No I am asking….?
This a letter I recently wrote for a show at City Hall.
A letter in Trumps America,
I wrote a quick text to the women in my family “ why do you think sexism exists I asked?
As I waited for their responses my mind wandered, power, jealousy, anxiety, truth. It continued. Do women not care enough? Are we not strong enough? Are we not enough?
I checked my phone, still no response.
In my family, women are strong. We are artists, makers, and thinkers, but conformists too. I grew up in a suburban reality with a mom and dad. My dad worked in a normal office in a big city from where he commuted. We played sports and had friends over, and did and wanted all the normal things kids did and wanted.
We were different though.
Our house was filled with mosaic and color and my parents did not censor us. We had nude paintings on walls, and they had loud parties bursting with all flavors of life.
We were embarrassed and thrilled.
I was empowered, but confused.
Was I a feminist?
These questions and thoughts forced me to think critically.
Mother and Daughters, Future and Past,
To be a woman is to really understand our reality. Things are not normal or fair, and being a woman is certainly different than being a man.
We are honored and dismissed within seconds. There will be much discrimination, both for trying to be strong and serious, as well as feminine and domestic.
Adding artists to this equation can often make it worse. Double shame and two helpings of not being taken seriously. The good news future artists is this: we can have aspects of “ it all”, and while doing so we are the only ones who carry, labor, and deliver all humans, or even more brave choose not to.
As women we have entered another hard moment in history, where we matter less, and art without a heavy price tag even less than less. Now we can’t be afraid, now we have more to offer than ever. We can choose all.