Yoko Ono’s breasts, a model’s ass, and a vagina are front in center at an art show in Paris. It would be just another day in the art world if the person behind it wasn’t one of hip hop’s greatest assets. Which begs the question: Does Pharrell Williams have a woman problem?
The Oscar-nominated musician was recently tapped to curate a modern art show at Galerie Perrotin in Le Marais section of the City of Lights. I was rather excited to check it out on the recommendation of a friend. The show is called “G I R L,” taking its name from Pharrell’s recent album. The themes, according to press coverage in the art world, are a celebration of femininity and of women.
The exhibit featured 37 artists — 18 of them women, including Tracey Emin, Cindy Sherman, Sophie Calle. Marina Abramovic, and pieces by the Guerrilla Girls critical of women’s exclusion from the upper echelons of the art world. Yet upon entering the gallery featuring more than three dozen pieces of art curated by Williams, I felt safely uncomfortable, if that makes sense. Keep reading »
Sudan has freed Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging for not renouncing her Christian faith. Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father but was raised Christian, and then married a Christian man. Sudan lives under Sharia law and considers women the same religion as their father and relationships with non-Muslim men as “adultery.” It charged Ibrahim with apostasy and adultery and sentenced her to death while she was pregnant. Last month, Ibrahim gave birth to her second child while in prison. Today, her lawyer announced Ibrahim has been freed, claiming the initial judgment against her was “faulty.” Now she, her two children and her husband are reunited. It’s nice to read some good news for once. [CNN]
What would a feminist world look like? The Feminist Utopia Project anthology, which is currently in the making, aims to help us discover exactly that. Writers Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff are leading the project and are putting together a collection of pieces that will get us thinking about what life might be like in the absence of a patriarchal society. As they note on their website:
Too many of us know too intimately the ways sexism constrains our lives, limiting our opportunities, harming our bodies, reducing us. Often unspoken, though, is the way misogyny limits our imaginations. The ubiquity of sexism comes to feel like the inevitability of sexism. Electoral politics narrow our ambitions to preserving the rights we are told we can have rather than mobilizing for what should be.
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Trophy wives may be nothing but a myth perpetuated by sexist research, according to a new study. Researcher Elizabeth Aura McClintock of Notre Dame reviewed the data from a large set of young adult heterosexual couples, looking to find out how people really choose their partners. She looked into two different reasons that drive pairing up – matching and exchange. Matching is a search for a partner who is similar in education levels, looks and other traits. Exchange is more the more “trophy wife”-style notion of a person trading their looks or status for a partner who has something they don’t.
Surprisingly, she found that in the past people have misinterpreted the evidence of exchange relationships. In examining couples, researchers only looked at the women’s appearance and the men’s status and disregarded data on women’s status or men’s attractiveness. They were so certain they’d find a specific result (in this case, proof of exchange relationships) that the studies were skewed. More problematic to the skewed data is the fact that rich people are more likely to be good-looking, and vice-versa. (The reasons for that correlation open a whole other can of worms about whether being pretty makes it easier to get rich in the first place, but that’s another post for another day). Keep reading »
Remember school dress codes? Did they ever give you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as a teenager, or did they stay comfortably off your radar? Peggy Orenstein’s opinion piece on the subject in The New York Times brings up some of the more troubling questions about what the real purpose of those rules is –do they protect kids or just perpetuate body shame?
Orenstein insists that:
Telling girls to “cover up” just as puberty hits teaches them that their bodies are inappropriate, dangerous, violable, subject to constant scrutiny and judgment, including by the adults they trust. Nor does it help them understand the culture’s role in their wardrobe choices.
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The awesome ladies behind the non-profit Hollaback have turned to art as a method of fighting back against street harassment. Hollaback NYC held a “Girl Power” art workshop in a Brooklyn park recently which encouraged its tween and teen participants to create visible street art that spoke out against the catcalls and harassment many women face every day.
Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, known for her amazing anti-harassment public art project called “Stop Telling Women To Smile,” was on hand to encourage the girls to write their thoughts about catcalling using a Brooklyn wall as a canvas. Fazlalizadeh’s posters included phrases like “You Are Not Entitled To My Space” and “Women Do Not Owe You Their Time or Conversation” alongside female faces with bold, defiant expressions. The work is the result of interviews with women about their personal experiences with catcalling. Keep reading »
In my world, how you’re addressed lies on your actions and attitudes, and yours are sexist, victim-blaming, archaic, slut-shaming and all around offensive. Ergo, FUCK OFF, Floyd Mayweather.
Could it be that plain old mental habit is the reason for gender inequality at work? According to consultant and former businesswoman Caroline Turner, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. In a blog post for the Huffington Post, Turner said that the biggest reason women aren’t proportionately represented in business leadership positions is a set of “mind-sets,” or unconscious ways of viewing the world. The most powerful and deep-rooted of these mind-sets, it seems, is the “double bind,” or the idea that if a woman channels her more feminine energies, she’ll be liked by her coworkers but not seen as a leader. On the other hand, if she allows her masculine energies to lead the way, she’s likely to be judged and disliked. What I take this to mean is that the biggest obstacle we’re up against in the workplace is essentially subconscious stereotyping. Keep reading »