Warning: rant ahead contra a certain strain of modern feminism.
I saw this meme on Facebook today, and it really pissed me off. I understand the desire for
female role models who aren't Disney Princesses, but goddamn it, whoever
slapped this together seems mind-bogglingly unaware that Frida Kahlo
was all about Toxic Love. To a much greater extent, I would argue, than
Snow White or Belle or Cinderella.
This is not to belittle Kahlo or
attempt to devalue her as an artist. On the contrary, I think her value
comes from how powerfully she was able to transform her suffering,
romantic and otherwise, into art. But she and Diego Rivera had an extraordinarily tempestuous relationship that pretty much epitomizes Toxic
Love, and this attempt to portray Kahlo as a Strong Female Artist Who
Don't Need No Man does no one any favors.
Truth be told, it is easier
for me to relate to Kahlo knowing that she loved not wisely but too
well, that she was incredibly strong in many ways and yet incredibly
vulnerable at the same time -- that she was a complex human being, in other words, not an
invincible and perfect superwoman.