Today I’m chatting with Cameron Airen, a Feminist Creative, writer, Interviewer, Podcaster, Coach.

She has a masters in Anthropology and Social Change, a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies, and is the host of the podcast and blog, Real Feminist Stories about “everyday” feminists doing amazing things and creating conversations around intersectional feminism.

She’s also a co-leader of an upcoming program called, Whole Self Liberation, that helps us integrate the interconnectedness of personal growth, spirituality, and social justice.

You already know from my chat with Mary Ann Clements how much I like getting nerdy with fellow Anthropology students, so the fact that Cameron has studied Anthropology, is a feminist, lives a nomadic life currently and talks about things like being a Whole Self.

It all just meant that I had to have her on the show!

Enjoy our ramble through the fairytale of Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty) and Cameron’s relationship with her body and creativity.

Things we chatted about in this episode:

  • the fairytale Maleficent
  • the Snow White story but from the perspective of the ‘wicked’ fairy godmother
  • really drawn to stories like that, the complexity
  • how Maleficent’s kingdom/community was non-hierarchical, more egalitarian, more diverse
  • how she was the leader and protector of the kingdom
  • resonated with how Maleficent was not fond of Aurora at first, and Cameron really liked that because she’s never wanted kids, never really been a kid person, loved how Maleficent was not going goo goo gaga over the child.
  • absolutely loved how ‘true love’s kiss’ came from Maleficent, who had cursed Aurora, rather than the prince.
  • such a great symbolism of female bonds and friendship, of how you don’t need a man to save you – challenging all those stereotypical things
  • how true love wasn’t about romantic love, which was so awesome
  • relates Maleficient getting revenge, likes female revent films for that reason. She didn’t forgive, she cursed instead. Showed her complexity and her range as a person. Made her really relateable.
  • we don’t see women villains and their stories enough. Loved this.
  • relationship with creativity + intuition
  • been more connected to intuition in the past year.
  • always been someone who’s followed her heart and her passions, and feels that that is connected to intuition even though they’re different things.
  • how having passions can change and how that can be very challenging. There is a choice about whether to investigate the changes or not, and how fear can arise because investigating can lead to big change.
  • how her Saturn Return catalyzed change – identities being challenged, happily living her life, then turned 27, became depressed, lost a sense of fulfillment, then was a runner whose body didn’t want to run anymore
  • more in touch with her creativity now than ever before, EXCEPT when was a kid.
  • as a kid did a lot of arts and crafts, was a dancer, was always creating in her head, dances and games
  • lost that in high school and in her 20s
  • since her Saturn return has recovered a connection with creativity and intuition
  • feels like she’s living a creative life as a nomad
  • opening herslf up to wonder and surprise, trusting the unknown
  • the connection between feminism, social change and your intuition
  • on being ambitious and therefore thinking things will happen a lot sooner than they do
  • relationship with body + intuition
  • was a running coach. A personal trainer. Wanted to run marathons all over the world.
  • was a runner for 20 years, identity was shaken up, body and soul were telling her to stop running.
  • how letting go of being a runner gave her space to explore who she was if she wasn’t only a runner.
  • all of which led to graduate school and studying anthropology, social change, and the work she’s doing now.
  • had always felt like the gender that was assigned to her was not really her. Always had this curiosity and love of hearing people tell their stories, which led her to create her blog and podcast: real feminist stories.
  • did an activist ethnography with sex workers in the Bay Area
  • this led to her discovering that she loved to teach, but didn’t want to do it in a traditional way, which is why she started coaching.
  • coaching now combines personal growth and social change.
  • loves encouraging and supporting people she believes in. comes naturally.
  • started running when she was 8 years old.
  • learned from a very young age that exercise is part of your nature, just kind of like the air that you breathe.
  • exercise was just part of being human, integral to everyday life. Had a dad who was a coach and athlete as well.
  • also, as a Capricorn, as an Earth sign, being in your body is just kind of # 1.
  • relationship to body is a lot more healthy now however, because when she was running she was using discipline a lot more, rather than letting body guide her.
  • stretching, hiking and being in nature feels really good lately
  • strength training has always been something she’s had a soft spot for

Resources from this episode:

  • Saturn Return
  • Whole Self Liberation (UPDATE: this website is no longer available online.)

Connecting with Cameron:

  • (weblink no longer available)

Connecting with Janelle: