Hi, soapbox time.

I’m Martha, and I answer the phone at Circle Gallery Wednesdays through Saturdays in the summer and sometimes during the school year and I have a bone to pick with you.

You should not be apologizing for calling the office.

Kristina, Joann, myself, and future staff are all here to answer the phone and solve your problem – especially if it’s a matter of money. We’re a non-profit, we totally understand what a few lost dollars means.

I just got off the phone with a woman who thinks she’s been charged twice for entering the same show. I am the only person in the office right now and when there is one person literally everything (unless it involves dollar amounts more than my average paycheck) is handled by whoever is in the office to the best of that one persons ability. I am also usually pretty happy to interrupt the grueling task of trying to get MCA Denver to love me through constantly tweeting at them to talk to a person over the phone and solve their problem, especially when they are a nice person.

If you haven’t figured it out yet this is a feminism thing.

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At the end of this phone call the woman said “sorry for bothering you” and I said “No problem! It’s what I’m here for.”

But what I wanted to say was –

“WHY WOULD YOU APOLOGIZE THIS IS LITERALLY MY JOB AND A THING WHICH NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED GO OUTSIDE, CHOP DOWN A TREE, DRINK SOME WATER, AND GRAB SOME CONFIDENCE WOMAN”

Of course, I did not say that. I would not be working here anymore if had.

Instead, I sat down and started writing this.

Women apologize for everything, but most regularly and notably for taking things. Space, time, resources.

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Flaw, archival pigment print on velvet, Edward Shmunes (from Lowe House ’18)

Women, especially if they don’t have a stereotypical masculine male partner backing them up, also don’t feel comfortable talking about money – which is terrifying to a young woman like myself. There’s gonna be a point in my life where I make a big purchase and I don’t want to have to bring my dad with me.

I have always thought that space, time, resources – anything which is essentially endowed for human life – are things which will always be available for me. But every time I move on the sidewalk for a man walking down the sidewalk I am affirming that person that he has the right of away. The right to my space, time, and resources.

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Metamorphosis-Basking, digital photography, Rebecca Womble (from Focal Point ’18)

I can’t say much more without slipping into feminism philosophy which isn’t always practical, so I’ll leave with this: the next time you call MFA (or any business) do so confidently. Say hello. Give your name. State your problem. Thank them when things are resolved.

Go boldly into the world knowing that you deserve to get what you want and need. 

~ Intern Martha

3 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday: Don’t Apologize for Calling MFA

  1. Well said Martha. Women should support other women to identify when we are giving up our power to exist and function equally in the world. It’s a bad habit. But I find it’s also a reflexive response to apologize when sensing annoyance or even impatience from anyone I’m interacting with. Even when I have no reason to apologize! This is a complex culturally reinforced reaction that many woman experience.

    I do sense you are a bit angry with this woman for not “grabbing some confidence” (and I get your frustration), but I’d just suggest a totally compassionate response will be the best approach to waking someone to what they are unconsciously doing.

    You make a very good point and I’m glad you had the courage to address this difficult topic in such a public way. I think it is important for all woman to be conscious of how and when we undermine ourselves. 👍🙌🏼

    Best regards, Meredith Morris Email: meredithwaymorris@icloud.com Website: MeredithMorrisArt.com Cell: 301-908-5633

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