Eloisa James’ interview on Freedom

26 Apr

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)

I love it when my interests intersect, don’t you?

Here’s a very interesting, and long, interview with a very successful, very well known, historical romance author. Eloisa James has written a fair number of my ‘keeper’ romances (those books you’d take with you, if you had to flee something like, say, the zombie apocalypse).

She also happens to be a graduate of Harvard, Oxford and Yale, and a tenured Shakespeare professor (sorry, Maturin!) at Fordham University.

The interview is fairly long, so it’s posted in two parts, here and here.

So, what does that have to do with this thread (feminism, equality, and all that jazz)? Lemme show you:

What are some the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your industry and how have you dealt with them?
I didn’t face many as a writer because romance is a women-driven industry, largely edited and written by women. However, I faced serious challenges as a Shakespeare professor. For many years it bothered me that my husband and I graduated from Yale in the same year, both getting jobs at the same level, and yet he started out several thousand dollars ahead of me. I was breastfeeding. I had 8 call backs as they are called, but I couldn’t take them all as every one meant 3-4 days away from the baby. So I accepted the first job I could—which is what many women do. My husband didn’t. He went ahead and got another couple jobs, even though he knew he wasn’t going to take them, and then he played the salary off each other. I didn’t do that. If I hadn’t been breastfeeding, I might have gone ahead and tried for more jobs and then played them against each other, but I came up against a classic problem women face.

And that’s just the beginning. Seriously, go read at least the full answer to that question, because this bit I’m quoting is barely a hint. From salary disparity to secret ballots, to what’s expected from women, yet not rewarded, it hits all the points.

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