(Book Excerpt 2) Re-visioning Medusa Eds. by Glenys Livingstone, Trista Hendren et. al.

“Sisterhood is subversive” by Diane Goldie

Sisterhood is Subversive

My painting, “Sisterhood is Subversive” was inspired by an interview with the wonderful Eartha Kitt where she was being questioned by a male interviewer on compromise. The sexism in his line of questioning was quite apparent and Eartha didn’t let this go unnoticed. She stayed strong and fierce, stating her position and using laughter and bold presence to unnerve the 70s chauvinist. I saw a warrior woman, a woman who understood her power and humanity, a woman who had earned her wisdom through a lot of pain but rose up triumphant and ultimately untouchable. She had Medusa spirit. I was so inspired by this interview that I wanted to create a visual symbol to represent her spirit. I was currently working with images of Frida Kahlo, an artist who also pushed gender boundaries and expectations of female behaviour. Something made me pick up a brush and paint snakes over her hair, and this image was born. I immediately realised that if all women could find this spirit within then and held hands in solidarity, patriarchy would end, hence the slogan sisterhood is subversive. Many of my black female friends were struggling to feel included in the mostly white-centered feminist movement so I wanted to focus on a feminist message about sisterhood rather than straight feminism.

The other motto that went with this image was directly inlenysspired by what I saw in Eartha: A woman who loves herself is a dangerous woman. Dangerous to patriarchy of course.

This image forms the back of my most powerful garment, a kimono with big sleeves that forces me to take up space and stand regal, in my power. Every time I wear it, I have a magical interaction with a sister in need of hearing her worth.

Meet Mago Contributor Glenys Livingstone

Meet Mago Contributor Trista Hendren

Meet Mago Contributor Diane Goldie

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