Women can do everything they want!
For the last weeks or so I see this statement everywhere: “Women can do everything they want!” It might be just some facebook algorithm thing but my feed has been filled up with it for a while now.
My mom’s never been one to say this to me. She’s never been the kind of mom to tell me that women have fought very hard so young girls like me can go to school and be successful, instead she allowed me to do the things I wanted to do without all the great feminism speeches others get. She let me move to 3 different cities for school, one time of this was before I turned 18 and the other time I even moved to a different country.
Today I am writing this article because for the first time seeing this statement in various articles online, it struck something and I had this idea in my head, what it meant. What it meant for me. What it meant for me as a girl who likes to take pictures even though she’s not at a point to call herself a professional yet.
Woman can do everything they want: They can take pictures, call themselves photographers, without hiding behind a fake name for a studio, or behind a man’s name!
Now let me explain: When I first started being online I was about 16, and my first years on twitter and deviantART I had some really silly nicknames, and since a few years ago I changed all my accounts to Andrea-Ioana, because that’s my name. On some days I feel proud of this name. I feel proud of seeing it everywhere on twitter and instagram and facebook, on other days I feel jealous of every blogger and instagramer who has a really great fantasy name that smells like roses and reminds you of old medieval towns and french music. For a long time I wanted that. I wanted to be able to create a great name and have it everywhere on twitter and instagram and facebook and I wanted people to know that’s me.
Until today. When I realized that I, as a woman, can do everything, including putting my name under my pictures, my photography and writing, like every man would, or could, do.
At university I took this one class on the history of photography, which was very important to me that semester and it was very interesting to learn all those things I didn’t learn when picking up my camera for the first time. Today I got reminded of that class, especially of the role women had in photography in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. When photography was first invented it was invented by men and most, if not all photographers back then, they were men. Women had a few jobs in photography, but they were mostly linked to desk jobs like sorting photos and correspondence with clients, and linked to working with heavy chemicals in developing and coloring photographs.
Woman only took an active role in photography at the beginning of the 20th century, especially in a time when men had to go to war and they were left behind in the cities. But being a woman who took photographs for money was not easy: they often had a male pseudonym or they opened up a studio with fake names like “Fairytale dreams”. It was the men mostly who were known by their name, who took photographs and got published and who we still know by today.
So today I want to repeat, like everyone who wrote those articles: Women can do everything they want! They can even put their name under their creative work and own it!
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