Friday, March 7, 2008

Gamble: Interview

Darryl Gamble
WMST 2010
March 6, 2008
Interview Blog Post

When asked to interview someone, I began to think long and hard. This took me back to a very meaningful childhood. I haven’t had many female influences in my life. Growing up in Bainbridge, GA it was always my mother and me. I choose to interview the only other inspirational female I knew Mrs. Joann Robinson. I met Mrs. Robinson through my mother. She always came around to give us an overview of what’s in the real world.
Mrs. Joann Robinson is a 42 year old caring mother of four and a loving wife for almost 5 years now. When I was deciding what college to attend to continue my athletic and academic career, Mrs. Robinson was a valuable asset to my decision because she was highly educated and knew more about college than anyone else that I had knew.
Well getting back to Mrs. Robinson, she grew up in a small country town of Pearson, GA, with four older brothers. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a degree in Public Relations, and now she is the Publicist for the city of Douglas, GA. She has been employed by the city of Douglas for seven years. I asked Mrs. Robinson what are so of her life goals and she responded “As I get older, my goals start to shift toward my family. I find myself having goals such as putting all my children through college. And I still have personal goals like: moving up the career ladder, retiring and spending that time traveling.” She constantly showed her appreciation for her family.
Being a feminist is something Mrs. Robinson had never really thought about. When asked the question, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” she sat in silence for a few minutes, thinking, and slowly developed her answer. “For the most part I do consider myself a feminist. I believe in equal rights and I believe women should be viewed equally as men in society,” replied Mrs. Robinson. She then began to wonder if that, in fact, made her a feminist. She even suggested that I interview someone else because she felt her inadequate involvement in the Feminist Movement would make for an uninteresting report. I strongly disagreed.
There are several ways to define feminism. “Feminists are women who stand up for their rights as women. Women who are fighting to be viewed as equal and not inferior to men. Women who want to be seen as more than just a trophy wife,” are a few ways Mrs. Robinson chose to define the word. After hearing her definition I asked her to think if she in any way had been one of those women. She confidently and proudly said she in fact had and still is one of those women. Which is why, as I assured her, is why I chose to make this paper about her. She is a feminist in her own definition.
As a child Mrs. Robinson continued to defy the odds. Being a black women in the conservative south was hard. “Very hard,” reiterated Mrs. Robinson. It was a time when the back door was still the entrance for “colored” and women where still cooks, maids, and servants. “Well the black women were anyway,” said Mrs. Robinson. She recalled the memories of her mother working late nights for the white women across town and her having to take on the role as “mother” in her own house at twelve years old. Which is where she developed her sense of motherhood.
Time went on and Mrs. Robinson started her own family and her own career. When asked about her job and how well she enjoyed it, Mrs. Robinson stated that she had much to say about the subject. She is the only female and African American in the marketing department for the city of Douglas. “I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the oppression I face,” she responded. She has the lowest salary of all her co-workers although they all have the same education. When asked if and how she planned to fight this, she responded, “I’m not gonna quit! I’m gonna stay and I’m gonna make my mark!” Her determination and courage shined as bright as the sun in the sky.
Her determination is one of many feministic characteristics she possesses. Today those feministic characteristics can be seen as “men-bashing” or hateful, in the words of Mrs. Robinson. She believes that there is a negative stigma against feminism today. Modern feminism has made a complete turn away from movement feminism. Women today have turned their backs on protesting and embraced a more popular feminism. A popular feminism filled with products to distract women from more important issues.
Mrs. Robinson had a lot to say about the upcoming election. “Personally I do not feel that the world is ready for a female president,” she said. She gave the example of Bhutto, the female leader in the middle east who was assassinated in December 2007. “I believe the world would be more accepting of a black male president.” Her reasoning for this was the fact that black men were given the right to vote before white women. Not to mention the United States is a patriarchy capitalist society. “It would be wonderful for the next President of the United States to be female, but I don’t think the chances are good. So I guess being a feminist doesn’t make you obligated to vote for Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Robinson stated, “As an African American woman I am faced with the obstacles of being an African American woman. African American being the first of my oppression problems. So as an African American I feel that I should be obligated to vote for an African American man.” Yet she still stressed the importance of how the decision for President should not be made based on your gender nor your race.

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