exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Women

Anna McCormally

Anna McCormally

Date of Interview: August 19, 2016

Name: Anna McCormally

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC


What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about other people, I’m really interested in relationship dynamics. Specifically between parents and children. And also between women and other women. I think there’s a lot to be explored in relationship dynamics, so I’m really interested in that, and that’s what I write about. I’m passionate about talking to people, which makes it funny that you aren’t talking right now… I really like listening to people. Listening to them talk about what they’re up to.

Do you feel like you are given opportunities, as a woman, to take up space?

Yeah, I think I’m really lucky. I remember really distinctly being in a writing class in college and having a professor in an individual conference ask me if I felt like there was a gender dynamic in the class or if I was uncomfortable. And I didn’t feel like there was, but I remember really appreciating that he asked that. Especially because I majored in economics and there was definitely a gender dynamic in those classrooms that we didn’t really talk about… So generally, yes. I feel like I have the space I need and that’s really nice. It’s so lucky. I know that many people aren’t that lucky.

What do you think of relationship dynamics between women, family, and others?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about, specifically, women that I’ve known in my life who I haven’t forged close relationships with because of gender. Or because of our relationships with men. Or with women I’ve known who I would have been friends with except that, somebody got jealous or upset or hurt. Mainly with a relationship with a third person. And it’s funny to me to think about what friendships I would have had with those people if that “thing” hadn’t happened. I’m interested in that, a lot. Just… missed opportunities. I feel sometimes that patriarchy has robbed me of many important female friendships that I didn’t have because I was super worried about my body or being the most beautiful. Which is a thing that I spent a lot of time worrying about in middle school and high school. And it really kept me from the  important thing which is just doing whatever you want all the time. And helping other people do whatever they want all of the time. If I could have spent more time doing that instead of worrying about… the fucking patriarchy. If that wouldn’t be a factor I think I would be a happier person ::laughs::. It’s very melodramatic but sometimes how I feel. I’m interested in parent/child dynamics… I think it’s pretty incredible that you can grow an additional person from your body. That you can go from being one person, then two people, then just grow a distinct person… that’s crazy. I still think that’s crazy. And there are all these implications of it. I’m interested in that because my mom, she became really upset when I told her I wanted tattoos and piercings. And I think part of that was a possessiveness over my body that she made. That I was going to damage this thing that she put so much time into. And that is the thing. I think it makes sense, she did all this work for me, then I got a bad tattoo… It’s like, “Sorry! I guess I just broke this thing you made!”

Have you had experiences as an “adult” of creating your own family?

Yeah. It’s been really fun to get to know my brother better. He is married and lives nearby and they just had a baby, which is the best part of my life. She is so healthy and smart… Learning to walk, which is crazy, having these little strong legs that are working. It’s fun to rediscover your siblings as grownups. And my partner and I do some pretty intentional family building things. Like, we always eat together and turn off music and turn off the TV and eat dinner with forks and knives. We set the table and sit down together and that feels really nice. As we get older, I feel like I’m doing more traditional family stuff in a way that is similar to how I grew up. It’s funny to see how you do that without meaning to. We’ve started going to Meeting for Worship together on Sunday and cooking dinner together. When I think about traditions from my childhood I think about holidays. Specifically Christmas morning and Thanksgiving. It’s funny to negotiate that with a new person. It’s weird to value being with this person on specific days that I don’t actually care about, but it matters to me that we’re together. Thanksgiving is objectively a horrible holiday, but I want to eat mashed potatoes with you. I wouldn’t say that he and I have traditions that we do, but we have routines. Like, every month or so we’ll have a night where we order Thai food and eat it in bed and watch a bad movie together. And that’s a thing we’ve done and a space we’ve created that we come back to time and time again. Which is so funny, I just realized what I’ve said. “We order in Thai food and watch a movie together”, like that’s our tradition. Everybody does that together, but it’s like this specific thing and space that is ours that we can come back to over and over again.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

I’m afraid of not communicating well. Of thinking a thing or feeling something and not expressing it well. Just doing a terrible job of saying a thing and then… as a result of that someone’s feelings are hurt or there’s a conflict of some sort. I feel like, if you can talk about stuff you can feel a lot of problems. So I feel frustrated when I can’t or when I’m not articulating my point well. I heard somebody say that “The great tragedy of human experience is that you can never give another person a direct experience of your consciousness” and I really identify with that.




