A couple years ago, I was at a gallery opening with some creative women, and they were each sharing what they did. After hearing one woman say she was a mixed-media artist and another say she was a photograph, the third said, “I’m just a longarm quilter.”
Why did this person’s passion become a “just a?” And why did she think she was “less than”?
If you grew up in the 60s with the women’s liberation movement, you might remember hearing people say “just a housewife.” I can remember thinking I would never be know as “just a.” In actuality, being a housewife is probably the hardest job around, raising healthy, happy and productive kids. It’s definitely not “just a.”
Back to the artists I met. I know that this longarm quilter is not the only one who says “just a” when someone asks what she does. Maybe she has second thoughts about the phrase, and I hope she does. Maybe she doesn’t.
When I started to reflect on what this woman said, I wondered where she placed her value.