The Fripcoxes at play in the garden this afternoon…
(Realisation and Photography: Studio Toyah).
The shared-meme posted on Facebook yesterday (below) has attracted many good comments and voicings. A few comments from myself…
In the Willip Fripcox household, my Wife Toyah is the talent. T also works harder than me, self-manages most aspects of her professional life, and without a support team of the quality I now enjoy (although was without for many years). T’s personal discipline and focus sets a standard to which I aspire.
On pretty much a daily basis, I see what T has to deal with, in purely practical matters, to keep her affairs on course and in order; this, before addressing how she is treated. How she is treated is, perhaps, an outcome of how she is perceived: as a woman, and a physically diminutive woman.
Yesterday, T had a business meeting with men. We have discussed, many times over many years, of how in T’s business meetings with men, she is largely ignored; and if I accompany her, how often the focus of their attention has been directed towards myself; as if the husband is the subject of the meeting. So yesterday, although I had no specific reason to be there, we agreed that I accompany Toyah: our intention being, that T was seen and heard. The meeting was with good people, not such as the chauvinistic, controlling and parasitic management of SG Alder Esq. of EG…
…who managed Toyah from 1982-1991. Yesterday’s meeting was straightforward and successful. Returning home, T and me agreed that although my presence was nominally unnecessary, in future I will be accompany T to her meetings, if she wishes. This I find astonishing; but accept that, in the actuality of contemporary society/ies, I look on many arisings with astonishment.
Toyah has a new album, recently released…
https://toyahwillcox.com/album/in-the-court-of-the-crimson-queen/. The opening track is Dance In The Hurricane…
EVERY GIRL BORN IS A QUEEN OF HER DOMAIN.
BUT SADLY EVEN MONARCHS NEED TO SUFFER PAIN.
ONCE, LONG AGO, SUCH A QUEEN, SO ALONE,
SURROUNDED BY OPINIONS, SHE REFUSED TO BE OWNED.
HER HAIR THE COLOUR OF RAINBOWS THAT FELL LIKE THE RAIN
HER EYES OF EMERALD, SO BRIGHT AND UNEXPLAINED
SHE WAS LIKE NO OTHER. NOTHING ABOUT HER COULD BE TAMED
HER CONSTANT RE-INVENTIONS WERE SEEMINGLY INSANE
LIKE MOTHS TO THE FLAME, FAR AND WIDE PEOPLE CAME
TO HER ALL OWNERSHIP WAS A SHACKLE THAT SHE VIEWED WITH DISTAIN
AND ALL SHE EVER ASKED WAS…
DON’T WRITE MY RULES
DON’T STOP THE RAIN
JUST FOLLOW THE FLAME.
My Wife is a force of nature, with a rare capacity of insight and sense of the subtleties. Given T’s profound dyslexia, these insights are not easily expressed in a verbal format commonplace to the conventionally-educated and well-read variety; and for them, perhaps easier to miss the depth readily available within and through T’s lyrics, imaging and performance. T is a voice for women, likely (only) one reason why T has a large, devoted female following: she speaks for many who are unable to speak for themselves, and/or whose voices are themselves ignored.
An historical comment…
I first developed an interest in Feminism / Women’s Liberation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_liberation_movement on leaving The IACE at Sherborne House… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Bennett#International_Academy_for_Continuous_Education in July 1976; part of the personal changes, re-viewing and re-tuning underway. I met Joanna Walton in London, one founder of the Women’s Free Arts Alliance…
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1zYBDdSkYp8C&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=Women%E2%80%99s+Free+Art+Alliance+joanna+walton&source=bl&ots=wRFONbIRgl&sig=ACfU3U2KtqeCTXVYhVKMSTdh6rbToUuaig&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiau83N5LHiAhW_QxUIHQ8kBSsQ6AEwCnoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=Women%E2%80%99s%20Free%20Art%20Alliance%20joanna%20walton&f=false. My related reading at the time: Juliet Mitchell Psychoanalysis And Feminism…
Moving to NYC in February 1977 I made the acquaintance of M Mark, founder of the Village Voice Literary Supplement…
Karen Durbin, also of the Village Voice…
… and, to a lesser but-no-less-respectful degree, Ellen Willis…
https://www.popmatters.com/166530-beginning-to-see-the-light-and-no-more-nice-girls-by-ellen-willis-2495789711.html. It was a privilege, an education, and lots of fun, to be in the company of these exceptional women.
My professional life has been mostly bereft of female musicianship, this for several reasons (consider time, place, person and circumstance). In Guitar Craft and the Guitar Circle the participation of women was actively sought and encouraged.
Recent changes in the US political life have attracted my attention and ponderings regarding the extent to which women’s lives / place in society/ies have changed in forty-odd years. Clearly, a much larger topic. Toyah’s daily and ongoing activity, a woman in the music / acting / performing arena, is personally problematic for me; however well she deals with it herself (superbly).
And here we are: at a pivotal, global shift in consciousness across the board, comparable to the shift that took place in the 1960s IMO. Hope for the future? A new generation that sees directly their responsibilities and what is needed of them; acts from conscience; and has the relative freedoms economically, socially and politically to do so.
The meme itself…
Prima facie, on the way to being a hoot, and then: it hits. It is profoundly disturbing, certainly insulting to women, and also to many men (these, my assumptions). I think it’s likely, and I hope, that the original poster knows irony. I also hope that the 228 sharers on Facebook (as I type) also share this diary.
Immediately below this journal entry, on my document file, I found this…
Foreword to TONY LEVIN - CRIMSON CHRONICLES
The photograph holds a moment in time.
The observer looks, and sees or not.
The subject, caught, may lose their soul to gain a lesser eternity.
The photographer chooses the moment.
There are three inventions: the moment as it was, the moment as it purports to be, the moment as deciphered.
Each affect the other.
The photograph fixes significance in time, which in the moment we might miss.
Holding the subject fixed in time, the image prevents them from moving away.
In time, the image becomes more significant than the subject. It develops a history of its own.
We trust the photographer to present the moment in innocence, aware of craft in operation. Success depends upon how fully the photographer disappears from the photograph;
on how the photographer can discover their innocence in the innocence of the moment.
The picture is unchanging: how we view it is not.
If the picture conveys truth, presents an aspect of open significances, our interpretation is plural and changing.
This has little to do with the subject, having walked away.