Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roadblocks for women artists?

"Expected" - collage 2010
I was recently interviewed by TheDetroiter blog for a series about women artists, since March is national women's month. One of the questions was "do you see any roadblocks for being a professional artist that are particular to women?" My answer leaned toward the idea that women are (generally in our society) expected to be everything to everyone at all times - happily and without question. I know logically that I am just as capable as a man to be a successful artist but for some reason I still feel a bit insecure. I feel confidant about my work - especially the fiber pieces I'm doing now - so I know the quality is there, but I still feel a little bit like I need permission. And that bothers me.

I was also curious about my children's perceptions of women. So I asked them. My daughter is 9 years old and I asked her if she thought being beautiful was important - "No" in a sarcastic, duh kind of way. And then I asked her what she thought about so many girls thinking beauty is more important than being smart - "That is crazy!" We talked about how women should be able to have any job she wants - to which my daughter added that it isn't fair that men sometimes still get paid more for the same job. I wonder what she would think of the current political mess over womens rights. And when I asked my son (6 years old) if he thought women could do whatever a man could do, he said "Yes. Except a woman can't lift up a car". I'm not sure why he thinks a man could lift up a car... So I clarified my question to whether he thought a woman should be able/allowed to try anything and he said "yeah",  kind of like I was asking a stupid question. So, it seems that so far my kids pretty much believe in equality for men and women and I hope it stays that way.

I would really like to hear more discussion about how other women artists feel about this question.

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