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Unclassified Woman

Unclassified Woman offers an inspiring stream of conversation with women around the globe, who are building lives beyond society’s expectations. Part myth busting, part inspirational story sharing, Michelle Marie McGrath interviews amazing childless or childfree women, including authors, film-makers, activists, entrepreneurs, priestesses, leaders, speakers and creative mavens, who share their experiences and insights, while questioning the expectations of women everywhere. Michelle shares interviews with women all around the globe who are childless or childfree for a multitude of reasons. With almost 25% of women over 40 child-free by choice or childless through circumstance, it seems absurd that women still have to justify their decisions or endure pity about why they’re not mothers. Motherhood is not a mandate and yet so many women are made to feel ‘less than’ or viewed suspiciously or disparagingly, if they are creating a life of meaning beyond biological mothering. All of these outdated stereotypes lead to one dangerous assumption: what’s your value beyond being a mother? As mainstream society still tends to over-celebrate mothers juggling ‘it all’, and under-celebrate women who, whilst not mothers, have created lives of purpose and service. Unclassified Woman is the perfect antidote to limiting female narratives. In the second season, Michelle and her guests expanded on the creative power of ALL women. We explored the power of awakening womb consciousness. The womb or hara is the sacred creation portal from where we birth everything in our lives and yet the unlimited power within is as yet untapped by most women (and men) today. This includes working with the cycles of the moon, reconnecting deeply with the cycles of nature, aligning with the elements, harnessing the magic of the menstrual cycle and reclaiming the power of the divine feminine within. So if you’re interested in a stronger connection to Mother earth, increased intuition, more soulful sex, more creativity, feeling better in your own skin and joyously walking your own path – tune in! In order to ascend, we need to descend so let’s dive in together! Season 3 commenced was released in April 2018 and Season 4 will be released mid-2019. Each woman’s path in life is equally valid and sacred. Michelle is a Self-love Mentor for women birthing their soul gifts into the world. She offers one-on-one Womb Awakening Sessions, in person events, Intuitive Guidance/Distance Healing and the Sacred Self range of vibrational aromatherapy. www.michellemariemcgrath.com
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Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 16, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Unclassified Woman. As we conclude Season 3, it seems fitting to share this conversation with Jody Day, who was the first ever interviewee on Unclassified Woman a few years ago.

How do you combat society’s ideology about those who are on the “outside”? It’s not an easy task, but one that a few brave people are called upon to challenge.

Today’s show is all about how we approach taboo topics, the dominance of pro-natalistic thinking and current trends in the way families are formed. Don’t miss this eye-opening conversation!

 

"I found myself in midlife as part of the 'out' group because of something that was not of my choosing."

Today, we’re catching up with Jody and finding out what’s been happening in her work in the past few years. Jody is the founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship and support network for childless women and the author of Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children. 

Jody’s a thought leader on the topic of women's involuntary childlessness and a founding member and former board member of AWOC, Ageing Without Children. She’s a former Cambridge Business Fellow in Social Innovation, a TEDx speaker, and a psychotherapist-in-training. She’s a very busy lady who takes great pleasure in helping childless women get their groove back and find their tribe via the Gateway Women workshops’ online communities and social meet-ups that happen all around the globe. 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The update on the last four years: Jody’s blog, the feedback from her work, and finding her tribe.
  • In the UK, 1 in 5 women reach midlife without having children.
  • The difference in the UK and the US as far as making an impact.
  • How Jody developed and branded her blog so that women can identify with it and not feel alone in their experience.
  • How the topic of childlessness is a combination of taboo, painful subjects like grief and infertility.
  • How millennials view childlessness, both chosen and involuntary.
  • The changing narrative around discussions about our bodies, sexuality, and childbearing.
  • One area that still needs a dramatic shift in openness---menopause.
  • Another taboo topic is abortion and its accompanying shame, guilt, and grief. Something we need to discuss more openly...
  • Why Jody says she talks about her personal abortion experience at every opportunity--simply because it’s a taboo topic.
  • Jody’s studies that are ongoing so she can graduate next Spring.
  • In 2016, the 2nd edition of her book came out, with many interviews with childless women and men.
  • The next stages of the social change that will take place and how legacy will play into the grieving process.
  • Legacy can be a lifetime of moments of connection and empathy
  • What “Plan B” looks like and why it doesn’t always mean something different than what you already have.
  • Jody’s fantasy and what it meant about her value of motherhood and the validation of her mother’s heart.
  • The compassion Jody feels for all disenfranchised groups of people.
  • How her eyes have been opened to those who have been judged for something they couldn’t control.
  • Jody’s Fertility Fight Club talk at Fertility Fest (find it at www.fertilityfest.com).
  • The pro-natal ideology: the belief that you are a more important person because you’ve had children. The message is that if you are a parent, your life has more value.
  • The prediction for Australia that by 2030 there will be more non-traditional family units without children than with children.
  • 25% of the adult population will age without having children, but often this sector of the population are ignored.
  • The huge need for reorganisation in our social systems.
  • The future of Gateway Women as they tackle two main issues: pro-natalism in the workplace and getting stories of childlessness into the mainstream with humour.
  • The difficulty in challenging and changing belief systems: how do we get the rest of the world to understand us and shift their thinking?

