Broadsheet, The Blog

Two Lady Artists with Bees in Their Bonnets

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!

8 Comments:

Blogger That Broad said...

I must have been out of town or surely I would not have missed this stimulating sounding panel!!

7:19 PM  
Blogger This Broad said...

you most surely were out of town, I was sad that we could not attend together.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous jason said...

but the forum, ironically, was a hierarchy

Hilarious! ... but troublingly all too common among would-be radicals. As long as oppression-opposed groups (like feminists) organize themselves following the oppression-inducing hierarchical models of their oppressors, the best they can hope for is to replace their oppressors by oppressing others (which is, hopefully, not what most feminists have in mind).

In other words, any organization (or individual) pushing for societal change needs first to be a model for the social change it hopes to achieve. The best way to limit oppression is to avoid hierarchy altogether. In this way, women would not only liberate themselves, but the rest of us too.

12:26 PM  
Blogger This Broad said...

I agree, jason, and I have to say I was surprised by the format. People attempted to ask a couple of questions during the panel discussion, before the 'open question period' at the end, and they were told to wait! And I got the feeling the audience was filled with really interesting people, at least as interesting as the panelists, so it was a double loss.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i still think the real issue here is out of whack expectations about what people will do for other people just out of fairness...

why do we expect galleries to be icons of social change? i get that the people behind galleries care about art and care about sales and many gallerists are women and men who do give a rats ass about gender equality, but its probably not their first thought.

instead of focusing on these commercial concerns (which I admit are attractive considering there are big sums of money potentially involved) i though it bizarre that no one mentioned the government... remember the government, who actually can legislate equal rights for all kinds of people? ok, not bizarre exactly considering we don't really have a government like that anymore, but sad, very sad.

so all we are left with is saying please and asking nicely? won't you please look at women's work? In the corporate world people sue (because laws allow them to) and the same in the academic world (because of the laws again). In other realms I can think of like civil rights, asking nicely didn't work out so well....

jenn

11:05 PM  
Blogger AFC said...

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8:01 PM  
Blogger AFC said...

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8:02 PM  
Blogger This Broad said...

I don't want to get down on the panel, though. I didn't like the format but it's an important issue to discuss (I'm sure it's a huge surprise that I think that) and there was a lot of lively energy and smart discussion there. I just wanted more!

5:36 PM  

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