If you're an artist, you don't make a name for yourself or, more importantly, get to truly explore what you're capable of, if you're not putting two feet forward in a single direction.
Oftentimes the only way to know if you've pushed a boundary is to push it. After overshooting it, as long as you're doing it for the right reason (i.e. exploring yourself creatively in a way that matters to you) you can charmingly "reel it in."
For example, if Eminem listened to his label's advice while recording The Marshall Mathers LP, "The Way I Am" would've never been produced. They said the album still needed a pop hit, so did he go and create a pop hit? No, he created a track that embodied all of his disdain for that request and one of his most memorable songs was born as a result.
And then after recording "The Way I Am" he was able to record "The Real Slim Shady," because he put that gripe on the record, so to speak and felt like he was doing his job, as an artist.
So I totally understand where this student is coming from with how she responded to her teacher's criticism of her work.
Alex Ruth Bertulis-Fernandes, in an art class, was asked by her teacher to "dial down the feminism."
Alex clearly made a strong choice that yes, she did want her art to be about feminism. So, like Eminem and many great artists, she doubled down on her passion for feminism and decided to channel it into her art by creating this beautiful response.
People were filled with glee at her rejoinder.
Which was basically an artistic rendition of this GIF below.
But then people started asking the important questions, like, why did her art teacher tell her to "dial down" her feminism?
As an art teacher, I’m appalled. As a woman, I’m furious! Dial it down? I will add my feminism to you and LETS TURN IT WAY UP! nice response art!— fig (@EmWolfe1) February 8, 2018
Some Twitter users began to point out that "dialing down" passion for particularly incendiary topics is an unfortunately common request.
They always ask women to tone it down when speaking up on issues. Translation: “Protest but do it the way I want it so it doesn’t ruffle my feathers.”— Fransisca Lifestyle (@FransiscaLstyle) February 8, 2018
Some people didn't get the point of her piece at all.
Good to see that there is a middle between the extremes.— John Vilnis (@JohnVilnis) February 8, 2018
Pity not enough people go there as it is usually when the best results happen.
Because, like one user pointed out, being even a little "complicit" in one's own dehumanization, isn't really a good idea.
I thought, "Which way does it twist?"— Quas NaArt (@TemmyWindy) February 7, 2018
Then I realized: It shouldn't.
Others just loved the artwork.
Amazing. What materials did you use? Do you have a website of your work?— decca (@decca0830) February 7, 2018
If you make this as a print, I will put it up in my 10 year-old daughter's room so she can draw power from it every day. Please let me know— decca (@decca0830) February 8, 2018
This isn't the first time a student gave the perfect clapback to a teacher.
This guy's daughter cited Geneva Convention guidelines when criticizing the way they handled punishments in the classroom. And really, she makes a great point.
So much justice.