The fear. I had it. Unable to get to a Women’s March, I ate up everything I could via social media. Making my contribution by painting and drawing. Then I posted them, on forever_toofar, then I got THE FEAR. The featured image is Joleen Abbinante with her beautiful sign and happy face at the Women’s March on Washington. A face on the internet. Hers was seen on huff post, who are on it with siting their images,which is why I was able to tag this and other stranger as I posted. Using an image by someone else, of someone else, the author and the context, adding nudity, pit hair and mermaid tails. How very dare I? As I tagged the sources I had used; what if they were offended by me making them topless or hairy, maybe I should offer to put a coat on them? What about adding or taking away weight, getting skin tones wrong, grouping them in with my other creations? What was I going to do if I pissed someone off? Right there in the open, on social media!
In amidst fear of my stance, to be a culprit of blind white feminism, eeew NO! I have to keep learning, poking, asking, laughing, crying and trying. For not many years I have felt like a feminist, I grew up in a Post Feminist -Post Thatcher house. A dark place where nothing made sense. Women are strong and men are all the same, useless bastards, feminists are radical, over the top and unnecessary. Feminism, abortion, a good man where dirty words. Then I learnt to talk. First with drawings then with words. I found words similar to mine, I found questions and answers leading to new questions. I learnt how authenticity and confidence could feel.
I fear the accusation of cultural appropriation, by some how crossing a line by drawing a culture, or individuals from WOC, LGBTQ+, Deaf or any other marginalised communities. Of not being seen to be a good inter-sectional feminist, being an impostor, urk, being a white washing, noninclusive feminist. Every day Feminism puts out some valid words on this, why-our-feminism-must-be-intersectional. I’m totally guilty of using NOT skin tones to avoid using skin tones, I’m moving out of that slowly, I never did a colour wheel in all my days at art school. My ability to create a green that is the same shade as that leaf there is poor. However a leaf is irrelevant right now, in the last year I’ve only just begun to be play out of monochrome. Bare with.
So, what if I do piss someone off? I came to the conclusion, so what? Bring me your beef and I’ll discuss what’s relevant; avoiding the sea lions. To quote myself,” Courage and honesty means narrowing the gap between what I mean and what I draw, unapologetic and with purpose.” I know the place my wondering come from is honest. I have grown the courage to have authenticity and artistic responsibility. Standing by what I do because it’s a catalyst to learning, my own and others. I avidly watch as Hanecdote, Joanna Thangiah and The Vulva Gallery, keep putting it out there, getting shit for it and keep going. It’s wonderful. Reading Cattidute and Co Blog on being unapologetic helped and echoed some of my own thinking. The importance of “So what?” when you’re coming from a place of infallibility, within yourself.
I’m going to post some postpartum illustrations on IG now, I’m figuring out me, 21 years old, single, baby blues, dishonesty, lack of real courage and confidence.Stretch marks leaky tits LOVE! Almost 11 years on, again,bare with.