A short history of being a woman

2016-02-10 19.04.55

I wanted to be a muse when I was younger – not an artist, a muse : partly due to historical and cultural depictions, I now understand, but partly also due to my innate laziness : to inspire, and not do seemed like the perfect solution to everything. But then, as I saw men around me, it started to seem more and more like an absurd idea : absolute madness – they hated me, and I them. So this muse business wasn’t going to happen. And what relief! So it was settled then, I had to be the artist – to make films seemed like a good option, but all the institutes thought otherwise – a particular interview I remember at the National Institute of Design, when an all-male interview board laughed at the photographs I’d shown them and asked if I’d misplaced my glasses while taking them – so that wasn’t going to happen either. You see, if it were someone else, they wouldn’t have given up so easily : but always unconvinced of my own ambitions, I lose interest easily. Writing suited better to my temperament, because it – physically – didn’t involve other people. And what relief!

Now people ask me if I am writing a book – maybe I am, maybe I’m not, how can one be certain of such a thing? – but I really don’t care – I don’t mind being ignored – I have no interest in fighting for anything, for making my voice heard, I don’t actively contribute to making this world a better place : that’s the problem, as a woman, I am always expected to resist and fight, because to not do that – in a particular way – is to submit and lose. There is one right way of being a strong woman and that is to be a fighter.

But you see, I worry that in the time I will be fighting and resisting, men will be busy looking at all the light and colour I wanted to see. My history will be violent, theirs so tranquil and dreamlike.

But you know, to look at light is my right too. To be quiet, to be romantic, to be in love, to think about unknown galaxies, to be tired, to be as soft and delicate as I want : is another way to be a woman artist.

Whether someone believes me or not is irrelevant.

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