Women That Do It All and Men That Watch

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Disclaimer: Let me start off by saying that this article is not necessarily directed or meant to hate on men, but more about how the gender roles have shifted rapidly in our society. This is something I am writing based on personal experience and observation in my failed marriage and dating life since. It’s also my view on the outside in, other people’s marriages I have seen in person, TV, and media.

Women have been dealt too many diamonds in relationships. These difficulties include, finding an appropriate balance in life, career, and school; and then trying to manage a home life as well. A lot of people ask me how I do this. Let me just tell you, now, I don’t do it alone every day, but also come very close to losing it most days. I’m currently single and I don’t know that I can do absolutely everything, nor can I be super mom, and super career mom. I do the best I can, my secret? I take naps.

You may say, “Well, that’s a simple answer to a very complex problem.” I would say, “Yes, indeed, it is.” What it comes down to is this. For many people, the ability to relax and forget about all your problems for a quick second may seem impossible. The gender roles in America are taking on a new extreme. It’s no longer the battle of the sexes, but who is more capable and willing to step up to the day to day challenges that we as humans face. Without a nap, I would never have thirty minutes to quiet my thoughts and shutdown the control center, literally, I would go into brain meltdown without this break. In American culture, how many adults do you know that take naps, or breaks, or siestas in the afternoon? I seriously think this may be the cause for such problems in relationships, gender roles and failed relationships. People just lose it on each other; they are over stressed, and exhausted from going on empty in their 9-5 jobs.

You want to know what one of the biggest problems and points of conflict I had in my marriage? It was this, not being able to balance life, career, and home life with a partner. Me, never being able to relax long enough to enjoy myself in marriage– and this bleed into all of my failed relationships. And when I say failed, I mean absolute failure. This is not from lack of trying, most of the things I do; I do passionately and with whole heart. It is something that I fear is very common for most people. And once you lose your ability to relax and have a healthy balance, you lose everything good.

For example, I will call this common problem I’ve noticed in marriage, burnout. You get to a point in the relationship were you just want to give up. Say, you’re fighting all the time about stupid crap. But a lot of this is because you are barely staying afloat. Whose turn is it to do the dishes? Or who’s going to give the baby the bath and put her to bed tonight? Seriously, it comes to this. You fight over little things because you can’t handle it anymore. You’re freaking exhausted with life and each other and your family. You think to yourself, “when is this ever going to end?” Sorry to say, it does not. And, usually, it gets worse before it gets better.

I’d like to blame the guy for all of the problems. It seems like an easy route to take, because after all, he’s the one who is supposed to provide for the family, right? Hmm.. maybe in the 50’s. Times have changed. No longer is it going to work to have one parent working outside the home. Most if not all, working class families (and I say, working class, because we were never the middle class) have to both work to afford a lifestyle just above poverty. And maybe guys do their share, still. But that’s not the point that I am getting to. The point is. Women have had to take on way more responsibility and more is required of them now than ever before. Guys have different pressures maybe, but this is nothing to compare to what women go through, and what is expected from the average American woman nowadays—WOMEN do it all, and men watch–not knowing what to do.

I say this because I have taken on the job and role of both parents and have men watching me now. It’s like they are intimidated to even talk to me. It’s weird. This past month for example, I have fixed a broken washing machine; replaced a fuel pump and gasket, cleaned a throttle body and EGR valve, mowed and weed eated my front lawn, fixed a leaking faucet and replaced the broken head with a boiler drain valve. Most of this was viewed by my nosy, lazy, next door neighbor that did nothing, not even a finger to help me. Basically he let his dog out to poop and sat in his back yard and just stared at me. I don’t know if this was in awe, disgust, or intimidation. Either way, this guy is pasty white, from never seeing the sun or a bead of sweat in his life—probably because he works from home. (Maybe he is secretly a vampire.)

The point is, women are doing it all and men are watching. It’s like; they don’t know what to do anymore. They can’t keep up with everything that we are doing and our constant multitasking in life. Home, kids, work, school, fun, women are doing it all, and we are exhausted. And I just have to say, women find it attractive when guys do things for them still. We still want and need you! Do a chore for us once in a while without us asking or maybe just plan a night out for us, we will love you for it, and because it was something we didn’t even have to think about! All I can say is, the biggest turn off is a guy that refuses to do anything, and sits back and watches the beautiful, powerful, woman that does it all from a distance.

 

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An Academic Analysis of Natalie Frank’s All Fur 1, a piece from the “Brothers Grimm” at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin

Feminism and Strength in All Fur 1 Natalie Frank’s, All Fur 1 is an interpretative art drawing with its theme centering on the Brothers Grimm German tale “Allerleirauh.” This work was created on ar…

Source: An Academic Analysis of Natalie Frank’s All Fur 1, a piece from the “Brothers Grimm” at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin

An Academic Analysis of Natalie Frank’s All Fur 1, a piece from the “Brothers Grimm” at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin

Feminism and Strength in All Fur 120151017_144753

Natalie Frank’s, All Fur 1 is an interpretative art drawing with its theme centering on the Brothers Grimm German tale “Allerleirauh.” This work was created on arches paper with gouache and chalk pastel, and measures 22×30 inches.  It is a part of a collection of thirty-six drawings done from 2011-2014 by this native Austin artist. Frank was born in 1980 and presently lives in New York City. Six pieces from the collection have been donated to the Blanton Museum, and the rest, including, All Fur 1 are part of a private collection. (Frank, Natalie). The invention and fantasy theme is evident throughout all the drawings, but the piece, All Fur 1, is the best example of feminism and strength from the Grimms’ All Fur story.

