An immediate burst of nervous laughter from deep down inside came following the question “Yes, but who cares?”. That was what I asked my friend and myself as she was listening to me report on the progress of my dance piece and celebrate the fact that it was complete and ready to be shared. It was the kind of laughter that discharges fear and humiliation.
After unloading these feelings all that was left was to notice how ridiculous this thought sounds and how obvious it is that I had never consciously chosen to think “who cares” but that it was rather planted in my mind by a society that only values goal oriented, monetarily quantifiable things. The nervous laughter was covering the reality that I do care. I care deeply and I’m thoroughly upset that it’s not cool to care about these kind of things.
This question “who cares” is an interesting question when it comes to my contribution to the world as a woman, as a mom and now as an artist who doesn’t have a 9-5 job. Have you ever felt that a whole day has passed and even though you were busy from morning to night there’s nothing you can show for yourself when asked what you did today? That it feels like there’s nothing meaningful or important about coordinating carpools, planning meals or the next school break?
I suspect that it’s not just me running this script in mind. Whenever a lot of people in a group have a common set of feelings it’s very likely that it’s one of the features of their oppression, in this case: women’’s/mother’s/caretaker’s oppression. Whether we hold a paying job or not, we spend so much of our time making sure that things go well for the people around us, for our family, for our community and for the world in general.
The problem is that doing so is not considered “productive” because of the single reason that there’s no profit to be made out of it. By the way, the same goes for caring for your own soul and doing what you love, as in Shake Your Soul for example 😉
I find that there’s some irony that we ask “who cares?” because one of the definitions of “care” as a verb is “to look after and provide for the needs of” and I don’t need to tell you that it takes a lot of work to do that. So much of that hard work goes unrecognized and unappreciated. It takes a conscious decision to not buy into this fake notion that this work is not important. To me that means that even if I don’t feel like working on and sharing my piece or carving time to dance, for example, I do it anyway, What does not buying into “yes, but who cares” mean to you?