Elizabeth Laul Healey
Making art about women is one of the most cathartic topics I cover, and certainly the most personal. Growing up with a single mother who struggled financially taught me so many invaluable life lessons - things you simply don't learn in school. For instance, my mother earned far less than her male counterparts in her employment for doing the exact same amount of work, or sometimes even working harder. It didn't occur to me that her experiences were shared by millions of other women until the same thing happened to me. Having bosses offer raises for sexual favors was not something I wanted to have in common with my mom either, yet it was. And having men have the nerve to ask my mother what she was wearing at the time she was raped was the most outrageous thing I ever heard, as if she - the victim of sexual assault, somehow had something to do with provoking her assailant. Because of hearing these exact same despicable things in the news so often growing up, I even began to wonder if women were somehow potentially partially responsible for their attackers actions... Today, many years after being raped myself, I realize "No, I/we had nothing to do with it". Now it's one of my many primary goals to bring light to these types of situations, and to help heal others who share our experiences.