Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jumping Down A Feminist Rabbit Hole

Feminism isn't just about suffrage, equal wages or abortion. It's not just for lesbians or women who don't want to shave. It's about ending all forms of oppression and discrimination that plague everyone on the gender and sex spectrums. Women and men who want to break out of restrictive gender boundaries benefit equally from feminism.

I've always identified as both a feminist and an artist, but it wasn't until about a year ago that I started to realize how the two overlapped. In studying art, I started noticing the ways modern artists were still objectifying women just as much as the old masters did. I adore these artists, and I've nothing against nudity in art, but seeing the way in which these (mostly western) artists depicted women... it made me thirst for gender equality (aka feminism) in art. Time and time again, women have been portrayed in art as naked objects that the viewer has a right to see exposed and the artist has a right to use as a tool in their art. She is passive and accommodating, with an innocent and eager-to-please smile on. The body type illustrated is idealized and expressive of the time's standards of beauty. She is the epitome of femininity. This wouldn't be so frustrating if the gender boundaries were ever at all blurred a little. What I was beginning to thirst for was simply some diversity in the people represented. I wanted to see men represented in art just as often as women. I wanted to see diversity in body types and beauty. Diversity in the ways people were used in art- less passivity. I wanted to see the ambiguous, to see boundaries between the masculine and feminine blurred. Once I became aware of what was missing in the art I was studying, I started to see feminist issues everywhere else in my own world. It was like falling down a rabbit hole, and once I did, I couldn't jump back up.

This thirst for gender equality led me many different places in the art world and the world of feminism. Over the year or so that I've been searching for the places where these worlds collide, my thirst for feminism in art has intensified and also expanded. I intend to use this blog to share the places my search has and is currently leading me. Sometimes I'll post my own feminist art/poetry, but most of this will be dedicated to the exploration of what's already out there and deserving more attention. I want to discuss under-appreciated feminist art, but I also want to explore feminist issues in pop culture and go down some of the other roads that my thirst for feminism has lead me down.

It's time now. Come with me, we're not falling, but rather jumping purposefully into a feminist rabbit hole! 1... 2... 3.... JUMP!

No comments:

Post a Comment