OIL ON CANVAS
Medusa, raped by a god, was subsequently punished in a way that would leave her bereft of any other personal contact (read: consolation, care, comfort, relationships). She was then stalked and hounded night and day by men who wanted to murder her to boost their own notoriety. She is a “monster” deemed deserving of the violence inflicted upon her. And when she reacts, meeting violence with violence? She is the worst sort of monster.
Emotional is the blade-point used to hold us captive in the cage non-womxn have crafted out of “facts” since forever. Men are taught their utterances are “logic” while women are told our expressions are “emotional” and this blinding falsehood is weaponized against us. Womxn are cast as the perfect foil to their championship logician olympics.
Loud men are bold, strong, brave, assertive. He’s tough, manly, a man with values, willing to stand up for what he thinks is right. Forthright womxn are angry. Womxn who don’t want to be nurturing are cold. Loud womxn are called shrill, obnoxious, abrasive. Shunned, or more often, beaten, fired, maligned, rumored, doxxed or bullied are the womxn who dare demand respect, who express happiness with their bodies, and who cry openly. Calm down. Take it easy. Whoa there. They’ll say, demanding that we restrain our voices and rein in our feelings to meet their level of comfort. Men scream their opinions in our faces calling it logic as if everything that comes from their mouths is holy and righteous, sanctioned as “fact” and the whole damn world gets in line and nods. But here I go, being an emotional womxn, again. I’m angry. But are we overly emotional? Is it just in our nature?
Whether it’s a supervisor telling me I’m overreacting to assault, or a partner refusing to talk to me when I’m “being emotional”— these stories have manifested in my life as a deep shame for my innate passion and at one point these comments and drags left me trying to extinguish something that is part of my human experience—and guess what I realized? The words of men are emotional words, too. This logical-by-default stuff is nonsense. I’m done apologizing for having feelings and I’m done accepting the words of men as fact, logic, or worthy of more respect. I’m done with stories that leave knots in my stomach and sow doubt in my mind as to whether I’m acceptable just as I am, emotions and all. We are womxn. We are human. And humans are emotional.
On The Rag
Best of all, I think the world is done, too. We’ve had it. We’re all going to unapologetically sing our emotions into the world until the air vibrates with such force, such vibrance, such abandon that the glass ceiling shatters and falls at our feet. Emotional Womxn is a celebration of our songs. These are our voices and they are beautiful because womxn are beautiful. We are powerful beyond measure. I say let the world tremble as if before a tsunami when they realize they told the wrong womxn to calm down. Emotional? We are. Now let’s drown them in it.
All Dried Up