Andrea Dezsö Lessons From My Mother interest me because they explore the culture of internalised misogyny within our families and the way we are brought up by our mothers and grandmothers. Much like the skill of embroidery, which is passed down and thought usually from mother to daughter the media used also reflects the messages passed down from mother to daughter which reflect the patriarchal messages ingrained in our perspective of what women should and shouldn’t do.
The subjects broached within her mothers “lessons” are probably something we have all experienced at some point, they explore the messages of virginity, rape culture, domestic abuse and victim blaming. All seeming to focus on the idea that it’s never the man’s fault.
Rosjke Hasseldine looks at which women are so critical towards women who speak out agains sexism. In her work she made a valuable points “It is very hard not to internalise this sexism because the consequences of rejecting it, especially in our mothers’ and grandmothers’ days, was to be ignored, criticised or rejected as a ‘bad’ woman” , “I frequently see women react with thinly veiled jealousy when they see other women stepping up and claiming a level of entitlement they can only dream of. An entitlement they either don’t know how to, or don’t feel entitled to claim for themselves” and “Fear of not being liked, of being alone, of the consequences of escaping and standing up for your rights and life, are strong motivators that make women pull each other back down to where it is sad but safe and familiar”
Most women don’t know anything other than the patriarchal values the have been raised with and it really effects their ability to see the inequality when we have lived in it for hundreds of years. How do you learn to say no when all you’ve been taught to do is say yes?
It’s this kind of thinking that makes it more obvious that some women will not see this project as anything other than “feminist drivel” while others will be widely supportive of it. I only hope that this piece will at least let women know that saying yes isn’t the only option.