I am... We are...
By Melissa Fusco
Men and Woman look at life through a different lens. There are plenty of professions where women out number men, and each man in that field will approach their projects differently than a woman. On the flip side, there are many professions that men out number women. It seems that most of my life I have found myself in a field that I enjoy where men greatly out numbered women. I can honestly say that I have felt the stress of being a woman in a predominately male dominated industry multiple times in my life. This has always pushed me to work harder to really become the best that I could be. I strived to keep up, and always felt good when I gained the respect from those I looked up to. I feel in the flash back I am reflecting on my years of competitive snowboarding.
However, even in my years of college there were more men than women in my classes, and artistically I excepted the fact that I am a woman, I see things differently than a man. I approach projects differently, from my overall vision, application, execusion, and time frame within each project. Within the art world I immersed myself in, I never really felt the stresses of man vs. woman. Then in 2003 my life change with my newly found passion of tattooing.
Finding myself again in a male dominated industry, I felt I had experienced the similar feelings before and felt comfortable in my own skin to continue to do what 'I' do. With all do respect to the traditions in tattooing and the respect I have for the history of modern tattooing, I felt I was capable of bringing something new and hope to leave my contribution in this ancient art form. I can honestly say I have had my far share of men say how I should do things differently, however I still continue to stick with what flows out of me naturally, with keeping in mind the longevity of the tattoo.
I am a woman, who is a part of this Tattoo Renaissance. I have shared with many women in art and new to the tattoo industry my knowledge and experience. To be an independent, self sustaining woman in a male dominated industry will help maintain focus and encourage growth. We all have something we can learn from each other, male or female… open your hearts and your eyes in this Tattoo Renaissance because we are all a part of it, artist and collectors alike. I always love to help and if there is any question you have please let me know, I am here to help give some guiding answers if you are seeking them. Here is a neat empowering read to share:
“We are being asked to honor the gifts of womankind and to call on the strength of our sisters in order to discover ourselves. The circle will come full when every human can see the beauty within the Self, as well as in all others. The transmutation of competition, separateness, hierarchy, jealousy, envy, manipulation, control, selfishness, greed, dependency, old wounds, and self-rightousness must be accomplished before we will come to wholeness. These attitudes are the enemies of humankind and are found within the Shadow-self, rather than outside ourselves.”
“As more women take their roles in the modern world of corporations and business, they often find themselves losing touch with the feminine. This is almost expected since the corporate work force is dominated by men. The role models of the ancient clan mothers can assist these modern women in maintaining their sense of Self and enable them to become leaders through example rather than through competition, backstabbing, or conquest, but the challenge to accomplish these goals depends upon the strength of the Sisterhood.”
“Women must support other women in a way that allows those who chose difficult paths to learn to call upon their sisters, maintaining the understanding of who they are and what they can become. In this manner we can also support the development of the female aspect in our male counterparts, and then pass the legacy of wholeness to all of our children.”