There was a lot of International Women’s Day stuff on social media today, and most of it annoyed me. It annoyed me because any bandwagon that people jump on irritates me. I’m not a crowd animal at all. I’m an eternal black sheep. But there’s more to it than that. I guess it struck me as superficial to celebrate the many accomplishments and qualities of women the world over when, internationally speaking, three things prevail: the gender pay gap, violence against women, and iffy reproductive rights (if any). So thank you for the flowers and all that, but instead of a special day to honor women, I’d rather have 365 days of equal pay, and a world in which women feel safe and have autonomy over their bodies and choices.
I didn’t voice this stuff on social media because I didn’t want to be ugly, so I decided to pour my irritation into art instead. I decided to make some small collages of dead goddesses surrounded by flowers. They’d give me the chance to play with various mediums and layering, and also serve as commentary on how the sacred feminine has been demonized and undermined for centuries.
The background didn’t completely dry yet, so I won’t truly get to experiment until tomorrow. Disclaimer: I didn’t buy the polyurethane as I was afraid It’d cause me a full-fledged asthma attack, but I do have some other cool stuff that’s less likely to kill me. No, I won’t die for art. Not even for art with a feminist message (and collage flowers). But I did spend a lot of time in my Escapist studio today and ended up hanging out with my fellow Escapists. It helped, talking to them. I guess we’re all experiencing the same type of excitement but also of pressure. Pressure to make stuff, to keep the quality up, pressure to make the most out of this opportunity, pressure to be there as much as possible and not miss out on stuff. Today for me was a bit challenging. Even with spring break before me I felt like there’s hardly enough time. Maybe I’m still tired. I felt better than yesterday, more rested, back pain almost gone, though I was still afraid to bend in certain ways or pick stuff up. It occurs to me at times like this that the artist’s life involves a lot of physical effort. It makes me scared that maybe I’m not strong enough. Let’s add that to my list of reasons for self-doubt, shall we? Or maybe not. Maybe it’s best to chase all self-defeating thoughts away. After all, I’m probably still cranky because it’s that time of the semester and I’ve been working very hard. There’s sadness that sneaks in through the crevices on days like this, sadness and doubt, nostalgia for things and people better left unmentioned. Tomorrow will be better. The goddesses will still be dead. But they will hopefully get flowers.