Notes On Attention Paid

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07 When Artist Marry?

… a long article on famous artist pairs who did or did not marry, but maintained long creative careers wherein it sometimes became difficult to parse out who influenced who and what they might have been without one another (the patriarchy has too often assumed that any vigor and brilliance in the woman’s work can be attributed to the man they are with)…

I want to believe that the institution has changed, that there are ways this elaborate ceremony is not as conventionally damning as some make it out to be. If anything, today we are less enamored by the idea that any partnership is for life — even if I have entered it believing this with my heart and soul. Divorce is no longer so scandalous. Love is possible at any decade. Financial security and education point to women marrying later, and to lower birthrates. Yet it still feels like we are struggling, as a culture, to put the female artist on the same pedestal as her male equal, as so many women writers and artists, Paul among them, have pointed out in their lives and in their work.1

… and this from Toni Morrison via the article…

_I only know that I will never again trust my life, my future, to the whims of men, in companies or out. Never again will their judgment have anything to do with what I think I can do. That was the wonderful liberation of being divorced and having children. I did not mind failure, ever, but I minded thinking that someone male knew better. Before that, all the men I knew did know better, they really did. My father and teachers were smart people who knew better. Then I came across a smart person who was very important to me who didn’t know better.2