On Changing Timidity to Creative Empowerment
I am often a curious juxtaposition of timidity and arrogance. Of loud and boisterous to sullen and withdrawn. A sensitive sort, many would say. My upbringing was “normal,” I am a privileged, white, American female. I refer back to my first words, to my proclivity toward staggering insecurity; I was that child whose bright creative spirit was often told it was “too much,” “too loud,” “too often.” I realize that this is nothing compared to the struggles of the woman of the global movement, and this, too, often cripples me. I found feminism young, and it immediately dashed to my body, becoming a streaming part of me. I realized just how much I compared myself to men, how much less I thought of myself. My eyes were re-opened to the spunk and sass I enjoyed in my tiny youth. I was enlightened to the meaning behind much of my isolated, eating-disordered adolescence, and was now able to use the written word to combat the rampant oversexualization of my teenage counterparts.
My efforts are now aimed toward helping young males in a residential program gain a sense of self beyond committing increasing serious crimes and “getting in a girl’s pants.” I am an art therapist, and am hoping to explore and expand the fluidity of that dreaded gender role. I am so very interested in reaching young men, as the men I work with (mostly black teenage males) are homophobic, violently misogynist, and fixated on power and money. Much has been said, and much more needs to be said, about the demeaning of women, of their complete subjugation as sex objects. I believe that males are being just as sexualized, as my boys clearly show. They seem to think they have little meaning beyond fighting, asserting dominance, committing crimes, and avoiding emotion. This must be addressed! This must be combated, this must be changed. I am passionate about changing the pattern of superficiality and materialism for our children.
My aforementioned timidity has never left me. I am drawn to the Voices of Our Future forum with the hope that I could be picked to be a part of something bigger. That my voice could join those of my global peers to clamor for change. I so often feel powerless; powerless over the injustice my clients face, powerless over the injustice they perpetuate, powerless over a cycle of poverty that I have never faced. The beauty of Web 2.0 is that I can reach others that I would otherwise never touch; that I can perhaps collaborate with others who would never otherwise seek my help. My dream is to emblazon my desire for creative freedom and identity, so that the young people growing will have a chance to think for themselves.