Whatever the case, dear woman, have the spirit of Lily…

Whatever the case, dear woman, have the spirit of Lily…

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Whatever the case, dear woman, have the spirit of Lily…

Breaking into the gender stereotyped war streets of any job industry is a rather daunting and impossible veiled thing to do, especially if you are a woman. Throughout history, women have always lagged behind in industries that were thought to be meant for the male counterparts. The society had, from the beginning of time created a phantom about the place of the woman in the society, which is inheriting the domestic skills from their mothers so that they themselves, can become better and well equipped wives.

Women were deemed less capable of delivering the best results as men in jobs that were concluded to be men’s, and then given five stars for folding cardigans, chopping carrots and onions, as well as sweeping the dust out of the house. The idea that women belonged to a certain corner of the societal quilt influenced the destructive power of the males upon the creative abilities of the women.

“Women can’t paint, women can’t write …”- these are the words uttered by Mr. Tansel, a character in the 1927 novel tiled ‘To the Lighthouse’ by Virginia Woolf, the words were directed to a female character called Lily, a female artist passionate about painting, these made Lily to constantly worry about her paintings being rejected or not taken serious. The words of Mr. Tansey insinuated that women are not competent in neither painting nor writing and as a result Lily was haunted by these words so her anxieties heightened. She does, however, throughout the novel, proves to be more passionate and determined to create art through painting, and at the end of the novel ends up evolving from the woman who is unsure about her work to a woman who achieves her vision, and most importantly, overcomes her anxieties and allows herself to be and create, caring not about how her work will be received.

Somewhere, out there, lives a woman whose finger tips are harboring away on the keyboard to create strings of consonants and vowels which will eventually birth chapters of a book, a pen breathing life to ink on a page or a paintbrush encouraging colors to mix and blend and speak with the world- but engulfed by fear of being told that they and their work are not good enough, as Lily is told in the novel by Mr. Tansel.

It is no secret that we are, in the 21st century, still living in a society that still expects women to inherit the domestic skills from their mothers and leave the rest to the counterpart, men, and as a result, the majority of men have always found the society-influenced boldness to convince women that they are inadequate in many spheres of life, planted seeds of destruction and self-doubt. Ode to modernity and modernism for challenging the traditional values and ideals that have always rendered women incompetent in the art industry. Women can now no longer publish their works under pseudonyms as the likes of Joanne Rowling and Nora Roberts have.

It is a fact though, that although the birth of modernity has made its way in our world, most male-headed art companies still look down on works created by women as less capable and inadequate. These men are the Mr. Tansels of the time, and even though they feel in charge, there were the Lilys, who are resistant to this kind of oppression, and who always emerge victorious.

 

What now, does one do when they are faced with a Mr. Tinsel who tries by all his might to make a woman feel inferior in the arts?  One persists. Men and women are born with the same brain and thinking abilities. Allow the spirit of Lily that is synonymous with the following points to keep your passion burning.

Stay true to your vision as an artist. Whatever words that come out of the mouths of those who think your gender equals your ability to deliver in any chosen field as a woman must not leave your vision blurry. Don’t let them allow your power to see that which you aspire to come to fruition because of your craft to lose its fire. Show them that you are wired with stern and unshaken fibers.

Always remember that you are more than one thing. You are more than your female gender. You are more than the stereotyped expectations of the society. You are more than the kitchen and the bedroom. You are more. A creator. A voice. An artist and God wouldn’t have blessed you with the artistic ability and talent if you were meant to be only subjected to domestic chores.

knytter-baand-gjennom-tradisjonelt-haandarbeidNever get weary of birthing your craft. A sure, 100% guaranteed way to making sure that your work deserves the recognition it deserves is through persistence, and resistance to any sort of gender stereotyped oppression. Whether it’s music, literature or performing art, keep on creating and knocking on doors. It will happen.

Success may, but recognition doesn’t happen overnight. Success happens the minute you put in effort, start creating and finishing an art project or product. But recognition takes time.  Keep on pushing and always remember that the tiniest possible steps are progress. Things that are worthwhile take a lot of effort and time to fruition. Sometimes, at least. Never get discouraged by the slow pace of things.

The above mentioned are on the top of the most important things a female artists should always remember. Whatever the case, dear woman, let the spirit of        Lily engulf you, let not the society’s definition of you, your capability and ability to hinder you, and continue creating and voicing your opinion through the art. And always be reminded that the most important thing is self-expression of your ideas, you need not be a man to be good at what you do. May the militant, defiant and uninhibied creative woman in you stand up, and stand out this women’s month and beyond.

Happy women’s month, and a colourful spring season!

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