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by Joe Gisondi
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A Different Kind of Overcompensation
I was naive to think that the crypto art community would have been different than the real world.
The last two weeks I have listened to stories from women in the crypto art community and it wasn’t enough time.
The fear felt by many of those female artists I spoke with was palpable. Some are terrified to stand up and say something in this growing digital community. So afraid of backlash I cannot even use their names,
I don’t know if I want to expose myself on this level just yet, particularly when the internet can be such a vicious place. You see how women get treated when they really put themselves out there, too. The second I do…the trolls will be tearing me apart as a physical person, my looks, my facial expressions, my voice, etc.
Some have gone so far as to even hide their gender,
I recently made an account for my art under a pseudonym that has no associated gender. I have fully disassociated it from my real gender (she/her) identity…People seem to be way more open to collaboration- ‘dude this is so sick let’s network’ or ‘bro that’s some dope shit, we should collab.’
The subsets of a minority community, e.g. sex workers, are worse.
@crypt0natrix details her experience as a sex worker in the crypto art world in an op-ed she wrote:
“The first time I shared a newly minted NFT on Rarible’s Discord, the response was: ‘That’s not art. There’s no point in minting, selling, or showing that.’ For reference, I had maybe eight Twitter followers at the time – no support system. I replied by pointing out that if a man tokenized the same thing using a random woman’s body, no one would tell him it’s ‘not art.’ Because men get applauded for doing whatever they please with women’s bodies, with or without consent, while we get shamed for doing what we want with our own.”
The experiences of women in the real world appear to be translating to the digital world. If this truly is the democratization of the art world, then we need to ensure that it mirrors our ideals of equality that the real world is slow to implement.
Voice.com can be the vehicle to shine a light on the dark spots of the internet that need attention but the discussions need to begin now. We are at the precipice of a moment beginning in the art world; our words and discussions matter. What we believe, what we see as issues in the real world, what we have been taught about inequities can be implemented here, right now, if we only just decide to manifest it.
No Doom, No Gloom
I am hopeful of change in the real world when we are face-to-face, again. The digital will be more difficult. But, we are at the right time and place where we can begin to shape that change.
Some women have already begun shaping this new digital world.
One of my colleagues, Jillian Godsill, sees blockchain as an opportunity for women to shine.
She recently wrote about how blockchain technology can help prevent sexual assault and domestic abuse.
Pre-covid she was speaking around the globe on “Why Blockchain Needs Women”. Her short answer? Because diversity makes everything better. The proof? Women crash test dummies.
I like bragging to people that I know Jillian Godsil.
Diversity is needed in all realms of the crypto community for it to succeed, not just artists but in art collectors as well.
Etta Tottie, a co-founder of Women of Crypto Art, is taking charge of leading the discussion and steer the movement before it gets off track,
“There’s art for every taste but personally, I’m bored seeing women portrayed as bald naked robots. I know it’s a popular trend right now and there is a demand for it but I don’t know any women collectors who would buy art like that.”
“If art platforms are trying to attract more women collectors they should consider the diversity of art they are featuring on their website. Too many sexy robots may put some women off from becoming collectors.”
With women like Jillian Godsill and Etta Tottie leading the charge our job as men is to simply support them and help amplify their message; they will take care of the rest.
You gon’ have to pick sides or divide up into tribes
Not by skin, but by your mind, is you Satan or divine?
What’s your ideology?
Either change your behavior or save your apologyTundah Fiyah by Tobe Nwigwe ft. Mumu Fresh & Lanell Grant
In the coming weeks I will have stories featuring female artists working hard to bring attention to issues while braving them alone and together.
To every woman who helped shape this piece, thank you. All I had to do was listen and even then I didn’t always do a good job.
This post is published for Cryptowriter in association with Voice.