Feminist Conversations is a regular feature here at Feminists for Choice. Today we are talking to Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter, the co-editors of Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small, a collection of essays by women discussing their accounts of shame.
1. How did the concept of writing about shame come about?
HOLLYE: Amy and I had numerous long phone conversations about the ways our own shame had limited us. We each began blogging about shame, and were overwhelmed with responses from readers who shared their own stories. We realized how alone we all feel when we are carrying these silent burdens, and how in sharing them, we form bonds with others and are transformed. We wanted to share this with many more people, so we gathered essays from other courageous women we knew, and voila- the book was born.
AMY: Hollye and I talked (and talk!) all the time. About our lives. Our fears. Our doubts. Our joys. Our victories & defeats. Everything from our marriages, to the importance of friendship. And we talked a lot about our shame. All the stuff that kept us small, kept us hiding. Talking with Hollye gave me great courage. I think we both realized (in almost the same moment) that by sharing all that pain & suffering we were able to loosen its grip. We both came to the realization that if we shared our stories, others would be inspired and join in, and that was pretty miraculous.