Saturday, November 13, 2010

Common Courtesy

If you do not want me to do your kanji tattoo, let it be because you consider me incompetent or you have a preference for another artist. However, do not just mildly glaze over my portfolio, then decide against me, on the sole basis that I am female.

"Oh, quit griping. Get used to it. It's a reality of the business." Yes, of course it is. Being a female in this industry is a double-edged sword. For every neo-feminist or young girl that's afraid of being judged that specifically requests me because they feel more empowered or comfortable having a girl do their tattoo, is some jackwagon who insists on someone who is male, because a chick can't be trusted to insert their fourth illegitimate child's initials into their tribal armband.

I can't sit down and pretend it doesn't affect me. It doesn't completely bowl me over every time it happens, but it does happen to pluck a very fine nerve. Fortunately, sexism is a dying force in many aspects, and even then, I was never one to be on the frontlines of uterus-owning defense. I've always treated my gender, like I've treated everyone else's gender, as nothing more than a piece of description. There are certain stereotypes that are mainly apparent in either sex during rough, teenage, transitional periods or other times of hormonal off-balance; it's something we all can sit back and poke fun at. But never have I thought one's gender denoted his or her capabilities.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't take it personally. The very person who didn't want me tattooing her kid, is allowing her 16 year-old daughter to get her boyfriend's name tattooed on her shoulderblade...