Broadsheet, The Blog

Two Lady Artists with Bees in Their Bonnets

30 October 2006

Too Many Bees For One Bonnet

In a world filled with infinite possibilities, a Broad can easily become overwhelmed with choosing one. This week's top ten contenders are:

  • Civics: Ok, I know I'm NOT preaching to the converted. Some of you still don't vote. Get out there on Tuesday, November 7. I mean it! And I don't want to hear any of your stupid excuses either!
  • Multi-tasking: Because life's not dangerous enough, some of you have decided to up the ante. Ten points to those of you who can manage talking on your cell phone while skate-boarding, smoking while biking and an extra 5 pts. to those who combine the phone with a smoke while in motion, or either of the two on the bike with a beverage.
  • Etiquette: While we broads have long bemoaned the spread-eagled gents on the trains, I have lately been having a problem with the ladies. Please note: YOU DON'T GET TO CROSS YOUR LEGS AT THE KNEE AND KICK REPEATEDLY ON A CROWDED TRAIN. You just don't.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Did you see BillMoyers Faith and Reason on PBS last night? One of his interviews was with author Mary Gordon. Among other fascinating things she noted that only her faith keeps her from a murderous rampage against Hummer drivers. Damn, now I'm going to have to find someone else to do my dirty work!
  • Television: While we here at BS delight in bad TV, it is still a bit of a mystery as to why it is even more enjoyable to read it re-capped rather than to watch it, courtesy of Television Without Pity.
  • Podcasting: Like reading TV, listening to art: Bad At Sports' podcasts are my new obsession.
  • Fame: Normally I filter out emails from e-flux and browse through them quickly before tossing them, but one recently caught my eye. From the press release: Under the programmatic title Anonymous: In the Future No One Will Be Famous, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents an exhibition with works by 11 international artists who – like the curator – will remain unnamed. In their Notes toward a Manifesto, the initiators of the exhibition proclaim: “Anonymous artists wish to wriggle the status quo into a status incognitos. Their aim is to remove the increasing barbarization of thought via short circuits and fast lanes created by the marketing of artists as brands whose works have become masterpieces in ignorance of philosophy.” As Manifestos go, it's an interesting idea. Whether or not it is self-defeating or a thinly veiled publicity stunt, we shall see. Or maybe noone will care.
  • Happiness: Waiting for an order of Chinese take-out revealed a fine collection of reading material, including a back issue of New York Magazine with an article by Jennifer Senior entitled "Some Dark Thoughts On Happiness," returning us to the original premise that too much choice can lead to indecision and discontent.

17 October 2006

Working Moms Not so Evil After All

The New York Times discusses a new book, “Changing Rhythms of American Family Life,” based on a long-term study on how much time mothers and fathers spend with their kids. The focus of the article is that both men and women are spending more time on childcare than in previous decades, despite women logging more hours in the workplace. But a few other things jump out:

The average amount of time both men and women spend on childcare seems incredibly low. I would like them to define "childcare." Perhaps it's because I have a hyperactive toddler (however, he is in nursery school or with a nanny part of the week), but it seems impossible that parents only spend 10 hours a week on childcare, and this has been the same since the 1960s. When I take my son to the playground or museum or read stories to him or walk around the neighborhood attempting to answer his neverending questions, is that not childcare? I certainly can't seem to get anything else done while caring for him. But perhaps they only count changing diapers, feeding, helping with homework, rocking to sleep in the middle of the night, etc. I assume that must be the case.

This is a pleasant surprise:

The researchers found that “women still do twice as much housework and child care as men” in two-parent families. But they said that total hours of work by mothers and fathers were roughly equal, when they counted paid and unpaid work.

Using this measure, the researchers found “remarkable gender equality in total workloads,” averaging nearly 65 hours a week.

However, towards the end of the article they explain why it doesn't feel quite equal to many working moms, including artists:

While married mothers and married fathers were approaching “gender equality,” measured by total hours of work, the researchers found stark differences among women. These disparities suggest why working mothers often feel hurried and harried.

Over all, the researchers said, employed mothers have less free time and “far greater total workloads than stay-at-home mothers.” The workweek for an employed mother averages 71 hours, almost equally divided between paid and unpaid work, compared with a workweek averaging 52 hours for mothers who are not employed outside the home.

So the article doesn't compare working mothers' total workweeks to working fathers'. I'll dig further and see if the study is available online.

07 October 2006

We Love The Smell Of Gossip In The Fall

1. What newly-minted gallerist said that her first order of business would be to install an electric zapper on her derriere to dissuade overzealous bum-touchers?

2. What former U.S. President is getting the last laugh right now as he watches CNN and enjoys another cigar?

3. What fancy gallerina just paid an artist for works sold at the spring 2006 Pulse Art Fair?

4. What fancy gallerino just paid an artist for work sold during a spring 2005 exhibition?

5. What mid-west arts adminstrator, just this side of gay, spent so much of his vacation time on his "crackberry" that his enraged fiance threw it into the hotel pool?

6. What mid-west gallerinas didn’t get the memo that an all-black wardrobe is not part of the 80s revival?

7. What jilted artist took revenge on their former gallery by redirecting the gallery’s website to their own?

8. What post-emerging independent arts professional could use a copy of Emily Post and a course on anger management?

9. What young Queens-based artist played two galleries against each other while selling work out of the studio?

10. What obnoxious lady bloggers have nothing better to do on a weekend than to feed the rumour mill?!

04 October 2006

Sorry Linda Hirshman

We've been pondering the sorry state of women in the arts as well as the glass ceiling at home for some time now.

But perhaps we've been looking for answers in all the wrong places, and that this is the answer. We'll be signing off, learning how to bake and getting pregnant now.

01 October 2006

On Feminism(s), Second-Wave, Third Wave, and "Post"

We went to a panel the other day
filled with women, straight and gay
talking of an art world where men hold sway
and elders stating not much has changed since their day.

Statistics were offered and batted around
of how few women the gallerists have found.
All-women shows? Humor? Suggestions abound
But on new strategies there was nary a sound.

The numbers speak volumes, it is quite true,
and maybe they'll shame some galleries into giving us our due.
The museums seem to have even less of a clue,
and when a woman points all this out she is called a shrew*.

Is our battle with sexist galleries or husbands who don't understand?
The latter who rarely give their wives a hand,
so when women artists** have kids there are just too many demands
and men artists do just fine while the women can hardly stand.

For more than an hour the audience was meek,
but grew restless over time and raised hands to speak
but the forum, ironically, was a hierarchy
and by the 'open question' period we all just wanted to sleep.

*Actually, a "quota queen" - but try rhyming that!
** or stockbrokers, or anything else for that matter!