Featured Fem | Meet Jill Walls

Jill Walls holds a PhD from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and works as an assistant professor at Ball State University in the department of Family and Consumer Sciences. In her classes, she teaches how race, gender, sexual orientation and social class, among other factors, shape individuals’ experiences and family relationships. She recently published a paper that examined intensive mothering beliefs among full-time employed mothers of young children, and is currently working on a project that examines the lived experiences of African American college students when race is discussed in class.

THE FEM: What would you say to full-time mothers of young children who are coping with some of the intensive mothering beliefs you’ve written about? As a mother yourself, are there things you’ve researched that you wish you had known earlier?

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Jill Walls

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Featured Friday | Meet Ashaki Jackson

Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath

Ashaki Jackson is a Houston, Texas native who now resides in Los Angeles. A social psychologist and programs evaluator, Ashaki’s poetry and activism often intermingle as evidenced in her debut chapbook, Surveillance, a meditation on the brutal murders of black and brown youth by police officers in America.

Ashaki returns with Language Lesson, Miel Books, August 2016, an equally emotional and exquisite book. Here, Ashaki returns to her southern roots to follow her grandmother back to her final resting place.

THE FEM: So this book is about mourning your grandmother, and I wanted to talk to you first about the impetus to write a book of poetry about that. What was her role in your life and why did you feel that poetry was the proper vehicle for paying tribute? Continue reading “Featured Friday | Meet Ashaki Jackson”

Featured Fem | Meet Xandra Robinson-Burns

Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath

Xandra Robinson-Burns is an American blogger living in the United Kingdom. Her blog, Heroine Training, focuses on ways to live life to your best potential through literature. She offers a course in self-development focusing on lessons from Harry Potter called Blogwarts, and a mailing list focusing on wisdom from Jane Austen called Letters from Jane Austen. She is just now finishing conducting a course in self-improvement based on Broadway musicals called Leading Lady.

THE FEM: Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself and Heroine Training? Why did you start it and what niche did you hope to fill?

XANDRA ROBINSON-BURNS: I’m Xandra. I’m a minimalist Gryffindor from Boston living in Edinburgh. At Heroine Training, I write lessons and courses about being your own heroine and living your story. 

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Xandra Robinson-Burns

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Featured Fem | Meet Bethany Rose

Interview by Anna-Claire McGrath

Bethany Rose Lamont is the founder and editor-in-chief of Doll Hospital, a biannual art and literature print journal on mental health. The first issue, backed by Kickstarter, was released in February 2015. Issue three comes out this August.

THE FEM: Tell me a little bit about Doll Hospital for our readers. What is it, how did it come about?

BETHANY ROSE: Doll Hospital is an art and literature journal for and by people with mental health struggles. It’s not just for those of us with fancy liberal art degrees or some kind of “established” art or writing career or whatever. It’s a space for everyone who has a difficult time with mental health to share their story in whatever medium they feel most comfortable expressing themselves in.

I founded Doll Hospital in May 2014, I was a 22 year old student and struggling with thoughts of suicide. I had no place to express these always overwhelming, and sometime terrifying, thoughts and found myself reduced to self deprecating tweets and 3am shitposting on tumblr. I’m 25 now, Doll Hospital has turned two years old and we’ve just completed our third issue. I of course still have mental health struggles (those things don’t miraculously disappear sadly!) but in cultivating a space to safely express myself and seek out a community with others who are also grappling with these issues, I feel more confident in managing my own mental illness, less ashamed to actively express when I’m having a bad day and more emboldened to advocate for myself and for my loved ones.

Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Bethany Rose”

Featured Fem | Meet Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson

Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson are the co-founders of Dear Damsels, a website featuring writing by young women which launched in January 2016. Each month, they choose a theme such as HOME or TRANSIT and feature essays, short stories and poems on that theme. For July, Team DD is discussing NERVE.

Bridie (left) and Abby (right), co-founders of Dear Damsels

THE FEM: So to start, could you describe Dear Damsels? Where did the idea come from and how did you go about making it into a reality? Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson”

Featured Fem | Meet Saadia Faruqi

ATT_1451934078970_16640Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani-American writer, interfaith leader, and author of Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan. She edits Blue Minaret, an online literary magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose. Her thoughts about the global Muslim experience can be read in NBC Asian America and the Huffington Post, among others.

Fem: What is your definition of feminism?

Saadia Faruqi: I was born and raised in Pakistan, and only moved to the U.S. in my early twenties. So my concepts of feminism are different from a typically-western or typically American ideology. I’m also a Muslim, and so what it means to me to be a woman is informed by my religious beliefs as well. For me feminism is female empowerment and agency. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Saadia Faruqi”