Maggie Young has a new book coming out March 1st on Amazon, titled Just Another Number, and it speaks of real life situations dealing with the Military, drugs, and being a southern feminist in a world of men. The book is fascinating and unlike other tell-all books, as Young has her own special way of writing and drawing one in with horror, wit and compassion. She tells it like it is, and the following is part two of her interview, edited only to eliminate profanity.
Kristi: Could you give our readers a short synopsis about the book?
I used to think that women were equal to men.
I was delusional.
After thousands of years of being pinched, painted, corseted, negotiated and sold by our daddies as the decorated broodmares they called “wives,” we wear pants. We vote. We own property. And with a twenty percent pay cut, we can even hold a job. We should be grateful, right?
Like most of us, I danced the independent woman charade. I played sailor with the boys. I worked. I traveled. I f***** bachelors and paraded the bars with artificial liberation. I got into a prestigious school. I was allowed in Corporate America. But like my mother, grandmother, and all the women before, I was incarcerated. My shackles were just a bit lighter.
Incarceration is the yank of hot wax ripping pubic hair from my throbbing vagina. It’s the swollen blisters from the stilettos that elevate my rump to the supple, f******* shape men like. It’s the itch of a black lace thong flossing my ass cheeks. It was the pressure to join the Navy boys in their cackles of sexist gossip as if I was rushing into an elite fraternity. Incarceration is every female magazine being a recycled instruction manual for molding myself to be the perfect balance of sex kitten and angelic bride. Incarceration was being told to preserve my hymen as the ideal clean, unsullied marital livestock. Incarceration is the deprivation of chivalry, manners, friendship, intimacy, and romance that is replaced with a d*** down my throat, slap on my ass, and cum on my tits followed by passive aggressive criticism about my sexual track record when I refuse to water myself down and plaster on an innocent, delirious, girlish mask. Incarceration is the way men dangle their fictitious respect for us as treats for our proper, ladylike behavior. Incarceration is the embraced and digested idioms of “boys will be boys.” Incarceration is a man saying he respects a woman who doesn’t prematurely spread her legs for him. Incarceration is the way a woman is expected to date like a soccer goalie-shuffling back and forth to block the balls constantly flying in her direction and shamed the moment she lets one slip in her net. Incarceration was wondering what I did wrong every time my lovers disappeared. Incarceration is when nobody writes a happy ending for a woman without a man.
My wake up call wasn’t some light switch of empowerment. From as early as preschool I feared that if I didn’t grow up to be the pretty princess men fawned over, I was a failure. That mentality was my disease. It got me raped. It made me feel dirty and devalued because my cherry wasn’t popped on a bed of rose petals. It fueled an adolescence juggling starvation and vomiting until my throat bled out and my stomach acid burned through the plumbing. It made me snort coke, smoke meth, and routinely gulp down narcotic petri dishes in hopes of obtaining hallucinogenic intimacy with junkie boyfriends. But most of all, it made me waste my youth chasing, obsessing over, fighting for, worshiping, clinging to, and crying over one after another loser. At some point, I just quit giving a f***.
Men have ruled the majority of our history. Rarely could women get jobs, education, property, and political rights. Women had to devote their lives to beauty, virginity, and reproduction. They had to be skilled in patience, loyalty, and male ego nourishment. The only ambition they could really have was to acquire the highest quality husband possible. They had to tolerate mistresses, tempers, beatings, and belittling for the roof over their head. That has all changed. But what has happened is that emotional evolution has not caught up with our economics. We are still haunted by the outdated myth that women need men.
This book isn’t about burning bras, shaving heads, or growing bush between our thighs. This book is not meant to be an exorcism of femininity, sexuality, or romance. This book isn’t about disowning all of our gender roles. This book isn’t meant to bash men, but to address the detrimental ways all genders have been told to act. This book is my rigorous trek to emotional freedom.
Kristi: Do you have any advice for others that may find themselves in similar situations as you’ve described in this book?
Maggie: Women have only been politically and economically independent for about 50 years, if even that. That’s a very quick shift after thousands of years worth of patriarchy. In the past, women couldn’t vote. Women couldn’t open property. Their only ambition had to lie in acquiring the best possible husband. Of course, they had to revolve their lives around being the best possible wifely material. That’s why virginity is valued. Women were livestock. Livestock needs to be pure, unsullied, and fertile. Women needed to structure their every move around being appealing to men.
My advice is to realize that the use for this mentality has expired, just like the telegram and the quill pen. We do not need men in any way, shape, or form. So dismiss that outdated myth that still haunts far too many of us.
Kristi: What was it, that made you determined to change the path your life was on?
Maggie: My entire life fell apart. I found myself broke, homeless, and without a family. When I was in the midst of anxiety and despair, wondering if I had destroyed my life, I went to my laptop and wrote. Writing was the only time I didn’t feel like I was drowning. My writing has been the center of my life ever since.
Kristi: What do you want readers to take away from this book?
Maggie: I want them to drop the facades our society pushes onto us. I want them to shed the charade of how they are supposed to act, who they are supposed to be, and what they are supposed to do. I want this book to give people the strength to be themselves raw and unfiltered without fear. I want to encourage people to surrender to their own happiness in whatever form that may be.
Kristi: When is the book coming out? Where can we find it?
Maggie: Just Another Number will be officially out March 1st and you can find it in Amazon. I will be recording an audio book in April.
Kristi: Is this your first book? If not what other books can readers find by you?
Maggie: This is indeed my first book! I have been published 4 times in the San Diego Weekly Reader, including 2 cover stories. I am currently writing a second memoir, My Dilemma. It’s about how economies cause generation gaps. It profiles my family fallout, the south, and the recession. My family will be playing an even bigger role in My Dilemma than Just Another Number.
Guardian Liberty Voice would like to thank Maggie Young for her forthright and candid interview on her new book Just Another Number. Her articles in the San Diego Weekly touched the hearts of many military wives, and women in general. Her experiences resound in the hearts of women that have had similar experiences and evoke compassion in those that have not.
By Kristi Cereska
All material was collected in direct interviews with Maggie Young
All Photos were provided by Maggie Young
Maggie Young can be found on:
Maggie Young’s website: www.themaggieyoung.com