The beautiful work you will never see because it won’t ever exist

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

Hazel Cills, making a point I’ve thought about often, the work that does not exist because of the oppression of women:

For every woman who comes forward, I imagine a second version of her, one who could freely pursue the art she wanted, claim the space she desired, without worrying that a man would come along and render her disposable. I’d much rather read stories on these women, who made news for the lives they lived than the ways in which they were erased or, in Dixon’s words, forced to erase “themselves.”

There has recently been a lot of writing about women’s rage and the importance of it, but I don’t know what exactly to do with my sadness. I don’t want to know women and think of women only in the context of their suffering, or the sexism they’ve faced, or their erasure. But when I think of the women forced to disappear, I am confronted by the void that’s been created in their absence. I mourn every single day for an alternate past, present, and future in which women can move through the world as freely as men. I feel robbed of a women’s history with contours I can’t even fathom. I feel robbed of women’s time, I feel robbed of their joy. I can scream and donate and protest knowing my tears don’t vote, don’t raise awareness. But privately, I mourn.

There is always the looming threat of wanting to give up a job, whether on a movie set or working at McDonald’s, because a man will someday make the work impossible. I suspect most of us have come to accept this as normal, just as we’ve come to accept that we likely shouldn’t jog wherever we want, whenever want. You can try to build your working life in such a way that answering to men is an exception and not the rule, but it’s a joke to think of that as sustainable or accessible to everyone, nor will it keep the patriarchy’s grip out of reach. You can leave a job, but you can’t leave men, nor can you leave a world that bends to their will.

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