Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
The “wives, sisters, daughters” line of argument comes up all the fucking time. President Obama even used it in his State of the Union address this year, saying,
“We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence.”
This device, which Obama has used on more than one occasion, is reductive as hell. It defines women by their relationships to other people, rather than as people themselves. It says that women are only important when they are married to, have given birth to, or have been fathered by other people. It says that women are only important because of who they belong to.
Women are not possessions.
Women are people.
The Believer Logger: I am not your wife, sister or daughter
One of the most incisive responses to some of the rhetoric we’ve been hearing in the wake of the Steubenville rape verdict is this blog post over at The Belle Jar.
When I was a little girl, growing up in france, my mother worked sewing tapestries. Some of the tapestries were exported to America. The only problem was that many of the images on the tapestries were of naked people. My mother’s job was to cut out—the genitals of men and women and replace these parts with flowers so they could be sold to americans. My mother saved all the pictures of the genitials over the years, and one day she sewed them together as a quilt and then she gave the quilt to me. That’s the difference between French and American aesthetics.
Louise Bourgeois ” Sunday Afternoons” (via fromasecondstory)