Vignette on Feminism, Motherhood, Dogs, and Art.
Written By Dorothée King
I am a professor at the Art School of Basel. Today, I have to teach for three hours, the sensuality of feminism. Also, I have to get back to the female student who sued us because of her “good” instead of “very good” grade for her MA thesis. Another female student wants to get extra credit for extracurricular work. And, I still do not know how to reimburse the female secretary for her continuing education costs. I remember that today is Tuesday. I have to be back home at noon to make lunch for my daughter, before she has to hop on the train to be on time for her horseback riding lessons. That is the Swiss way. The mom is at home, when the kid gets home from school. And also today, I should not bring my dog to work, because, she is in heat.
I am thinking of all this while I am still in bed.
At 8 am, after completing my I-have-to-feel-good-today-yoga, feeding the kids, walking the dog, I sit on my bike and think about Sara Ahmed’s text on sensual feminism, I will be teaching on later that day. I also take our dog Sissi to work. I have no one to dog-sit her.
On my bike feminism feels like a pumping heart and stress.
Our art school is located in a super new building. Everything is white: the walls, the ceilings, the floors, the elevator. Later in class, the discussion on feminism is lively. The male students though do not say much. Apparently, exclusion has to be felt physically and personally in order to be transferred to an active feminist position. I love Sara Ahmed’s comments on feminists being a killjoy. She says in Living a Feminist Life: “When you expose a problem you pose a problem. It might then be assumed that the problem would go away if you would just stop talking about or if you went away.”
My dog is in heat. She is bleeding on the white art school floor. I see the dog’s blood stains on the white floor. I feel for a wet wipe in my purse. I decide to leave the stains on the white floor. I feel feminism physically, on the floor, in my multiple duty of teaching and dog-sitting, etc., but also in my privilege to let my white-haired dog bleed on the white art school floor.