Welcome to WEEK 11 of #ChingonaFest Fridays on Aspiring Mama!
If you’re new to the blog, here’s the link to the my Latina Dimelo column that sparked the conversation that’s still going strong. The premise is this: I want to raise my daughter to be a Chingona — on purpose, Las Tias and cultural backlash be damned. If you like the column, I’d love for you to share with your social media circles, leave a comment on the link, or whip up a happy lil’ Letter to the Editor telling them how you feel and send it off to Editor@Latina.com. You may not think that kind of thing makes a difference, but trust me when I tell you it does.
Have you checked out my past #ChingonaFest ladies? Juliana Maulanda and *ahem* … I were two of the most recently featured wonder women. Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.
Today’s featured Chingona is ….Lorraine C. Ladish.
Ladish is a bilingual, published author of 17 books, a mom, and a self-described social media maven. She’s also the sass behind her new site, Viva Fifty.
You can connect with Lorraine on twitter. She doesn’t bite, I promise.
And now? It’s time for the interview!
Lorraine C. Ladish
Pauline Campos: Favorite book and why?
Lorraine C. Ladish: Wuthering Heights. It was one of the first books that I read over and over as a kid and I can still reread and get lost in it. The main character, Kathy, is a rebel, although she does conform for a bit and actually gets sick and dies because of that. I think we all die a little when we conform.
PC: Thanks for the spoiler there, sweet cheeks. Unless you run into my high school A.P. English teacher. In that case, I *totally* read it. Six times, even. So…What’s your favorite quote?
LCL: Just Do It. It’s the way I’ve lived so far, for the most part.
PC: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
LCL: Yes in the sense that I want equal pay, equal laws, equal opportunities for both men and women. But I also love certain differences between the two genders. I enjoy my femininity and I’m a sucker for a gentleman.
PC: I totally get it. Like my 7-year-old said today, if the world was made up of just Mexicans in America, things would get so BOOORING. I didn’t tell her it would probably have a paleta stand on every street corner, but I thought it. Describe yourself in third person…
LCL: I can’t do that! I’m too close to the subject.
PC: *Note to future Chingonas, Ladish is sneaky. You, however, get to answer all 15* *AHEM* Who inspires you?
LCL: My daughters.
PC: Who is it you hope to inspire?
LCL: My kids and women who feel they haven’t achieved their full potential. They can do it. Wait, I also want to inspire myself on a bad day! I don’t always feel as great as it may seem on social media.
PC: *Nods head* Totally. Trying to have conversations in 140 characters offline is a surefire way to get tossed in a padded room. Do you dream in color or black and white?
LCL: Color, vividly, I remember my dreams every morning and most are pretty trippy. The older I get, the more my dreams are about things that happened in the past.
PC: You’re not old. My mom is just really, really young. Also? Everyone reading this is going “She went THERE?” and is wondering if this is going to go to blows. I, however, know you are laughing your ass off. And that’s why I love you. Now…Let’s play word association. I say CHINGONA and you say…?
PC: How do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?
LCL: Latinas in the media are usually pigeonholed into these ridiculous roles. But this has happened before to other ethnicities and it’s up to us to change that. How? By telling and showing mainstream America what we’re really like.
PC: You mean you’ve never seen Jesus in a tortilla, either? Good. I was starting to feel lonely over here. Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they’ve grown and flown the nest…
LCL: That I’m ok with whatever they do in life as long as it makes them happy and doesn’t hurt them or anyone else.
PC: I like the qualifier there. One childhood memory that has stuck with you…
LCL: My dad and my grandfather, always writing. Books on shelves. The sound of the printing press my family had. The smell of fresh ink, and the glue used to bind the books. I come from a family of writers and publishers.
PC: And you just adopted me. I’ll be your sassy and slightly eccentric younger sister. Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?
LCL: All of the above. I switch from one to the other easily. I can’t imagine life otherwise. I owe that to my dad.
PC: Show-off. *grins* Do you feel “Latina enough”?
LCL: I don’t feel I have to justify my languages, ethnicity or background to anyone. Not anymore. When I was younger I felt I didn’t fit in anywhere, being multicultural and bilingual. I certainly did not feel American enough although I’ve always had that nationality and my mom is from Pittsburgh, Pa.
PC: You have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine, AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON?
LCL: First of all, I’d drink a beer, straight from the bottle. I’d eat something easy to handle. I remember being an interpreter and having to eat and talk at the same time. I didn’t enjoy that. When I’m sharing good company and conversing, the food takes second place. Perhaps Michelle Obama. We’re the same age, we have two young girls, and I’d just love to chat with her like a friend.
PC: Eventually, someone’ going to say Me. Eventually. Right? But I’ll take FLOTUS for the win. Describe your perfect day.
LCL: Get up at 10 without an alarm. Coffee in backyard with the dog. Write. Walk on the beach. Read a book. Short run and workout. Hang out with my kids. Go on a date with my honey. Write some more. Cuddle with the kids. Read a book. Have sex. Sleep whenever I’m tired (maybe 2 am) and back to the beginning. This is not how I spend my days, mind you, but I’d love to!
PC: And that, my friends, is one hell of a perfect day.
And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine. Girlfriend needed a reality check…so I gave her one.
Oh! And be sure to send me your questions to email@example.com.
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