Short text by Mare Tralla, part of the Deep Europe book (1997).

Date: Fri, 6 Dec 1996 16:42:07 +0100 From: mare@hrc.westminster.ac.uk (Mare Tralla) Subject: But SHE was a HEROINE - Mare Tralla



A milkmaid, a weaver, a female tractor driver - all stereotypical communist heroines. I guess in a way they were my heroines too, created by the totalitarian regime and THE 'media'. All honored with the title of the Heroine of The Socialist Labour. I knew only their names and I had my own fantasy pictures of how they should look: ladies with artificially curled hair, weight at least 120 kg. The last let see them as strong as possible. Woman was working animal or slave, she worked in the public sphere, she made her career and had children, looked after her drunk husband and even read newspapers for him if he demanded. But SHE was a HEROINE.


After 1991 she finally could stay at home! Long live housekeepers! Her husband was making money, "a lot of cash". She needed to learn how to be in the bed with bananas and pineapples, how to use condoms and tampons. However, after all she seems to be happy! Therefore she don't need feminism! May-be. She is not a heroine any more: she is a toy - a Barbie doll in a beauty factory.


If she doesn't want to be a Barbie doll and if she wants to say how sad it is to be one, she becomes a feminist. She makes attempt to liberate herself once more, to get the freedom. To be a feminist artist in a post-socialist country seems to be easy way to fame, because it is often seen just as immoral and abnormal, the things people like to talk about but they don't like to hear often, what was said by those they are making accusations of immorality. I got a nickname "disgusting woman" because of that. And now I am here escaping and learning to become a digital artisan, forgetting that I am an artist, killing my ideals and trying to learn "how to sell myself big!" "I am a tomato soup a la Campbell, if you taste it you'll never forget the delicious taste." I am raped by consumer society, I am blind but I see better than before.

And it is so good to have tampons and computers and cyberspace, after all. Maybe it can even make us happy.

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