CAE: I don't need any laws that say sexual harassment isn't allowed in the work place. I can protect myself. I don't need legislation to make people act as they should. We're passing laws to enforce etiquette here. If a guy hassles me at work, I'll take care of it. I guess some women don't feel they can fight back so they need the laws, but these laws are not working. People pretend that the law is going to protect them, that's stupid. These laws are alienating our own relations from ourselves. Maybe it's to enforce decorum. I've felt that enforcement all my life. I never acted in a feminine way. I was a kid, I was acting like a teenage boy. It was funny. The law is set up to enforce a particular kind of value system that I don't subscribe to. I don't deny that sexual harassment happens, but laws are not the way.
DEB MARGOLIN: Whenever there's bad behavior in the world, or what I think is bad behavior, I always try it on myself, to figure out what part of me would behave that way. I really feel like we are all just points at which the entire human experience is present. So like when someone shot someone, surely there is a part of me that could have done that. To understand that behavior, I look to myself. There are certain things that are just very hard to rid yourself of, certain ways you define yourself that are better than other people, than when you are asked not to be yourself in front of other people, your whole dignity collapses. It's human history. It's very upsetting.
EURUDICE: A minor example of why I think I'm a postfeminist: I like to keep my women characters free of romantic shackles or interests, since love is a discourse used to control women and since romanticized heroines have been done to perfection. So I emphasize my women's difference, even grotesquely, because it exempts them from all expectations and stiff rules of conduct. America is well-suited to extreme difference--that's its curse and its freedom. In my work there're no nurturing martyrs nor women with a flag and a cause.
KIKI SMITH: I think I use different materials, perhaps: paper, fabric, textiles, a very handicraft way of thinking. Like papiermache. Papiermache isn't really a material specifically for women, but it's a low technology, something for children. Women are very commonly associated with low technology.
DEB MARGOLIN: My daughter's playing with cars and my son has me nursing animals. But I groove on the gender difference. I enjoy it. I think it's sexy. Just don't fuck with me--leave me alone.
ANN HAMILTON: I don't feel like my work attracts female viewers more than male ones. It's more like individuals are willing to take the time to investigate the experiences of the work or they're not. It's not necessarily related to gender. I do find when I lecture though that young women will come up to me and tell me that they have been thinking about the same things.
CAE: My work transcends identity politics issues. I'm trying to say that there is not a male story and a female story; there's a story. I've never like the idea of having to emphasize the difference. Transcending has always been my real desire. I don't think that these gender differences are where the real problems are. Problems between men and women are like somebody taking drugs too much. I'm less interested in these problems than other problems I've encountered, problems of different valuing systems. Maybe ethical issues, maybe issues of loyalty, friendship, betrayal, but not sexually referring them to anything. Sexual politics don't go into this.
KIKI SMITH: I'm marginal but marginal in a privileged sense, that each aspect of your life has different degrees of marginality or unmarginality. I don't want to be categorized as only a marginal person.