Interview of Elizabeth Montiel
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences chemical sensitivities. Domestic worker and member of the Women’s Collective and United and Active Women (MUA), two activist organizations in San Francisco.
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Social MovementsEnvironmental Illness
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences chemical sensitivities. Domestic worker and member of the Women’s Collective and United and Active Women (MUA), two activist organizations in San Francisco.
- Montiel, Elizabeth
- Persons Present:
- Montiel and Encinas
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted using the Zoom video conferencing platform.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- This interview was conducted by Abraham Encinas, a graduate student researcher, for the Center for the Study of Women, and PhD student in English, UCLA. Abraham’s dissertation focuses on novels of dictatorship in 20th century Latinx and Asian American literature.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator.
- 1 hr
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
Nació en México--Tuvo madre soltera, tiene siete hermanos--Aprende roles de género cuando era niña--Experiencias similares a las de su esposo--Viaja a su hogar actual en San Francisco--Importancia de su trabajo como trabajadora doméstica--Problemas con productos tóxicos incluyendo en sus pulmones y con su vista--Prefiere ahorrar dinero en lugar de gastar en atención médica porque no tiene seguro médico--Abuso por parte de los empleadores y lesiones de trabajo--Falta al trabajo debido a problemas de salud--Impacto de sus problemas de salud en su familia--Sólo toma Advil como un medicamento--Trabaja con las organizaciones de la Colectiva de Mujeres y Mujeres Unidas y Activas--Es motivada por ayudar a la gente y proteger sus derechos--Los efectos positivos y negativos del coronavirus en ella y su familia--Desea de que todos tengan conocimiento y conciencia sobre los trabajadores y también sobre el papel adverso de los productos químicos en nuestras vidas--La importancia de tratar a la gente como uno quiere que lo traten--Conclusión
Born in Mexico--Grows up with a single mother and seven siblings--Learns gender roles when she is a kid--Spouse has similar early life experiences--Lives in San Francisco--Importance of her work as a domestic worker--Problems with toxic products, including in her lungs and with her eyes--Saves money rather than seeking medical attention, since she does not have health insurance--Abuse by employers and work-related injuries--Lack of work due to health problems--Impact of her health on her relationship with her family--Only takes Advil as a medication--Works with the Women’s Collective and United and Active Women (MUA)--Motivated by helping people and protecting their rights--Positive and negative effects of coronavirus on her and her family--Wishes everyone will have knowledge and conscientiousness with respect to workers and also about the adverse role of chemicals in our lives--Hopes people will treat others as they wish to be treated--Conclusion