Welcome to WEEK 13 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? Lorraince C. Ladish made me look bad two weeks ago (but only because she looks so good and Elisa Camahort Page shined last week because that's what happens when you're Made of Awesome.
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 …Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel.
And now? It’s time for the interview!
Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?
Carol Cain: Chocolate…and a little nutty, like me.
PC: And the tone of this interview is officially set. I like it. Favorite book and why...
CC: The Illiad because I first read it in college and was so engrossed by the story and how beautiful it told. There are tons of others: Like Water for Chocolate, In The Time of Butterflies, but that is one of my all time favorite.
PC: I love Like Water for Chocolate! I may re-reading that one soon. What's your favorite quote?
CC: “It’s not that I’m fearless. It’s that I hate being afraid.” It’s actually my own, and a mantra I tell myself over and over to find courage when it fails me.
PC: You are *so* #Chingonafest material. I KNEW it. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
CC: Ahhhh…loaded question. And, no. I suppose that others will, and have, thought I am because of my strong will, and confidence and outspokenness. But I am not much of a follower and I don’t really love labels, nor the expectations that they set for you. Though there are many feminists of color, I don’t really feel like the movement speaks for me and my lifestyle. That’s not to say I don’t support the women’s movement and female empowerment. I just want to be able to walk around barefoot and pregnant while doing laundry and making dinner, and my husband supports me and my children and not get shit for it. I want to live my life however I please without having anyone tell me I am lacking in representing any group or movement. So I just don’t claim to and owe no one anything in exchange.
PC: *Nodding head* Sugar Jones had a similar answer in her interview. She basically said Yes, but as defined to suit her own definition. I'm down with that. And I get it, too, now that I am being referred to as a Latina feminist here and there. The label doesn't really fit, but it does sometimes and, oh hell...back to Why Carol Cain Kicks Ass, yes? Describe yourself in third person…
CC: Carol really hates describing herself in the third person.
PC: I think we should have recorded this one and saved it for the podcast I'm eventually going to make happen. Points for perfectly timing that deadpanned response. Tell me, who inspires you?
CC: My mother. She was the strongest woman I ever knew. I wish I had time to grow into my own womanhood long enough to tell her that.
PC: Who is it you hope to inspire?
CC: My children.
PC: I love how you share your family with us on social media. Every time I see your boys in a photo, I see their love for you in their eyes. And the kicker is..it isn't sappy, which is surprising, because it *should* be sappy...which just makes it even more awesome. Right? Now...Do you dream in color or black and white?
CC: Color most of the time, but sometimes in sepia.
PC: Pretty sure the Sepia thing is a new one over here. Let's play word association. I say CHINGONA and you say…
CC: Confident and brave.
PC: How do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?
CC: According to the media, there is only one kind of Latina…or two. She’s fashionable and really pretty and delicate and is an amazing cook and really sexy – without even trying – and just charming as hell. And Latinas play into that and it sucks. I'm an adventurous, tomboy, non-fashionista Latina.
PC: Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they've grown and flown the nest…
CC: You can do it, and when you can’t it’s OK too.
PC: One childhood memory that has stuck with you…
CC: Walking barefoot along the shores of Puerto Rico as a little girl.
PC: Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?
CC: English, my first language. Unless I’m angry…than it’s Spanish all the way.
PC: Right there with ya, sister. What's your favorite dish? Why?
CC: Rice and beans…with avocado salad. Yum.
PC: Do you feel "Latina enough?
CC: For me I assume, cause really who gives a shit. And yes. I’m enough.
PC: BOOYAH, bitches. 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?
CC: My mother. Sushi and Malbec because I so much to tell her!
PC: Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)
CC: Ahh…that’s just you, girl.
PC: My mother always told me I was special. *shrugs* One Latina stereotype you despise?
CC: That we are sex-obsessed. That we all want to have children and get married. That we all know how to cook. That we all like fashion and heels and make up.
PC: Okay, I said one...but each single piece adds to the stereotype as a whole. I'll just shut up now. One Latina stereotype you embrace (or is there one?)
CC: That family is everything to us. For the most part, this is very true. Familia sobre todo.
PC: Describe your perfect day.
CC: With my family at home or traveling. I enjoy them so much.
And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me at email@example.com or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine. Two besties made a bet on who I would say is right. For the record? They were both wrong.
Oh! And be sure to send me your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't worry. I promise to give you a kick-ass code-name that doesn't rhyme with your own.
Who likes Pretty Pictures? My art and #ChingonaFest related snazziness are available by clocking the following links:
Etsy - #MexicaninMaine
Etsy - ChingonaFest
Zazzle - ChingonaFest (make sure your filter is set to moderate because Zazzle says I'm a badass.)
Society6 - Pauline Campos
And because I like you so much...
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