A wonderful blogger posted a great piece on Diego Rivera. His posts are always excellent, well researched, and pretty much spot on.
His post made me stop and think. Not only about Diego but about Hemingway, and a host of other abusive people, including sports stars and rapist priests.
Here’s the thing. Diego was an egomaniac, and used and discarded women like tissues. He was emotionally abusive and constantly hurt them. He only cared about himself. He was thoughtless and cruel, while always expecting to be forgiven, or have his cruelties overlooked. His apologies were meaningless. He simply didn’t care about who he hurt, as long as he got what he wanted.
It’s impossible for me to separate who Diego was, from his art.
My question: should we support people who mistreat others just because they can paint, write, get a ball through a hoop, wear a black cassock, or act? By supporting them aren’t we saying that we agree with what they’re doing? Aren’t we telling them they can beat on women (Hemingway), rape, cheat, and hurt others and it’s all okay? Shouldn’t we pay attention to who they are? Is the paint on the wall, the words on the page, the open black priestly robe, more important than important than what those people do?
Is how they live their lives any of our business? Are the rules we live by the problem?
Did Hemingway, another egomaniac and cheating male, have a right to a private life, where he could hit women, encourage other men to hit women, and get away with it? Where he could lie and take credit for things he never did?
Does the public have a responsibility to stop supporting those who harm others? Those who are brutal or cruel? Or, do we each have a different definition as to what those words mean? Obviously catholics don’t care about the raping of children, since they still go to church, so the things I’m bringing up probably seem unimportant in the scheme of things.
But I know women who have been emotionally brutalized by cheating men. It’s easy to say, “Why didn’t they leave, if they didn’t like it?” People who ask those questions don’t really understand the toll those kinds of men take on them.
Anyway, when a popular author tells other men to hit women, should we keep believing that he was a great man just because he could write?
Is art bigger/more important than the person creating it?
Do we, as a society, want to support people who hurt and advocate the harming of others? To me, the art isn’t as important as the messages the artists send out by the way they live their lives. That could only be me though. I’m not sure other people care about what an artist is like.
Frida was emotional/psychologically abused. She knew Diego was a serial womanizer. He hurt women all the time. He told her it wasn’t in his nature to be true to one person but he promised her he would try. Then he cheated again and agin. He even did it with Christina, her younger sister, who also betrayed Frida. Frida couldn’t trust anyone. The funny thing is that Diego EXPECTED to be forgiven, each time he cheated, EVEN when he did it with her sister. That’s what happens when people are not held responsible for what they do. When there are never any logical consequences. Like the catholic priests…no consequences. Dead kids, scarred kids, no one cares, they just keep going to church. Church is obviously more important than the lives of children.
I don’t think that Diego liked the fact that Frida immediately started having affairs of her own to get back at him. Things she wouldn’t have done, if Diego had been faithful. Frida slept with men and women but she never got over what Diego did to her. She forgave her sister, eventually, which is something I will never understand but hey, her life not mine.
So here’s the thing. We need to wake up to the fact that people cheat pretty much all the time. So why do we pretend that marriage, or relationships, will be monogamous? If people love each other they don’t need to take a vow, or make a promise, not to cheat, they just won’t do it. If they are cheaters, they’ll cheat no matter how many vows they take, or how many promises they make. So basically our problems are only problems because our expectations are out of line with our reality. We are unrealistic in what we expect people to do, how we expect them to behave, and live. I think we either have to change our belief system, or just accept the fact that many people lie and cheat.
Anyway, Woody Allen, a guy I once thought of as funny, is a pedophile and married his adopted daughter. Diego was a self absorbed serial cheater, who didn’t care who he hurt, especially his wives, and Hemingway hit women, told others to do the same thing, and lied, in writing, about experiences he never had but said that he did. You already know about the sports guys and priests who rape people. There are many others, of course.
