finding your voice—repost

Since I’ve been sick at home the past few days, mostly in a horizontal position, my “voice” has been stymied, and I’ve found that to be frustrating. I just haven’t been able to sit up and write. However, it has given me the opportunity to lie around and think about this, one of my favorite topics: women finding their “voice.”

While the idea of finding one’s voice is perhaps most often used to refer to artists—especially writers—I think the term also carries special meaning for women in general. It seems that little boys are somehow just born with voice; it seems to be bestowed upon them at an early age. They are urged to speak up, get rowdy, “Go and get it!” And “it” is… anything they want. Alas, little girls, still not so much. And women? Still stymied, I believe.

I think that women artists, and creative women in general, have lessons to teach because they have had to fight both battles. But which came first, or did they develop their woman/artist voices concurrently? Did you first find the voice of the woman you are, or did finding that come after, or with the help of your voice as an artist? And how did each affect the other?

Women are creative beings, it’s our very biology. But because it’s such an integral part of us, I think we often take our creativity and its gifts for granted. Without a real “voice”, however, we can limit ourselves, limit our reach and the influence we can have on our worlds. Finding your voice. Is it important? How did you do it? As an artist? As a woman?

Talk to me.

A.

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3 Comments

  • JanKnee says:

    I think I was born with an innately strong voice (creative, imaginative, strong-willed, ready to ham it up at a moment’s notice) but was taught pretty quickly to start suppressing it. Observation taught me that it was imperative to avoid rocking the boat, to be ready to hide, to stay out of the path of incoming missiles of nastiness. So I ended up living in almost constant internal conflict, torn between the “real” me and the me that I “learned” to be. The awesome teachers (in school, in private study, in yoga, in meditation, in therapy) I’ve had throughout the years have repeatedly encouraged me to embrace my “original” voice (voices!). As a middle-aged woman, I’d like to dispense with the “learned” voice and just be as authentic as possible. As an employee of a large corporation, I want to hang on to some aspects of the learned voice. I try to be judicious in voice selection, but it’s not easy. I think I’ll probably feel like I have a bit of split personality until the day I die.

  • Ann says:

    Finding my voice has been an ongoing process. I’m an introvert. I tend to observe rather than participate, and prefer my own company over others. Yet I’m also a teacher and I teach with passion. I have to be articulate in the classroom otherwise my lessons won’t be heard. Teaching has chiseled and sculpted my voice into a vital instrument of my trade. But my teacher’s voice is an external voice. I feel like my true, inner voice is only just beginning to flower, and that’s happening as I enter perimenopause. As I shed my fertile feminine hormones another woman is emerging, and with her another voice. It’s fearless. It has courage, wisdom, patience, and compassion. It has confidence. I’m thankful for it

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