Sunday, March 25, 2007
Yesterday, my friend Sunny and I went to the first weekend of the Brooklyn Art Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The main and now permanent attraction is Judy Chicago's great 70s installation "The Dinner Party". It depicts her idea of an intimate gathering of some of the greatest women in history who in their own way hugely impacted feminism and all areas of women's equality. Guests include the original Primordial Goddess, Sappho, Saint Bridget, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Virginia Woolf. Each plate and placemat was especially created for each guest.
The center currently boasts a huge array of feminist art from 1970 to the present and includes video, live performance, photography and paintings. It was noticed by some that a majority of the art portrayed women in pain and suffering, which was ultimately depressing as it seems that there may be no hope for women in the world to truly be treated as equals in every sense that there is. However, the sad truth is that while we have come a long way, we still have a looooooooooong way to go.
Especially since we as a culture seem to be taking steps backwards, whether it's the threat of overturning Roe v. Wade or the subjugation of women by teaching them how to act like strippers and pornstars in order to be empowered. If things continue at this rate, women will really be in more trouble than they can handle. Obviously, in a lot of other countries they already are.
By the way, I want to stress that I do NOT think that strippers and pornstars are unsavory and I do understand that a lot of women are in that business by choice. I just have trouble reconciling how an industry that ultimately objectifies women for the benefit of men is in any way empowering. If anyone out there can honestly and logically break it down for me, I'm definitely going to listen.
It also doesn't help when other women reject the term or idea of feminism. I've got news for you - if you're enjoying the range of employment opportunities you have as well as the ability to have your own place to live, you're a feminist. At the very least, you definitely owe a great deal of thanks to all of the women who paved the way so that we could, oh I don't know, vote? Or make our own choices about our livelihoods?
I advise everyone, female or male, to come out to the Brooklyn Museum and check out this exhibit. If for any reason, to support the idea of more art by women in major museums.