The idea of the Muse bemuses. It seems like the popular concept is that only men get to have them. Dan Humphrey had Serena Van der Woodsen; Russell Hammond had Penny Laine; Alfonse Mucha found a Muse in his wife, his daughter and his lover respectively.
A Muse might in its way be what modern creativity devotees call a “believing mirror”: a person who has faith in and who fully supports your creative endeavors. There’s nothing wrong with this. A Muse is a more romantic version of this, one where it spotlights only the artist rather than the whole cast.
The gendered assumption bothers me. Why do women must walk around Muse free? We’re finally getting some decent catering in the porn market – why aren’t we getting some adulation from our own famous fanboys?
The concept of the gendered Muse didn’t really hit me until my Vegas wedding. We opted for a pre-packaged wedding. I fucking hate weddings, my sweetie really wanted one, this saved stress.
The package wedding came with package vows. We did not consult with the minister prior. When we met with the Methodist minister employed by the hotel, he determined we were fit and sober, grinned when I said flat out that anything with the phrase “obey” in it was not going down on my watch and after making sure all the papers were signed, proceeded with a simple non-denominational ceremony.
It was ultimately a very gendered and unequal ceremony, although at least it didn’t make me legal property. Mike was called to support me, watch over me, basically be a father figure (ick, ick, ick.) I was to be his muse, emotional support, inspiration.
No question was raised as to my own creativity or the possibility of my endeavors out in the world. According to our marriage vows, I am Mike’s designated fangirl, cheerleader and sex idiot.
I realize that in Vegas, weddings among entertainment pros happen all the time. This minister had to see his fair share of entertainer pairings. I suppose even groupies occasionally require a Methodist minister to do the wedding.
But I’m still annoyed. Why is it as a woman I get to be a muse, but I don’t get to have a muse? Is my bizarre relationship with Trent Lane simply unrecognized, or worse, for nothing?
Really, Mike and I do give each other ideas all the time. It’s much more mutual than a Muse dynamic – especially since the Muse is not typically aware of the inspiration he/she provides.
Still, it bothers me. Lord Byron wrote poetry about his rather embarrassing number of muses. And while we speak of how Audrey Hepburn was muse to great icons of fashion and art, no one speaks to who acted as her muse.
That seems unfair.