Hey, Ladies

3/11/2020==> This looks good!: IN OUR PRIME How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead  by Susan J. Douglas  Here’s a review at NYT:   Stop Telling Older Women to Step Aside  by Leslie Bennetts   Let’s beast it, ladies!!! We’ll change the world!

3/5/2020 ==> The hits just keep on coming! Here’s another article confirming my experience in the world:  Nine out of 10 people found to be biased against women  This is an article from The Guardian tells us what we’ve already sensed through our lives’ experience–men, and WOMEN, mostly don’t consider females the equal of males. These findings are a result of a UN Development study and tell us in no uncertain terms that people have a long way to go to become fully human.

2/28/2020 ==> I just came across this PBS video about an artist who addresses in an immediate way some of the issues I discuss below: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Visual Artist: “Stop Telling Women to Smile”  This is really worth a watch!

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“Womanizer”    hammer, women’s purses   2013

This piece and incident, as described below, came to mind just yesterday as did an article from last spring, I think as a result of several things currently in the news: The WaPo’s Robin Givhan’s “Let’s talk about ‘Project Runway’ stars using ‘old lady’ to describe unflattering clothes” from April 23, 2019. Fashion, women who wear it and the men who get to decide…

This grad-school piece above was a ‘first draft’ attempt to express some degree of my lifelong rage at misogyny and the males who perpetuate it. When I presented it to my class, four young-ish men, the response was muted (these guys generally did not acknowledge the facts of sexism and they practically rejected the existence of ageism), but two of them did criticize my choice of purses. I had dug around in my own stuff and had rooted around a couple of thrift stores to find an array that suggested women of different ages, styles and incomes. These classmates told me with straight faces that the purses weren’t expensive or stylish enough, that they weren’t adequate; I could tell from their expressions that they were offended by the low-end items. In other words, these young men with limited experience in life and no experience as women, concluded my piece did not work because my materials were not expensive and designer-made, not because they did not communicate my intent. The instructor did not challenge my classmates; he pointed out a couple of confusing aspects of the piece, then hurried along, clearly not wishing to spend time talking about the world women exist in. It was a lost opportunity for all of us, I think.

So, this is what I was paying for, this is what ‘the academy’ allowed, rewarded and perpetuated. This was a few years ago; I look at today’s news and wonder how much has changed…

 

MFA program positionality, re-considered

I just saw this review for Gary Alan Fine’s book Talking Art (University of Chicago Press, 2018) on The Chronicle of Higher Education website–I urge anyone who’s interested in arts education, particularly at the college-level, to read it. I know how I feel about my experience at grad school and was interested to come across some critical literature on the process. According to the review linked above, in April, 51 of the 54 graduating MFA students at Columbia confronted the provost to demand that their tuition be refunded because they had not gotten what they were paying for…*

I haven’t read the book, yet; my local library doesn’t have it, but I’ll put in a request at my community college library when the new semester begins. I am convinced that it’s past time to re-configure our higher education system.

             *Seriously; $63,961 for one year’s tuition? $63,961 American? When you cannot use the facilities and have no access to instructors? Really? 

Read the review! Forewarned is Forearmed!