Martha Smiley

As Interviewed by Lukas Keel, March 17, 2011
"The injustice is that people see gender or race or ethnicity first, rather than the talent or the individual who they are interacting with. "
Martha Smiley

Introductory Profile: About Martha Smiley

As I ran in the doors, a little bit late, I found Martha Smiley sitting on the couch with an amused smile on her face. She has dark hair with a tinge of grey in the sides, a dark suit and pants to match, a quick laugh, and a charismatic air that made anyone respect her, a feeling I lost no time in discovering. Martha, who has spent her life at various jobs and working to help those who had been discriminated against, has a story similar to many women of the time, fewer opportunities for jobs because of her gender and therefore, less chance to make a living. Martha, who attended the UT Law School and had to deal with her unfair teachers and ostracizing male classmates, was close to discrimination and is very opposed to it.

Martha is a strong woman with a kind heart. She lives in a beautiful house in South Austin with her son, John. She enjoys board games, college sports, especially the Longhorns, talking about politics, being with the people she loves and reading a good book. Martha has a quick, clever sense of humor and an easygoing laugh. She is a genius at the game Rummikube and makes great steak. Martha used her parents and the south Texas community where she grew up, to obtain the values she has.

During the interview, Martha’s smile was always present, from describing how hard it was for women at the law school, to giving her thoughts on how discrimination still grips our nation today; nothing from her past seemed to make her sad. Her charisma was likewise present throughout the interview, and her obviously kind heart dragged me into her story.

Martha Smiley is a great storyteller, and her struggle for women’s rights is a touching one.