Friday, October 24, 2008

Moorhead: Beth

Beth (right, at her parents' farm): 20, lives and grew up on a farm in Moorhead, ND, second oldest of five kids, started her own business a year ago called Eden Photography, attends bible college through the Fargo Baptist church.

"I wouldn't say I was a feminist. I don't believe that women should be a doormat--we're all equal to God--but he gives us different roles. The way I see it is that if this is his will, to raise the next generation, you're going to be your happiest [raising children] can have your business on the side, as sort of a "fallback" I would say, but your focus is on your family and God. I don't think that certain people shouldn't get a job because they're a woman, but I do think in a marriage, you should submit. There are definitely roles for a husband and wife, and feminism would be erasing that."

Fargo: Prairie Rose

Prairie Rose (left, in her Fargo apartment): 28, member of the Fort Berthhold reservation in northwest North Dakota, grew up in Fargo, half Cheyenne/Arikara, half German-Russian, one of six kids. Former manager of the Fargo theater and now works with a local promoter, but her "passion lies with social justice issues."

"The Western interpretation [of native culture] is that women were very domesticated--they did all the housework, the skinning and tanning and building of homes. But with this comes a lot of balance...the women were the backbone of our society. The men were the skin--we can't survive without skin, and they protected us. The tradeoff was that women were responsible for education...we were the healers, the doctors, the midwives, we had power...

"[Now] Native American women suffer two or three times the rate of domestic violence, rape and incest than their Caucasian counterparts. What happened with our history is that our way of life was taken away from us...we were compassionate and equitable. But when you are a people who have lost everything, who are relocated, who are forced into this whole assimilation process, you lose yourselves--because of oppression we became the oppresors. There is a new generation are trying to bring back who we are, but it's a hard cycle to break."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

GIRLdrive hits the Dakotas!

This past weekend we headed out to the Dakotas (our first time!), visiting Fargo, Sioux Falls, Lake Andes and more... mostly gazing and gawking at the sweeping farmlands that define the region. It has been exactly a year since we first headed out on the road, and this was sadly our last official trip for book content. Roadtrip addicts that we are, though, I am sure we will be back soon enough. Until then, look forward to snippets in the coming weeks from the singular Dakotas women we had the pleasure of interviewing. Here below, sample some of our candid moments (with girlfriend Antonia) at one with the road.