything to make our feminist founders proud.
If you should mention some other women you look up to, who would it be and why?
I think I would choose women of the past such as Joan of Arc, Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), African-American abolitionist and women's rights campaigner. Also, I would choose Margaret Fuller (1810-1850). An American women's rights advocate.
I can go on and on. There are many women
who paved the way for us to be where we are today, more is needed, we need to
raise up young people as good role models for the next generations, as the past
founders did for us. I look forward to see a shift and to have young people
understand the power we hold in our hands. We can change the world, it takes just one good role model to do so.