Rachel Brosnahan | Ambitious Women
I’m always a sucker for period shows because I love the fashion and the bits of history you learn throughout the show’s story. But when I learned Amy Sherman-Palladino was the creator of the show (I had just finished watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and I was riding that Sherman-Palladino high), I was sold! Then Rachel was on Jimmy Fallon talking about what it was like to play a female comedian and I was sold again!
Period show, check.
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino, check.
Female Comic, check.
And sure enough, it was magical and funny like I imagined it would be! After watching the first episode, my husband got an ear full of how obsessed I already was!
Next thing you know, Jordan is joining me on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-binging adventure and we’re talking about feminism and how marriage has evolved since the 60s. And when we talk about marriage, we inevitably talk about our marriage, and how being raised by our strong, hard working, career-oriented women is one of many things that contributes to the success of our relationship. Ever the (at times exhaustingly) cognizant and compassionate multiculturalist, my husband made sure we acknowledged that we could celebrate our mothers’ careers while also celebrating other women--and men--who don’t have careers, and what that might mean for their children’s relationships. (I heartily agreed, but because I know he’ll read this...boy also needs to sometimes just let me complain about a place without pointing out that the people there also have their strengths, other places have their dark...yes, yes, fine, okay.) Anyway, next thing you know, we’re gushing over how grateful we are for each other (Amy, was that the intention of this show?).
But let’s get onto the topic of what I want to discuss: Ambitious women.
In the Imagination issue of Darling, Magazine, Rachel Brosnahan discusses a line of Midge’s (her character on the show) that resonated with her:
“Why do we have to pretend that we’re helpless when we’re not helpless? Why do we have to pretend to be sorry when we have nothing to be sorry about? And why do we have to pretend we’re not hungry when we’re hungry?”
Rachel Brosnahan explains, “I love that last part especially - even though she’s talking literally about food and wanting to eat- because, to me, it speaks to this larger idea of female ambition. Why do we have to pretend we’re not as ambitious as we are to be palatable to those in power?”
I’ve been pretty open on my blog about my internal struggles as a woman who pursues a creative career and motherhood in hopes that it would introduce me to other women who are doing the same, or to help those who are trying to do the same. Trying to achieve both motherhood and career has left me feeling like I don’t have a tribe: I don’t fit in with women who put their careers first or women who put motherhood first. I never liked when women (even those who professed to be feminists) tell me I couldn’t get a Masters if I have another child. I would be disheartened when women would end a conversation about their hopes and dreams with “one day” or "in another life”. In both instances, I would doubt my abilities or question whether I was crazy for “trying to do it all”. Worst of all, it made me doubt what I had felt guided--yes, as in, by God-- to do. (Thanks to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for helping me realize that).
Andy Miller of the Creative Pep Talk podcast said in regards to creativity that “Repression and lying to yourself is detrimental to your future. There are all kinds of social structures and norms that keep us hiding our true selves from ourselves.“ So after all the, what seems to be signs, or even nagging advice, I’m deciding that 2019 will be the year I own who I am. I’m done shyly talking about my work. I’m done hiding my ambition because I worry people can’t relate or understand. I’m done feeling less than because of my ambitions. I am a woman who is pursuing a successful creative career while being a mom and wife! Owning it!