You talk about the history of your parents and a lot about your mother. You talk about the 15 Percent Pledge. I’m wondering how you thought about the flow as you went along and if it changed at all as you wrote.
Yeah, it changed a lot. In the beginning, it started out with the Pledge. It started out in the present day, and then I wanted to go back to my childhood. But then I realized I was feeling like I had to start with the Pledge to make it relevant at all.
When I started writing about my childhood, I realized this isn’t just my childhood. It’s so many of our childhoods, actually. I don’t need the KPIs that have netted out in my adulthood to validate my childhood experience and the complexities that were there.
I think for me, the anger needed to be understood, as well, because I’ve had these moments where I’ve been really angry—and I’m not an angry person. But it was super valid. I was so angry at my mom for years, and I was so angry at society for feeling like they were just writing off women. Even with fashion. It’s like, “Oh, what are these girls doing over there with their polka dots or whatever.” It’s kind of like f-you.
We have real businesses. We’re doing real things. We have a big impact on the economy. We have a big community amongst each other. We can actually affect change and do something. You don’t have to be this man sitting here telling us what we can or can’t do, how you want us to be, or how we need to be submissive to you.
I just can’t hold anger for very long. I have to find a way to channel it. The book hopefully pinpoints out to people some of the ways in which I chose to channel my anger and let it go. Carrying this baggage around with you is a heavy load. You’ve got to stop and open it sometimes. I’m not saying you have to abandon all the luggage—because I truly don’t believe that’s possible—but if we’re carrying something, we have the right to know what we are carrying, and some of it we may want to leave behind at different points to lighten the load for ourselves.