Interesting forward from Miranda July's "We Think Alone" Project, http://wethinkalone.com/
The email is from author Sheila Heti http://www.sheilaheti.net/ to another writer, Sarah Manguso.
It refers to this interview: "Woman Writer + Writer Mother: A Conversation between Sarah Manguso and Rachel Zucker"Manguso says things like, "I hate being perceived as a potential mother—an empty vessel—but in Western medical culture, that is my identity. When I am given a new medication, I have to prove I’m not pregnant....For as long as I have lived, I have been an egg-box. In a Western hospital, my eggs are the most valuable part of me." Zucker says things like, "I sound so pathetically unable to control my feelings—'womanly'?—and yet to say otherwise is to lie...Is it just the culture that makes me into an 'egg-box'? Or is it something else, something in me?"
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sheila Heti
Date: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 3:21 PM
To: Sarah Manguso
I passed your interview on to a smart (childless) woman friend of mine who replied:
Last comment. This interview kind of gives me the creeps; perhaps it touches a never. Rachel is strange, the way she projects on to your friend (I pictured your life, saw you sleeping with handsome men in a messy apartment...), says having children curbed her ego and yet she is unbearably judgmental. What they say about their own mothers is fascinating, how we build our identities in reaction.
Did you see this: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/the-referendum/
I am prompted to think of these women (mothers) I metwhen I spent a month in Florence last year. The way they talked about child-bearing and raising children (the ones I am thinking about both had teenagers) was so different from how people talk about parenting and the experience here in North America. One of them (a vivacious filmmaker with three children, finally divorced) told me, "A woman who doesn't have the biological urge for children should consider herself lucky." Another woman spoke of being "condemned" to motherhood; another, "My life was pretty good before Leah," (her beautiful 16-year-old ballerina daughter).
They were very open and unconflicted about accepting the genuine sacrifices they had made, and how, in very serious ways, it had ruined their lives (as well as adding to their lives, which they spoke less about).
Another woman said to me, "It's not good for a woman. If you are someone who likes to live by your own rhythms -- you can't. Ever again. You have to live in response to your kids."
It was amazing to me how no woman I have ever talked to here has ever said anything close to anything like the women I met over there.