SALL HAPPENING at the moment, except for this exact moment, I just finished watching Judge Judy. Pretty productive times right now. I officially have a studio now, it's just a matter of actually moving in and making it a space that I can work productively in (no TV), as well as have a few beers and bowls of cereal with my buddies. I'm so excited for long afternoons there, going out for lunch, heading to openings when we're finished for the day. It will be like being back at Uni again except we can do whatever we want. (Within reason of course)
I'm in a show in Canada, which is exciting. It's at the Ontario College of Art and Design student gallery. It opens at 7pm on Friday March 8th. The flyer with the deets is above. I won't be there, but I must confess I spent a large amount of time on the weekend looking for the best possible last minute flight prices, and calculating if it would actually be possible to do something that insane like book a 30 hour international flight leaving in like a day. I did consider it. Common sense won over as it always does with me (Except when I bought my duck) and I will probably be home watching more Judge Judy as people are cracking open bottles of champagne (cheap wine?) at this opening. If you're in the general area you should definitely go and take a photo of yourself in front of my work with your thumbs up and send it to me. Cool thanks!
I must now talk about a thing which seems appropriate given the premise of the above show. That thing, is feminism. This piece of writing is in response to an incident at a party the other weekend which left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
I confess, I really didn't know a thing about it until I started working at Rookie, and became a part of The Ardorous and subsequently became educated by a group of amazing young women who aren't aggressive, and certainly don't make you feel stupid or ignorant for not knowing or understanding particular nuances in the rather large realms of women's rights. Many people don't have the privilege to be surrounded by such goddesses, thus may not know exactly what it means to call oneself a feminist, thus not feel confident to do so, which, having just recently been one of those people - I understand. Now, I'm still learning stuff, but if asked, I would definitely identify as a feminist. And, upon reflecting, I've been a feminist my whole life, I just didn't have the privilege of knowing that yet. A lot of women I know don't identify as feminists, but intrinsically they know the infinite wrongs of cat calling, slut shaming, rape culture, expectations put on our bodies to look particular ways, the fact that they're aren't nearly enough women and women of colour identified in those big art galleries, and those hideous misogynistic people you occasionally stumble across at the supermarket.
Being a feminist is above and beyond adopting the label. I actually would argue the relevance of the label at all. Being a feminist is, I think, to put it simply, living in the world, doing what you do and not apologizing for it. It is about choice. If you choose to let your partner pay for dinner, that is an act of feminism as much as you, as a woman, choosing to pay for dinner. Equality and standing up for yourself as whoever you want to be, accepting the flaws as well as the great, amazing parts you put out there too. Employing decisions that make you feel empowered. The term I would like to use to describe these people, is 'feminist minded'. Their whole being isn't defined by a personal identification as a feminist. It's not because feminism isn't "cool" (I mean, have you READ Rookie Mag? have you LISTENED to Kate Nash?). It's because it's SO HUGE. I think there'd be a lot more feminist minded people out there if we didn't get so caught up with that label, big noting its largeness and importance - that, as I mentioned, can seem super scary for someone who doesn't know exactly what it means!
I am sick of the shaming associated with someone not identifying as a feminist, whilst still believing fundamentally in women's rights. That used to be me, and I didn't know it was seen as *wrong* by other feminists or whatever, and it just made me more scared to embrace it the more people aggressively tried to tell me just how wrong it was. Embracing the label "feminist" comes with time, with understanding oneself, with understanding oneself and your place in the world as a women and what that means. It's so not as easy as answering "yes" or "no" when asked if you're a feminist. There's much, much more to it than that, and I think it's important to remember that before berating someone regarding their choice. Cause that's what it is, a choice, and what was feminism about again? Choice. Freedom of choice.