Today, the (in)famous performance artist Marina Abramovic wants you to know that she’s not a feminist. Her women-only lecture during a London-based musical festival will focus on female energy and concepts of feminity. “I don’t have answers — I just have questions and interesting examples,” she said of the lecture. As a well-respected performance artist, (my last post about her here) Abramovic doesn’t want to be labeled a feminist or a female artist; she’s a woman and an artist respectively.
“Yes, I’m female, but I’m not a female artist. I believe in no gender in art. When you’re feminist you can be put in a kind of ghetto, and the male artists just dominate, which I hate. Also, there are lots of bad artists and maybe two good [feminist] artists, and then you end up in this shitty show and then they say, Look, this is feminism, this is bullshit. And it’s not right. I want to dominate the man’s world.”
Which reminded me of Marissa Mayer’s very public statements distancing herself from feminism that resurfaced after it was announced that she would become CEO of Yahoo AND that she was pregnant in the same day. Her full statement is worth watching.
And then there was this Sunday’s New York Times Styles Section that featured 16 year old Tavi Gevinson who runs a
blog an online magazine for teen girls devoted to feminism (but not no posts are explicitly tagged as such).
So you have 3 options, as I see it, if you’re a woman and critical thinker:
- Declare you’re not a feminist to gain access male-dominated worlds
- Reap the benefits of feminism to push the boundary of what women can do in an industry but don’t attribute them to the movement
- Wear your feminism on your sleeve because it’s a distinct point of view that you can use to leverage your brand
If you’re 30+, you probably need to stick to (or combine) numbers 1-2 in order earn more than 100K. But if you’re under 30, you could probably use number 3 to your advantage.
So my question is: Does feminism have a glass ceiling? Can women get only so far by declaring their feminist values before they are placed in the feminist ghetto?