I am an artist. I am a feminist. Ergo I am a feminist artist. My politics drives my creativity. I am often fuelled by anger. I am the sort of creative that operates best on adrenaline. I need to have adrenaline coursing through me to create my best work. Sometimes when I’m pumped up from excitement or anger the work seems to come through me , not from me.
At the closing party of my recent show at the Vaults Gallery in Waterloo , I decided read a few of my feminist poems in front of my conceptual piece ” Show Us Yer Tits” ; the collection of paintings of women’s breasts , advertising themselves on the Internet for casual hook ups along with text sourced from the same sites , encouraging a debate surrounding objectification and the increasing pornification of our society.
One of the poems I read was called Diddums. It was one of those pieces that came to me fully formed. I had to scribble it down and chase after it after it was passing by my head in a rush of fury. What was the trigger for this piece? It was an article I read in the Salon magazine, by a journalist who goes by the pen name of Isaac Abel. In the article he details how he feels his sex life was hijacked by pornography, which he felt had caused him to need to want to hurt women in order to feel aroused. On it’s own, this argument has it’s merits. I’m the first one to rage about the misogyny inherent in mainstream porn. (Professor Gail Dines breaks it down beautifully in her book Pornland, I recommend the book highly for anyone wanting to further study the intricacies of modern day porn and its effects on today’s society.) What really made me cross though about Isaac’s piece , was the tone. Entitlement screamed from every paragraph, it was all about his erection. ( or struggle to get or maintain one).
Please just read for yourself . If I’m wrong, let me know.
This poem was the direct result of the rage that ensued from reading that article. I sent him a copy of it, after all, he did invite responses to his piece. I didn’t hear anything back from him. I wonder why?
used to express commiseration to a child or, ironically, to an adult
Oh so now porn is infecting your brain
You say sex is just not the same
You need to see women in pain
That’s your kink and it’s rewired your brain
So you try to get on with your life
Introduce 50 Shades to your wife
You get to play Mr Grey
And for a while it’s all working, hooray!
But then nasty porn pulls you back and you’re crying
You’re lamenting your sex life that’s dying.
You need to see women degraded
You need to see boundaries invaded.
And you want me to cheer you along?
Because you recognise that it’s wrong?
Try being raped by 8 men.
Who invade you again and again.
You try to just switch off your brain
You try to not hold on to the shame
As they all say that you are to blame.
When you fight back you give them a boner
So you play dead and wait till it’s over.
Then you’re left to just get on with your life
Perhaps be a mother and wife
And the man that you marry one day
May ask you to fuck Mr Grey.
Today I found this response from a man on social media after a debate ensued about the sexual objectification of women .
“Robots will never replace women as sexual slaves. It is impossible to degrade and humiliate an inanimate object”.
The cold, harsh honesty of this statement cuts deep. There is no wiggle room .
And yes I know #NotAllMen . My partner doesn’t think this way, hence my being with him. But even he acknowledges the truth in this man’s words. Facing truth is the first step to making changes. Look into the mirror and see if you like what you see.