Deanna Hoisington


As Interviewed by Anna Poterek, March 15, 2013
"The girls were supposed to do work like ironing, taking care of the younger children and babies, cleaning and cooking, doing dishes."
Deanna Hoisington

Introductory Profile: About Deanna Hoisington

I interviewed Deanna L. Hoisington about women’s rights. I wanted to learn the story of someone who has actually fallen victim to the lack of women’s rights and seen it happen to others. There are several parts of the interview that struck me, because it seemed so unfair. They included a poor family, due to too many children; not going to school in order to take care of her siblings; because she had to stay home, becoming pregnant as a teenager – all of which changed her life. These events are not obvious breaches of women’s rights, but there is a connection.

Deanna Hoisington certainly has a style. She is short, but her feisty and outspoken personality makes her ten-feet tall. Notoriously stubborn, Deanna never moves an inch on her beliefs. She makes these beliefs known, often speaking-out about political parties or ideas. She keeps her hair short, and she looks and behaves much younger than she really is. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan with a large family. Often, she had to stay home to take care of her younger siblings, so she didn’t receive a complete education. She had a child out of wedlock, which was not acceptable at the time. Deanna could only work certain jobs due to her limited schooling. In her thirties, she started taking college classes at night while working full-time and taking care of her youngest daughter.

Despite the solemn topic of our interview, Deanna manages to stay upbeat. She does not make the topic happy, but she cracks a few jokes here and there to lighten the mood. However, she respects the seriousness of the topic. She keeps it formal, despite our relation. Deanna can look upon her past with clear vision, and she has no problem telling me every detail, even the most unfortunate. She seemed perfectly comfortable discussing her late parents, her children, and her struggles against poverty.

We discussed women’s rights, from the fights and discrimination of the 1940s (and a little before then) to the injustices of the world today. I listened to the story of both a victim and a witness to others. Overall, I feel that the interview was a success. I learned a lot about my grandma as well as heard some family stories told in a different way. I am also kind of shocked that she was able to recover from some drastic events that I can’t even imagine. She was a good interviewee, with an open mind and lots to say. She expressed to me that this interview helped her reflect on her past and made her think.