Feminism as subject

See also: [Feminism] -[Criticism]- On this page: {Intro} {Stuff} {Toni Morrison; ie, black feminism} {} {} {} {Links}


I'm probably not the best person to ask about this, since my knowledge of feminism is mostly about it as a movement here in the USA, and of course the way that various women artists (around the world) expressed their ideas. In the USA, the quintessential feminists are Betty Friendan and Gloria Steinem - that is as both speakers and writers on the subject. Of course, in the art world, we are all pretty much feminists in that the expression of half of the world's population has for so long had almost no voice entirely; this has extended to minorities, gays, and others who have for so long contributed much but been recognised little. As for structuralism (and again here, my ignorance is vast - although i have time and again been "accused" of being a structuralist - mainly because i do quite a bit of surreal and dada-ist art), we live in the post-post-modern world with structuralism becoming the bridge between the modern (say about 1848 onward) and the post-modern world (say about 1968). The year 1848 was the ascension of Napoleon the Third in France, and of course, the real rush of invention leading up to the end of world war I and then of course the pre post-modern world (usually dated as beginning on August 6th and 9th, 1945 - with the use of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The year 1968 was as i refer to it as "the world in revolution". Of course, *everyone* argues about the dates, and even more-so as to WHAT structuralism and post-structuralism were/are/etc, mean, etc... As regards, feminism the (again very male dominated works prior to say 1960), concepts of structuralism are considered fairly anti-feminist. And of course, there has been a lot of revisionist attempts to correct this. One of the most amusing are the attempts to "justify" things like Freud's views on sexuality and then of course the swing to the other extreme to almost entirely deny any credit to his works. The way that i always put it is that Darwin showed us that we were animals, and Freud showed us that we weren't even *rational* animals. But, of course with dada, and post-modernism we accept is all as "just part of the mix"; ie, do *any* of really know *anything* ? ****** TOPICS ??? One thing might be to write on how women artists (or danseurs, writers - both fiction and non-fiction, essays, and of course playwrights, etc) and how they have reflected and expressed feminism in their works. A particular favorite of mine is Louse Nevelson as well as Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer. Again, i haven't gotten around to writing much about any of them; their art work is truely spectacular and expressionist of feminist ideas. It was either Kruger (i think) or Holtzer who created the oft-quoted phrase: I think, therefore i shop. Also, Kruger would rent and put ads on city busses in New York. My fav was by Malcom X and went something like this: If you spent half as much time on your mind as you do on your hairstyle, then your brain would be 1000 times better off. She's quite a force to be reckoned with. Anyway, that's what i've come up with so far. You might run these ideas by your advisor(s) and see what they think. *** A few links... Anyway as regards artists who are feminists, my pages (very sketchy here) are on these pages: http://art-squeek.angelfire.com/ah/art-talk.html (which has a nice list of names, but not much content) http://art-squeek.angelfire.com/ah/feminism.html (which has a few extracts and such) **** Some possible topics (again in art and such) how the role (or perceived/presented role) of women has *finally* gotten some attention and the part that feminism and activism (both economic and political) has played in this. what the visibility of women in all arenas has helped them; eg, talk show hosts, news anchors, and other media presences (don't forget to look up Marshal McLuan and his "Understanding Media"), space astronauts and scientists, and of course: ".... and the rest" (historians, professors, art teachers ;) etc... good luck, and rsvp if you need more info. I'll try and dig up my structuralism and post-structuralist books. Frankly, i find all of the dithering by people like Jacques Derrida and so forth simply confusing - but then like i sed we in art tend to "translate" such things into dada, surrealism, performance art, etc. (And it's probably a *bad* translation at that ;) -- frank. PS: Too bad they didn't go for godot -- one of most fav of all plays. "Nothing to be done...." I'd like to see it adapted for all female cast. Also, they performed it at Alcatraz prison (when it was still open as a prison) and the inmates "got it" - which many Theatre Critics didn't; eg, reviews like: "Two hourse to say nothing" "Nothing to be done with it - and twice in one night". Oh, well c'est la vie.

Toni Morrison; ie, black feminism

See also: -[
Toni Morrison]- Addressing your memo: As i see it, feminism is much more than a "women only club" - which is how many men (and sadly enough many women as well) view it. The awareness of the inequities of our societies is on that long, slow road towards the realisation of everyone's dreams and potential. Thus, the movement had several side-effects: 1) A new re-assessment of gendre roles in general. 2) The plight of not just women, but all those that live in in-just circumstances. 3) A broadening of the "typical human" view of people to include people of colour, minorities and majorities (and their responsibilities as power-holders to correct things). When we look at social structures, we see that often those with power want to hold onto it. And of course, they are in a position to make sure that the past remains un-changed; eg, the case of apartheid, "green cards", work visas, etc. Send us your tired and hungry -- but only if they have Master's degrees in things that we think are important. And if we can take as read the feminist movement as brining to a fore-front these and other social issues and ideas, we might well state that feminism was the first gender and class conscious attempt to erase slavery and the landed-class idea of equality for the nobility and the rest should just "eat cake". As with the phrase "Of that which you know, speak; of the rest - remain silent" we may safely say that one person *can* give voice to the concerns and views of another. Although, this will be thru a glass darkly as is the case with *all* translations from one viewer/medium/language to another. Or in short: Oppression is oppression. Whether it is by men saying that women should remain barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, or whether it is in retaliation for years of oppression of the now freed against their former oppressors. As, Frederich Nietzsche put it: When hunting for monsters, be careful that you do not become one. To extend and generalise feminism it would read as something like this: 1. Everyone should have a chanse at self actualisation and to find their own way their own way thru life with as few impediments as possible. 2. Self in all of its forms (be it sexuality/gendre, ego, expression, etc) should be given as much lattitude as possible. 3. Biology is not destiny. The last of these is meant not only to avoid prescribing the biological imperative (to reproduce, raise children, etc) on every person, but further to note that we all have our stengths and weaknesses. Reading assignment: "A Doll House" and "The Wild Duck" by Henrik Ibsen. Most of what *does* sustain us is our perceived role in the world and our life illusions. --30--


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