Date of Interview: May 31, 2016

Name: Nenet

Age: 29

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC


Do you have any opinions on how women and femme people are portrayed and treated by the media and by humans in general?

Well I think that with women, it’s aimed at women have to always please. And be willing. And that is very intense and aggressive. I don’t roll with that. I think it’s very hard to have to do that all the time and it’s very invasive and very unfair. The media is pretty sick and a little to much is twisted and I think its not good, it creates a lot of strain and pressure for young people. I think it should be regulated; it’s a little criminal to expose people to that.

Do you think where you grew up impacts these opinions and their growth?

YES. Yes, I grew up in Argentina and it’s a very macho oriented culture where there is only one type of women and that’s where you should fit in. If you have short hair, you’re just weird. If you’re different, you’re just weird. If you’re whatever, you’re just weird. And they will let you know that you’re out of line. I remember walking into places from my teen years to early 20s and you were REALLY supposed to look one way. And it was really scary, I really couldn’t fit. Everyone wore one brand of jeans, one length of hair, one disposition. You really had to tone yourself down and just be giggly and willing and coordinated, and everyone had to look the same. That’s my memory of that.

When did you move to the US?

I moved to the US three years ago. I had a boyfriend and I followed him…

That kind of leads into my next question… what are your thoughts on
relationship dynamics, especially when coming from different cultures?

Well… I’ve thought a lot about that, since I’m here and since I was in a long relationship with someone who was American, and white and cis and male. I think, and I actually wrote about this today, that’s how current this topic is for me, you are desirable when you can be looked at and lust upon. You’re a curiosity and it kind of doesn’t matter where you’re from as long as you’re foreign and seemingly exotic. And so now it’s really hard to filter people because they ask questions about your country and immediately seem really interested if you’re foreign. Especially Latinas. Latinas are kind of displayed in a certain way. So I have a lot of people, actually men. I have a lot of MEN asking me how sassy I was, or if I would like, if you PARTY and I also felt like that’s really weird and they’re really weird and they were kind of already objectifying me already. So yeah, I was really not into it. I think if you grow up in a place and spend a good 25 years in one country and move, you’re thinking that it’s going to be different and it’s OH WOW because it’s not. I thought that if people or anyone would be interested in dating someone from another country or culture, they would be actually interested, not as a token. Like, “it’s my Argentine girlfriend and she’s so awesome and EXOTIC”. I really had full on encounters and conversations that didn’t really go beyond that. Like “Oh, she’s foreign, you know, got it”. There was no real interest in anything. No one cared about my passions and who I am.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

I wrote a play earlier this year. And I was satisfied with that. I think it allowed me to move forward towards being a more responsible creative person. Where I’m actually committed to the things I do and can follow through. There’s the start and the end, which is really cool.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I am afraid of… Something really silly. I am afraid of not showing up to work. Part of it is because I did it before. I just thought I can’t go on with this. It has nothing to do with who I am or what I want other than money and paying the rent. It’s a trivial thing, but it’s the first thing that came to mind. It’s real.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

Conservative, backwards people and how they are taking control. They are able to influence people all of a sudden and get to people. They get to people that are scared and this is really frightening that they get control of official things, like a whole political party. Especially here, but it’s happening in other parts of the world too, but more rapidly here.

What does your personal utopia look like?

I actually don’t think utopias exist. I don’t think they fully conform to humans as we are, we are not all inherently good, I can’t really believe that. So I don’t think a utopia is possible, there are to many of us, we are a little late on that. But I think a better distribution on wealth and resources and opportunities would achieve something for mankind. But it will never really be a utopia.

Is there anything you are hopeful for in the world?

Is there hope… Hmm.. There’s always hope for good things. People keep creating. And keep doing things here and there. There are random acts of kindness and it’s really important to remember that.

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