in a man's world
book of poems
In A Man's World reminded me of an essay I read recently by Tara Mohr. The thesis is that women do no take criticism well, that criticism of any kind is taken personally, rather than as a means to modify and improve. Mohr posited that one of the reasons for this may be:
On an even deeper level, my sense is that women cope with living in a highly patriarchal world by trying to find safety and legitimacy through their own competence, through doing everything right.
Criticism can feel like a gash in the middle of something very important we are building – something that will shelter us and keep us safe.
I've been a crazy perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I'll admit that although I've found some criticism helpful, a lot has felt deeply personal and connected to my worth.
I also have to admit that I am not even close to doing everything right. But I have the impulse.
Intellectually, I know that doing everything right doesn't equal success, or happiness, or appreciation, or acceptance.
Further, doing everything right is not a safety net. Nor does it ensure equal pay for equal work. That is just the reality of the world I live in.
Doing everything right is exhausting. I'm tired.
I think a better plan is doing everything the best I can, without the pressure or judgement of "right."
I love the idea of doing my best, even if it not's perfect.
What about you?
artist bio: My favorite subjects for my oil paintings are people and faces. Many of my images are inspired by found photos as well as photos from old yearbooks. Drifting between realism and surrealism, I love recreating vintage America, often re-imagining the lives and stories of the characters on my canvas or just exploring the emotional color of faces in the crowd. Find out more at: annamagruder.com