There are three characters in the drawing; they range from a donkey head on a female body, an elf-like woman with a dress, and a naked blonde woman. These characters represent the princess from the Grimm story as well as her transitions in the story. The number three is significant, and is seen in the characters, the three dresses, gifts; and events that took place with the king from “Allerleirauh.”

The Grimm fairy tales were written between the years of 1812-1857, All-Kinds-of-Fur or Allerleirauh” came out of Germany (“Brothers Grimm Allerleirauh”). The key scene depicted in this drawing represents the princess and her vulnerabilities to her abusive father, the king. Three objects represent female sexual intercourse in the story, just as there are three characters in the work. The cloak of animal skins is used for the princess’ escape from the king and is represented by the use of a donkey’s head on the top of a spread eagled vagina– the ultimate sexual vulnerability. The cloak of animal skins is also symbolic of protection against sexual intercourse (“Brothers Grimm Allerleirauh”). In the story, as well as the drawing, the princess is vulnerable to her father’s wishes to marry her, and make her queen after the queen mother dies. Three is again symbolic here; the king gives the princess gifts of three dresses–one of which is shown on the woman to the right in the drawing. The naked bodies not only show the transition from youth to womanhood, but they depict vulgarity in the female form standing left to the donkey. The princess is transitioning from youth, and emphasis is placed on her virginity. The blonde woman is also depicting the real beauty and rawness that was created from the mother, who the princess embodies completely. The king is obsessed with his daughter’s blonde hair, and is aware that she is the only woman in the kingdom that parallels her mother’s beauty. The depth behind this drawing’s underlying meaning expresses Frank’s knowledge of femininity and the strength that it creates.

The key themes of invention in this drawing are beauty in the female form, and a woman’s bright strength of character. Similarly, this is what Natalie Frank said about her work from an article in The Wall Street Journal, “I started making drawings that could reflect these characters’ vulnerabilities and strengths.” Ultimately, All Fur 1 fits into the invention and fantasy category of theme, with its take on a fairy tale and her creative use of beauty and character.

The shapes that are used in the work are organic, and range from human body parts to the donkey head atop a virgin’s bed. The vast color hues that were used give the drawing add depth and shape as well. The light is shown from the shading that creates texture and brings out the vibrant chalk color. Highlights are visible, and are used on the muscles, the stomach and breasts of the woman’s body. Foreshortening was used on the bed figure and adds a 3D quality to the work. There is relieved symmetry being used with color and shapes on the blanket, and the sizes of the characters are not perfectly proportioned. This was done purposefully, as Frank states, “My figures are visual puzzles that intrigue me because they play with, or pervert, my sense of depth.” (Crow, Kelly). This distortion creates massive visual interest, and thus makes it very hard to look away.  There is also negative space used on the blanket and behind the donkey’s head, which adds more texture, space, and mass to the work.

The expression lines on the woman’s face show ambivalence (perhaps a wasted youth in an abusive family environment). The face is lightened in contrast to the dark color palette that is used on the donkey face. This was done to showcase the difference in innocence that is lost during sexual intercourse. It could also represent the dark and hidden abuse of an incestuous relationship. The hair is highlighted especially, and is symmetrical on both women on the left and right by use of wispy lines, and white saturating color. This use of coloring on both women makes them symmetrical, if not identical, and tells the story of the mother and daughter well. The lines on the hands of the donkey are unique; it is hard to tell if they are from the same person or animal-like in nature. One seems to look more like a human-donkey-hoof and the other is more natural. The line on the right leg is also darker and more pronounced; the leg and right side of the stomach display hair, this could be in relation to the dual anamorphic being, or Frank may be trying to show the transition of puberty in the female body.

This work conveys many aspects of human vulnerability and the beauty of the female body. It re-tells the story of the Brothers Grimm dark fairy tale All-Kinds-of-Furs. Frank is not only re-telling this story, but is illustrating her own interpretation and feelings about feminism and character. The subject matter of this collection is hard to fully understand without knowing its focus is aimed on famous heroines, and their backgrounds from Grimm literature. All Fur 1 is grotesque, sexually explicit and emphasizes women’s bodies and genitalia. It deals with incest and an abusive king father that is obsessed with his daughter’s beauty. The main underlying motivation behind it seems to be this “familial dynamic” from the story, which, the artwork successfully conveys (Frank, Natalie). Frank has managed to centralize focus on these themes, and has done so in an inventive new way.

  Works Cited

“Brothers Grimm Allerleirauh (All-Kinds-of-Fur): Summary and Analysis.” Schoolworkhelper.net. St. Rosemary Educational Institution. 2015. Web. 18 October 2015.

Crow, Kelly. “This Art Star believes in Fairy Tales.” Wsj.com. 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 17 October 2015.

Frank, Natalie. All Fur 1. 2011-14. Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin. blantonmuseum.org. Web. 17 October 2015.