But is supporting these people, and talking about their brilliance, the right thing to do? They are terrible role models and ego driven brutes when measured against the RULES… WHITE MALES OF THE PAST set up for us. Males of power and religion…making us live the way they WANT us to live, not the way we choose to live, or even the way we are made to live.
I guess I’m just sick and tired of women being brutalized by men who are elevated to positions of greatness. No consequences and there should be some but see we’re all liars. We pretend that the things the white guys set up, actually mean something, actually make sense, when they don’t.
If people don’t want to lie they just have to change the rules that are obviously difficult, or impossible, for a lot of people to keep. The rules aren’t WORKING.
See, here’s the thing…the Flower Children were a threat to the status quo, AKA the White Male Establishment/religion, those in power who made up the rules about women and sex. They were freaked out that free love was an okay thing and a lot of fun for some. So, really, it’s once again the old white MEN who want to control women and sex, who make up the rules, which only apply to WOMEN. The government and religious right wingers, were going insane. I mean, kids were dancing in the street, having sex and most of them were happy. But them being happy and free was a bigger threat to the establishment/religion than the Cuban Missile Crisis. See, any kind of REAL FREEDOM, or joy. is a danger and threat to the people in power. Uncontrolled joy is the biggest threat of all. People doing what THEY WANT to do, without out following the RULES set down by the powerful, is pretty much a declaration of war against the establishment.
Anyway, this all started when men in power wanted to be sure the baby was actually theirs. Chasity belts, the whole stupid male ego thing. So women were not ALLOWED to have sex with anyone they liked. Men could, of course, just not women, well women who mattered. The help were there for the taking…often against their wills and their babies didn’t count. MEN ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO CONTROL WOMEN’S SEXUALITY/BODIES. Men want to control women, period.
If we change the rules/our expectations, then no one would feel bad because no promises would be broken, no vows crushed on someone else’s sheets. That’s the actually answer that no one will think is a good idea. Like I said, people who don’t want to cheat won’t…people who want to cheat…will.
See, a lot of people would never think of sleeping with anyone else. Some people actually are committed to each other. But there are a LOT of people who do cheat. Cheating would disappear if people could be honest about their intentions and were free to do whatever they wanted to do, as long as that was okay with the person’s partner. The powerful and religious people would start poking their eyes out with forks, if people agreed to sleeping with others, but that’s their problem and their way of having fun. I mean people do it all the time but forcing people to take vows that they won’t is the stupid part. Especially when one of the two people takes the vow seriously.
Life is all about choices and we get to make very few, since we have been brainwashed into fitting our lives into the preset and insane rules made up by RICH WHITE GUYS IN POWER/RELIGION, who simply want to control EVERY SINGLE THING WE ALL DO.
Marriage and laws are still in effect but changing radically, due to the pressure put upon lawmakers and religious leaders. People live together, have kids together when they are not married. Sex before marriage is so common it’s no longer an issue. So we CAN bring about changes, just by living the way we want to live and ignoring what we’re told/expected to do. We need to do more of that. Independent thinking/living, regardless of what the powerful want us to do. I mean live that way in all areas of our lives.
I told you this was a jumbled rant. It’s all because of a post I read about Diego Rivera.
I still don’t believe we should support people who rape or beat on women…not for any reason. EVER. Egomaniacs should just look into the mirror all the time. They don’t need attention from me, that’s for sure. So, I don’t really care what Picasso painted, Diego, either. Hemingway could BE the old man in the sea, don’t care about that either.
Judgmental? Sure. But the point remains…do we support people who harm others or not? Do we make them wealthy and famous, in spite of what they do, just because of their art? Is what they do more important than how they treat others?
Women, who are just as talented, or more talented, than some men, have their names erased from HIStory. You won’t know who they are, or what they’ve done. and that’s JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE FEMALE. But men can do anything they like and become famous. Yeah. I don’t think so.
Like everything else…we each have to decide things for ourselves. This is one of those things.
Hemingway’s art doesn’t matter to me as much as Hemingway hitting women. It never will.