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Laura Pickerell Interview: Feminism 2020

Laura Pickerell, 40, is from Manchester in the UK. 

Laura's Quote: 

"Feminism to me means for women to become emancipated from the “mental programing” around how limitations are perceived for women around the world. Overcoming this compulsion by women to be better than everyone else. It's about deprogramming these learned patterns and help women create, heal, identify their feminine gifts."


What made you want to volunteer for a women’s collective such as Trama? 

I taught myself to weave with macrame and knitting and it was deeply therapeutic for me. I love color, fabric and the flow feeling I get into when creating. I searched on WorkAway and when I saw Trama Textiles it resonated because of the weaving, and I was looking for an arts related experience. 

Do you consider yourself to be a feminist, and what does the term ‘feminist’ mean to you? 

Feminism -- yes!  Feminism to me means for women to become emancipated from the “mental programing” around how limitations are perceived for women around the world. Overcoming this compulsion by women to be better than everyone else. It's about deprogramming these learned patterns and help women create, heal, identify their feminine gifts. Women reclaiming their own power divinity and moving away from masculine ideas about problem solving.  

How do you see the global feminist movement evolving in 2020?

Exciting things are happening in American politics -- there is a shift away from massive corporate sponsored politics. Younger females are emerging in the sector -- ethic people, and women are going to congress and taking all the old white male politics and challenging the way politics have progressed in the US.  I’m moved by young women in Chile who are doing artistic choreographed demonstrations to call attention to sexual violence, women's rights, corruption in politics, etc. Love the way young women are using arts / creative expression to get their message across.

To what extent does an organisation like Trama serve as a political statement in a country like Guatemala? 

The entire organization is women - everyone has a voice - in terms of a political focus -- no men, no middle men, it's for women, driven by women. No exploitation of women is happening. Trama pays a fair price and the indigenous communities are not marginalized. It shows how when women come together we can reach an international market, which the average Mayan women would not otherwise be able to do

What kinds of issues do you see women in Guatemala struggling with, which is perhaps different to the issues women in New Zealand might be facing?

The biggest difference is access to education, no higher education, lack of access to digital knowledge. One of the biggest difficulties is that Guatemalan women do not have the ability to dream about their future. They don’t have the luxury of dreaming bigger - out of their economic situation. And although the weaving vehicle is so beautiful, it is limiting for the women - it almost keeps them in poverty.

If you had a daughter how would you hope her experiences of growing up as a female in the world might be different to yours?

First and foremost I would not want my daughter to feel responsible for my mental health problems. That she be free from the burden of feeling responsible for her parents’ happiness. Free to express her full range of emotions - crying is not a sign of weakness. And feel safe. Not be judged or condemned for her emotions. I want her to feel supported and free to pursue her creativity and or anything she wants to do, without restrictions or my own preferences.  I want her to feel empowered around her sexuality, feel comfortable in her body, to enjoy her body. I'd like Irish catholic shaming to stop with me.

How do you see the feminist movement intersecting with other movements such as the LGBTQI movement and Black Lives Matter?

We have been living under such a patriarchal system for so long, a system which upholds the masculine and suppresses the feminine. I see groups no longer tolerating oppression -- all of the different movements spring out of oppression and reaching a threshold where that oppression is no longer accepted. No longer willing to be subordinated. No longer victims. These groups are all finding their voice.  

What aspects of your conditioning do you think limit your sense of what’s possible for you as a woman in the world? 

Having parents with mental problems and growing up in a dysfunctional environment, I feel I'm in recovery and it's been difficult for me to envision a happy life or any kind of life. The trauma in my family has been passed down. So now at the age of 40 I'm just starting to envision a happy life. I feel hopeful now for the first time in my life. I’ve had so much programming about sexual shaming. At 30 I started to dismantle the programming. In the Irish community, all aspects of being sexual are perceived as shameful -- dismantling that conditioning is helping me to become more empowered as a women and feminist.

To what extent do you see yourself as an empowered woman? 

I see myself as a very empowered woman. Empowerment is around healing all of the aspects of myself that I tend to suppress. I’m not denying any parts of myself. The more I return to the level of authenticity the more I am able to support other women to do the same. That is important for me. Also, to set off for a trip around the world and trust myself to make friends and use my intuition to move along has been amazing for me. I’m dismantling fear -- internally and how I relate to the external world.

What makes you feel the most attractive? 

Dancing. When I feel flow and free with my own sensuality and other people notice it it makes me feel invincible and attractive. I feel attractive when I’m funny or wear a new item of clothing. When I can make people laugh. I like the way I feel when I can influence the dynamics of a group and can influence people's emotions. I also feel attractive when I'm teaching or delivering messages that people need to hear - -I’m able to tap into a higher intelligence and I feel that I am living in my purpose.

If there was no such thing as a glass ceiling, what would you do? 

If there was no glass ceiling or limits to what I could do I would develop my Goddess Essential Mastery Program and launch with full conversion. I would reach hundreds of women around the world to help others become emancipated from the unhealthful programming they have received. I would trust myself as a medicating women and intuitive. I would fully reconcile myself with those gifts to help others. I would follow my creative gifts as well. Have my own online Etsy shop. Contribute to learn. Feed my imagination. Personally, I want to believe it is possible for me to be part of a healthy family group.

In which ways do you think societal expectations of men and women differ? 

Men have a simple objective to make money to support family.  Women have so much more expectations -- work and mother, be responsible for everyone in the family.  

Who is your female icon and why? 

Ocasio Cortez - respect how she shunned large donors, how she is going door to door, the way she uses her fierce intelligence to cross examine corrupt politicians -- she exposed their level of ignorance.