Resources:

www.gateway-women.com

Find Jody on Instagram and Twitter: @GatewayWomen

If you enjoyed this episode and would like to help more women access these stories, then please subscribe and leave us a review or rating on Itunes. For information about more episodes go to: michellemariemcgrath.com

I would love to hear what you found most helpful about this interview. Thank you.

Aug 10, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Unclassified Woman. Today I'm speaking to Shanghai based Keturah Kendrick, who shares her perspective on being childfree by choice.

Whose voice do you listen to most? When it comes to marriage and having children, it seems that everyone has an opinion regarding how YOU should live your life. Today’s show is all about listening to YOUR voice and making the choices that make YOU happy.

Keturah Kendrick is an American writer, blogger and podcaster who has lived on three different continents and travelled to more than a dozen countries.

For years she has written about her life as a single woman who sees being unmarried as a lifestyle choice like any other, as opposed to an “illness from which I must be cured.” She also writes about her lifelong disinterest in motherhood, critiquing the cultural expectation that black women, in particular, are destined to birth and raise children.

An English teacher by trade, she has discussed her favourite books with her students in New York, Rwanda, and Shanghai. Her debut collection of essays, No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone, will be published in June 2019. Keturah enjoys food and travel, specifically, eating her way through her favourite countries---and who can blame her?

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Keturah calls New York and New Orleans home. She needed a break and wanted to travel, so spent 2 years in Rwanda teaching English and then found a position in Shanghai.
  • Her not having a child is “absolutely by personal choice”---she always knew that motherhood would never be “her thing”.
  • How she has felt the pressure just beneath the surface and has been told she is being silly, selfish, and must be a broken woman to not want children
  • The mockery she felt when she voiced her desire to never have kids.
  • How she was raised that the only thing that validated a woman's life was to be someone’s wife and mother.
  • The subtle influences that she was “being unfair to her phantom husband” by not wanting children.
  • Where is the logic in anyone trying to convince another person to have a baby?
  • Why Keturah has become more vocal in her writing and her podcast.
  • Why parenting should be a lifestyle choice that some people make and shouldn’t be tied to your gender.
  • Many women around the world don’t have a choice and don’t have access to contraception.
  • Why there should be tolerance for everyone’s right to individual choice about their roles.
  • How Keturah uses her creative energy in her blog, writing, and being with other people.
  • How she’s always been true to herself about what she wanted--”When I look back, I see that everyone was wrong but me.”
  • The ways we encourage and blatantly tell young women that every other voice but their own is important.
  • Why Keturah is glad she trusted in her own instincts and didn’t let anyone convince her to go against what she knew was right for her.
  • How Keturah approached the topic of children with a longtime partner, who believed he may want children.
  • The conditioning by society to fit the dominant narrative and how this plays out in relationships.
  • Keturah’s advice: “Ignore everybody’s voice but your own, including your mother and your man. I want absolute joy and fulfilment for everyone. If motherhood is that for you, then do it, but if not, then listen to your voice until you make a decision.”
  • Parting words from Keturah: Don’t get off the fence if you are undecided! Don’t be afraid to tell people to mind their own business! Listen to no one’s voice but your own!

Find out more about Keturah and her work at

www.keturahkendrick.com

Find her on Twitter: @HappySingleGal

Find Keturah’s blog: www.yetanothersinglegal.com

Find Keturah’s podcast: www.unchainedandunbothered.com 

If you enjoyed this episode and would like to help more women access these stories, then please subscribe and leave us a review or rating on Itunes. For information about more episodes go to: michellemariemcgrath.com

I would love to hear what you found most helpful about this interview. Thank you.

 

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