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Battling Unconscious Biases with Art

I may have mentioned this before but I love listening to podcasts. My list seems to grow every month as more, interesting series come to my attention. I stared listening to Radio Lab a few years ago and it was like my gateway drug. Podcasts allow me to insert information into my brain while I am working and inspire me to apply new concepts to my art.

It was through podcasts that I learned of some of the women I painted or my Women Behaving Badly series. I heard their stories, learned of their deeds and asked myself, why have I never heard of these women before? So, I set myself to the task of using my art to teach others. I felt as though I had finally found my purpose.

Listening to Hidden Brian today, I heard an episode which added to my motivation. The topic of the episode was unconscious bias as it relates to women, particularly women in leadership roles. Women who have the “masculine” traits necessary to be seen as good leaders are often considered overbearing and unlikable. When women display the expected “feminine” traits of being caring and compassionate, they are assumed to be weak and incompetent. The podcast calls this the “double bind”. It is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

The end of the podcast suggests that if we are to get women out of this double bind situation, we need to change society’s perception of women. I have chosen to showcase women in history as my way of changing that perception. I highlight women leaders, inventors and healers of nations. Not only do they inspire me, our society needs to see them as contributors to who we are. We need to let go of our unconscious biases and see value in the feminine.

Check out this episode of Hidden Brain to learn more. And go to my Women Behaving Badly blog to learn more about the series.

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Awesome Podcasts – Part 1

Good morning Afro Triangle Friends. I’m getting a bit of a late start, but it’s the weekend, so I’m allowed. The opening for the Feminine Energy Art Exhibition went well last night. Not too many people came, but what we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality. I had some great conversations with my fellow artists, our hosts and our guests. Even sold one of each of my Women Behaving Badly posters.

I was talking to this gentleman about my work and started explaining the posters to him. He got so excited about the different women’s stories, he called his wife over. She bought them all right there on the spot. Because she works with a  lot of men, she is going to plaster her walls with the posters to show them how awesome women are.

Enough business talk!

I want to tell you guys about the podcasts I listen to. I know, it’s super nerdy, but this is where I have drawn inspiration for my latest works. It began with Radiolab. In this podcast, our hosts Jad and Ryan explore all kinds of stories, from science and sociology. They use some amazing sound engineering to punctuate the most interesting points. My favorite was when they were talking about the colors different animals can see. They overlaid the voices of a choir to represent each color range. Dogs had only about four voices, while the Mantis Shrimp had a full chorus.

Then I heard Invisibilia. This one is about two women who explore the invisible things that rule all our lives: our thoughts and emotions. They touch on fear, gender, consciousness, and turn each of these on its end. There is an interview with a blind man who is able to get around by using echolocation. They talk to a person whose gender is so fluid, within seconds, they can switch from male to female. You have to hear that one for yourself to even to begin to understand it.

Lately, because of Women Behaving Badly, I’ve been focusing on Stuff You Missed in History Class and History Chicks. What they lack in the production values of the other two podcasts, they more than make up for in information. I have learned about Harriet Tubman and the badass that she was, Josephine Baker, Marie Curie and many more. Stuff You Missed… covers all of history, but History Chicks is only about the women.

If you are a big nerd like I am, I’m sure you have many more podcasts that you can recommend. I’m only naming four here, because this post is getting long, but I will come back with more. I hope you guys have a great day!