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Hey! Oct 14, 2017

by Petra Zanki

It makes me sad when I learn that in the first world country 
there is such a thing as pink-collar job, you know
And it makes me sad to learn that that kind of job is paid even shittier 
than blue collar job you know

It makes me sad to learn that my rights are never going to be like someone else’s rights 
and that there is nothing to do with intelligence you know

All of my side jobs in child care and child education 
For which I, in my last four years being here 
I have never encountered one single man babysitting 

or looking for a job in non-profit sector in which mainly women are employed 
and most of the time pays shitty as well, unless there is a top position 
for which then usually there will be men
And for the times I learned that it goes over and over and over and over
And over again

Why do I speak about money? 
Because in this kind of world, it means at least a bit of freedom

In my pink-collar jobs, I see many of American moms stay at home, 
they stay at home basking in depression of never doing anything else for themselves but painting nails and going to gym because, they would freak out if they do not exercise at least a bit, because education is so expensive that women are the ones to sacrify their lives for the sake of the home budget, they are the ones to sacrify their lives, their interests, their brains, working with babies, setting their brains to “baby” mode
you know, when you set your brain to baby mode, it hurts, and that’s just one type of prisoner, wealthier prisoner that’s one level, one type of prisoner

As my side kick
To fill in for my unpaid dance gigs
I learn a lot
And there is a community of dancers in Seattle that are not paid, and that is the norm because of course, women will accept working for free, of course they will
Of course they will accept that
Of course they will

And not to say, it’s everywhere

You know, I am actually not possessing my own body,
and I need to really care what to dress and where I go because if I don’t 
I might find myself in the Seattle Central public library feeling violated 
because a man would jerk off on me behind the Geography section
the guard said too late, he was already gone

You know, I cannot go buy a car myself, but am advised to get a male because, because the car dealer will talk to him as man to man, as cars are male’s business you know
We, Middle Ages, with horses and damsels in distress 

It makes me sad that I learned many useful things in Seattle emergency DV shelter
It makes me sad that I learned about credit and building the credit only there 
And when I ask women, many don’t know what that even is
And that financial abuse is also one of the types of abuses
Among emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, physical and other abuses
Don’t get me started  
each day in the US three or more women are killed by their intimate partners or husbands, 
This I also learned in the DV shelter you know
Fun stuff
Where I saw it happening to women of all nations, all races, wealthy and poor 

And it makes me sad that when my uncle slept with the gun under his pillow, that was considered normal, while he was beating my aunt
No one ever reacted, and confronted him
And that my mom at the age of seven watched my grandfather beating my grandmother 
with the frying pan on the head with full force
Next to the toilet bowl which my grandmother held to protect herself 
when he would come home drunk and angry
her children my mom around her in a human shield 
babies
Why are you having that face?
At least I speak about it

It makes me sad to learn that at home it is as same as here
That here is the same as at home
At home it is as same as here, just maybe Europe is more covert and insidious
Did you know, do you know that….
Never mind

And it makes me sad that I talk about Cherdonna through the prism of gender as the norm, while there is so much to say about that brilliant, extravagantly funny and clever artist.
As it makes me sad that most of the time when there is a person of color doing work 
it is regarded through the prism of race as the norm
And it makes me sad that that is the norm, because, because if there were more women paid and represented in theaters, and if there were more people of color paid and represented in theatres, then these women and people of color would be able to relax, and we, to consider more in depth their works, and I would have more sources to comparatively analyze.

It made me so happy that Cherdonna claims the space previously reserved only for men
It makes me so happy that Cherdonna claims the space previously reserved only for men
It makes me so happy that she does it and does it in such a clever way
And it made me happy that she asked a guy if he would suck her dick 

I want to scream on houses
I want to go out, around the city, and scream on houses
I would go in the house’s gardens, open my feet in the cowgirl pose
And plant my heels into the houses’ wet mowed lawns
And scream meticulously on dreams, house by house
on closed windows and dark insides

I would go from house to house, from one dream to another
 and each time dressed in feathers, or glitters
would scream on houses, 
Till I stay without the voice

then at least I would know why I stayed without the voice
on my own terms

 

Petra Zanki is Seattle choreographer and theatre maker originally from Croatia.

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