Today is International Women’s Day. Following my train of thought from yesterday, a reader has reminded me that no matter what else you might say, at least women now have more choices than our great-grandmothers did.
So I am reading the book New Zealand Women Artists by Anne Kirker. There are common themes here, one being the dilemma of the question of balance between life and art. Of course some led very solitary lives, but for all there were significant battles and choices made.
The issues of work life balance extend to women at home in unpaid work – because it IS work. Fitting in a creative life is part of that balance, especially difficult when it is not considered a ‘career’. Deborah from “In a Strange Land” has been exploring some of these issues. Her latest post (an excerpt from Andrea Dworkin) also highlights the trade-offs some women make.
I am currently reading Ruth Park’s autobiographies (a kitchen table writer) and while as women we should be celebrating today just how far we have come, maybe things haven’t changed so much in the area of some women’s domestic lives.
Park writes about Eve Langley (whose novels explored the conflict between being an artist and being a woman) “the miseries of her life…the fearful dilemma of the creative woman torn between the needs of husband and children, and her own devouring inner fire…’What happened to her?’ I asked my mother. ‘She got married,’ she said succinctly.”
Ruth Park (1999-2000) Kilmeny Niland (the subject’s daughter)
You know what I like about this portrait? The open doors.