When I was in college in the 90’s, I had a radio show on our college campus.
I liked it, but I wasn’t hopelessly devoted to it until I was a junior. That year, a friend asked if I wanted to host her show with her. I was all in, of course, even though it was a midnight to 3 am show on Sunday nights and I had to work at 8am every day.
Our show was named The Rage of Artemis and I instantaneously felt like it was everything I had ever wanted. It filled so many holes for me: the one that never felt as though I fit in; the one that yearned for female friendships after my best friend transferred; the one that was still pissed that I couldn’t do laundry without a guy trying to flirt with me (even though I did my level best to hide in plain sight).
We focused on music made my women, though not exclusively, and it was incredible.
One of the components to it was to read the news and weather and one night, we became particularly interested in the deep cuts from the news: the TV movies that were to play that week. This began as entertainment. I laughed enough to know I’d lost my radio voice.
Yet, interestingly enough, they almost all centered around the harm of women, my favorite titled, “The Web of Deception.” Because in addition to the problems this fictional woman had with her man, she had deceived him. And now she had brought on real trouble.
Why, if women were half the population, did the media persist in telling the same story? And that was when The Web of Deception became our shorthand phrase for the disappointing society we lived in.
And instead of pointing out how bananas it all was, it was easier just to live through it and roll my eyes. It’s taken a very long time to cast off that cloak of invisibility, because I find that it no longer fits me very well, regardless of how comforting it sometimes feels.
But the longer I walk this earth, the more and more true to myself I feel. As in everything, I wanted Rage of Artemis. And I got Web of Deception.
And that is the comforting thing about life–you realize that you get to choose your experiences, not simply endlessly have them done to you.
Psychologists call that concept ‘agency’ and I grew up with not very much internal agency, but a lot of internal attitude. I’ve learned my agency, my moments with Artemis.
And damned if I don’t like it.