Tiny acts of power

When I had my office job, the receptionist I was friends with once told me that she took great pleasure in putting rude clients at the back of the queue. It’s the only way she could exert power, really, since she wasn’t allowed to yell, be rude back, or hang up on them.

The Veteran recently told me about a time on Facebook when I commented on a conversation along with someone she doesn’t like, so she “liked” my comment but not the other person’s. Another tiny act of power.

When I pose for art classes, I too have only very small and limited means of exerting power. But here are some things I’ve done.

  • Aimed all the most appealing angles of my poses away from that one guy I overheard making objectifying comments about women before class. You made me uncomfortable, Objectifying Man, and this is why you can’t have nice things.
  • Made direct, deadpan, unwavering eye contact with two students who kept whispering amongst themselves while I was in a long pose (I don’t think they even noticed. But apparently The Veteran has spooked people into silence with this technique before).
  • Posed with my back to the room (I do that sometimes anyway; people need to learn to draw asses and backs, after all. But it’s also my go-to move when I’m feeling pissy and need a break from putting on my happy, dealing-with-people face).
  • Shaved one minute off my last pose of the session (you’d be amazed at how much shorter 19 minutes feels than 20 when you spend it sitting perfectly still).
  • Angled my last pose of the session so I was looking directly at the clock on the opposite wall.

And this is not quite the same thing, really, but if I’m having an especially cranky day and I happen to be posing for people who don’t mind me getting weird with it, I sometimes work through my feelings by doing slashy, stabby, punchy poses for a while.

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